As the Crow Flies
A Walt Longmire Mystery by Craig Johnson
Review: Wyoming Sheriff Walt Longmire is in neighboring Montana helping to coordinate his daughter's upcoming wedding on tribal lands when he is drawn into the investigation of the suspected murder of a woman, who fell from a cliff, in As the Crow Flies, the eighth mystery in this series by Craig Johnson.
At first it appears as if Audrey Plain Feather may have simply jumped to her death. But she was carrying her months-old son in her arms — who survives the fall — and no one, more specifically Longmire and Lolo Long, the Cheyenne tribal chief of police, believes a mother would do that. Suspicion quickly falls on Audrey's abusive boyfriend, Clarence Last Bull, but Longmire isn't sure, given the circumstances. "It just didn't make sense," he muses. "And in my line of work the things that didn't make sense led you to the things that did." With Longmire out of his jurisdiction — besides, he has a wedding to plan — Lolo Long is in charge of the investigation. But she's new at the job … and though she initially resents Longmire's unwelcome suggestions on how to proceed, she comes to value his experience.
Many of the familiar recurring series characters are largely missing in action — just off stage or relegated to minor secondary scenes — in As the Crow Flies. That's slightly disappointing, as they help round out and balance the character of Walt Longmire. Not so with newcomer Lolo Long, who is abrasive and somewhat unlikeable at first; she softens up a little over time but is never really approachable. It's not quite clear why Longmire puts up with her; sense of duty, perhaps, or maybe curiosity in the outcome of the case. To which … the routine murder mystery plot lacks suspense — what happened on that cliff and why won't come as a surprise to the reader — but the setting is superbly drawn, the Native American rituals creatively integrated into the storyline, and Longmire a strongly appealing character, even in the rather subservient role he finds himself here. Fans of Longmire won't be disappointed in As the Crow Flies, but this entry, while good, isn't quite on par with some of the more recent books in the series.
Acknowledgment: Penguin Group provided an eARC of As the Crow Flies for this review.
Review Copyright © 2012 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Viking (Ebook), April 2012
ISBN-13: 9781101592649; ISBN-10: 1101592648
Christmas in Absaroka County
Penguin Books (Ebook), December 2012
ISBN-13: ; ISBN-10:
Location(s) referenced in As the Crow Flies: Montana
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As the Crow Flies by Craig Johnson — A Walt Longmire Mystery
Publication Date: May 2012
List Price: $25.95