Spirit of Steamboat: A Longmire Story (A Longmire Mystery) Info

Browse best sellers, historical fiction, literary fiction and find out our top picks in Literature & Fiction. Check out our top reviews in Literature & Fiction books and see what other readers have to say about Spirit of Steamboat: A Longmire Story (A Longmire Mystery) Read&Download Spirit of Steamboat: A Longmire Story (A Longmire Mystery) by Craig Johnson Online


A Christmas novella for fans of the hit drama series
LONGMIRE
now on Netflix and the New York
Times
–bestselling series. 
Craig Johnson's new
novel, The Western Star, will be available from Viking in
Fall 2017.


Sheriff Walt Longmire is in his office
reading A Christmas Carol when he is interrupted by a ghost of
Christmas past: a young woman with a hairline scar and more than a few
questions about his predecessor, Lucian Connally. With his daughter Cady
and undersherrif Moretti otherwise engaged, Walt’s on his own
this Christmas Eve, so he agrees to help her.
At the Durant Home
for Assisted Living, Lucian is several tumblers into his Pappy Van
Winkle’s and swears he’s never clapped eyes on the woman
before. Disappointed, she whispers “Steamboat” and begins a
story that takes them all back to Christmas Eve 1988—a story that
will thrill and delight the bestselling series’ devoted
fans.

Average Ratings and Reviews
review-bg

4.42

7056 Ratings

5

4

3

2

1


Ratings and Reviews From Market


client-img 4.6
705
119
55
27
9
client-img 4.23
2802
2401
784
5
0

Reviews for Spirit of Steamboat: A Longmire Story (A Longmire Mystery):

5

Jul 09, 2014

If you are familiar with Longmire either from the A & E television series or any of the previous books then there is not much I can say to convince you of the high quality of writing this book contains.

Regardless of this book being touted here at GR as being book 9.1 in the series, it is actually a stand alone entry into the Longmire cannon. The title of the book "Spirit of Steamboat" refers to a WWII bomber that is sitting in the Absaroka County airport being refurbished.

The story takes If you are familiar with Longmire either from the A & E television series or any of the previous books then there is not much I can say to convince you of the high quality of writing this book contains.

Regardless of this book being touted here at GR as being book 9.1 in the series, it is actually a stand alone entry into the Longmire cannon. The title of the book "Spirit of Steamboat" refers to a WWII bomber that is sitting in the Absaroka County airport being refurbished.

The story takes place in 1988 during a huge blizzard. There has been a horrible accident on the icy roads on the day before Christmas with three people dead and a lone survivor, a small girl perhaps aged ten or eleven who is in such critical condition that she will also die if she does not get medical help. There is no facility in Montana that can attend to this issue.

Longmire solicits the help of his former boss the retired Lucian Connally, also an ex-military pilot, to fly the injured girl to Children s Hospital in Denver.

And so the adventure begins in this fast paced, thrill a minute excursion into the storm filled snowy skies.

I read this book last night in one sitting. A "I can't stop reading this" kind of book. Perhaps it will make you seek out the T.V. show, or watch it on Netflix or .. perhaps read one of Johnson's other books. ...more
4

Feb 07, 2017

This a short, sweet novella, 146p. The book opens with Walt Longmire, Sheriff of Absaroka County, Wyoming, getting a visitor who wants to speak to the previous Sheriff. Walt agrees to take her to Lucian Connally, his predecessor. Then an inspiring Christmas story unfolds in a flashback.
There is a lot of history in this small book--the Doolittle raid on Japan in April of 1942, the bronco horse on Wyoming license plates and the B25 bomber that flew on the Doolittle raid. I read this library book This a short, sweet novella, 146p. The book opens with Walt Longmire, Sheriff of Absaroka County, Wyoming, getting a visitor who wants to speak to the previous Sheriff. Walt agrees to take her to Lucian Connally, his predecessor. Then an inspiring Christmas story unfolds in a flashback.
There is a lot of history in this small book--the Doolittle raid on Japan in April of 1942, the bronco horse on Wyoming license plates and the B25 bomber that flew on the Doolittle raid. I read this library book in a day and a half and recommend it. My wife also recommends it. ...more
5

Oct 27, 2013

Book Review:

Sidled up and in between the major Walt Longmire novels, Johnson frequently publishes novellas and short stories featuring the steadfast hero Walt Longmire: sheriff of Wyoming's fictional Absaroka County. Spirit of Steamboat, numerically sequenced as #9.1 is the latest in this series of novellas.

Aside from the Dick Francis's novels I don't know of any other author writing in this genre who portrays a hero as bound by rational thought, steadfast ethics, and likability as does Craig Book Review:

Sidled up and in between the major Walt Longmire novels, Johnson frequently publishes novellas and short stories featuring the steadfast hero Walt Longmire: sheriff of Wyoming's fictional Absaroka County. Spirit of Steamboat, numerically sequenced as #9.1 is the latest in this series of novellas.

