***Christmas in Absaroka County
Rick Robinson suggested this when I said I was having trouble finding the right book for this topic. And I enjoyed it. A few gripes though-so many of the people I have grown to love from the TV series are not in here. It is basically Walt's stories with a bit of Cady. And he is somewhat different in temperament from the man I love on TV.
Here's a summary of the four stories.
"Ministerial Aid" takes place soon after the death of Martha Longmire and Sheriff Walt Longmire is in bad shape as he hand delivers a paycheck to his deputy. An abused woman mistakes him for Jesus.
"Slick Tongued Devil." Martha Longmire's death is reported anew years later by a careless newspaper employee and Walt is approached by a con man who sells bibles to the bereaved claiming the loved one had ordered it. Sad and beautifully told.
"Toys For Tots." A grumpy Sheriff Waltmire befriends the young Navy chaplain manning a Toys For Tots box. Walt takes advantage of a situation to make the chaplain into a hero, restoring his self-esteem.
"Unbalanced" On his way to pick up his daughter Cady at the Billings airport, Sheriff Longmire stops offers a ride to a half-frozen young woman. Walt figures out she is on the run from a mental hospital and manages to wrest a gun away from her.
Each story in some way reflects on the spirit of Christmas. These are slight stories but well told.
I am not sure if the Walt Longmire in the novels is as different as this one is from the one on the series. I think hearing his interior voice makes him feel grumpier and more reflective than the Walt on the show. At the end of the four stories a long section from THE COLD DISH appears. I am not sure I want to read it because I like Longmire the way I find him played by Robert Walker.
Does this happen to you? Do you have trouble moving from book to TV or vice versa?
SNOWBERRIES, Megan Abbott (Christmas at the Mysterious Bookstore) 2010
Megan's story is the first one and you can read it on the Amazon site if you open the book. There are also seventeen other stories included by various crime fiction writers. This is in the style of the stories Megan wrote before producing more contemporary work. It is charming if I do say so.
Otto Penzler gives individual stories away to customers at Christmas. He has a new one each year. Or at least he did in 2010 and before. This collects the first 17.
Sergio Angelini, MURDER IN THE COLLECTIVE, Barbara Wilson
Yvette Banek, THE MAN WITH A LOAD OF MISCHIEF, Martha Grimes
Les Blatt, ST. PETER'S FINGER, Gladys Mitchell
Brian Busby, THE KEYS OF MY PRISON, Frances Shelly Wees
Bill Crider, NEVER TRUST A NAKED BUS DRIVER, Jack Douglas
Scott Cupp, MAGNUS, ROBOT FIGHTER, Russ Manning
Martin Edwards, THE JURY DISAGREE, by George Goodchild and C.E. Bechhofer Roberts,
Curt Evans, Quentin and Punshon
Ed Gorman, HOW LIKE AN ANGEL, Margaret Millar
Richard Horton, THE SPACE PIONEERS, Cary Rockwell
***Jerry House, MIRACLE ON 34th STREET, Valerntine Davis
Nick Jones, TOUCH, Elmore Leonard
***George Kelley, HERCULE POIROT'S CHRISTMAS, Agatha Christie
Margot Kinberg, THE CALLING, Inger Ash Wolf
***B.V. Lawson, RED CHRISTMAS, Patrick Ruell
Evan Lewis, THE SISTINE SECRETS, Blech and Doliner
Steve Lewis, MURDER AMONG THE OWLS, Bill Crider
Todd Mason Winter Holiday Edition: ALL THE LIES THAT ARE MY LIFE (and SHATTERDAY, the collection) by Harlan Ellison
***Matthew Paust, ST. ALBERT, THE GREAT, Kevin Vost
***James Reasoner, THE PUSHER, Ed McBain
***Richard Robinson,Wycliffe and the Quiet Virgin by W.J. Burley
Gerard Saylor, GHOST ROAD BLUES, Jonathan Mayberry
***TomCat, CRIME AT CHRISTMAS, C.B.H. Kitchin
***TracyK, MURDER AT THE OLD VICARAGE, Jill McGown