Johnson, who lives in Ucross, Wyoming (pop. 25), has set his series featuring the laconic sheriff Walt Longmire in Absaroka County, where reservation life and landscape are as vital characters as the well-crafted two-leggeds. Johnson once described Longmire to the New York Times as a “the sadder-but-wiser” hero: “The guys who are 6 feet 2 inches of twisted steel and sex appeal — every woman wants him, every man fears him — that’s not him.” Mr. Johnson’s books have been turned into a popular TV series on the A&E channel called Longmire, now in its second season. In 2012, Longmire garnered more viewers than any other new series in the network’s history.
In Johnson’s latest book, Walt Longmire and crew find themselves confronting a Mormon sect when a young man is tossed out of the community for being rebellious. With the boy locked up in the Absaroka County jailhouse for his own protection, the sheriff’s department searches for his mother in a “high plains scavenger hunt that ends at the doorstep of an interstate polygamy group,” run by the boy’s 400-pound father (“frighteningly well-armed and very good at keeping secrets.”) Add in a bodyguard in the form of “a delusional but dangerously spry old man who claims to be the now two-hundred-year-old Orrin Porter Rockwell, Man of God, Son of Thunder, blessed by Joseph Smith himself,” along with whispers of CIA and Big Oil involvement, and you’ve got classic Craig Johnson.
Two of Johnson’s books, The Cold Dish and The Dark Horse, were Dilys Award finalists, and Death Without Company was named the Wyoming Historical Association’s Book of the Year. Another Man’s Moccasins received the Western Writer’s of America Spur Award for best novel of 2008 as well as the Mountains and Plains Award for fiction book of the year.
The event is free, begins at noon, and will last until Mr. Johnson gets bored or we run out of books. For more information, call 224-5802.