Aside from the Dick Francis's novels I don't know of any other author writing in this genre who portrays a hero as bound by rational thought, steadfast ethics, and likability as does Craig Johnson.

This is the kind of adventure story that I'd imagine myself reading to listeners by a fireplace where every word inspires heroism, goodness, and a profound anxiety on the part of the listener (or reader) to have Walt survive the experience.

This is a story of a woman who wishes to express gratitude and of how one accepts that gratitude when dished out, or not. This novella features the former sheriff of Absaroka County and Walt, the current sheriff. It is a gripping tale where the reader hangs on every passage, following the deadly flight of Steamboat, an old and deemed a not-safe-to-fly B-52 airplane on a rescue mission through a horrifying snow blizzard, in effect risking a handful of lives in an effort to save one life.



Telling great stories is what Craig Johnson does best. Those who have read my reviews and taken me up on reading this series will no doubt agree: reading a Johnson novel, novella, or short story is a great reading experience second to none.

-------------------------------------------------------------------
Series Review


Craig Johnson

Craig Johnson has written nine novels in his Walt Longmire series. Formerly a police officer; he has also worked as a educator, cowboy and longshoreman. Awards include Tony Hillerman Award, Wyoming Historical Society Award, Wyoming Councl for the Arts Award, as well as numerous starred awards. Johnson was also a board member of the Mystery Writers' of America.

Craig Johnson as an artist, as a man who paints with words ascribes to the essential characteristic of what makes art different from anything else: only it can portray the world as the artist thinks it ought to be as opposed to how it is. "Now a days, it's really hard to distinguish the good guys from the bad guys..." he says in an interview. "But Walt's a pretty good guy...the kinda guy if my car slithered off the road on I-80 in a blizzard, he's the guy I'd want to help me out." Johnson admits to portraying Walt Longmire, the hero in this award-winning series, as "The kinda guy my wife says I want to be in about 10 years."

Starting from his choice of book title all the way to the final period at the end of the book Johnson's prose fills the reader's soul with a longing for the good. And where else is one to find it but in the fictional county of Absaroka, Wyoming and it's Sheriff Walt Longmire. As with the work of William Kent Krueger Johnson introduces readers to the Western concept of cowboys and indians. Growing up in the Netherlands, I read till late in the night the wildly popular series Winnetou and Old Shatterhand (not available in the States). When playing outside 6000 miles away from American soil, it wasn't cops and robbers we played, it was cowboys and indians. It was this image of America I held in my mind as a 12 year old boy standing on the deck of the U.S.S. Rotterdam as we sailed into New York Harbor and waited in the lines of Ellis Island to be granted access to my boyhood dreams.

Unlike older western novels, however, Johnson brings this cultural diversity into the 20th century and without delving into multi-culturalism brings us to that mystical nether region between the two where native american and white man meet each other half-way. Johnson's aim is at portraying a fictional world as it should be and this includes diversity. Henry, a native american is Walt's best friend. The indian community stands ready to aid the law, helps the white man bring justice regardless of race, color or creed. Walt Longmire, in a hallucinatory fit, dances with the Cheyenne spirits who guide him to safety in the midst of a devastating blizzard even though the unconscious man slung over his shoulders is a perpatrator against a Native American woman. Walt does not question his sanity afterwards. Craig Johnson's world is one we might all long for...and isn't that the purpose of art?

Too often I read book reviews where the reviewers seem to place verisimilitude above fiction. In my opinion, if you want reality, if you want to read about the way things are, then view a documentary, read a biography, check out reality TV. This is fiction, and if an author changes reality to suit his notion for the book, so be it...

For some, the first in the series moves along a bit slowly...but to them I would say: give this writer time to paint his world as he sees fit. Books that concentrate on rural settings often have the advantage of highlighting the human condition in startling clarity. Distractions such as are found in urban settings removed, we see good and evil and compassion in a more profound way. Wyoming's Absaroka County gives us this magnifying glass. I found the plot intriguing and the ending second-to-none. Truly, the titles are well chosen in these novels.

There's a huge fan base for Johnson's work out there. A fan base that is after values, the good kind. I'm reminded of my daughter's fascination with Taylor Swift, whose millions of fans adulate her for precisely the same reason: her vision of 'the good'. There is a Renaissance occurring in a real world that at best can be portrayed as lost in the grey fog of compromised values; a Renaissance that has caught the attention of not only our youth, but all ages. And they are telling us what they want.

There's a reason A&E's Longmire series has been approved for Season #2. The first season sported A&E's #1 original-series premier of all time with 4.1 million total viewers. I plan to read this entire series and after that, I plan to view the A&E series (hopefully on Netflix where it is not yet available for down-streaming). Johnson, remarking on the television series agrees that he is 100% on board as the televised version is keeping very close to the books.

Unless there is a drastic divergence in subsequent Longmire novels, this review will be the same for all the Walt Longmire books.

Enjoy! ...more
4

Dec 22, 2019


Oh, hell, we got a one-legged pilot who hasnt flown one of these things in about a hundred years. A copilot that in flight-time reality has barely even sat in one. A hangar queen thats ready for the salvage yard, and a snowstorm thats going to try and blow us into the ground near Wichita ... What could go wrong?

