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The Western Star By Craig Johnson: Review/Giveaway

IN THE October 21 ISSUE

FROM THE 2017 Articles,
andCynthia Chow,
andMysteryrat's Maze

by Cynthia Chow

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of The Western Star, and a link to purchase it from Amazon, and an indie bookstore where a portion of the sale goes to help support KRL.

Back in 1972, Walt Longmire was not the wry, easy-going sheriff readers love today. Just two weeks of working under Absaroka County Sheriff Lucian Connelly had Walt questioning his choice of career, despite the pressure of having to support a new wife and upcoming baby. In his first year as president of the Wyoming Sheriff’s Association, Lucian was dragging along his rookie deputy for a sheriff’s junket on the Western Star steam train to Evanston. It sounded like the start of a bad joke; what do you get when you have 24 armed sheriffs, one deputy, a pretty woman, and too much alcohol? The answer is nothing good, as Walt finds himself knocked off the train, arrested, unarrested, and trapped on a locomotive with at least one murderer.

bookThe events of 1972 are revealed as Lucian and Walt travel to Cheyenne to oppose the appeal of prisoner whose release Walt has opposed for forty years. When the governor’s wife begins to throw in roadblocks by using the press, even Walt’s closest allies question his refusal to budge. As the narratives switch between the past and the present, readers are shown the contrast between the naïve deputy and the far more jaded sheriff he would become. Walt’s humor is leavened by the gravity of the present situation, while in the past he finds himself in the midst of a possible conspiracy and encountering questionable mentors. So it’s fortunate that in the present day Walt is counseled by his daughter Cady, AKA the Greatest Legal Mind of Our Time, profane undersheriff Vic Moretti, and his quietly acerbic best friend, Henry Standing Bear. Only Lucian was also there with Walt as he encountered the case that would decide his career, haunt his nights, and forever change his life.

There is so much I want to say about this extraordinary novel. It is safe to say that readers are in for a unique twist on the locked-room, train murder mystery. As the train rockets to Evanston and back, Walt grows more confident with his observations even as he trusts his compatriots less. What remains constant throughout are the delightful banter between Walt and his friends, as well as the black humor shared by law enforcement officers. Readers are reminded that as compassionate and fair-minded Walt has become, there remains at his core a ruthless protective instinct for those he loves. The next installment of this series may herald in a far different Walt, one who is sure to be as compelling as he is unstoppable. I will be on the edge of my seat waiting to see who Walt becomes, and pity anyone who stands in his way.

To enter to win a copy of The Western Star, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “western,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen October 28, 2017. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section.

Use this link to purchase the book & a portion goes to help support KRL & indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy:

You can also use this link to purchase the book on Amazon. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the link:

Cynthia Chow is the branch manager of Kaneohe Public Library on the island of Oahu. She balances a librarian lifestyle of cardigans and hair buns with a passion for motorcycle riding and regrettable tattoos (sorry, Mom).

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases using those links. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.

{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kelley Morrow October 21, 2017 at 9:00am

I love this series and I’m grateful for the giveaways!


2 Elizabeth Schroedle October 22, 2017 at 10:09am

I am looking forward to reading this book. I love the Walt Longmire and Vic Moretti characters. When I read Craig Johnson’s books, it’s as if I stepped into the Wyoming landscape.


3 lorena October 22, 2017 at 1:13pm

That’s what I thought, until I found out most of it is filmed in New Mexico. Regardless I love the show & the scenery is beautiful.


4 Mary Sorgi
Twitter: @Marora09
October 22, 2017 at 1:13pm

I love the series, watch it on Netflix when I can. I would love to win this book.


5 Marilou Kaye October 22, 2017 at 1:20pm

Excited to read it!!


6 Debra T October 22, 2017 at 1:23pm

Love this series! Craig Johnson has build a great community!


7 Carol Kimes October 22, 2017 at 1:32pm

Love the Longmire series.


8 Vicki Reutter
Twitter: @vreutt
October 22, 2017 at 1:37pm

Love your take on the character development over time and I always wondered what past he and Lucian shared. Sounds like a good mystery pick!


9 Carolyn Robinson
Twitter: @CARobinson57
October 22, 2017 at 1:47pm

I love every issue and to have one signed would be a great heart warming blessing to me!


10 Jeannie Martin October 22, 2017 at 1:55pm

Western….would love a hard copy. 1508 McCroskey Ave apt 613 Knoxville,Tn 37917. jeanniemartin30@gmail.com.


