The Cold Dish (Walt Longmire #1) by Craig Johnson: 3***

There are some books, and some series, that you are so excited about and you cannot wait to read it and upon reading it you are filled with excitement. I have felt this way many times when I begin the first book of a large series and I was so excited to finally start the Walk Longmire series by Craig Johnson. Unfortunately, my excitement exceeded the reality of this book. It’s not a bad book, but it was a ponderous book for me. It’s filled with many descriptions and information that just seeing to stand in the way of making this a free flowing read.

As a fan of the Walt Longmire TV series I guess I still have have images of all the characters burned into my mind, and the characters that you discover in this first book of the series are not what you got on the TV screen. I also find it fascinating that a veteran lawman such as Walt Longmire would be so confused as he was in this book. For those who have not watch the TV show or read the books, Longmire is a County Sheriff in Wyoming and he has a cast of characters surrounding him in the Sheriff’s Office that are all different and unique. some of that uniqueness comes across in the book but it’s not at all how they are portrayed on the TV screen. Obviously the author had an image of what he wanted from his characters, and I don’t think the TV series depicts the characters in the same manner.

Nonetheless, this is a book that took me longer than I expected to read and got bogged down at many places. Lots of discussion about guns, Indian traditions, past crimes all of which will hopefully set the stage for future books. But for our first book I felt the author got in too much detail and that detail actually got in the way of the story. I know there are a lot of people who like this series, and I’m not going to give up on this, but I must admit the first book does not make me want to read the second book of the series in the near future.

This was a solid if not spectacular effort by the author, and again it’s very possible that had a not seen the TV series and had the characters set in my mind, I may very well have enjoyed this book more than I did.

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