Oh, hell! I thought I already reviewed this one!
I usually remember about sheriff Walt Longmire during the winter holidays, as I sadly wait for the big snow that no longer comes to my
Oh, hell, we got a one-legged pilot who hasn’t flown one of these things in about a hundred years. A copilot that in flight-time reality has barely even sat in one. A hangar queen that’s ready for the salvage yard, and a snowstorm that’s going to try and blow us into the ground near Wichita ... What could go wrong?

Oh, hell! I thought I already reviewed this one!
I usually remember about sheriff Walt Longmire during the winter holidays, as I sadly wait for the big snow that no longer comes to my hometown before January or February. Damn that global warming, and damn that Absaroka County in Wyoming, where they never seem to run out of the white stuff.

“Spirit of Steamboat” is one of the best tie-in novellas that the author likes to publish around Christmas time. It’s about the spirit of Christmas, helping others in need, and not about steamboats on the Mississippi River. The opening quote pretty much sums up the plot here, and the less I add to it, the better will readers enjoy the unique flight of an old bomber plane from World War II. As usual with the ongoing Longmire series, much of its charm and appeal lies in the interactions between the members of this tightly knit community and in the sharp wit of the narrator.

bonus note: you don’t need to read any of the other books in order to enjoy this one.

...more
4

Nov 01, 2013

Johnson has gifted us a short, white-knuckled Christmas story that is likely to become a classic. We all know Sheriff Longmire and how he took over the chief law enforcement job in Absaroka County from old Lucian Connally. This story brings them back working together again on a cold and stormy night--Christmas Eve in Montana back in 1988.

This mad twosome seems to go out of its way to test the edges of possibility. In this story, they are doing it for all the right reasons, and at a time when Johnson has gifted us a short, white-knuckled Christmas story that is likely to become a classic. We all know Sheriff Longmire and how he took over the chief law enforcement job in Absaroka County from old Lucian Connally. This story brings them back working together again on a cold and stormy night--Christmas Eve in Montana back in 1988.

This mad twosome seems to go out of its way to test the edges of possibility. In this story, they are doing it for all the right reasons, and at a time when most folks want to be cuddling at home with their families. Central to the action is an old copy of A Christmas Carol which you might want to glance at before or after this slim 100-page novella, just to put you in the mood. This story is just long enough to read after you have laid out gifts “from Santa” under the tree and before heading up to bed.

Bourbon is Connally’s drink of choice…you may want to salute him with a glass after reading this little act of crazy heroism. It does make a good story, a nice little gift for Santa to enjoy, just as though he/she were sitting around with his/her ‘buds’ telling tall tales late into the night…


...more
4

Jul 09, 2018

A novella that is different from other Longmire stories. There is no mystery involved and the majority of the other main characters (Vic, Henry, Cady, and Ferg) are mostly missing from the tale. Only Lucian plays a major role in this book. But it is a humdinger of a story and if you enjoy old WWII aircraft you will find this fascinating. Walt and Lucian must evacuate a dying girl in the middle of a monster storm by flying a vintage, not quite airworthy B-25 bomber to Denver. Recommended.
5

Nov 02, 2015

Of course I loved this! It's a short book that augments the regular novels in one of my favorite series, Sheriff Walt Longmire. Part of my 2015 holiday reading extravaganza, it's written by a favorite author, read by the perfect narrator, George Guidall, and takes place on Christmas Eve. I've said in my reviews of Longmire books that there are usually several harrowing "situations" - at the least one - that push Walt to the limit physically, mentally and emotionally in the solving whichever Of course I loved this! It's a short book that augments the regular novels in one of my favorite series, Sheriff Walt Longmire. Part of my 2015 holiday reading extravaganza, it's written by a favorite author, read by the perfect narrator, George Guidall, and takes place on Christmas Eve. I've said in my reviews of Longmire books that there are usually several harrowing "situations" - at the least one - that push Walt to the limit physically, mentally and emotionally in the solving whichever murder is the focus of the story. This book does not contain a murder, but is one long "situation" in which Longmire teams up with former sheriff Lucian Connally and a vintage airplane called Steamboat to transport a barely-hanging-on accident victim to Denver during a horrific snowstorm. The story is dizzying, heart-pounding, breath-taking and tear inducing, and left this reader with a lump in her throat.

A perfect way to cap off my holiday reading! ...more
3

Sep 27, 2013

Dude, this is my second free Craig Johnson book.

What the fuck, man?

I know, right. I must be one Lucky Bastard.

Now youre referencing a review of one author within the review of another author. Just how big of a pimp, are you?

I have a fedora, white bowling shoes with black tips, a cane with a gold handle, a purple vest, and a neon green trench coat.

Are you showing up at the Playboy mansion later with an armful of strippers?

No way, my wife would bury my body in the backyard next to the scorpions “Dude, this is my second free Craig Johnson book.”

“What the fuck, man?”