11 Anne Yoder
Twitter: @Ay4ksu
October 22, 2017 at 2:08pm

Hooked on the show and can’t wait to read the books!


12 Noreen Riggs October 22, 2017 at 2:36pm

I love a good book and I love the series longmire, so I’m sure this will be a great book to read. Even if I don’t win it-I’ll go buy me a copy.


13 Dianne B October 22, 2017 at 3:11pm

I have been watching this on Netflix and have read some of the books.


14 Liz Hunter October 22, 2017 at 3:45pm

Would love a chance to win this.


15 trish October 22, 2017 at 4:03pm

Love the character of Walt Longmire and would enjoy reading this book. Thanks for the opportunity!


16 Jen Kearl October 22, 2017 at 4:51pm

So excited! Thanks for a great story and a great read. 🙂 Love this series so much.


17 Carl October 22, 2017 at 4:58pm

I’d love to win the latest Longmire book, thanks for the chance. crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com


18 Arlene & Roland Morin October 22, 2017 at 5:29pm

Love Longmire and the Craig Johnson Books. I love being a part of Wyoming landscape. Love the Red Pony and Standing Bear. Ready for season 6


19 Becky Maghy October 22, 2017 at 5:55pm

Thank you for the Walt Longmire series!!


20 Karina Thibodeau
Twitter: @ThibodeauKarina
October 22, 2017 at 6:13pm

Thank you for the chance.


21 Larry October 22, 2017 at 7:00pm

I’m so glad that I caught the television version just as it started. I’m sad to see the end coming. But something as good as Longmire can’t last forever.

I can relate to Walt very well. The stuff that comes out of Craig Johnson brain tissue is amazing.

Thank You and Stay Safe,
Larry McDonald LP


22 Audrey Starr October 22, 2017 at 10:49pm

Great write-up about the book!! With the tv series ending, have really been wanting to read the books. People who love the tv series, also love the books, which says a lot!!


23 Diane Mobley October 23, 2017 at 4:59am

Craig Johnson’s Walt Longmire series is amazing. It just gets better and better. Even better is hearing Craig in person because it is so much fun to hear him tell his stories and answer all the questions. All his stories and descriptions have put Wyoming on my bucket list!


24 Margaret Repasz October 23, 2017 at 5:27am

I would love to win Craig Johnson’s new book! Best thing in print for Western’s in my opinion of course.


25 Lea Kraft October 23, 2017 at 7:48am

I can’t wait for S6 on Netflix. Hopefully I win this book.


26 diane barone October 23, 2017 at 9:52am

I love the Longmire books along with the TV show. Can’t wait for season 6 on the 17th.


27 S. Heggie October 23, 2017 at 9:58am

I can’t wait for Season 6, and would love a copy of this book.


28 Judy McGowen October 23, 2017 at 10:27am

Good Afternoon,
This Native Wyoming Gal (and dang proud of it!) would love to win this phenomenal book! Anything Craig writes is bound to be phenomenal!
Thank you!


29 Jeffrey Wright October 23, 2017 at 10:43am

I’m a big fan of Craig Johnson and really enjoy his books. I would love a copy of the Western Star. Boy Howdy!


Jeffrey “Dawg” Wright


30 janet October 23, 2017 at 10:49am

My husband and I were fortunate enough to hear Craig speak at Anderson’s Bookstore in Naperville, IL recently. What a down-to-earth, erudite man! We like the series and love the books but, being summer visitors to the Sheridan area each summer, are glad there aren’t really as many murders there as there are in the series!! 🙂

Looking forward to the Netflix series (anyone know when it’s supposed to be there?) and wish there would be more.



31 Jameson Lange October 23, 2017 at 12:04pm

I haven’t read any of the Longmire novels yet but I absolutely love watching the show. This seems like a great first Longmire book to read!


32 Laura Buher October 23, 2017 at 1:56pm

I love Craig Johnsons work! Such a great talent!


33 JB Bittner October 23, 2017 at 5:04pm

Good article. I love Craig Johnson’s books.


34 Karen B October 25, 2017 at 3:48am

BIG fan – love to win!


35 Dianne Casey October 25, 2017 at 7:28pm

New author to me. Sounds like a great read, would like to read.


36 Doward Wilson October 26, 2017 at 5:27pm

Thank you for introducing me to this series & author!


37 Lorie
Twitter: @mysteryrat
November 6, 2017 at 1:24pm

We have a winner!


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