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Christmas in Absaroka County    by Craig Johnson order for
Christmas in Absaroka County
by Craig Johnson
Order:  USA  Can
Penguin, 2012 (2012)
* * *   Reviewed by Wanda Plourde

This 'Original eSpecial Story Collection' featuring Walt Longmire (sheriff of Absaroka County, Wyoming) includes Ministerial Aid, Slick-Tongued Devil, Toys for Tots and Unbalanced.

In Ministerial Aid, Walt is delivering a paycheck and a possible lesson to someone. While in the office he receives a phone call to help a ministerial aid. So Walt finds himself sitting in a car with a very delusional elderly woman who has clearly been abused and he needs to make this right.

In Slick-Tongued Devil, Walt was reading a paper when he noticed an obituary of his departed wife Martha. At home having a beer, he looked out the window to notice yet another sign of his departed Martha. Only to have another occurrence, when a stranger appears at his door with a package for his wife.

In the last two stories (Toys for Tots and Unbalanced), Walt picks up a young girl hitchhiking. Walt has the girl tell him about herself and ends up taking her to do last minute Christmas shopping. In the store is a bin that says Toys for Tots with a man standing by it. Walt realizes that something is not quite right. He ends up talking to him and possibly saves this young marine chaplain's life.

I totally enjoyed these four short stories. They portray a softer side to Walt Longmire, who has had a tough life, yet it shows that he still cares. They were very well written - I almost felt like someone was telling me the story instead of my reading it - a great feeling especially around the holidays.

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