Thursday, April 26, 2012
Divorce Horse by Craig Johnson
Author: Craig Johnson
Publisher: Viking, 2012
eBook, 48 pages
Genre: Short Story, Police Procedural, part of the Sheriff Walt Longmire oeuvre
Source: Net Galley
First Line: It was Memorial Day weekend, and I was having dinner with my best friend, Henry Standing Bear, and my daughter Cady at the Busy Bee Café.
Absaroka County Sheriff Walt Longmire is still recuperating from what happened to him in Hell Is Empty. His daughter Cady's wedding is only a few months away, and she's in town to spend some quality time with her dad.
But it always seems that Walt's not allowed to just sit and relax. The American Indian Days Parade and Pow Wow are in full swing. Walt gets word that the notorious "divorce horse" is missing, and Tommy Jefferson wants the horse back. Now.
Tommy Jefferson is a renowned Indian Relay Racer and the missing horse is the pride and joy of his stables. With the help of Henry Standing Bear and Cady, Walt sets off to the races to find the missing horse.
As author Craig Johnson explains, this short story is the "connective tissue" between his last book, Hell Is Empty and As the Crow Flies, which will be available May 15 (and reviewed here at Kittling: Books). "Divorce Horse" is light, fun, filled with Johnson's marvelous sense of humor-- and the scenes depicting an Indian Relay Race are marvelous. As a short story, I recommend it.
However, there's something else that I don't recommend about this short story. Of the 48 pages that are only available as an eBook, 27 are the story itself, and the remaining 21 are notes, acknowledgements, and a sneak peek at the first chapter of As the Crow Flies. I'm lucky; I got a copy of "Divorce Horse" through Net Galley, but if I were to go elsewhere to obtain one, it costs $3.99. Would I pay $3.99 for "Divorce Horse"? I am a diehard Craig Johnson fan; I've been raving about his books since I picked up the very first one he wrote... but I'd have to say no. I would not pay $4 for a 27-page short story. A lot of people are going to miss out on a delightful tale due to its high price, and that's a shame.