The Cold Dish by Craig Johnson

The Cold Dish by Craig Johnson

Genre: Mystery
Series: #1 in the Walt Longmire series
Publisher: Recorded Books
Publication Date: 2006 Recorded Books (Book originally published 2005)
Length: 13 hours, 19 minutes
Read by: George Guidall
Source: Library

The Short Version:
Sheriff Walt Longmire investigates what may be a revenge killing in rural Wyoming.

Why I Read It:
Jen at Jen’s Book Thoughts has been telling me for ages that this is one of her favorite audio book series so I finally got around to giving it a listen and I wish I had done so earlier.

The Book:
From the publisher:

New York Times bestselling author Craig Johnson introduces Sheriff Walt Longmire of Wyoming’s Absaroka County. Johnson draws on his deep attachment to the American West to produce a literary mystery of stunning authenticity, and full of memorable characters. After twenty-five years as sheriff of Absaroka County, Walt Longmire’s hopes of finishing out his tenure in peace are dashed when Cody Pritchard is found dead near the Northern Cheyenne Reservation. Two years earlier, Cody has been one of four high school boys given suspended sentences for raping a local Cheyenne girl. Somebody, it would seem, is seeking vengeance, and Longmire might be the only thing standing between the three remaining boys and a Sharps .45-70 rifle.

With lifelong friend Henry Standing Bear, Deputy Victoria Moretti, and a cast of characters both tragic and humorous enough to fill in the vast emptiness of the high plains, Walt Longmire attempts to see that revenge, a dish best served cold, is never served at all.

My Thoughts:
It didn’t take more than about 20 minutes of the first CD for me to be convinced that this was a series I would continue. I liked Walt Longmire from the moment he popped open a Rainier beer on his way to the crime scene. I have fond memories of the memorable Rainier Beer commercials just like anyone who spent much time watching TV in the Pacific Northwest in the 80’s.

Longmire is lonely, depressed, mourning the death of his wife, putting up with the necessity of attending Pancake Day in order to be re-elected, and generally trying to put his time in and ensure that when he decides to hang up his badge a worthwhile successor is available. The case of Melissa Little Bird haunts him because of the light sentences handed down to the boys involved. Nevertheless he’s determined to find out who killed Cody Prichard and why. His best friend Henry Standing Bear is a great character, as is his deputy Vic (Victoria) Moretti (a foul mouthed former Philadelphia cop).

I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Walt and the supporting cast and the mystery was an interesting one. I think The Hubster would like this series and when he’s ready for a new audio book I’m going to recommend it to him.

I like a story that has enough moments that make me smile without totally taking me out of the story with a “Insert Witty Banter Paragraph Here” feeling.

I sometimes forgot how spiritual Henry was. I had been raised as a Methodist where the highest sacrament was the bake sale.

There was a hesitancy in the way she said it that led me to believe there was something more there. So I used one of my age-old cop tricks and asked her if there was anything else she wanted to tell me. She used one of the age-old mother tricks and just said no. Cop tricks pale in comparison with mother tricks.

I thought George Guidall was an excellent choice of narrator. His voice and delivery were perfect for a story told from Walt’s viewpoint. His voice feels like the right age for Walt and he manages to hit just the right amount of seriousness and sarcasm at just the right time. I get the impression that he has a lot of fun reading Vic’s lines.

I highly recommend this book and definitely recommend the audio version. I will definitely be continuing this series via audio.

4.5 stars Rating 4.5/5 for the book

4.5 stars Rating 4.5/5 for the narration

SoundBytes is a weekly roundup of audio book reviews hosted by Jen at Devourer of Books.