“I know, right. I must be one Lucky Bastard.”

“Now you’re referencing a review of one author within the review of another author. Just how big of a pimp, are you?”

“I have a fedora, white bowling shoes with black tips, a cane with a gold handle, a purple vest, and a neon green trench coat.”

“Are you showing up at the Playboy mansion later with an armful of strippers?”

“No way, my wife would bury my body in the backyard next to the scorpions and the lizards with the turquoise tails. And she might even toss a black widow spider into the plastic bag along with me to keep me company.”

“That’s the thing. I thought your wife was going with you--”

“She’s not big on pimped out parties caked with artificial breasts, string bikinis, and copious amounts of alcohol.”

“You lost me at string bikinis. What were we talking about again?”

“Get your head out of the gutter. This is a Christmas novel for crying out loud.”

“It’s not actually a novel. It’s a novella.”

“Oh, are you some kind of expert now?”

“I live inside your head. I must have some vague notion of what’s going on in the publishing industry, otherwise you and I should have parted ways more than 10 years ago.” Brief pause. “But back to the task at hand…what did you actually think of SPIRIT OF STEAMBOAT?”

“It was entertaining…”

“There’s a but coming on, isn’t there? And we’re not talking about the ones at the Playboy mansion.”

“I saw the road signs, and followed the detour, but it didn’t take me to the Promised Land. Wyoming has become a bit of a second home for me, with the lush scenery and painted landscapes, but I spent most of this tale in an airplane that has seen better days. And while I appreciated the additional details about Lucian, he’s one crusty old curmudgeon, even in his younger days.” I tilt my head and stare at ceiling tiles. “And I guess I didn’t realize how much I missed a good Walt Longmire mystery.”

“You sure weren’t missing those mysteries too much when you downed all those erotica novels.”

My back stiffens. “True, but Craig Johnson and mysteries go together about as well as PB&J. While Julie Luehrman more than held her own in this tale, what I really wanted was some Vic Moretti with a mouth that matches her cup size and the sage advice of Henry Standing Bear.”

“Aside from the breast reference, you really are a sentimental bastard.”

“Yeah, I guess I am.”

I received this book for free through NetGalley.

Cross-posted at Robert's Reads ...more
5

May 01, 2017

A short read/listen. Well done novella. I learned some stuff about Steamboat the rodeo horse and that led me to do some research which is always a plus. I loved the glimpse of Lucien as a younger man.
5

Jan 04, 2014

. . . no space of regret can make amends for one lifes opportunity misused. . . .

Perfect. Just perfect. Now I need to sleep, I have to get up in a few hours, just couldn't lay down the book. Read it. „. . . no space of regret can make amends for one life’s opportunity misused. . . .”

Perfect. Just perfect. Now I need to sleep, I have to get up in a few hours, just couldn't lay down the book. Read it. ...more
4

Jan 24, 2014

This white-knuckle, edge-of-your-seat novella about an emergency flight through a blizzard from Absaroka to Denver puts the author's previous holiday short stories in Christmas in Absaroka County to shame.

This story, a flashback to when Walt had just become sheriff, was unique in that there was no mystery to solve, and it showed the older-generation of characters -- Walt, Lucian Connally, Doctor Bloomfield -- in a very different scenario than usual, under a great deal of stress.

While the This white-knuckle, edge-of-your-seat novella about an emergency flight through a blizzard from Absaroka to Denver puts the author's previous holiday short stories in Christmas in Absaroka County to shame.

This story, a flashback to when Walt had just become sheriff, was unique in that there was no mystery to solve, and it showed the older-generation of characters -- Walt, Lucian Connally, Doctor Bloomfield -- in a very different scenario than usual, under a great deal of stress.

While the suspense was hollow, as we know Walt and company must have survived the harrowing flight, which (even if you haven't read the series) the novella's framing device gives away, I wasn't put off by that because I read this as Christmas miracle tale, and enjoyed seeing the displayed bravery as a form of heroic, action-packed character background for these older gents in the series. In that respect, I also liked the mentions of A Christmas Carol throughout the novella. ...more
1

Feb 19, 2014

I have read all of the Walt Longmire series, and gave 5 stars to them all, except this one. It was a huge let-down. Did not have a mystery, did not have usual quirky cast of characters (only mentioned), and did not have an interesting storyline to keep me reading. I did finish it, so I plowed my way through to the end, and this is still my opinion: big disappointment.
2

Mar 09, 2014

I've never read any of Craig Johnson's work before. Picked this one off of the library shelf because it was short and the cover appealed to the aviation geek in me.

I don't know what the rest of you see here. The plot was predictable, the dialog repetitive, and the aviation laughably ridiculous. Glad it was short.
5

Feb 27, 2018

SPIRIT OF STEAMBOAT by Craig Johnson is a capsule look into this ever lengthening, superior mystery thriller set in the new west. With a reverent nod to heroes from WWII and a cracker-jack story to mix old with new, Mr. Johnson has delivered a delight just right for a cold winter's evening.
4

Oct 19, 2016

A Longmire novella depicting a dangerous B-25 flight during a hellacious blizzard in 1988. A young girl fights for her life after a car accident. Lucien Connolly, Walt Longmire's former boss pilots a WWII plane from Durant, Wy to Denver, CO in a blizzard to save the girl's life.

