Skip to Content

Walt Longmire Books in Order: How to read Craig Johnson’s series?

Walt Longmire Books in Order: How to read Craig Johnson’s series?
Affiliate disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from Amazon.

The other day I wrote a guide for the Joe Pickett Series, the other Wyoming crime series. I thought at the time that I already covered Longmire, but no. Until now.

Who Walt Longmire is?

Sheriff Walter ‘Walt’ Longmire is the main character of a series of novels written by Craig Johnson.

At the beginning of the series, Walt is the well-respected Sheriff of Absaroka County and plans to run for reelection again the following year. He is a widower, his wife died from cancer; his daughter, Cady, who is an attorney in Philadelphia; and his closest friend is Henry Standing Bear.

Of course, his work is to catch killers in his County, and he is good at it.

Longmire has been adapted for television by the A&E network, then Netflix, starring Australian actor Robert Taylor.

Walt Longmire Books in Order:

Every book in the Longmire series works as a standalone story, but the lives of the different characters evolve from one novel to the other.

  1. The Cold Dish – After 25 years as sheriff of Absaroka County, Walt Longmire’s hopes of finishing out his tenure in peace are dashed when Cody Pritchard is found dead near the Northern Cheyenne Reservation. Two years earlier, Cody has been one of the high school boys given suspended sentences for raping a local Cheyenne girl. Somebody is seeking vengeance.
  2. Death Without Company – When Mari Baroja is found poisoned at the Durant Home for Assisted Living, Sheriff Longmire is drawn into an investigation that reaches fifty years into the mysterious woman’s dramatic Basque past.
  3. Kindness Goes Unpunished – Walt Longmire joins his friend Henry Standing Bear on a trip to the Philadelphia to see his daughter. He hasn’t even put his boots up when Cady is viciously attacked and left near death on the steps of the Franklin Institute.

  1. Another Man’s Moccasins – When the body of a young Vietnamese woman is discovered alongside the interstate in Wyoming’s Absaroka County, Sheriff Walt Longmire finds only one suspect, Virgil White Buffalo, a Crow with a troubling past.
  2. The Dark Horse – Wade Barsad, a man with a dubious past and a gift for making enemies, burned his wife Mary’s horses in their barn; in retribution, she shot him in the head six times, or so the story goes. But Sheriff Walt Longmire doesn’t believe Mary’s confession and is determined to dig deeper.
  3. Junkyard Dogs – It’s a volatile new economy in Durant when the owners of a multimillion-dollar development of ranchettes want to get rid of the adjacent Stewart junkyard. Meeting the notorious Stewart clan is an adventure unto itself, and conflict erupts.

 

  1. Hell is Empty – Raynaud Shade, an adopted Crow Indian rumored to be one of the country’s most dangerous sociopaths, has just confessed to murdering a boy ten years ago. Walt is asked to transport Shade through a blizzard to the site, but what begins as a typical criminal transport turns personal when the veteran lawman learns that he knows the dead boy’s family.
  2. Divorce Horse – eBook short story.
  3. As the Crow Flies – Cady is getting married in two weeks, and the wedding locale arrangements have just gone up in smoke signals. Fearing Cady’s wrath, Walt and his old friend Henry Standing Bear set out for the Cheyenne Reservation to find a new site for the nuptials. But their expedition ends in horror as they witness a young Crow woman plummeting from Painted Warrior’s majestic cliffs.
  4. Christmas in Absaroka County – Four Longmire Christmas eBook short stories.
  5. Messenger – eBook short story.
  6. A Serpent’s Tooth – It’s homecoming for the Durant Dogies when Cord Lynear, a Mormon ‘lost boy’ forced off his compound for rebellious behavior, shows up in Absaroka County. Without much guidance, divine or otherwise, Sheriff Walt Longmire, Vic Moretti, and Henry Standing Bear search for the boy’s mother and find themselves on a high-plains scavenger hunt that ends at the barbed-wire doorstep of an interstate polygamy group.

