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Book review: Sheriff Longmire faces more challenges, mystery in 'As the Crow Flies'

By Steve Larson

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, June 23 2012 2:00 p.m. MDT

"AS THE CROW FLIES: A Walt Longmire Mystery," by Craig Johnson, Viking, $25.95, 308 pages (f)

"As the Crow Flies: A Walt Longmire Mystery" is Wyoming author Craig Johnson's eighth book in the Walt Longmire Mystery series, and once again he builds his story around the adventures of a small-town sheriff and his Native American sidekick.

Sheriff Walt Longmire and his friend Henry Standing Bear are exploring the Cheyenne Reservation in Montana looking for a site for Walt's daughter's wedding when they suddenly find themselves in the middle of a murder investigation.

They watch as a young Crow mother falls from a cliff with her infant son in her arms. While it initially appears to be a suicide, it doesn't take Walt long to find clues that lead to a murder investigation. However, Walt won't be taking the lead in this investigation; this time he will play a different role.

Since he is outside of his jurisdiction, Walt must mentor a young, inexperienced police chief as she struggles to unwind the mystery deeply rooted in the native culture on the reservation.

Johnson's characters have heart and are full of emotions. In "As the Crow Flies" Sheriff Longmire faces his toughest challenge yet — a dual role as an absentee father and heroic lawman — as he struggles to plan his daughter's wedding while also solving a challenging murder mystery.

This book is meant for a mature audience, as it contains adult themes and some shocking language. Fans of this series will be familiar with Johnson's mix of wit and wisdom and his use of language to add color to his characters.

The Longmire Mystery novels are best read as a series, but they can stand alone as individual books, so those who are new to this series can pick up any without having to start at the beginning.

Johnson lives and writes his novels in the small town of Ucross, Wyo. These books have been adapted for television in a new A&E series called "Longmire."

If you go ...

What: Craig Johnson book signing

When: Wednesday, June 27, 7 p.m.

Where: The King's English, 1511 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City

Web: www.kingsenglish.com

Steve Larson is one of the founders of Information Alliance, a Utah-based data collection company. He currently serves as vice president of sales. Steve spends his free time writing and practicing photography. He also enjoys spending time outdoors.

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