Here's a fun fact. The bucking bronco that is depicted on the Wyoming license plate is in honor of a legendary bucking bronco named Steamboat! Also, WWII buffs and airplane aficionados will enjoy reading about this A Longmire novella depicting a dangerous B-25 flight during a hellacious blizzard in 1988. A young girl fights for her life after a car accident. Lucien Connolly, Walt Longmire's former boss pilots a WWII plane from Durant, Wy to Denver, CO in a blizzard to save the girl's life.

Here's a fun fact. The bucking bronco that is depicted on the Wyoming license plate is in honor of a legendary bucking bronco named Steamboat! Also, WWII buffs and airplane aficionados will enjoy reading about this dangerous flight in the B-25 named Steamboat!
...more
4

Oct 26, 2013

Technically, this is 9.1 in the publication line-up of the Walt Longmire mystery series set in Wyoming---and at the start of the story with the prologue, but the chronology of this novella is more like 0.25 as the main events take place a few months after Walt is elected sheriff in 1988, and Martha is still alive. And, while this is technically a mystery series, it's more of a suspenseful ride with a quickly sobering Lucian and a leaky "boat".

My Take
I liked the start of this one with its present Technically, this is 9.1 in the publication line-up of the Walt Longmire mystery series set in Wyoming---and at the start of the story with the “prologue”, but the chronology of this novella is more like 0.25 as the main events take place a few months after Walt is elected sheriff in 1988, and Martha is still alive. And, while this is technically a mystery series, it's more of a suspenseful ride with a quickly sobering Lucian and a leaky "boat".

My Take
I liked the start of this one with its present day setting before Walt heads back into memory. It's a moaning Walt, moaning in his head about how lonely this Christmas will be: no Cady as she’s expecting Walt’s first grandchild in January, Vic has gone to Belize with her mom, and Henry has a new ladyfriend. But it’s a loneliness broken by an old memory in the form of a visitor. One who takes Walt and Lucian back in time to a truly fearsome Christmas.

It’s that clue, Steamboat, when Walt realizes who their visitor is and the memory sends him back in time, remembering that fearsome Christmas Eve flight to save a little girl’s life.

It's a trip back into history on many levels as Johnson provides back history on Lucian’s life without making it an info dump, the Haylift story with those personal touches and heavy loads LOL, lots of foreshadowing--he did make me cry with that line: “Good thing we’ve got a long road ahead of us, huh?” A bit more back history gives us the background on the bucking bronco on Wyoming’s license plate with its parallel application between the horse and today’s visitor. I also enjoyed the subtle hints of the Indian spirits who would be such a help to Walt in the years to come.

It’s an exciting ride, LOL, how could it not be when Lucian Connally is at the controls of an ancient bomber with hydraulic issues and leaks of all sorts while Doc Bloomfield struggles to save a young girl’s life western style as he’s flung about the plane.

Yup, fancy flying with a whole lotta goosing and an even trickier landing that reflects back on the bucking bronco of the Mitchell’s namesake.

The Story
It’s a mysterious visitor on Christmas Eve that sends Walt down memory lane to a much earlier Christmas when Martha was still alive, just before the bad news hits.

Only a young girl survived the car crash, barely. If she doesn’t get to a burn unit down in Denver, she’ll die. And there’s a massive cold front from Canada coming in.

The Characters
Walt Longmire has been sheriff of Absaroka County for a bit over a month now, the result of an election Lucian did his best to lose. Martha is his worried wife; Cady is their nine-year-old daughter.

Lucian Connally was the poker-playing, one-legged sheriff before Walt and a Doolittle Raider during World War II. He’s now living at the Durant Home for Assisted Living.

Dr. Isaac Bloomfield goes along for the ride. Julie Luehrman teaches part-time—at Cady’s school and to pilots—and she’s a mechanic and pilot who’ll take that terrifying co-pilot’s seat. Rick Koehmstedt is the airport manager. The Ferg is Walt’s deputy.

Mrs. Oda is the grandmother of Amaterasu, the young burn victim.

Current day...
Ruby is the dispatcher for the sheriff’s department. Mary Jo Johnson works at the Durant Home for Assisted Living. Henry owns the Red Pony Bar and is Walt’s best friend. Even if he is spending most of his time with a new lady. Dog is, well, a dog who goes everywhere with Walt.

The Cover
The cover is a woodcut-effect of a B-25 bomber named Steamboat with the mustang and rider silhouette from the Wyoming license plates painted on her side, as she struggles through the snowy turquoise sky on her errand of mercy. It’s only the Spirit of Steamboat that gets them through. ...more
5

Dec 23, 2013

I've been looking back over the books I read in 2013, and, while there were a number of good ones, there weren't a large number of outstanding ones. Craig Johnson's Walt Longmire novella, Spirit of Steamboat, falls into the outstanding category.

