Nick Petrie Series

Craig Johnson Books In Order

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Publication Order of Walt Longmire Books

The Cold Dish (2004)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Death Without Company (2006)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Kindness Goes Unpunished (2007)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Another Man's Moccasins (2008)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Dark Horse (2009)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Junkyard Dogs (2010)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Hell Is Empty (2011)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Divorce Horse (2012)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
As the Crow Flies (2012)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Messenger (2013)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Serpent's Tooth (2013)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Spirit of Steamboat (2013)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Any Other Name (2014)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Dry Bones (2015)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Highwayman (2016)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
An Obvious Fact (2016)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Western Star (2017)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Depth of Winter (2018)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Land of Wolves (2019)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Next to Last Stand (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Daughter of the Morning Star (2022)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Hell and Back (2022)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Longmire Defense (2023)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Walt Longmire Short Stories/Novellas

Christmas in Absaroka County (2012)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Wait for Signs: Twelve Longmire Stories (2014)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Anthologies

Crime Plus Music(2016)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Best American Mystery Stories 2017(2017)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Craig Johnson is an American writer best know for his series of novels featuring Sheriff Walt Longmire. Johnson was born in Huntington, West Virginia in 1961, he now resides in a small hamlet near Sheridan, Wyoming named Ucross, with a population of 25.

His novels are western style mysteries and have garnered him much critical acclaim and some awards as well. He continues to write Longmire mysteries, usually set in with the beautiful Wyoming nature as a backdrop.

Longmire, Path to Success

Walt Longmire is a sheriff in Wyoming’s Absaroka county. A sparsely populated area in Wyoming, where everybody knows everybody else. The Sheriff has been widowed for a few years and lives in neglected squalor, alone. He is a fair, if flawed character who has the backing of the entire county. People here like Walt and he wants to protect them to the best of his ability.

Craig Johnson has created a believable character who comes off the pages as being a person that you would like to get to know yourself and who you could trust. This makes the novels all the more true as you can easily see yourself accepting and supporting Longmire as the law in your town.

Auspicious Beginnings

The Longmire adventures began in 2005 with the release of The Cold Dish. The novel was received with great critical praise and it became apparent to any reader that Craig Johnson had a definite talent for the written word. He has a way of making the reader jump right into the story and quickly become immersed in Longmire’s world and hope to solve the mystery along side the Sheriff. In the first story we meet Walt Longmire who is faced with the toughest case of his career.

Not particularly pleasant for a man who is waiting to finish off his tenure in peace. The plot of the story revolves around the seeming murder of a young man named Cody. The murder weapon was a rare Sharps riffle and the only possible motive is that the boy was involved in the rape of a Cheyenne girl named Melissa Real Bird who suffered from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

This is not what Longmire was hoping to find when called to the scene. The plot line is interesting enough, but the cast of characters that are woven into the story are both memorable and real. Longmire’s life long friend Henry Standing Bear and the Deputy Victoria Moretti a tough ex-philadelphia cop whose mouth is as foul as any street thug, add to the texture of the novel.

The plot thickens as two of the other boys involved in the rape are found dead. This is definitely not the relaxing quiet end to a career that Longmire had wanted. The mystery deepens as it is discovered that several of the townspeople, with more than adequate motive, own Sharps riffles.

It takes cunning and tried and true police work to get to the bottom of the mystery, which Longmire has in spades. Craig Johnson won the 2006 Dilys award for the novel. Not only was the story great but the fact that Johnson was a patrolman himself brings a great dose of realism to the novel.

Death Without Company (2006)

The second installment in the Walt Longmire series takes a different path. This piece deals much more with character interaction. The Basics of the story is that Mari Baroja, a basque women is found dead at the Durant Home for Assisted Living. Everyone assumes that she had died of natural causes, after all this is a home for the elderly.

Lucian Connally, however sees thing differently, Longmire puts stock into that which Connally says as he was the Sheriff who hired Longmire in the first place. Connally surprises Longmire by admitting that he had actually been married to Mari from a few hours many years before. The marriage ended when Mari’s uncles and father hunted them down and gave Lucian a beating.

The autopsy reveals that she has indeed been poisoned, moreover a rash of crimes that would rival any major city center begins to plague the small Wyoming area. Craig Johnson has created a completely different type of story with this second installment, yet it remains as poignant and entertaining as the first.

Longmire on A&E

On June 3rd 2012, the Longmire television show premiered on A&E. The series received both critical and popular praise. In fact it was the all time top rated original series for a A&E. The television series is filmed in New Mexico rather than Wyoming,

There are other differences between the books and the television series, most specifically the lack of a Philadelphia connection in the television series. In the novels, Walt’s daughter, Cady, lives in Philly which is also where Vic Moretti comes from. This has allowed for a few stories to be moved to Philadelphia and add a different layer to the novels.

Craig Johnson also adds an element of the spiritual in his novels, often helping Longmire advance in his cases.. This element is all but absent in the television series. Nonetheless the series is very popular and has been renewed for another year. The series has also been exported and is now available in both the U.K. and in Australia. Craig Allen Johnson has created a wonderful set of characters set against a surreal natural backdrop.

Even though it would seem rather impossible for all of these mysterious crimes to occur in such a remote and sparsely populated area, the stories are too wonderful to ignore. This is actually the only part of the stories that demands a suspension of belief. Everything is so real, the characters jump off the page and you would swear you know someone exactly like that person in your everyday life.

With the advent of a television show and the popularity of the novels on the rise with the new fans brought in via this medium, we will be allowed to continue visiting Absaroka county for a long time. Craig Johnson is a master of his craft and must be read to truly appreciate the richness of his characters, the realism with which they are portrayed and the depth of his stories. Westerns may not be your style but these are more than worth the read.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Craig Johnson

8 Responses to “Craig Johnson”

  1. Linda Yablonski: 6 months ago

    I still miss Walt Longmire! Will we ever get another book?

  2. Rosemary McLain: 1 year ago

    We don’t have cable so i just discovered the Longmire tv series on an “air tv” channel a couple of weeks ago and was hooked. However ran across the audio book on my Libby app and am enjoying it a whole lot more. They replotted the TV series and to the detriment of the book series, IMHO. While listening to Craig Johnson’s first book in the series I was able to follow each character as clearly as I was watching them,also I caught myself laughing out loud throughout each chapter. Keep up the great writing, I’ve already ordered the book in the series, can hardly wait until it arrives.

  3. Roger Young: 1 year ago

    As a Canadian knowing about how Natives have been treated in Canada and the U.S. it is wonderful that Walt seems to show an understanding and sympathy for most natives.

  4. Simone Foster: 2 years ago

    My husband lost his sight 2 years ago. He is able to listen to your books through v the Library for the Blind. It has bee a great thing for him. He loves your books.

  5. Barb Miller: 2 years ago

    I was introduced to you books at a lecture you gave in Spokane, WA. Very interesting. I LOVE Walt Longmire. I have listened to some of the books 3 times and have watched the series on Netflix twice. I’m a fan. Hope you come back again soon.

  6. Rick Harder: 2 years ago

    REALLY Happy to find..

    Wow, I just finished audio of, “Next to last Stand”.
    Things set up for many changes to come. Love Vic and crew.

  7. Dale: 5 years ago

    They don’t have Dog in the
    tv series – too bad, I like him.

  8. Rebecca Schwartz: 6 years ago

    The character in The Cold Dish is Melissa Little Bird.


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