Friday, March 2, 2018

The Cold Dish

Billy, you say you saw this body?”

“Yeah, I did.”

“What’d it look like?”

Silence, for a moment. “Looked like a body.”

I thought about resting my head on my desk. “anybody we know?”

The first of the popular Longmire series by Craig Johnson. The characters are wonderful, and the man has a way with observation but, to this reader, at least…the “mystery” or crime elements are so familiar, and you’ve got to spend so much time on that genre-element it drops this a grade. But that drop is only a wee bit.

I think if the novel were about Sheriff Longmire and Henry Standing Bear going fishing and shooting the breeze I’d read the whole series, but alas, there are episodic cop tropes to make it through.

Please don’t read this impression as not enjoying the novel—I did, a good deal. It reminds me of noted Western author A. B. Guthrie’s Chick Charleston mysteries, which strike me the same. Wonderful characterization, maybe a little too familiar on the mystery element.

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