Book Review: Craig Johnson’s Wait For Signs

Posted January 6, 2015 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Craig Johnson’s Wait For Signs

Wait For Signs


Craig Johnson

It is part of the Walt Longmire series and is a mystery that was published by Viking Adult on October 21, 2014 and has 183 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include The Cold Dish, Death Without Company, Kindness Goes Unpunished, Another Man's Moccasins, Christmas in Absaroka County, Dark Horse, Junkyard Dogs, Hell is Empty, As the Crow Flies, Spirit of Steamboat, A Serpent's Tooth, Any Other Name, Dry Bones, The Highwayman, "Eleven/Twenty-Nine", An Obvious Fact

An omnibus of 12 short stories with a theme of signs and revolving around Walt Longmire and the people he loves. While technically a mystery series set in Wyoming, this group of short stories is not all mysteries.

Be aware that four of these stories are also in Christmas in Absaroka County — this omnibus is the better deal as it includes those and 8 more! For a look at how they fit into the series, there is a chronological listing of the Walt Longmire books on my website.

The Stories

Old Indian Trick” will crack you up at the end! Lonnie Little Bird gets his own back, in a very quiet way, on the jerk of a young deputy when he steers Walt and the Big Horn County sheriff to the robber, via a pretty obvious “sign”.

Ministerial Aid” finds Walt as Jesus Christ on the New Year. It’s a sign for Esther that helps her take heart, and it’s a riff on the aid ministers provide people in trouble, only this time it’s Walt putting the “fear of God” in a wife-beater. You will LYAO as you realize the misapprehension this poor lady is enjoying.

It can also be found in Christmas in Absaroka County.

Slick-Tongued Devil” confuses the heck out of me. It’s an obvious scam, and yet Walt lets that Bible salesman get away with it. Penance? Guilt? Sucking up to Martha to make up for that argument that afternoon?

It can also be found in Christmas in Absaroka County.

Fire Bird” is a cute title for a nasty habit. I do hate self-righteous people and their judgements, and this one is a whopper! Walt is a much more tolerant man than I. Er, I should say “person”.

Unbalanced” is a late-night and snowy ride with an unbalanced hitchhiker who loves her music and her DJ dad who taught her everything she knows about audio engineering as Walt heads to Billings to pick up his daughter for Christmas.

An unexpected ridealong with an unexpected expertise, a good Samaritan act that could go wrong. It can also be found in Christmas in Absaroka County.

Several Stations” is cute, although I’m not sure what the title refers to. The real story is that one line Walt was supposed to say and flubbed. It’s another night in the life of a cop when the Trices pull up, and Walt reckons if he repeats that line enough, well… Just read those last two lines for a good laugh.

High Holidays” would be just that if Walt hadn’t looked at that calendar or had that Jewish girlfriend in college. Hooey. It’s rather fun to watch Walt in action and says something for having a well-rounded education.

Toys For Tots” finds Cady home from Philadelphia for Christmas. Her last Christmas home, most like, and Walt is feeling pretty miserable. At least until he makes one Navy chaplain’s Christmas a heck of a lot better. Cady ain’t no slouch either… Sure perks Walt’s Christmas spirit up!

Sad and cute at the same time, a reflection of the real world. It can also be found in Christmas in Absaroka County.

Divorce Horse” is a chance at redemption and getting his horse stolen is a sign that Tommy has a second chance. Cute story that shows the value of knowing your neighbors.

Thankstaking” confused me at first with its title. I thought it separated into “Thank” and “staking” — too many paranormal romances, I guess. Well, duh, it’s “Thanks” + “taking” which is what upsets Henry. Nothing like my being a bit dim. It’s how Henry feels about what the white man did to the Indians all those centuries ago. I don’t blame him on the anger, and it has made this holiday a grim reminder rather than a joyful giving of thanks. Until this incident improves Henry’s mood.

Messenger” gets too exciting two many times when a hungry, curious bear keeps showing up at that outhouse where she’d treed Chuck Coon and a female tourist. Dang, that bear is well-fed today between the popcorn and all that fresh fish. I don’t see where she needs a bite of Walt or the Cheyenne Nation.

Petunia, Bandit Queen of the Bighorns” finds us meeting up with Chuck Coon again as they try to talk to José Vargas about Petunia, a rogue sheep with a death sentence hanging over her. I reckon Sancho is right, that she could help with his new puppy problem.

The Cover and Title

The cover is a woodcut style with a shady moon highlighting the brown owl perched in the juncture of a teepee’s framework. It’s nighttime, hence the moon, *grin*, in the starry sky. It’s a muted gold band across the top that promotes the Longmire series on A&E as well as the author’s name, info, and that there are 12 stories here. The white is the title which is balanced by the moon.

The title is the theme as Walt and various characters Wait For Signs.