The Walt Longmire Mystery Series Boxed Set Volumes 1-4




The First Four Novels








About the Author

Praise for Craig Johnson and the Walt Longmire Mystery Series

Also by Craig Johnson


The First Four Novels






is the author of eight novels in the Walt Longmire mystery series, which has garnered popular and critical acclaim.
The Cold Dish
was a Dilys Award finalist and the French edition won Le Prix du Polar Nouvel Observateur/BibliObs.
Death Without Company
, the Wyoming State Historical Association’s Book of the Year, won France’s Le Prix 813.
Another Man’s Moccasins
was the Western Writers of America’s Spur Award winner and the Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers’ Association Book of the Year, and
The Dark Horse
, the fifth in the series, was a
Publishers Weekly
Best Book of the Year.
Junkyard Dogs
won the Watson Award for a mystery novel with the best sidekick, and
Hell Is Empty
was a
New York Times
best seller and was named
Library Journal
’s Best Mystery of the Year. All are available from Penguin. The eighth novel in the series,
As the Crow Flies
, was a
New York Times
best seller as well and an Indie Next List pick and will be available in paperback in May 2013. Craig Johnson’s Walt Longmire novels have now been adapted for television in the hit series
on A&E. His next novel,
A Serpent’s Tooth
, will be available from Viking in May 2013. Johnson lives in Ucross, Wyoming, population twenty-five.

Praise for Craig Johnson and the Walt Longmire Mystery Series

“Like the greatest crime novelists, Johnson is a student of human nature. Walt Longmire is strong but fallible, a man whose devil-may-care stoicism masks a heightened sensitivity to the horrors he’s witnessed. Unlike traditional genre novelists who obsess mainly over every hairpin plot turn, Johnson’s books are also preoccupied with the mystery of his characters’ psyches.” —
Los Angeles Times

“Johnson knows the territory, both fictive and geographical, and tells us about it in prose that crackles.” —Robert B. Parker

“The characters talk straight from the hip and the Wyoming landscape is its own kind of eloquence.” —
The New York Times

“[Walt Longmire] is an easy man to like. . . . Johnson evokes the rugged landscape with reverential prose, lending a heady atmosphere to his story.” —
The Philadelphia Inquirer

“Stepping into Walt’s world is like slipping on a favorite pair of slippers, and it’s where those slippers lead that provides a thrill. Johnson pens a series that should become a ‘must’ read, so curl up, get comfortable, and enjoy the ride.” —
The Denver Post

“A winning piece of work . . . There’s a convincing feel to the whole package: a sense that you’re viewing this territory through the eyes of someone who knows it as adoring lover and skeptical onlooker at the same time.” —
The Washington Post

“Johnson’s pacing is tight and his dialogue snaps.” —
Entertainment Weekly

“Truly great. Reading Craig Johnson is a treat. . . . [He] tells great stories, casts wonderful characters and writes in a style that compels the reader forward.” —
Wyoming Tribune Eagle

Also by


• • • •

The Cold Dish

Death Without Company

Kindness Goes Unpunished

Another Man’s Moccasins

The Dark Horse

Junkyard Dogs

Hell Is Empty

As the Crow Flies

Christmas in Absaroka County:

Walt Longmire Christmas Stories


A Serpent’s Tooth





Table of Contents


Copyright Page





Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16




Published by the Penguin Group

Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street,

New York, New York 10014, USA

USA / Canada / UK / Ireland / Australia / New Zealand / India / South Africa / China

Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

For more information about the Penguin Group visit

First published in the United States of America by Viking Penguin, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. 2005

Published in Penguin Books 2006

Copyright © Craig Johnson, 2005

All rights reserved. No part of this product may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.

ISBN 978-1-101-04394-3 (ePub)


This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, companies, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

For the dairy princess of Wayne County
and the crack shot of Cabell . . .


A writer, like a sheriff, is the embodiment of a group of people and, without their support, both are in a tight spot. I have been fortunate to be blessed with a close order of friends and associates who have made this book possible. They know who they are and, as the tradition goes, you can never thank a good cast too much.

Thanks to Sheriff Larry Kirkpatrick for a quarter of a century of fighting the good fight, the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation’s Sandy Mays and Harry’s pizza, which isn’t so bad. To Henry Standing Bear for the magic and more, Marcus Red Thunder for the sweat, Charles Little Old Man for the words, Dorothy Caldwell Kisling for the stimulation, Donna Dubrow for the motivation, and Gail Hochman for the belief. To Kathryn Court, Clare Farraro, Sarah Manges, and Ali Bothwell Mancini, my ferocious pride of lionesses at Viking Penguin.

Finally, to my wife and muse Judy all the love in the world for greeting my daily reappearance from Absaroka County with patience and good humor. I would be Walt without you.

Revenge is a dish best served cold.


—Pierre Ambroise François
Choderlos de La Clos,
Les Liaisons Dangereuses


“Bob Barnes says they got a dead body out on BLM land. He’s on line one.”

She might have knocked, but I didn’t hear it because I was watching the geese. I watch the geese a lot in the fall, when the days get shorter and the ice traces the rocky edges of Clear Creek. The sheriff ’s office in our county is an old Carnegie building that my department inherited when the Absaroka County Library got so many books they had to go live somewhere else. We’ve still got the painting of Andy out in the landing of the entryway. Every time the previous sheriff left the building he used to salute the old robber baron. I’ve got the large office in the south side bay, which allows me an unobstructed view of the Big Horn Mountains to my right and the Powder River Valley to my left. The geese fly down the valley south, with their backs to me, and I usually sit with my back to the window, but occasionally I get caught with my chair turned; this seems to be happening more and more, lately.

I looked at her, looking being one of my better law-enforcement techniques. Ruby’s a tall woman, slim, with a direct manner and clear blue eyes that tend to make people nervous. I like that in a receptionist /dispatcher, keeps the riffraff out of the office. She leaned against the doorjamb and went to shorthand, “Bob Barnes, dead body, line one.”

I looked at the blinking red light on my desk and wondered vaguely if there was a way I could get out of this. “Did he sound drunk?”

“I am not aware that I’ve ever heard him sound sober.”

I flipped the file and pictures that I’d been studying onto my chest and punched line one and the speakerphone button. “Hey, Bob. What’s up?”

“Hey, Walt. You ain’t gonna believe this shit. . . .” He didn’t sound particularly drunk, but Bob’s a professional, so you never can tell. He was silent for a moment. “Hey, no shit, we got us a cool one out here.”

I winked at Ruby. “Just one, huh?”

“Hey, I ain’t shittin’ you. Billy was movin’ some of Tom Chatham’s sheep down off the BLM section to winter pasture, and them little bastards clustered around somethin’ in one of the draws. . . . We got a cool one.”

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