Jen, a T-Rex and the center of the controversy in “Dry Bones,” is the largest specimen of its type ever found and it shows up in Sheriff Walt Longmire’s county. Longmire deals with all kinds of victims, but a dinosaur? That’s a new kind of cold case.
A skeleton of this importance would be a windfall for the local museum, but first Longmire must figure out if the High Plains Dinosaur Museum has the right to claim Jen as its own. When the Cheyenne owner of the ranch where Jen was found turns up dead, things get complicated. It’s possible that the T-Rex belongs to the Cheyenne Nation…or the federal government…or the family of the guy who died.
Tribal rights, family inheritance, federal property or just a really nice set of bones to display? An acting Deputy Attorney is out to make a name for himself and seems to feel that photo ops are more important than catching the bad guys or finding kidnap victims. But, he’s not the only one with priorities a tad off center in "Dry Bones." More people are interested in who gets the dinosaur than the circumstances behind the death of Danny Lone Elk.
With Jen crowding Walt’s holding cells while ownership is being determined, and the interested parties holding Walt’s office hostage, the Sheriff realizes that the only way he can get back to the business for which he was elected is to solve the mystery of Danny Lone Elk’s death and find the gal (also Jen) who discovered the T-Rex to begin with.
It’s a circus.
There are helicopter forays into the back country, harrowing visits to an old mine, entertaining interactions with ever wise-cracking Lucien, Henry Standing Bear saving the day as only he can, and more near misses for Walt than our hearts can stand. Did I mention bullets flying? And the terrifying prospect of Walt taking care of his grand-daughter? He’s not afraid of many bad guys, but the little one? Waaay too funny.
We are treated to Craig Johnson’s dry wit, in several LOL scenes, with Walt’s delivery always perfectly timed. A man of few words, but good ones.
In real life, that entire region of the country is an active dinosaur bone recovery area with several universities and museums conducting legitimate digs. People love a cool dinosaur, so finding the big ones can cement the reputation – and therefore the funding – of an institution for many years.
In “Dry Bones,” Johnson explores the ethics of taking artifacts away from the people upon whose land they were found. It’s not just dino bones that are being removed from their place of origin. World-wide, governments are seeking to recover long lost treasures robbed from centuries old graves, temples, and ruins. Find the treasures? Great. Remove them from the place of origin without permission or proper compensation? These days, that’s a long jail term in the making.
Read Craig Allen Johnson’s Author Profile here.
Read the review of “The Cold Dish” here.
Read the review of “Kindness Goes Unpunished” here.
Please visit www.craigallenjohnson.com for lots of information about Mr. Johnson and his work, his future appearances, and his online store.
Attica Locke's “Pleasantville” won the 2016 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction.
Other nominees were:
Chuck Greaves' “Tom & Lucky and George & Cokey Flo”
Kermit Roosevelt's “Allegiance”
The Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction was established to commemorate the 50th anniversary of “To Kill A Mockingbird," written by former Alabama law student, Harper Lee. For the past six years, the University of Alabama School of Law and the ABA Journal have partnered to award the prize to a published work of fiction from the previous year that best demonstrates “the role of lawyers in society and their power to effect change.”
The 2016 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction was awarded in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 22, and Locke received a signed copy of "To Kill a Mockingbird," as well as $3,000 and a feature article in the ABA Journal.
Locke joins previous winners:
2011 – John Grisham, “The Confession”
2012 – Michael Connelly, “The Fifth Witness”
2013 – Paul Goldstein, “Havana Requiem”
2014 – John Grisham, “Sycamore Row”
2015 – Deborah Johnson, “The Secret of Magic”
Congratulations to all!
CRIMEFEST had its beginnings in 2008 as a convention for fans of crime novels and has become one of the biggest crime fiction events in Europe. Its reputation is such that top crime novelists, publishers and reviewers now attend from around the world.
This year the CRIMEFEST awards dinner was held on May 21st in Bristol, England. Take a look at all the great nominees. The winners are indicated in red.
The eDunnit Award is for the best ebook published in both hardcopy and ebook.
