Book Review: Dry Bones by Craig Johnson

Dry BonesDry Bones
A Longmire Mystery #11
Craig Johnson
Viking, May 2015
ISBN 978-0-525-42693-6

Who doesn’t love a Wyoming dinosaur, although. . . turtles? Not so much. Especially after picking up Dry Bones, the latest in Craig Johnson’s Longmire mystery series.

The complete skeleton of a T. Rex, nicknamed “Jen” after the woman who, thanks to her dog, discovered it, is found on land owned by an elderly Cheyenne. Who knew dinosaur fossils were worth so much money? But just who owns the fossil, and has the right to sell it is questionable after Danny Lone Elk is found dead in a turtle pond. Murdered, as it turns out, and Walt has plenty of suspects. As usual in a Longmire story, some politics are involved, along with the FBI, local cops and tribal police. Messy.

Complications galore arise, including a death in the family, which includes Walt’s friends, his co-workers, and even the previous sheriff of Absaroka County, Wyoming.

We’re getting along in years with Walt Longmire, but Walt, Henry, Vic, and even Dog never age. They never become boring, either, which has as much to do with Craig Johnson’s voice and writing skill as Longmire’s actual investigations.

Some things I noticed:

Johnson’s writing has a warmth to it that always sucks you in. Reading a Longmire novel is like visiting with a group of friends or family. Only Walt lives a much more exciting life than I do.

The subject matter, as usual, will probably teach you a little something. That never hurts.

A lively bunch of suspects to choose from, and every one a three-dimensional character.

You’ll love the way this one turns out. I promise.

Stay tuned. I can’t wait for the next book.

Reviewed by Carol Crigger, March 2015.
Author of Three Seconds to Thunder.


5 thoughts on “Book Review: Dry Bones by Craig Johnson

  1. Thanks for a thoughtful review of Dry Bones. I didn’t discover Walt Longmire until the television series, now I’ve tried to read every book from the beginning, and I’m never disappointed. He has become my favorite author right after James Lee Burke. I know he enjoys being in such company as Burke. What fabulous writers both of them are.


    • I live in Wyoming, across the mountain from Craig Johnson, so maybe I’m prejudiced, but he is one of the best writers I’ve read. Also love James Lee Burke. Johnson describes Wyoming like Burke describes Louisiana. Have heard him speak (sponsored by the local library – honoraria (speaking fee): a 6-pack of Ranier beer) 4 or 5 times. He might be a better speaker than writer, and that’s saying a lot! And if you’ve never read C.J. Box, another Wyoming author, you’re missing out on another treat. Try them both!


  2. Craig Johnson is the real thing. Good writer, funny, nice. If you haven’t seen the TV series Longmire (based on his books) it has moved to NetFlix and is very entertaining


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