When most people think of Wyoming, they probably picture rugged ranch hands riding across open plains under a big blue sky, a world away from gritty police procedurals. But crime novelist Craig Johnson is on a one-writer crusade to prove that the Big Empty is full of memorable stories featuring the boys in blue chasing down the bad guys.
The award-winning Johnson swings by Rediscovered Books from his ranch in Ucross, Wyo. (population: 25) for a reading and signing of his latest in the best-selling Walt Longmire Mystery series, A Serpent's Tooth.
The series, which began in 2004 with The Cold Dish, follows the sheriff (probably best described as the lovechild of Philip Marlowe and Gary Cooper) and his best friend, Cheyenne tracker Henry Standing Bear, as they solve crimes in the Cowboy State's fictional Absaroka County. Johnson's books have won multiple awards, even making it to Publishers Weekly's best books of the year lists, although the name may be more familiar to city slickers from the well-received TV series Longmire, currently airing its second season on A&E.
The new book, the ninth in the series, follows Walt and Henry as they stumble upon a secretive and well-armed polygamy group. Along with chasing down their 400-pound leader, Walt also has to deal with the sudden appearance of a man claiming to be a 200-year-old mythological Mormon, the "Son of Thunder" Porter Rockwell.
Fans can not only hear Johnson read from his new book (set to be released later this summer), but the author will sign copies of his other works as well.