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The Cold Dish (Walt Longmire #1)

4.13  ·  Rating Details ·  15,416 Ratings  ·  2,185 Reviews
Introducing Wyoming’s Sheriff Walt Longmire in this riveting novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Hell Is Empty and As the Crow Flies, the first in the Walt Longmire Mystery Series, the basis for LONGMIRE, the hit A&E original drama series

Fans of Ace Atkins, Nevada Barr and Robert B. Parker will love this outstanding first novel, in which New York Tim
Kindle Edition, 354 pages
Published (first published December 29th 2004)
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Kimberly There's some foul language, but it's in keeping with the characters.
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Jeffrey Keeten
Sep 17, 2015 Jeffrey Keeten rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"On the afternoon of June 25th, 1876, as the heat waves rolled from the buffalo grass, giving the impression of a breeze that did not exist, Colonel George Armstrong Custer and five companies of the Seventh Cavalry rode into the valley of the Little Big Horn. Also that afternoon, Davey Force, a pitcher for the Philadelphia Athletics, went six for six against Chicago, who scored four runs in the ninth to pull out a 14 to 13 victory. Custer was not so lucky."

Big Horn Mountains

Sheriff Walt Longmir
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
Walt Longmire is just wanting to finish out his term as sheriff of Wyoming's Absaroka county in peace and quiet. That of course does not happen. Young Cody Pritchard is found shot and dumped in with a local farmer's sheep.
Don't feel bad for Cody though, he and his buddies violently raped a young Cheyenne girl. They got suspended sentences.
Now someone is seeking justice for that crime.

Walt Longmire is that type of character that grabs my fickle attention. Overweight, depressed, likes drinking.
Dan Schwent
Aug 07, 2015 Dan Schwent rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Two years ago, four boys were put on trial for raping a Cheyenne girl. When one of them winds up dead, sheriff Walt Longmire finds himself in the middle of murder investigation. Plenty of people had cause for wanting Cody Prichard dead but who had the guts to do the deed? And are his three compadres next on the hit list?

In my never-ending quest to sample what series crime fiction has to offer, I decided to give The Cold Dish a try. After all, A&E wouldn't make a crime series about a dud, wou
Mar 28, 2016 Carmen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
He was drinking a ginger ale and leafing through a stack of police supply catalogs. I guess she figured we have him chained up in the basement. I asked her about Jim, and she said that he was hunting down in Nebraska with some friends; geese, she said. There was a hesitancy in the way she said it that led me to believe there was something more there. So I used one of my age-old cop tricks and asked her if there was anything else she wanted to tell me. She used one of the age-old mother tricks an ...more
Oct 31, 2012 Algernon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, favorites
I don't think I've been this enthusiastic about a new author since discovering Dick Francis. It's not a question of Nobel or Booker Prize material, or of changing my outlook on life. It's just that I discovered something that fits me like a glove, the equivalent of a joyride - makes me feel good, makes me feel smart for figuring out the main suspect before the last page, a bit of adrenaline rush and a lot of snarky humor. Most of all it's about the characters, oddballs and loners most of t
James Thane
Jun 09, 2015 James Thane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction
This is the first book in Craig Johnson's long-running series featuring Walt Longmire, the middle-aged sheriff of Absaroka County in Wyoming. The books, in turn, would later inspire the television program that was named for the sheriff.

This book opens with the shooting death of a young man named Cody Pritchard. It's possible that Pritchard's death was the result of a hunting accident, but it soon appears that it was actually an act of deliberate homicide.

The list of suspects is unusually long.
Sep 06, 2014 Carol. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Barr, weatherbeaten sheriffs, dry humor, good characters
Recommended to Carol. by: many of you! Thanks!

I knew in the first four pages that I was going to enjoy this book.

It begins with Sheriff Walt Longmire of Absaroka County, Wyoming, sitting in his office, watching the geese fly south. Ruby, dispatcher/receptionist, interrupts his musings to tell him he has a call from Bob Barnes, who wants to report a dead body he discovered when he and his son went to collect their sheep.
“She leaned against the doorjamb and went to shorthand, ‘Bob Barnes, dead body, line one.’
I looked at the blinking red ligh
This was perfect delight to me. It has satisfying drama, engaging characters, and evocation of place. Often the first in a series is a bit awkward, but this one hit on all cylinders for me right out the gate.

