Book Review: Death Without Company, by Craig Johnson

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Sheriff Walt Longmire is Back

Author Craig Johnson has a way of writing that drew me right into the plot of this novel, Death without Company. He makes you feel like you are with friends, even as you are reading about murder.

His lead character, Walter Longmire, is a likable, ordinary man, as are most of the characters in his series. The Wyoming setting—temperatures and terrain–give it a Western flare, though it is written in and about current times. If there is a contemporary western category, Mr. Johnson’s series would be at the top.

Walter Longmire is the Sheriff in a rural Wyoming county. Close friend, Harry Bear, hangs around offering clever insight in each of their encounters. Lucian Connally, the previous sheriff, seems like he might just shoot his good friend Walter as be friends with him.

This particular book in the series has over 2500 ratings/reviews between Amazon and Audible. Sheriff Walter Longmire has quite a following.

The Story

A 75 year old woman dies in an assisted living home. Not that unusual, right? When Sheriff Longmire’s former boss, ex-sheriff, Lucian Connally suggests an autopsy should be done, the sheriff learns that Lucian had been married to the deceased woman, very briefly, over 50 years ago.

Tests show that she was in fact poisoned, which leads the Sheriff into the past to figure out if it’s because of decades old history or something in the present. And the clues indicate his former boss may be involved.

A mystery like this one is such fun. I love reading along as they discover each new lead, a clue they then investigate thoroughly. It’s written so you feel you are there walking beside them. Each step takes them closer to the answers though there are lots of misdirections along the way. Missing persons, murders, multiple heirs looking to inherit, an icy river, and a man crazed with drugs, all come together for an exciting, enjoyable tale. Then, even when you think you have it solved, more questions arise.

This book is the second of eleven in the Longmire series. I’ll be reading another. From reviews I’ve read of his other novels, I’m not the only one who has become attached to Sheriff Longmire. Many remark that it’s hard to read just one of Mr. Johnson’s books. I listened to the audiobook, mostly because George Guidall narrates the series. He does such a great job, it’s always a treat to listen when he reads. I already have my next one picked out and in my wish list!

Craig Johnson and The Walt Longmire Series

So far, Mr. Johnson has eleven novels in his Walter Longmire series. They each stand alone. Personally I always like to read a series in order, but it isn’t necessary. I still can’t get over the descriptions of Wyoming, of the cold winter, and their surroundings. He is really a pleasure to read!

Here’s a list of The Walt Longmire Series in order:

A Cold Dish (2004)

Death Without Company (2007)

Kindness Goes Unpunished (2007)

Another Man’s Mocassins (2008)

The Dark Horse (2009 )

Junkyard Dogs (2010)

Hell is Empty (2011)

As The Crow Flies (2012)

A Serpent’s Tooth (2013)

The Spirit of Steamboat (2013)

Any Other Name (2014)

Mr. Johnson and his books have received many awards. Death without Company was chosen one of the top ten mysteries of 2006. Still many people are more familiar with the television series on A&E, starring Robert Taylor. All three seasons are available.

You might enjoy hearing Mr. Johnson in person speaking at the National Book Festival several years ago…


Here’s the first in the series. I liked this one so much. What a start to a series! In it, 4 boys had sentences suspended for raping a Cheyenne girl. Now two are dead and two are missing.

The Cold Dish: A Longmire Mystery







And here is the latest if you’d rather start with the latest. When a detective takes his own life, Lucian asks Walter Longmire to find out why.

Any Other Name: A Longmire Mystery









Merry Citarella, often writing as Merrci, writes on a wide range of topics. Recently relocated to the Oregon Coast in the northwest United States, she frequently writes travel features on the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She specializes in health and aging, Alzheimer’s Disease, food, lifestyle, and book reviews. For more information you can see her on The Writers’Door. You can read more articles here or at her websites Alzheimers HQ and Simple Living Ideas

Author: Merry

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