In the second of the Walt Longmire series, he investigates a death by poison. We are again in the rugged landscape of Absaroka County, Wyoming, for 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. Aided by his friend Henry Standing Bear, Deputy Victoria Moretti, and newcomer Santiago Saizarbitoria, Sheriff Longmire must connect the specter of the past to the present to find the killer among them.
OK, that was the official blurb. Here’s the deal. Lucian, the former sheriff and Walt’s mentor, is now living in an Assisted Living Facilty. Walt visits the old guy every Tuesday evening to play chess, where Lucian beat his proverbial pants off. But one day, Walt is called to the facility for a suspicious death. Turns out the elderly woman was once married to Lucian…. for a few hours, before her brothers caught up with them and had the marriage annulled. She then was apparently forced to marry some nasty piece of work who made her life a misery until he died. OK, he didn’t just die, she killed him. Lucian helped cover up the crime, buried the body somewhere, and it was never found.
The woman outlives her four brothers and inherits a sizable chunk of land with its very lucrative methane production. She has three kids, who all want that money that they are sure they will be inheriting. And then, there is a granddaughter, new in town, opening a bakery. When it is found that the old woman was poisoned and didn’t just die of elderliness, the hunt is on for just who did the deed.
Lots of action ensues, Longmire sees visions in the snow, his BFF Henry, the Cheyenne, is on tap to make sure that his bud doesn’t go to that great tepee in the sky.
Sheriff Longmire acquires another deputy, and none too soon because they are shorthanded. The young man is Basque, a former corrections officer. Will he work out? Absaroka County is not exactly a bustling metropolis, and perhaps he will find it boring and not for him. And at the end of the book, yet another possibly temporary deputy comes on board, after having lost his job with the methane production company.
Another great book. On to the next!