On Christmas Eve, Sheriff Walt Longmire is in his office when a young woman walks in. Although she seems to know Walt, he doesn't recognize her. She also wants to see a picture of Lucian Connally, the former sheriff. Walt takes her to see Lucian in an I've been looking back over the books I read in 2013, and, while there were a number of good ones, there weren't a large number of outstanding ones. Craig Johnson's Walt Longmire novella, Spirit of Steamboat, falls into the outstanding category.

On Christmas Eve, Sheriff Walt Longmire is in his office when a young woman walks in. Although she seems to know Walt, he doesn't recognize her. She also wants to see a picture of Lucian Connally, the former sheriff. Walt takes her to see Lucian in an assisted living facility. He's drunk, but aware enough to say he doesn't know her either. When she whispers the word, "Steamboat", the story takes an unusual turn to a Christmas past.

On Christmas Eve 1988, a car crashed, caught on fire, leaving three people dead and one survivor. But, the survivor wasn't going to make it unless Sheriff Longmire could find a way to get her to Denver in the middle of a blizzard. Sheriff Longmire, in his first term as sheriff, left his wife and daughter behind on Christmas Eve, and teamed up with defeated sheriff Lucian Connally to fight their way through a storm to try to save a life.

There's a little more on the book jacket, but I'm not going to spoil an outstanding story. In just 146 pages, Johnson manages to pay homage to the past, and bring back the youth and life of a few of his characters. This is a story of courage and character. In the acknowledgements, he says this is an odd little book. "It's not a mystery per se, but rather an adventure/thriller with mysterious elements; sometimes it's not so much about the suspense of killing characters off in a book, but rather, of trying to keep them alive." This "odd little book", Spirit of Steamboat, manages to bring characters to life and keep the reader turning pages. It's amazing that Craig Johnson can pack so much history, riveting story, atmosphere and adventure into one novella. But, then, he's a master of his craft with a gift of storytelling.

This holiday season, pick up Craig Johnson's latest Walt Longmire story, Spirit of Steamboat, as a gift to yourself or the Longmire lover in the family.

Craig Johnson's website is www.craigallenjohnson.com

Spirit of Steamboat by Craig Johnson. Viking. 2013. ISBN 9780670015788 (hardcover), 146p ...more
4

Dec 21, 2013

This novella in the Longmire series finds its thematic center in a quote from Walt Longmire's annual Christmastime rereading of Dickens's A Christmas Carol: "...no space of regret can make amends for one lifes opportunity misused...." Like Dickens, Johnson offers a morality tale that is deceptively simple and deeply humane.

This is not a mystery in any sense, but rather an action-packed visitation of Christmas Eve in 1988, when older members of Craig Johnson's cast of characters (including Lucian This novella in the Longmire series finds its thematic center in a quote from Walt Longmire's annual Christmastime rereading of Dickens's A Christmas Carol: "...no space of regret can make amends for one life’s opportunity misused...." Like Dickens, Johnson offers a morality tale that is deceptively simple and deeply humane.

This is not a mystery in any sense, but rather an action-packed visitation of Christmas Eve in 1988, when older members of Craig Johnson's cast of characters (including Lucian Connelly and Doctor Bloomfield, as well as newly-elected Sheriff Longmire himself) joined forces during a severe winter storm to try to save the life of badly burned little girl, the sole survivor of a terrible car accident. Even with the facts that 1) I'm not one for Christmas stories on the whole and 2) the reader knows exactly where the story is headed at all times, this was something of a white-knuckle read thanks to the breakneck pacing and compelling descriptions.

Readers familiar with the Longmire series will find some touching dramatic ironies here, as well, which I won't spoil by describing.

Craig Johnson continues to write tales that are steeped in a keen awareness of history, literature, and ethical thought, and as long as he writes them, I'll be reading them. ...more
5

Dec 17, 2013

If you're a Longmire viewer, a fan of Craig Johnson's Walt Longmire mystery series, or simply fascinated by the modern West, this is a Christmas novella you probably won't want to miss. Though it's not a mystery -- more of a thriller with links to Dickens -- it's a wittily written page-turner with a touch of seasonal flavor, & just enough non-cloying spirit.

Framed by Walt's decision to read his father's vintage copy of A Christmas Carol on a quiet Christmas Eve in his office, the story If you're a Longmire viewer, a fan of Craig Johnson's Walt Longmire mystery series, or simply fascinated by the modern West, this is a Christmas novella you probably won't want to miss. Though it's not a mystery -- more of a thriller with links to Dickens -- it's a wittily written page-turner with a touch of seasonal flavor, & just enough non-cloying spirit.

Framed by Walt's decision to read his father's vintage copy of A Christmas Carol on a quiet Christmas Eve in his office, the story centers on a 1988 Christmas Eve rescue flight. In terrible northern Wyoming weather. And using a vintage B-25, piloted by the one man Walt knows can fly it: his aging predecessor, Lucian Connolly. WW II history, aviation details galore, and the story of a notable Wyoming bucking horse (still commemorated on the state's license plates) combine to make this a remarkable holiday read.

