Synopsis of Next to Last Stand
In 1946, Custer’s Last Fight, one of the most famous paintings in American history, was lost in a fire at the 7th Cavalry Headquarters in Fort Bliss, Texas. Anheuser-Busch had been copying and distributing it at a rate of more than two million copies per year.
Walt Longmire is sent on the trail of a deadly art heist after Charley Lee Stillwater, a resident of the Wyoming Home for Soldiers & Sailors, dies of an apparent heart attack and leaves behind a painting fragment and a Florsheim shoebox holding a million dollars.
Book Review of Next to Last Stand
Sheriff Walt Longmire is long-time friends with Charlie Lee Stillwater, the “last of the Buffalo hunters,” and often stops to visit with him and the other elderly veterans who line up in front of the Wyoming Home for Soldiers and Sailors. Administrator Carol Williams had recently requested his presence to conduct an investigation.
Even if Charlie died of a heart attack, the fact that he left behind some very old paintings and a large sum of cash in bundles inside a Florsheim shoebox raises more questions than it answers. How did a low-income vet end up with a million dollars?
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This, Johnson’s sixteenth novel featuring Absaroka County, Wyoming Sheriff Walt Longmire, is titled NEXT TO LAST STAND. The books in this series served as the basis for the popular Robert Taylor–starring Netflix series Longmire. Next to Last Stand has all the makings of a smash hit television series.
New York Times bestselling and award-winning author Craig Johnson has really hit this latest novel right out of the big skies of Wyoming with scenes that are incredibly vivid: complete with a missing painting of Custer’s Last Fight, western gala attire, strange deaths, and a cavalcade of aging vets as they ride to lunch or to the rescue in their motorized wheelchairs each streaming a tiny military-related flag.
One of Johnson’s strengths as a writer is the way he creates distinct and believable people, many of whom make hilarious observations in the midst of perilous circumstances. Do not miss Longmire’s “training” on the inner workings of the Sheriff’s office!
Longmire is a fantastic protagonist, and I enjoy reading about him and his clever approaches to solving murders in the earlier volumes. Since becoming sheriff, Walt has become more easily distracted than before. Before Ruby surprises him with her news, he is even debating with himself whether or not to run for the job again.
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Walt’s good friend Henry Standing Bear (called Cheyenne Nation) is also amazing with his stoic views on life and his way of passing on the wisdom of his elders and culture. Despite her incessant swearing, Walt’s gorgeous and tough as nails undersheriff Victoria (Vic) Monetti has a few insightful observations and is a handy with the banter.
The latest installment of Longmire features a stellar ensemble of characters that is guaranteed to provide plenty of entertainment and suspense for viewers.
While each of Johnson’s Longmire mysteries may be read as standalone mysteries, readers new to the Longmire series will find NEXT TO LAST STAND a much richer story if they read a few of the earlier books first to get to know some of the amazing characters and how they grow over time.
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