Walt Longmire, the 50-something sheriff of the fictional Absaroka County in northern Wyoming, gets a case of a young man shot by a large caliber gun likely to be an antique buffalo rifle. It turns out the victim was one of a set of youths convicted a couple of years earlier of the rape of a
Mike Schneider
Aug 22, 2011 Mike Schneider rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When starting this book as a result of my daughter's recommendation, I didn't think a murder mystery set in sparsely-populated Wyoming would hold my attention. When finished, I realized this was one of the most enjoyable books I've read this year, I marveled at how well-written it was, and I wondered how Craig Johnson's books had heretofore escaped my attention. This is the first of a series and I'm definitely looking forward to the remainder of the series. Johnson has created several intriguing ...more
Aug 16, 2015 Becky rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Becky by: Chris
A group of friends and I have something that we like to call Forced Book Reads, where we each choose a book and make the whole gang read it. (Or at least they have to if they want the others to read THEIR book.) For my selection, I went with Blackbirds by Chuck Wendig, and now it's my friend Chris's turn, and he chose this.

I would like to state for the record at this point that, as a whole, I did like this book. However, pretty early on, I noticed some nitpicky little things that started to bot
Jun 07, 2012 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Surprise! Surprise! Yep, books can still surprise me.

Recently I saw a trailer on A&E plugging the debut of TheWalt Longmire Mystery series coming to tv with the first to be aired last Sunday. I have heard wonderful things about theis award winning series but had never read one myself. Time to turn the pages!

The Walt Longmire series begins with The Cold Dish and it seemed appropriate to start right at the beginning. I knew they took place in Absaroka County,Wyoming and had that sort of weste
Lance Charnes
Dec 04, 2013 Lance Charnes rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of traditional whodunits, North American league
Craig Johnson’s The Cold Dish introduces Walt Longmire, long-time sheriff of the fictional Absaroka County, Wyoming. If Walt’s name sounds vaguely familiar, it’s because he has a TV show named for him (Longmire, on A&E). Some elements of The Cold Dish made it into the pilot episode, while the rest filled out the first season’s climax. I was drawn to this book by the series, as I suspect others before me have been.

That may have been a problem.

The titular “cold dish” is revenge, which drives t
Craig Johnson has written nine novels in his Walt Longmire series. Formerly a police officer; he has also worked as a educator, cowboy and longshoreman. Awards include Tony Hillerman Award, Wyoming Historical Society Award, Wyoming Councl for the Arts Award, as well as numerous starred awards. Johnson was also a board member of the Mystery Writers' of America.

Craig Johnson as an artist, as a man who paints with words ascribes to the essential characteristic of what makes art different from anyth
Aug 03, 2008 Jen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Walt Longmire is the sheriff of Absaroka County in Wyoming, a place where everyone knows your name and probably your business. Walt's been a widower for four years now. His home is worse than a bachelor pad, his deputy Vic is forever giving him a hard time about being overweight, and there's mouse droppings on his cooking utensils.

Despite the fact that Walt's life seems to be in a shambles, the people of Absaroka County like Walt, especially his good friend and Cheyenne Indian Henry S
Jan 09, 2016 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: western, fiction
It's a wonder that I read this book to begin with...I saw the first episode of the television series by the same name, and it left me cold. Then I saw the novel rated highly by someone whose opinion I respect, and that made me think I should give the book a chance. I'm glad I did.

I'm really not a big fiction fan, so I am very fussy about the bit of fiction I do undertake to read. I really enjoyed the old Travis McGee series, and since John D. MacDonald's death I have checked out the first issues
Wart Hill
I have no idea what I was thinking, giving this only three stars the first time I read it.

It is absolutely fantastic. A mystery that you keeps you guessing, wonderful characters... it's everything I love in a mystery novel.
Jan 13, 2016 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Longmire the TV show
Revenge is a dish best served cold, Historians are not sure where the saying originated, but it means that revenge is best served not fresh after the insult occurred, but after enough time has passed so that the target won't see it coming.

