A Walt Longmire Mystery by Craig Johnson
Review: Although his close friends think of Sheriff Walt Longmire as an "old dinosaur", they are all surprised, as is he, to hear that an almost complete set of skeleton bones has been found of a real Tyrannosaurus rex in Absaroka County, Wyoming. The sixty-five million years old bones of the T-rex was discovered by Jennifer Watt's dog on ranch land believed to be owned by Cheyenne elder Danny Lone Elk. The T-rex immediately acquired the name of "Jen" in honor of its founder. High Plains Dinosaur Museum claimed they have an agreement with Danny to buy his land therefore the the fossil belongs to them. However, now that the enormous value of the bones is revealed, Danny's family wants Danny to renegotiate the deal. Plus, there is an acting Deputy U. S. Attorney who wants to make a name for himself through the media with a "Save Jen" campaign. Added into the mix is the Cheyenne Conservancy, the Chief of the Cheyenne Tribe, and the Department of Justice, who are all laying claim to "Jen". And then there's the FBI, which is investigating illegal fossil collection and the sale of state property. With bones worth millions of dollars at stake, it's no wonder so many are involved. But now a more pressing problem is facing Longmire: Danny Lone Elk has been found dead, murdered, his body was found floating face down in a reservoir on his own land, in Dry Bones, the eleventh mystery in this series by Craig Johnson.
Walt is hoping that, with the help of his Undersheriff Victoria Moretti, longtime friend and liaison with the local Native Americans, Henry Standing Bear and, of course, Dog, they will be able to solve the crime of Danny's death quickly. Cady, Longmire's daughter, who is married to Vic's brother, is flying in from Philadelphia with her four month daughter, Lola, so Walt can meet his first grandchild and Vic her niece. They would like to have the murder, and the T-rex situation, all wrapped up before their arrival. But if that isn't enough, Longmire has to investigate a poisoning, look for several missing persons, and try to settle a difficult family situation. Danny may or may not have agreed to sell his land but whoever owns it will get the skeleton bones is entitled to claim the dinosaur bones, that is, if the dig site does not cross onto federal land, in which case it gets even messier. It isn't easy for the team to sort out the surplus of conjectures, means and opportunities in their murder case. And along the way, both persons unknown and the unforgiving Wyoming landscape threaten to make Sheriff Walt Longmire himself extinct.
Like many, indeed most, of the previous books in this series, Dry Bones is reflective, humorous and intricate. The principal cast of characters is sharply drawn, endearing and engaging, and the panoramic setting in which they play their roles completely immersive. The storyline taps the general populations' on-going interest in dinosaurs in an unusual yet credible manner, and provides an intriguing case for Longmire to investigate. Overall, a fine entry in this terrific series, and highly recommended.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Dry Bones.
Acknowledgment: Penguin Group provided a copy of Dry Bones for this review.
Review Copyright © 2015 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Wait For Signs
Viking (Hardcover), October 2014
ISBN-13: 9780525427919; ISBN-10: 0525427910
Viking (Hardcover), May 2016
ISBN-13: 9780735220898; ISBN-10: 0735220891
Location(s) referenced in Dry Bones: Wyoming
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Dry Bones by Craig Johnson — A Walt Longmire Mystery
Publication Date: May 2015
List Price: $27.95
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Page Author: Lance Wright
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