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Dry Bones: A Longmire Mystery    by Craig Johnson order for
Dry Bones
by Craig Johnson
Order:  USA  Can
Viking, 2015 (2015)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

In Dry Bones, the latest Longmire mystery, the lawman shares the limelight with a newly discovered Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton, named Jen. Looks like the remains, found on the property of elderly Cheyenne rancher Danny Lone Elk, are headed for the High Plains Dinosaur Museum, but then - as often happens in a Longmire novel - the plot thickens fast.

The mystery opens on the discovery of a body, floating in a snapping turtle pond - could it be Danny's? Paleontologist Dave Baumann had paid thirty-seven thousand dollars for Jen's remains, possibly 'the largest and most complete ever found', and Danny's family is questioning the deal.

Not only that but the feds are in on the act, as is acting district attorney Skip Trost, who plans 'to make a name for himself with the American people by instituting an investigation into nationwide fossil collection and even going so far as initiating a sting to expose illegal collections and sales of state property.' Native American involvement only makes it more newsworthy. Sadly, the man has more ambition than sense.

While dealing with all this, Longmire awaits the arrival of his daughter Cady (married to undersheriff Victoria Moretti's brother Michael) and new granddaughter Lola - his friends and colleagues are helping to equip him for the visit. And Longmire, who is having mystical experiences - 'hearing things, people that aren't there' - worries that he's losing his mind. Vic and the Cheyenne Nation reassure him.

As expected, Longmire solves the puzzle of Danny Lone Elk's death, but this investigation - and the political circus surrounding it - is overshadowed by a personal tragedy, whose resolution is bound to reach deeply into future episodes. I'm looking forward to them!

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