18 August 2011

Nice doggy. Nice doggy.

I had a busy morning yesterday. After my morning walk, I worked from about 8:00am to 1:30pm. (Working breakfast and working lunch) Things just piled up. I read the headlines and half a dozen articles in the 18 news sources I look at each morning. Found 3 articles that I prepared for the Teaching Comparative blog with bits of commentary and excerpts. I posted 4 excerpts and a comment to the blog that people had sent me. (I aim for one posting each week day, so this was quite unusual.) Then I got carried away trying to explain why the Texas governor is either ignorant or playing to the ignorance of his audience about money and banks. I posted a bit of my outrage at Google+. (If you look at it, you'll have to scroll down to the post with the graph showing the components of the money supply, since I don't know if there's a way to link directly to the posting.)

Finally, in the early afternoon, I showered and went off to run errands. One of them was to the Northfield Library. I returned the Tana French book I'd just finished and went off in search of new things to read. But, oops, I'd forgotten to bring my "to read" list.

That meant I was reduced to looking for new books by familiar authors. Good luck. I found a new book by Craig Johnson. I've written about Another Man's Moccasins and Death Without Company. I liked them, but I'd given both of them Heart of Gold awards for improbabilities.

Well, Junkyard Dogs gets a Heart of Gold and a Green Lantern (for super heroism).

This is another "Walt Longmire Mystery." One bit in the book has the sheriff getting a physical exam during which the doc catalogs his injuries and scars (including a broken bone in one foot and a partially detached retina). After that the super hero sheriff gets banged around some more, but still comes out able to see, walk, talk, and chew gum at the same time. More than any mere mortal. Give us a break, Johnson.

The book also gets awards for improbabilities. I only noticed a couple of them while reading the book, but some biggies popped into my head as I went to sleep.

If you haven't figured it out yet, I was was so entranced with the story and the pursuit of the villains, I finished the book about 11:15pm. Less than 12 hours after checking it out. And I sort of cooked dinner in there and talked to Nancy while eating it.

Craig Johnson relies of his super hero and on improbabilities, but he spins a mean yarn. The characters are pretty one-dimensional, but he spins a mean yarn. Winter on the high plains of northern Wyoming is brutal, but Johnson spins a mean (and complex) yarn. He kept me going for a long time. Oh, did I mention that there's some good humor in the book, too? Like the opening scene where grandpa ties himself to the bumper of the car in the yard while he cleans the chimney, but his granddaughter-in-law doesn't know it and drives off. (Grandpa survives that one, and it's funny because he does.)

Do you need more recommendation from me?

Have you read Junkyard Dogs? Or another of Craig Johnson's mysteries? Write and tell this little bit of the world how you reacted.


Ken Wedding said...

Dale Stahl wrote:

"I agree with you on Craig Johnson. Really loved the first couple books then got disenchanted when the Sheriff went out to Philadelphia and started sleeping with his young and beautiful associate and pulled all his superhero tricks.

"Had a little of the same problem with the last CJ Box book I read. The one where he has to go over to Jackson Hole to take over for the game warden who had killed himself, and simple Joe Pickett suddenly solves the mystery of what happened to the previous game warden and catches the longest running elk baiter in the history of Wyoming and shoots him and then sets up a sting to trick the multi-billionaire into confessing his crimes in person, all while being dizzy with lust for the guys beautiful wife."

Ken Wedding said...

As I was turning in Sunday night I discovered that cable network A&E has a new series based on Craig Johnson's main character.

The A&E web site says:

"Longmire,” a contemporary crime thriller set in Big Sky country, is based on the Walt Longmire Mystery novels by best-selling author Craig Johnson.

The series stars Australian actor Robert Taylor (The Matrix) as Walt Longmire, the charismatic, dedicated and unflappable sheriff of Absaroka County, Wyoming, along with Katee Sackhoff (“Battlestar Gallactica”), Lou Diamond Phillips (“Numb3rs”), Bailey Chase (“Damages”), Cassidy Freeman (“Smallville”) and newcomer Adam Bartley.