WAIT FOR SIGNS by Craig Johnson includes twelve Longmire
short stories, released for the first time in a single volume.
Eleven of the stories were previously released by Johnson on
Christmas Eve to his fans—and all reveal a small episode of
Walt's life. The final story is an entirely new story titled
"Petunia, Bandit Queen of the Bighorns."
Reviewing short story collections can be tough, but especially
for WAIT FOR SIGNS because grouping all twelve short stories
together means I miss delving into the unique character and
tone of each story. Each one adds to Walt Longmire's history,
but each offers a different view of the man who defines this
series. "Ministerial Aide" takes place shortly after Martha's
death. While still retaining the dry humor I love about this
series, it is a poignant and heartbreaking story. "Messenger"
fits inside the Longmire timeline toward the newest
releases, and takes place mostly inside a Porta-Potty. I
laughed so hard my sides hurt. "Thankstaking" bring Walt and
Henry Standing Bear together for a Thanksgiving dinner, and
Henry Standing Bear is absolutely one of my favorite characters
in any series hands down.
All the stories are insightful and worth reading over and over.
The depth of Craig Johnson's writing makes reading the
Longmire series a pleasure, and every time I pick up his
books a new truth about how to live is revealed. His reflection
on human behavior, hope, and the strength to survive always
amazes me, and I come away from each of his stories eager to
read another. The world is not always fair and just, but after
spending time with Walt, Vic, Henry, and Cady I always come
away with a little more hope for it.
There is an introduction by Lou Diamond Phillips, which I might
have read twice because I'm a bit of a fangirl. It's fantastic,
full of humor, wit, and insight, so if you're the type to
usually skip introductions, resist the urge and read this one!
You won't regret it. WAIT FOR SIGNS can be read all at once,
one story at a time, from cover to cover, or by skipping around
to wherever you feel like reading first. The stories really do
cover a large span of time, and they don't need to be read in
any particular order. There are quite a few that center around
but since Craig Johnson released these to fans around that
time, it makes perfect sense that the Holidays are used to full
WAIT FOR SIGNS is a short story collection you will want to
read if you're a fan of the Longmire Mysteries and if
you've never read a Longmire Mystery, by all means start
reading! The Cold Dish is the first in the series and you won't
regret finding these characters in the beautiful and harsh
Absaroka County! WAIT FOR SIGNS is a delightful collection to
savor and come back to as you wait for the next in this
series by Craig Johnson.
Twelve Longmire short stories available for the first
time in a single volume—featuring an introduction by Lou
Diamond Phillips of A&E’s Longmire
Ten years ago, Craig Johnson wrote his first short story,
the Hillerman Award–winning “Old Indian Trick.” This was one
of the earliest appearances of the sheriff who would go on
to star in Johnson’s bestselling, award-winning novels and
the A&E hit series Longmire. Each Christmas Eve
thereafter, fans rejoiced when Johnson sent out a new short
story featuring an episode in Walt’s life that doesn’t
appear in the novels; over the years, many have asked why
they can’t buy the stories in book form.
Wait for Signs collects those beloved stories—and one
entirely new story, “Petunia, Bandit Queen of the
Bighorns”—for the very first time in a single volume,
regular trade hardcover. With glimpses of Walt’s past from
the incident in “Ministerial Aide,” when the sheriff is
mistaken for a deity, to the hilarious “Messenger,” where
the majority of the action takes place in a Port-A-Potty,
Wait for Signs is a necessary addition to any Longmire
fan’s shelf and a wonderful way to introduce new readers to
the fictional world of Absaroka County, Wyoming.
She was waiting on the bench outside the Conoco service
station / museum / post office in Garryowen, Montana, and
the only parts of her clothing that were showing beneath the
heavy blanket she'd wrapped around herself were black combat
boots cuffed with a pair of mismatched green socks. When I
first saw her, it was close to eleven at night, and if you'd
tapped the frozen Mail Pouch thermometer above her head, it
would've told you that it was twelve degrees below zero.
The Little Big Horn country is a beautiful swale echoing the
shape of the Bighorn Mountains and the rolling hills of the
Mission Buttes, a place of change that defies definition.
Just when you think you know it, it teaches you a
lesson-just ask George Armstrong Custer and the Seventh Cavalry.
I was making the airport run to pick up Cady, who had missed
her connection from Philadelphia in Denver and was now
scheduled to come into Billings just before midnight. The
Greatest Legal Mind of Our Time had been extraordinarily
upset but calmed down when rd told her we'd stay in town
that night and do some Christmas shopping the next day
before heading back home. I hadn't told her we were staying
at the Dude Rancher Lodge. A pet-friendly motor hotel that
was assembled back in '49 out of salvaged bricks from the
old St. Vincent's Hospital, the Dude Rancher was a Longmire
family tradition. I loved the cozy feeling of the weeping
mortar courtyard, the kitschy ranch brand carpets, and the
delicious home-cooked meals in the Stirrup Coffee Shop.
Cady, my hi-tech, sophisticated, urban-dwelling daughter,
hated the place.
In my rush to head north, I hadn't gassed up in
Wyomingluckily, the Conoco had after-hours credit card
pumps. As I was putting gas into my truck with the motor
running, I noticed her stand up and trail out to where I
stood, the old packing blanket billowing out from around her
Looking at the stars on the doors and then at me, she paused
at the other side of the truck bed, her eyes ticktocking.
She studied my hat, snap-button shirt, the shiny brass name
tag, and the other trappings of authority just visible under
my sheepskin coat.
I buttoned it the rest of the way up and looked at her, ex
pecting Crow, maybe Northern Cheyenne, but from the limited
view afforded by the condensation of her breath and the
cowllike hood of the blanket, I could see that her skin was
pale and her hair dark but not black, surrounding a wide
face and full lips that snared and released between the
"Hey." She cleared her throat and shifted something in her
hands, still keeping the majority of her body wrapped. "I
thought you were supposed to shut the engine offbefore you
do that." She glanced at the writing on the side of my
truck. "Where's Absaroka County?"
I clicked the small keeper on the pump handle, pulled my
glove back on, and rested my elbow on the top of the bed as
the tank filled. "Wyoming."
"Oh." She nodded but didn't say anything more.
About five nine, she was tall, and her eyes moved rapidly,
taking in the vehicle and then me; she had the look of
someone whose only interaction with the police was being
rousted-she feigned indifference with a touch of defiance
and maybe was just a little crazy. "Cold, huh?"
I was beginning to wonder how long it was going to take her
and thought about how much nerve she'd had to work up to
approach my truck; I must've been the only vehicle that had
stopped there in hours. I waited. The two-way radio blared
an indiscernible call inside the cab, the pump turned off,
and I removed the nozzle, returning it to the plastic
cradle. I hit the button to request a receipt, because I
didn't trust gas pumps any more than I trusted those robot
amputees over in Deadwood.
I found the words the way I always did in the presence of
women. 'Tve got a heater in this truck."
She snarled a quick laugh, strained and high. "I figured."
I stood there for a moment more and then started for the
cab-now she was going to have to ask. As I pulled the door
handle, she started to reach out a hand from the folds of
the blanket but then let it drop. I paused for a second more
and then slid in and shut the door behind me, snapped on my
seat belt, and pulled the three-quarter-ton down into gear.
She backed away and retreated to the bench as I wheeled
around the pumps and stopped at the road. I sat there for a
moment, where I looked at myself and my partner in the
rearview mirror, then shook my head, turned around, and
circled back in front of her. She looked up again as I
rolled the window down on the passenger-side door and raised
my voice to be heard above the engine. "Do you want a ride?"