I just finished Craig Johnson's The Dark Horse (Viking, June), and remembered the first time I encountered his protagonist, Walt Longmire. It was in The Cold Dish, and I've been a goner ever since. Is it the uproarious and frequently outrageous humor that keeps readers glued to the page? Is it the character of Walt himself, that rueful, shrewd, often conflicted sheriff of Wyoming's Absaroka County? Walt's a loving man and a devoted father. Then there's Walt's friend, Henry Standing Bear, aka “The Cheyenne Nation,” a remarkably stalwart backup, and the new recruit, Dog (literally a big beast). And encountered in this novel, a remarkable and missing horse called Wahoo Sue, whose spirit breathes life into Mary Barsad, charged with murdering her husband. Walt has gone undercover to see what's about to blow Powder River country sky high if Mary and the lid on the crime aren't kept locked down in Walt's jail.