I did seek out this book simply because I really liked Longmire the TV series that was based upon the book series as written by Craig Johnson. And to be fairly honest the book did more than satisfy my curiosity.
The actual story starts several years before this
I watched the Longmire Series when it was on TV and enjoyed it very much. A GR friend recommended reading the books so I started with the first, The Cold Dish written back in 2006.

This is one of those warm and friendly type of books. A nice change to a murder mystery with a western backdrop taking place in a small town in Wyoming. Walt Longmire, sheriff for 24 years, widowed, gives us a wonderful description of the beautiful country seen thru his eyes. His friendship with Henry Standing Bear an
THE COLD DISH (Police Proc-Wyoming-Cont) – VG
Johnson, Craig – 1st in series
Viking, 2005 – Hardcover
Sheriff Walt Longmire is in charge of a small, but quirky group of law enforcement officers in Absaroka County, Wyoming. When the body of Cody Pritchard is found dead of a gunshot wound, they need to determine wither it is a hunting accident. But Cody, along with three others, is recently released from serving time for the brutal rape of a young Indian girl. If the killing is revenge, are the other
Aug 15, 2013 Bennet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels-stories
Craig Johnson is a master of the genre and a damn fine storyteller, as has been noted in many reviews and nicely summed up in the blurbs on the back of this book. I love everything about the story and Walt Longmire, with the minor exception of preferring Robert Taylor's look to that of the strictly literary Walt. Cold Dish is the first installment in a series I look forward to enjoying in full on the page and the screen, though the t.v. series would be better if it devoted an entire season to ea ...more
I tried watching the TV series & didn't care for it, so I was surprised at how good the book was. It was quite a bit longer than it needed to be, but that was part of the writing style - very laid back & subtle at times. Made for a likable, humble character who was really quite a bad ass & yet a softie, too. Interesting mix. The Indian stuff was well done, surprisingly so. I liked the way it was used to describe the blizzard trek. I normally hate that, but this somehow added to the u ...more
Karin Slaughter
Jun 14, 2014 Karin Slaughter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this because I really love the TV show, but it spoiled a lot of things on the show for me, so then I decided to not read any more. So, if there was no TV show, I would read all of them. Does that make me a bad person? Or am I just an awesome TV watcher?
Un homicio ¿retardado? es el inicio de esta historia con el marco de Wyoming , sus montañas y su historia fuertemente marcada por la batalla de Little Big Horn.

El leit motiv más obvio pareciera ser la venganza (el plato frio) porque el muerto fue participe en una violación grupal hace un par de años atrás de una jovencita india, que además sufre del sindrome alcoholico fetal; asi que por muchos ratos hasta me esperaba algo a lo Fuente Ovejuna, porque todo el mundo es sospechoso/son parientes/tie
Mike (the Paladin)
Sep 06, 2014 Mike (the Paladin) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
Walt Longmire is the long time sheriff of Absaroka County. This is the first book in the series of his....what, adventures, escapades, life events?

I'm giving this book (after consideration) four(4) stars though it's a low 4. If we had the much lamented half star system it would be 3.5. For at least the first third of the book whether I'd finish it or not was in doubt. Then it (finally) settles down and tells it's story. ready for Walt's internal struggles, his angst, his loss, his new re
Lourdes Venard
Aug 09, 2008 Lourdes Venard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The crimes reported in Absaroka County are not the usual: a kid chasing horses with his snow machine (turns out he was herding livestock with it), someone sliding off an icy road and hitting a yield sign; and someone stealing Old Lady Grossman’s snowman (a practical joke by her nephew). So when someone reports a dead body, Sheriff Walt Longmire figures it’s probably dead sheep. But the body is that of Cody Pritchard’s, one of four young men who two years earlier received a light sentence for the ...more
Oct 11, 2013 Eric rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
This book approached perfection. The protagonist was a mix of Raylan Givens and Harry Bosch, and the setting was reminiscent of a Jack London adventure.

All the characters of Absaroka, Wyoming are fleshed out to unexpected degree for what I wrongly assumed was "just another mystery novel" in an offbeat setting. There's recently widowed Vietnam veteran turned lawman Walt Longmire, foul-mouthed female deputy Vic Moretti, one-legged former sheriff Lucian Connally, Walt's closest friend and Cheyenne
Paul O'Neill
May 19, 2016 Paul O'Neill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Walt Longmire is the type of guy I wanna have a beer with. He's the down to earth sheriff in a small county, with small county problems.

