This isn't about the TV show on A&E. I haven't seen that yet, though I'm looking forward to it. No, it's about the books by Craig Johnson. Ever since Tony Hillerman died, I've been intermittently groping around trying to find something to replace his stuff. Mysteries set in the West, with an Indian connection if possible. And well-written. I tried the Thurlo books, and they didn't do it for me. Too much of the mysterious Indian spirituality or whatever in it. Hillerman just wrote about Indians as people. — damned interesting people, and entertaining people, but just people. And I recently took a crack at some Margaret Coel, and there was too much lo, the poor Indian for me. There might be some other stuff out there, but I haven't found it. And I say that because I just recently found Craig Johnson, and he's been turning these things out for eight or nine years. And I wouldn't have found him yet, if A&E hadn't made the TV show, leading to a boxed set of the novels, with the illustration of Longmire I've added here, which kept catching my eye at Barnes & Noble, till I picked up the first to take a look. You can't judge a book by its cover, but you can be attracted by it.
Well, I got hooked immediately. The books start with Longmire, Sheriff of a hell-and-gone county in northern Wyoming, near retirement. My mind's eye sees him as resembling Joe Arpaio because of his age and size and the fact that he's a sheriff, I suppose. He has a friend from childhood, a Cheyenne Indian, and, no, we don't get into the Great Spirit or any of that junk. His friend, Henry Standing Bear, shows up in my mind's eye as an older version of John Redcorn. Anyhow, Henry is one hell of a funny Indian, funny in the way you might expect from Gunsmoke or maybe even Carl Hiaasen. Subtle funny. And the books as a whole are subtle funny.
So go check these books out. Libraries should have them. And you could do what I did, and buy the whole bunch. If you reread books at all, you'll reread these.