...more
1

Jun 02, 2014

I must have read a different book! Rave reviews! I have enjoyed the previous Longmire stories immensely. This one didn't measure up to the others in any way. Too predictable. Didn't advance any of the characters. Totally unrealistic. I have flown a great deal in aircraft other than commercial jets in all kinds of weather. I don't think that trip could have been made except with exceedingly good luck with an aircraft in good condition. That that one made it was predictable, no suspense there, and I must have read a different book! Rave reviews! I have enjoyed the previous Longmire stories immensely. This one didn't measure up to the others in any way. Too predictable. Didn't advance any of the characters. Totally unrealistic. I have flown a great deal in aircraft other than commercial jets in all kinds of weather. I don't think that trip could have been made except with exceedingly good luck with an aircraft in good condition. That that one made it was predictable, no suspense there, and unrealistic! ...more
2

Nov 05, 2015

I felt like I was reading a highly technical and decidedly unfunny episode of M*A*S*H set in World War II. That went on too long. It hurts my heart to rate anything with Walt in a 2, but, a girl's gotta call 'em as she sees 'em, right? Also? Not enough Henry. ;-)
5

Oct 16, 2013

Review to post on my blog: 10/17/2013
http://thewritelife2.wordpress.com/20...

When I first read the teaser of Spirit of Steamboat: A Walt Longmire Story, I assumed it had a Dickens feel and a supernatural plot. It said, when hes interrupted by the ghost of Christmas past. This, of course, is figurative, and while I was off balance by the description, the story is fast-paced and amazing.

Walt Longmire is a sheriff in Wyoming. Its Christmas Eve and Walt is spending it in his office. Tucked in his Review to post on my blog: 10/17/2013
http://thewritelife2.wordpress.com/20...

When I first read the teaser of Spirit of Steamboat: A Walt Longmire Story, I assumed it had a Dickens feel and a supernatural plot. It said, “…when he’s interrupted by the ghost of Christmas past.” This, of course, is figurative, and while I was off balance by the description, the story is fast-paced and amazing.

Walt Longmire is a sheriff in Wyoming. It’s Christmas Eve and Walt is spending it in his office. Tucked in his arms is Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol. A young Japanese woman enters his office, and she has a scar on her forehead that he describes, “…what looked like a hairline crack in the porcelain of her forehead, almost as if she’d been made of china and at one point dropped.” The scar has a story; hence, the “ghost of Christmas past.”

The woman is not a ghost in the supernatural sense. She is a grown up version of the little girl from years ago who nearly died on an emergency flight on a plane from World War II named, Steamboat. After the first chapter or so, we enter the story of long ago. This is billed as a Christmas story, but Christmas has very little to do with it, except for the book Walt continues to refer to throughout the story.

Spirit of Steamboat has a cowboy attitude and the writing is fantastic. Craig Johnson easily writes from Walt’s point of view, differing his voice from the other characters in the novel. The novel is more like a novella. It took me only one evening to read. Craig writes that the original story of Steamboat was meant to be a short story, but it grew to eighty pages, surpassing the limits of a short story. This novel is truly a great read with excellent writing and wonderful descriptions. I gave this novel five stars.

*Book given by publisher to review. ...more
5

Dec 29, 2018

A couple of months ago I encountered Craig Johnson's Longmire series in the form of Junkyard Dogs , and was much taken by what I read -- enough, anyway, to resolve to read more in the series. The next that came to hand was this one.

However, where I'd expected another laff-packed mystery, what I got instead was a white-knuckle ride of an adventure yarn. The humor's there, but it's not what I'll remember in a week's time.

The book's plot is nothing especially original. It's Christmas Eve 1988 and A couple of months ago I encountered Craig Johnson's Longmire series in the form of Junkyard Dogs , and was much taken by what I read -- enough, anyway, to resolve to read more in the series. The next that came to hand was this one.

However, where I'd expected another laff-packed mystery, what I got instead was a white-knuckle ride of an adventure yarn. The humor's there, but it's not what I'll remember in a week's time.

The book's plot is nothing especially original. It's Christmas Eve 1988 and a child who's just lost her parents to an accident and herself needs urgent medical attention arrives in the Wyoming home turf of Walt Longmire, lately elected Sheriff of Absaroka County. The nearest hospital that can give the girl the emergency care she needs for her burns and other injuries is in Denver, Colorado, but there's a winter storm raging all across the intervening area and the roads are closed. The only chance to save her life seems to be to try to transport her by air through the blizzard and the winds and the darkness. Trouble is, the only available aircraft is a dilapidated World War II bomber, Steamboat, named for the horse that gave rise to Wyoming's bucking bronco emblem (at least in one form of the legend).

The professionals balk at the prospect of the flight, so Walt, his ex-bomber-pilot predecessor as sheriff, Lucian, an underqualified copilot called Julie and the town's elderly doctor, a concentration camp survivor, volunteer to get the old rustbucket into the air and transport the child and her grandmother through several hundred miles of hostile air. Their chances, they reckon, are slim, but they can't just watch the kid die.

