A Longmire Mystery’ by Craig Johnson

In his latest bestseller, “Daughter of the Morning Star,” author Craig Johnson explores complex themes and values in his 17th book in the Sheriff Walt Longmire series. When Jaya, the niece of Tribal Police Chief Lolo Long, starts receiving death threats that may be connected to the disappearance of her sister, Jeanie, Walt Longmire is called in to help, with fan favorite Henry Standing Bear by his side. “Daughter of the Morning Star,” a finalist in this year’s High Plains Book Awards Creative Nonfiction category, dives into the little-known world of missing Native women in Indian Country. Walt and Henry must walk a fine line between foes as they work to solve the disappearance of Jeanie, before Jaya suffers the same fate.

I thoroughly enjoyed the latest addition to the Longmire saga. The story took me on a journey through cultures and histories that I had not explored before. The work may be fiction, but the realities behind it are startling and oftentimes downright terrifying. Walt’s inner dialog and unique path to justice and truth are what makes these books stand out, and “Daughter of the Morning Star” is no different.

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I greatly enjoyed the return of the Walt and Henry dynamic duo. Their friendship and conversational style lend human elements to the story that draw the reader in. It is like being part of the conversation, whether the topic is basketball or murder.

One of the best aspects of Johnson’s works is the juxtaposition between the deep subject matter and the humor interjected to maintain a balance. The other element included that I enjoyed was the hint of the supernatural. It added an extra component of intrigue, while not taking away from the plot at large.

Favorite Quote: “There are a number of smells I’ve loved in my lifetime, but few can compare with the smell of a bookstore.”

Final Thoughts: Five out of Five Stars. I would recommend “Daughter of the Morning Star,” and the Longmire series as a whole, for readers that enjoy mystery, rich atmosphere, characters to fall in love with, and exciting plots that take you for a wild ride every time!

Hannah Stewart-Freeman is Assistant Director of the Billings Public Library and longtime Longmire fan.

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