  1. Spirit of Steamboat – Sheriff Walt Longmire is in his office reading A Christmas Carol when he is interrupted by a ghost of Christmas past: a young woman with a hairline scar and more than a few questions about his predecessor, Lucian Connally. Walt’s on his own this Christmas Eve, so he agrees to help her.
  2. Any Other Name – Walt is sinking into high-plains winter discontent when his former boss, Lucian Conally, asks him to take on a mercy case in an adjacent county. Detective Gerald Holman is dead and Lucian wants to know what drove his old friend to take his own life.
  3. Wait for Signs – Twelve Longmire stories.
  4. Dry Bone – When Jen, the largest, most complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton ever found surfaces in Sheriff Walt Longmire’s jurisdiction, it appears to be a windfall for the High Plains Dinosaur Museum – until Danny Lone Elk, the Cheyenne rancher on whose property the remains were discovered, turns up dead, floating face down in a turtle pond.
The Longmire Mystery Series Boxed Set Volumes 1-12

The Longmire Mystery Series Boxed Set Volumes 1-12


  1. The Highwayman – When Wyoming highway patrolman Rosey Wayman is transferred to the beautiful and imposing landscape of the Wind River Canyon, an area the troopers refer to as no-man’s-land because of the lack of radio communication, she starts receiving ‘officer needs assistance’ calls. The problem? They’re coming from Bobby Womack, a legendary Arapaho patrolman who met a fiery death in the canyon almost a half-century ago
  2. An Obvious Fact – In the midst of the largest motorcycle rally in the world, a young biker is run off the road and ends up in critical condition. When Sheriff Walt Longmire and his good friend Henry Standing Bear are called to Hulett, Wyoming – the nearest town to America’s first national monument, Devils Tower – to investigate, things start getting complicated.
  3. The Western Star – Sheriff Walt Longmire is enjoying a celebratory beer after a weapons certification at the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy when a younger sheriff confronts him with a photograph of twenty-five armed men standing in front of a Challenger steam locomotive. It takes him back to when, fresh from the battlefields of Vietnam, then-deputy Walt accompanied his mentor Lucian to the annual Wyoming Sheriff’s Association junket held on the excursion train known as the Western Star, which ran the length of Wyoming from Cheyenne to Evanston and back.

  1. Depth of Winter – An international hit man and the head of one of the most vicious drug cartels in Mexico has kidnapped Walt’s beloved daughter, Cady, to auction her off to his worst enemies, of which there are many. The American government is of limited help and the Mexican one even less. Walt heads into the one-hundred-and-ten-degree heat of the Northern Mexican desert alone, one man against an army.
  2. Land of Wolves – Attempting to recover from his harrowing experiences in Mexico, in Land of Wolves Wyoming Sheriff Walt Longmire is neck deep in the investigation of what could or could not be the suicidal hanging of a shepherd. With unsettling connections to a Basque family with a reputation for removing the legs of Absaroka County sheriffs, matters become even more complicated with the appearance of an oversize wolf in the Big Horn Mountains to which Walt finds himself feeling more and more empathetic.
  3. Next To Last Stand – One of the most viewed paintings in American history, Custer’s Last Fight, copied and distributed by Anheuser-Busch at a rate of over two million copies a year, was destroyed in a fire at the 7th Cavalry Headquarters in Fort Bliss, Texas, in 1946. Or was it? When Charley Lee Stillwater dies of an apparent heart attack at the Wyoming Home for Soldiers & Sailors, Walt Longmire is called in to try and make sense of a piece of a painting and a Florsheim shoebox containing a million dollars, sending the good sheriff on the trail of a dangerous art heist.

  1. Daughter of the Morning Star – When Lolo Long’s niece Jaya begins receiving death threats, Tribal Police Chief Long calls on Absaroka County Sheriff Walt Longmire along with Henry Standing Bear as lethal backup. Jaya “Longshot” Long is the phenom of the Lame Deer Lady Stars High School basketball team and is following in the steps of her older sister, who disappeared a year previously, a victim of the scourge of missing Native Woman in Indian Country. Lolo hopes that having Longmire involved might draw some public attention to the girl’s plight, but with this maneuver, she also inadvertently places the good sheriff in a one-on-one with the deadliest adversary he has ever faced in both this world and the next.
  2. Hell and Back – What if you woke up lying in the middle of the street in the infamous town of Fort Pratt, Montana, where thirty young Native boys perished in a tragic 1896 boarding-school fire? What if every person you encountered in that endless night was dead? What if you were covered in blood and missing a bullet from the gun holstered on your hip? What if there was something out there in the yellowed skies, along with the deceased and the smell of ash and dust, something the Northern Cheyenne refer to as the Éveohtsé-heómėse, the Wandering Without, the Taker of Souls?

 

If you like our article about the Longmire series in order, don’t forget to bookmark it!