A great backdrop for a mystery novel. It's a nice contrast to similar books that always seem to be based in major cities.

Johnson's writing style is unique and simple enough to keep the story going.

All in all, a tight book with a great cast and some unexpected twists.

Inspired by this book, here are the characters I'd most like to have a beer with, let me know
Nov 30, 2012 Hannah marked it as did-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
Did not finish.

After enjoying the A&E TV drama Longmire, I was interested in trying the books from which the show was based upon. After a long wait list from my library, I finally got the first in the series in my eager little hands.

For the right reading audience, I can see why this mystery series is so popular, but it's not the right fit for me. Too much foul language and the humor isn't a brand I share in. Will continue to enjoy the TV series, but will retire from the books.

Glad I tried it
Oct 11, 2012 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, detective, 2012
Review from Badelynge
Walt Longmire is the Sheriff of Absaroka county in Wyoming beneath the shadow of the Big Horn Mountains. He's marking time until his retirement, mourning the loss of his wife while he drinks himself to sleep each night in front of a tv with a speciality for static in a half built cabin.
When the body of Cody Pritchard is found, seemingly shot by an antique rifle, Walt has to shake off his doldrums to discover the killer. Because Cody Pritchard was one of four boys who raped a
Aug 13, 2012 Robert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There’s a new sheriff in town, and his name is Longmire. Walt Longmire. Walt has a cast of characters that both complement and challenge him, with Henry Standing Bear and Victoria Moretti receiving prominent attention. Small town life never sounded so good or so mystical. The scenes are painted to perfection by a man who certainly knows and appreciates his craft, the scenery of Wyoming, and the complicated relationships between two people that slowly develop over time. And that’s the way this bo ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Please change page count if applicable 11 62 Jan 12, 2016 07:53PM  
The Mystery, Crim...: Walt Longmire Cable TV Show 137 401 Oct 04, 2015 04:03PM  
knowledge of this series 21 190 Aug 31, 2014 10:03AM  
HPLD Online Book ...: The Cold Dish 1 6 Aug 15, 2014 10:46AM  
HPLD Online Book ...: Walt Longmire Series By: Craig Johnson 1 4 Aug 13, 2014 10:08AM  
  • Tilt-a-Whirl (John Ceepak Mystery, #1)
  • Free Fire (Joe Pickett, #7)
  • A Nail Through the Heart (Poke Rafferty Mystery, #1)
  • Purgatory Ridge (Cork O'Connor, #3)
  • Heartshot
  • The Eagle Catcher (Wind River Reservation, #1)
  • The Cold Cold Ground (Detective Sean Duffy, #1)
  • The Fallen Man (Leaphorn & Chee, #12)
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

American novelist and playwright. He lives in Ucross, near Sheridan, Wyoming, population 25.

Johnson has written nine novels featuring Sheriff Walt Longmire: The Cold Dish, Death Without Company, Kindness Goes Unpunished, Another Man's Moccasins, Junkyard Dogs, The Dark Horse (which received starred reviews from
More about Craig Johnson...

Other Books in the Series

Walt Longmire (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Death Without Company (Walt Longmire, #2)
  • Kindness Goes Unpunished (Walt Longmire, #3)
  • Another Man's Moccasins (Walt Longmire, #4)
  • The Dark Horse (Walt Longmire, #5)
  • Junkyard Dogs (Walt Longmire, #6)
  • Hell Is Empty (Walt Longmire, #7)
  • As The Crow Flies (Walt Longmire, #8)
  • A Serpent's Tooth (Walt Longmire, #9)
  • Any Other Name (Walt Longmire, #10)
  • Dry Bones (Walt Longmire, #11)

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“Henry figured that the reason the Cheyenne had always ridden Appaloosas into battle was because by the time the men got there, they were so angry with the horses they were ready to kill everything.” 41 likes
“He mulled that over. "Sheriff Connally woulda let us shoot 'em."
I reached over and took his coffee away from him. "Yep. Lucian probably would have done the job himself, but we're living in more enlightened times." I drained his cup and handed it back with a smile. "Ain't it grand?”
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