Welcome to MURDER BY TYPE, a place to discuss mysteries and authors and the things that draw us to our favorite books. Is it location? Is it the type of protagonist? I am drawn to police procedurals and books with private or amateur investigators. Unfamiliar locations carry the plus of teaching about cultures and customs. Favorite authors include Leighton Gage, Timothy Hallinan, Cara Black, Yrsa Sigurdardottir, Michael Stanley, Dan Waddell, Donna Leon, Libby Fischer Hellman, Martha Grimes, Kathy Reichs and the list goes on and on.
- Beth C.
- art assassination bangkok bennis hannaford black blogs botswana brad parks brazil carter ross chicago china church classical music condorena detroit drugs dublin elias england ferraris finland france gage ghana greece gregor demarkian guest post hallinan iceland ireland italy james thompson jeffrey siger kari vaara katrina kidnapping kleinfeld larsson leighton gage london los angeles maine colonial murder nesbo newark north korea norway nyc organized crime paris police procedural political assassination quartey ramsay revenge reviews robotham rose saudi arabia scotland siger sigurdardottir south africa spain stanley suicide sweden thailand theorin Tim Hallinan todd vietnam war World War II wwI
These days Sheriff Walt Longmire of Absaroka County, Wyoming is using his free time helping his daughter Cady with her rehab routines as she tries to recover from severe head injuries. He is called to the site outside of town where a young woman’s body has been found. She has been murdered and Walt knows as he sees her that she is Vietnamese. Nearby in a pipe by a culvert her pocketbook is found along side a sleeping gigantic Indian who almost kills Walt when he tries to take him in. It takes four men to subdue him to take him to the hospital. The man is totally uncommunicative and erupts again at the hospital. Finally the only way to keep him calm is to make sure he has company while he is in the jail cell. And keep feeding him mountains of food of course. He refuses to answer questions but his physique resembles that of the White Buffalo family and so family members are sent for. He is a Crow named Virgil White Buffalo.
When going through the belongings of the young Vietnamese woman Longmire is stunned to see a picture of himself playing the piano is a bar taken while he was in Vietnam during the war. He was there is his capacity as a Marine Investigator looking for sources of drugs and drug dealers whose activities have caused the death of a young marine. Walt begins to have flashback daydreams of those days in Southeast Asia. His close friend Henry Standing Bear was there as well but serving more covert missions into Laos.
Despite what conjectures others may have Walt Longmire was not any relation to the dead woman but he wonders how she is related to a woman in the picture of the bar. He is also very concerned about what she was doing in Wyoming. As he begins to track her path he encounters a somewhat mysterious man who claims to be the woman’s grandfather. He is Mr. Tuyen from Los Angeles who says he is working for an organization known as ‘Children of the Dust’ which finds and helps the mixed race children born to the native women and fathered by American GIs.
Walt Longmire doesn’t believe the man is entirely open with him and he also can’t believe that as violent as Virgil White Buffalo can be that he murdered the young woman
These excellent story is new, fresh as well as historical. It is not a plot you have run into before. It is also entertaining to get a glimpse of the young Walt who was a 6’6” blond musclebound marine who plays the piano. Like many of us he has left those days behind but is stronger for them. There are racism issues,and the issues of the sad continuing fact of the exploitation of young women who are naive and endlessly hopeful that bad things are not going to happen to them if they listen to a come on of a better life in another place.
Craig Johnson reaffirms the idea that all authority figures are not corrupt and that while there is occasionally evil even in Wyoming, some of the time you can be rescued from it.