This book starts out so innocently, investigating the “angel” that had been helping out a widow with some chores, taking a bit of food, but staying out of sight. The “angel” turns out to be a 15-year-old boy who was cast out of the splinter Mormon polygamy compound – a “lost boy”. Things get tense as Sheriff Walt Longmire of Absaroka County, Wyoming, investigates, trying to find the boy’s family. And the whole thing goes up in flames as the polygamy group had been taken over as a front for some former CIA types who have a thing for Big Oil. Longmire is not one to cross, and they cross lines that have to be paid. It was intense, an emotional roller coaster of a read, and I hope that it won’t be long before Book 10 is out. I really want to know how some of the personal things work out for some of the characters.
4. Married with Zombies by Jesse Petersen, 259 pages, Zombies, 2010 (Living With the Dead, Book 1).
Sarah and David arrive for marriage counseling just to find their therapist eating the couple from her previous session. Seattle is ground zero for a zombie outbreak, thought to be a university experiment gone wrong. And this troubled couple is finding that they are rediscovering themselves, and finally able to put some of the suggestions from therapy to work, by killing zombies together. A zombie romantic comedy (Zom-Rom-Com, as my husband puts it) is part one of the series, detailing the beginning of the zombie outbreak through their escape from Seattle and across Washington state. It’s an easy read, and fun even with all the death, destruction, and madness.
5. Spirit of Steamboat: A Walt Longmire Story by Craig Johnson, 146 pages, Mystery, 2013 (Walt Longmire Series, Book 9.1).
This novella is a Christmas story, where a young lady comes to the sheriff’s office to find the prior sheriff. Longmire takes her with him to his regular Tuesday night chess game with the man at the retirement home, and finds himself recalling another Christmas Eve, many years back, where a newly elected Sheriff Longmire has an emergency and drafts the prior sheriff into a desperate scheme to save a child’s life. It’s a quick read, never boring, and a lovely tale. I’m glad Craig Johnson didn’t try to cut it short to make it fit the requirements of a short story, but let it all flow into novella-length.