An Obvious Fact finds Sheriff Walt Longmire on the road outside of Hulett, Wyoming at a crash site. Located in northeastern Wyoming, the small town is best known the Devils Tower, the first national monument. Most likely the second most famous thing it is known for is the Sturgis Motorcycle rally in nearby Sturgis, South Dakota just across the Wyoming border.
After examining the macadam road under the August sun and seeing no sign of any skid marks on the turn, Sheriff Longmire and Henry Standing Bear make the nine mile drive into Hulett. While Henry plans to try his hand once again at a couple of events during the rally, Sheriff Longmire is in town to help with an investigation. Campbell County Deputy Corbin Doughtry regarding a recent motorcycle accident. Tores, known to one and all as “B-way” is in a medically induced coma over in a hospital in Rapid City and critical.
Doughtry is pretty sure that B-way was deliberately hit by somebody that fled the scene. Not only is that a problem, members of his motorcycle club, the “Tre Tre Nomads” are actively harassing Doughtry who is trying to not only work the case, but deal with all the problems during Rally week. Their enforcer, a man known as Brady Post, is the biggest problem. Doughtry needs help, as do the other members of law enforcement who are doing everything they can to keep the peace in an area overrun by tourists, motorcycle clubs, and more.
Then there is the explosive problem of the real life “Lola” who rocked Henry’s world all those many years ago. Not only is she heavily vested in the situation that brought Sheriff Longmire to town, she still has the power to mess with Henry. Not that he needs her help as he is acutely aware that the day when he can no longer compete at Sturgis is coming very soon.
As in the recent novella, The Highway Man, Sheriff Walt Longmire is far from home and helping an officer he respects in An Obvious Fact. Though there is some interplay between himself and Vic as well as Cody, most of the interaction is with Henry Standing Bear who carries a significant part of the book. He also provides some laugh out loud moments regarding Sherlock Holmes and his cases.
Billed as the 12th in the series (apparently ignoring novellas, short story collections, and other stand alone stories) An Obvious Fact: A Longmire Mystery is another good one from author Craig Johnson. While the mystical is always present in these tales it takes a backseat to the present day mystery that is tinged with flashes of humor. While this series should be read in order, this one could be read first as previous events are only briefly discussed. Most of the backstory in this book refers to the woman who inspired Henry many years ago. An Obvious Fact, like everything else by Craig Johnson, is solidly good and very much worth your time.
For another take on the book, make sure you check out Lesa Holstine’s review.
An Obvious Fact: A Longmire Mystery
Viking (Penguin Random House LLC)
Hardback (also available in audio and eBook formats)
Material supplied by the good folks of the Plano Public Library System.
Kevin R. Tipple