Lee Hough

Thursday 3rd of June 2021

It helps to read them in order as there are subplots that develop and references as the series progresses. Stand alone - you will miss alot of background.

IMO - the TV series only skirts many of the book plots. So much is left out. So much is added for TV. Characters and relationship in the books are much more developed - especially Walt and Henry. Henry in the show has nowhere the strength and character as he does in the books. Until I read the books, the relationship between Henry and Walt seemed so ambivalent. While I love Lou Diamond Phillips - he never seems "big" enough for this role - reading the books enforced that. A young Grame Green could have been a good Henry - even the actor who plays Mathias could have visually fit the roll more to the book's Henry - except for size. And the book's Omar is often involved and basically a "good guy"....

I would love to see the mysticism that Walt experiences starting in Hell is Empty explored further.....and Dry Bones really needed to have a dedicated episode or two!

Overall - you have to approach the TV series as almost unrelated to the books, or as an extension to them as very little plot is actually shared. BUT!!!! I love them both!

Brandy Martine

Tuesday 14th of January 2020

Love YELLOWSTONE and since it is off season someone suggested watching LONGMIRE and I was NOT disappointed. With the resurgence of fans for western dramas this is one that NETFLEX should continue running with as it was a great series and has so much more life in it ! ! !

Henry Mossberg

Saturday 31st of August 2019

Have been working my way thru the Longmire books, as they were written.

Just inserted the short stories of Wait For Signs, after Serpents Tooth. Loved it.

Am ordering next 3 books today for myself and a son who is pacing me, from afar.

So glad to have found CJohnson. Don’t read as much fiction as US History, but greatly enjoyed TClancy, RParker, and THillerman and found a large void appeared as each writer passed.

That being said - I’m not a big fan of tv/show remakes of book series. They NEVER live up to my minds eye of the stories. Read the books first is my recommendation. Justified, Deadwood, and Yellowstone stand out to me because there is no writings to contrast them with. The Longmire TV series always had me shaking my head. I like LDP’s work, but as The Cheyenne Nation? Ugh.

Selfishly, I wish a long and healthy life to Craig Johnson, Walt, and Henry-keep up your outstanding work.

Paul J Kraynak

Thursday 18th of July 2019

I wrote a previous comment on June 28th and would like to add further. I've now watched the first 3 seasons of Longmire. I have listened to 12 of the audiobooks so far. Here's my updated opinion. Other than the title of the series on tv and the name of the main character in Craig Johnson's story series, there is little in common. The tv series is fairly good and interesting, but not one character even comes close, with the exception of Robert Taylor as the Sheriff, to the storybook characters. Lou Diamond Phillips as Henry Standing Bear is a farce. Henry and deputy Vic Moretti's relationship with Longmire is vital to the whole undertone that I believe makes the storybook so enjoyable. I'm surprised Craig Johnson would give his stamp of approval. I realize the tv segments are only about an hour long hence none of the book plots can be developed. But the characters could be developed much, much better. Thinking the tv series represents anything close to the real story board is a disservice to the Longmire reading series.

Flora

Thursday 4th of July 2019

My daughter and her fiance added me to their Netflix plan and during a recent visit she set about 'building' me a selection of movies or TV shows we thought I might like. I picked the Longmire series, just by the teaser about what the show was about. Modern day Mr. Dillion and all that. After watching a couple episodes we fell in love with the snappy dialog and were hooked. We ended up watching episode after episode for about 4 nights. She even called her fiance and insisted he get on Netflix and catch up with us so she could continue watching when she got home. I think I saw the finale before they did, but I've been re-watching the shows again, starting at Season 1 episode 1. I guess I'm like the rest of the Longmire fans. I can't get enough. In my mind, I've already got Cady elected to her new job, Vic as lead deputy at the office and Walt head of security at the Four Arrows Casino. Seemed like natural transitions to me. I'm hopeful the tribe will benefit from having a new manager at the casino and might actually realize a steady income to improve their lives. Still left hanging as far as the estate of the Connallys, Any other family out there? You might have noticed a 'supposed wife' getting into the Barlow's limousine at the funeral. In prior shows Barlow mentioned he'd tried marriage and it wasn't for him...but then it was a little confusing, especially when he mentioned having time to have another son. Hopefully not giving too much away as a spoiler alert. I read through a list of books by this author and noticed several story lines we haven't seen in the series and was wondering if there will be more in the future.