And then, of course, things start to go wrong . . .

As hinted, I've read variants of the plot lots of times before, as I'm sure you have too. It's given a poignant frame story, set in the present day, but that too seems moderately familiar. Where this short novel really scores, though, is in its incidents and its telling. I found myself right there alongside Walt as he and his companions and Steamboat herself battled the elements and the probabilities. The scene in which Walt and Doc Isaac perform chest surgery with juryrigged equipment while the plane's being jolted all around the sky will likely live with me a long while, as even more so will the experience of Walt trying to get the faulty bomb bay doors to close while 13,000 feet above an invisible ground.

According to Johnson's foreword, he went to some lengths to get the facts about both Steamboat the plane and Steamboat the horse correct, and that adds an extra dimension of interest to the book. But let's be straight: What this is, first and foremost, is a good, old-fashioned edge-of-the-seater, one of the best I've read in a long while.

Believe it or not, it was only after I'd started reading that I noticed the Santa hat on the cover and the fact that Walt was reading A Christmas Carol and realized I'd quite serendipitously pulled a seasonally appropriate book from the shelf. ...more
2

Jan 22, 2020

In all fairness, this isn't my genre of choice, and I have not read others in the series. While the writing is fine, I thought this was the equivalent of a fast-paced, action-adventure movie...all crisis and explosion with minimal plot development and unlikable or unknowable characters--even in the frame story. We'll see if my book club discussion tonight changes my mind, but, in the end, I was just thankful it's short.
5

Jan 03, 2017

**As I continue my Longmire series read, full disclosure requires that I openly admit I am a devoted fan of the Longmire television show (on A/E and now Netflix) and have enjoyed reading the previous books in the Longmire book series that inspired that show even more. With that said, I am still doing my best to provide objective and an honest review. **

Spirit of Steamboat is a Longmire series novella which takes place between Book 9 A Serpents Tooth and Book 10 Any Other Name. It runs 146 **As I continue my Longmire series read, full disclosure requires that I openly admit I am a devoted fan of the Longmire television show (on A/E and now Netflix) and have enjoyed reading the previous books in the Longmire book series that inspired that show even more. With that said, I am still doing my best to provide objective and an honest review. **

“Spirit of Steamboat” is a Longmire series novella which takes place between Book 9 “A Serpent’s Tooth” and Book 10 “Any Other Name”. It runs 146 pages, which is about half the length of a normal Longmire novel.

The story begins on Christmas Eve, with Sheriff Walt Longmire reading A Christmas Carol in his office. He is interrupted by a young woman with a scar on her forehead who is looking for him and the former Sheriff, Lucian Connally. Since Deputy Moretti and Walt’s daughter, Cady, are celebrating Christmas elsewhere, he takes the young lady to see Lucian. When they arrive and both men swear they’ve never met her before, she whispers “Steamboat…”

… And we are transported back in time to another Christmas Eve in 1988. A time when Walt has been Sheriff less than a year, married to a lovely wife and a nine-year-old daughter. I don’t want to give too much away and let the reader enjoy this story for the Christmas Carol spirit it brings. Let’s just say that it involves an emergency flight with a decrepit B25 WW II bomber plane, a whiskey-filled Lucian as pilot, Doc Bloomfield in the role of a MASH doctor, and Walt doing all that he can to save the life of young girl barely holding on…

As they race against time and severe snowstorms, Walt’s stubborn code of not giving up is demonstrated in action when he says “… It’s a question of what you have to do, what you have to live with if you don’t” (P. 46). This is now one of my favorites lines of his. Classic Walt.

There are some magical moments in this powerful novella. Walt pulling a juiced-up Lucien out of his poker game to fly the plane, Doctor Bloomfield attempting to save the girl while the plane bounces all over, and Lucian arguing with the landing tower as he’s trying to land the plane. And there was nothing more personally touching than Walt’s Christmas morning call with his wife, literally bringing me to tears because of the tenderness she provides him and the unknown medical issue soon to change her life. It was priceless.

Overall, “Spirit of Steamboat” is one of the most powerful Longmire stories I have read. It was funny, sexist (Lucian’s fault of course), but carried an emotional edge from the beginning to the end that surprised me in a sentimental way that I rarely get to experience. I am used to watching Walt stretch himself, but I will never think of Lucian in the same way again. He redeems himself as the hero that we all want to be when the moment of need matters most.

As I wipe the tears from my eyes, I simply want to say thank you, Craig Johnson. This one was very special indeed. Yes, it is so. ...more

Best Books from your Favorite Authors & Publishers

compare-icon compare-icon
Thousands of books

Take your time and choose the perfect book.

review-icon review-icon
Read Reviews

Read ratings and reviews to make sure you are on the right path.

vendor-icon vendor-icon
Multiple Stores

Check price from multiple stores for a better shopping experience.

gift-icon

Enjoy Result