Eligible titles submitted by publishers, then British crime fiction reviewers voted to establish the shortlist and the winning title.
Linwood Barclay: “Broken Promise”
Michael Connelly: “The Crossing”
Judith Flanders: “A Bed of Scorpions”
Suzette A. Hill: “A Southwold Mystery”
Laurie R. King: “Dreaming Spies”
Jax Miller: “Freedom’s Child”
Denise Mina: “Blood, Salt, Water”
Andrew Taylor: “The Silent Boy”
The Last Laugh Award is for the best humorous crime novel first published in the British Isles in 2015. Eligible titles were submitted by the publishers, then voted on by British crime fiction reviewers.
Sascha Arango: “The Truth and Other Lies”
Alan Bradley: “As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust”
Simon Brett: “Mrs Pargeter’s Principle”
Christopher Fowler: “Bryant & May and the Burning Man”
Elly Griffiths: “Smoke and Mirrors”
Malcolm Pryce: “The Case of the ‘Hail Mary’ Celeste”
Mike Ripley: “Mr Campion’s Fox”
Jason Starr: “Savage Lane”
Audible Sounds of Crime Award is for the best audio book.
Rachel Abbott: “Sleep Tight,” read by Melody Grove & Andrew Wincott
Lee Child: “Make Me,” read by Jeff Harding
Harlan Coben: “The Stranger,” read by Eric Meyers
Robert Galbraith: “Career of Evil,” read by Robert Glenister
Paula Hawkins: “The Girl on the Train,” read by Clare Corbett, India Fisher & Louise Brealey
Stephen King: “Finders Keepers,” read by Will Patton
David Lagercrantz: “The Girl in the Spider’s Web,” translated by George Goulding, read by Saul Reichlin
Clare Mackintosh: “I Let You Go,” read by David Thorpe & Julia Barrie
Ian Rankin: “Even Dogs in the Wild,” read by James Macpherson
The H.R.F. Keating Award is for the best biography or critical book in crime fiction.
David Stuart Davies & Barry Forshaw: “The Sherlock Holmes Book”
Martin Edwards: “The Golden Age of Murder”
Fergus Fleming: “The Man With the Golden Typewriter: Ian Fleming’s James Bond Letters”
Barry Forshaw: “Crime Uncovered: Detective”
Julius Green: “Curtains Up: Agatha Christie A Life in Theatre”
Maysam Hasam Jaber: “Criminal Femmes Fatales in American Hardboiled Crime Fiction”
Fiona Peters & Rebecca Stewart: “Crime Uncovered: Anti-hero”
Adam Sisman: “John le Carré: The Biography”
The Petrona Award celebrates the best in Scandinavian fiction.
Karin Fossum: “The Drowned Boy” translated by Kari Dickson
Kati Hiekkapelto: “The Defenceless” translated by David Hackston
Jørn Lier Horst: “The Caveman” translated by Anne Bruce
David Lagercrantz: “The Girl in the Spider’s Web” translated by George Goulding
Hans Olav Lahlum: “Satellite People” translated by Kari Dickson
Antti Tuomainen: “Dark As My Heart” translated by Lola Rogers
Congratulations to all!
For more information about CrimeFest, please visit www.crimefest.com
The Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction was established to commemorate the 50th anniversary of “To Kill A Mockingbird, written by former Alabama law student, Harper Lee. For the past five years, the University of Alabama School of Law and the ABA Journal have partnered to award the prize to a published work of fiction from the previous year that best demonstrates “the role of lawyers in society and their power to effect change.”
This year’s finalists were:
“My Sister’s Grave,” by Robert Dugoni (reviewed here)
“Terminal City,” by Linda Fairstein
“The Secret of Magic,” by Deborah Johnson
The winner was Deborah Johnson's "The Secret of Magic."
Congratulations to all the finalists!
John Grisham, “The Confession”
Michael Connelly, “The Fifth Witness”
Paul Goldstein, “Havana Requiem”
John Grisham, “Sycamore Row”
The 2015 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction was awarded in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 3, and the winner received a signed copy of To Kill a Mockingbird.