This holiday season, Craig Johnson has a delightful gift for everyone. In CHRISTMAS IN ABSAROKA COUNTY, Johnson has compiled four holiday Walt Longmire stories. Three will be familiar to those who are on Johnson's mailing list, as they're the Christmas Post-It stories from previous Christmases.
The new story, "Ministerial Aid" starts off the collection. Decked out in his old bathrobe and nursing a hangover on New Year's Day, Walt finds himself dealing with a call for help when he drives out to Powder Junction to deliver Turk Connally's paycheck. Those familiar with the series will notice this makes the story set prior to THE COLD DISH, the first book of the series.
Walt has freshly lost his wife Martha and he encounters an elderly woman waiting in her car for Jesus. Despite the cold of the season, this story will warm your heart. This story isn't a laugh out loud yarn; instead you'll smile, chuckle and recall all that made you love Walt. It is classic Craig Johnson and just the Walt Longmire fix you need to get you through to the next full novel in the series.
"Slick-Tongued Devil" is the second story in the collection and Walt is confronted with a jolting experience when he opens his newspaper to see his wife's obituary. The event triggers some reminiscing so readers will glimpse Martha, the wife that defines a large part of who Walt is.
"Toys for Tots" is the third story. While Walt waits for his daughter, Cady, in the electronics store, he chats with a Navy chaplain manning the Toys for Tots bin. The small nuggets of both military trivia and Toys for Tots history enrich an already endearing tale.
And the collection ends with "Unbalanced." On his way to pick up Cady from the airport, Walt picks up a young, apparently homeless woman and gives her a ride.
If you've experienced a holiday story from Craig Johnson in the past, you know this collection is a heart-warming read for this time of year. The focus on family, forgiveness and generosity is reflective of Walt's character and it's a great reminder for all of us during this season of love. I encourage you to curl up one evening during the holidays and let your heart smile while you take a short visit to Absaroka County.
And as an added bonus for those who may not have read this series yet (shame on you!), you can read the first chapter of THE COLD DISH at the conclusion of the stories.
Christmas in Absaroka County is available from Barnes & Noble or Books a Million for the Nook, from Amazon for the Kindle, from iTunes for your Apple devices, and from Indie bookstores who carry Kobo Books.