Holiday Gifts for Readers

 Last year, my wish list for the holidays included several book and I thought I would share them here on the blog for people who might want a suggestion for a book to get for someone in their family.

On the top of my list was The Dark Horse, by Craig Johnson, now out in paperback. My husband said I only wanted the book because it had “horse” in the title, but that is not true. I had read a review of the book in The Dallas Morning News and was intrigued by the reference to the book being “a literary mystery.”

I was not disappointed. This is a wonderful book, with narrative so vivid and rhythmic I found myself pausing to savor a phrase or a sentence. The character of Wyoming sheriff Walt Longmire stands counter to stereotype, and his wit elicited many a chuckle.

This is the fifth mystery to feature Walt Longmire (after 2008’s Another Man’s Moccasins). He is a man who is more interested in the truth than the letter of the law, and he has his doubts about Mary Barsad’s guilt when she confesses to shooting her husband, Wade, after Wade allegedly burned down their barn with all Mary’s horses inside. Even though the crime is out of his jurisdiction in a neighboring county, Walt can’t shake the feeling that there’s more to Mary’s story. He isn’t above a little trickery as he poses as an insurance agent to do some off-the-record investigating.

The story takes place in the small town of Absalom, whose main attraction are the fights at the local bar. There Walt meets an illegal immigrant bartender with a knack for crime solving, the Barsads’ loyal cowhand and some ranchers who may have had their own reasons for wanting Wade dead. 

I highly recommend this book for mystery lovers, horse lovers, and readers who like a lot of  layers to a story and the characters.


I am a guest at Margaret West’s blog today, sharing an unusual Christmas tradition at the Miller household. Look for the glass of mulled wine on the site and you will find the POST


FTC Disclaimer:  This book was purchased and given to me as a gift. Other than having such an enjoyable book to read, I have not benefited in any way from this review.

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