The Cold Dish is the first of many Walt Longmire mysteries. This one came highly recommended by a friend, so I gave it a try. At first I had a hard time with how the author, Craig Johnson, handled the characters’ dialogue, but I got used to it (sorta) or I just skipped over trying to sort out who was talking since I understood what was going on.
Set in Wyoming, the scenes are nicely described without overdoing it. The characters you should like are likable. The characters you shouldn’t like are written so that you dislike the ones you’re supposed to dislike. So when I learned the first murder victim is a rapist of a mentally handicapped girl who got off on easy jail time, I wanted to know who the killer was to give that person a pat on the back.
This whole book series has spawned a TV series on A&E called Longmire. I can say that I like the book (singular since I have only read one thus far) better than the series. The pilot episode was rather vanilla and loosely based around this book. Another later in the season episode circled back around to this book, but was still quite different. So the book to TV series association is a bit loose. The biggest thing going for the TV series is Lou Diamond Phillips plays Walt’s friend, Henry, and he is fantastic at it. I do like Katee Sackhoff (Starbuck from the newer Battlestar Galactica TV show) in her role. The other TV characters are ok….not real crazy about them or sold on the lead character/actor, but that may just be me.
Since this is a review of the book….back to the book. My guess is it’s probably PG-13-ish. No graphic violence. No graphic sex. But the language gets sketchy with one particularly potty mouthed character, Vic. (In the TV show, Vic isn’t quite so foul mouthed). The murders that happen in this book are interesting with some nice twist action for solving the mystery. It drives me crazy to know who done it long before the writer ever gets to that point. I had a suspicion, but it was well into the book and shortly before the big reveal anyway…so this was good writing in my opinion that it kept me guessing for a while.
I will be reading more of these books because I liked the first one and have been told subsequent ones are even better. For the TV series, I may watch some, but I won’t be tripping over myself to keep up on episodes.