The Complete List of Craig Johnson’s Walt Longmire Books in Order

A renowned New York Times bestselling author, Craig Johnson is the brain behind the Longmire mystery book series. The Marshall University alum is an American writer who is known for his mystery novels set in Wyoming. The first in the book series was published in 2004 and so far, more than a dozen more have been released in the series. One of his novels, Spirit of Steamboat was the debut One Book Wyoming selection upon its release and he has bagged some coveted awards as a writer.

Some of the accolades Craig Johnson has added to his collections include Nouvel Observateur Prix du Roman Noir, Western Writers of America Spur Award for fiction, the Prix SNCF du Polar, and Mountains and Plains Booksellers Award for fiction.

How Many Books Are In The Longmire Book Series?

Overall, Craig Johnson has authored 21 books in the Longmire book series, including short stories. Sheriff Walter ‘Walt’ Longmire, the Wyoming native sheriff of the fictional county of Absaroka, is the main character in the series.

Craig Johnson’s books are not just winning awards but have also grabbed attention in other countries. Thus, the books are now available in 14 languages spoken across the globe. It has also made it to the screen with the television version premiering on June 3, 2012, about six years after the first book in the series was published.

The Correct Order Of The Longmire Book Series

The first on the long list of the Longmire book series is The Cold Dish which hit the bookshelves in 2004, opening the stage for more masterpieces from the world-class author. It took Johnson about two years to release the next installment with others following in close range. However, there is no particular order in terms of the release date of the books but below are all of Craig Johnson’s books in the order of their release.

1. The Cold Dish (2004)
2. Death Without Company (2006)
3. Kindness Goes Unpunished (2007)
4. Another Man’s Moccasins (2008)
5. The Dark Horse (2009)
6. Junkyard Dogs (2010)
7. Hell Is Empty (2011)
7.5 Divorce Horse (2012)
8. As the Crow Flies (2012)
8.5 Christmas in Absaroka County (2012)
8.6 Messenger (2013)
9. A Serpent’s Tooth (2013)
9.5 The Spirit of Steamboat (2013)
10. Any Other Name (2014)
10.5 Wait for Signs (2014)
11. Dry Bones (2015)
11.5 The Highwayman (2016)
12. An Obvious Fact (2016)
13. The Western Star (2017)
14. Depth of Winter (2018)
15. Land of Wolves (2019)
16. Next to Last Stand (2020)
17. Daughter of the Morning Star (2021)

The Cold Dish

  • Original publishing date: 29 December 2004
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Genre: Mystery, Western Fiction, Suspense
  • Paperback volume: 356 pages

Craig Johnson's Walt Longmire Books
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The first in the Longmire mystery series, The Cold Dish is the book that introduced us to Wyoming Sheriff Walt Longmire. The Absaroka County sheriff was getting ready to retire without any hassle after 25 years of service but the appearance of Cody Pritchard’s dead body thwarts his plans, sending him back to the field.

Pritchard and three other high school boys were roped in a rape case involving a Cheyenne girl two years before he was found dead. This can only mean one thing, somebody is taking laws into their own hands to get revenge on the boys and Longmire must work with his team to ensure the three remaining boys don’t meet the same fate as Pritchard.

Death Without Company

  • Original publishing date: 2006
  • Publisher: Penguin Books
  • Genre: Mystery, Western fiction
  • Paperback volume: 280 pages

Craig Johnson's Walt Longmire Books
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In the second book in the Longmire Mystery Series, Sheriff Walt Longmire continues in his quest to fight crime. In Death Without Company, the sheriff finds himself in an investigation that stretches fifty years into the past when Mari Baroja is found poisoned at the Durant Home for Assisted Living.

The investigations unravel intricate details about her dramatic past in Basque, as well as the coal-bed methane industry. The personal life of the former sheriff, Lucian Conally, and the fact that Mari lived with an abusive husband form part of the stories surrounding the investigations. In addition to Longmire’s best friend Henry Standing Bear and his Deputy Victoria Moretti, a newcomer Santiago Saizarbitoria joins the team to solve the murder case.

Kindness Goes Unpunished

  • Original publishing date: 15 March 2007
  • Publisher: Penguin Books
  • Genre: Mystery, Fiction
  • Paperback volume: 288 pages

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On their trip to the City of Brotherly Love, Sheriff Walt Longmire and his longtime friend Henry Standing Bear are shocked to their wits when Longmires’s daughter Cady, whom they came to visit, was almost killed in a vicious attack at the Franklin Institute.

Swinging into action, Longmire and his team which includes Dog, his friend Henry, Deputy Victoria Moretti, and some Philadelphia police officers dish out justice in Western-style while revealing the political cover-up Cady was involved in.

Another Man’s Moccasins

  • Original publishing date: 29 May 2008
  • Publisher: Penguin Books
  • Genre: Mystery, Fiction
  • Paperback volume: 290 pages

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Longmire’s past is brought to the fore in this piece when a piece of evidence in a murder case is linked to an investigation the sheriff carried out as a Marine investigator in Vietnam forty years ago. The sleeping past had to be visited when a young Vietnamese woman was found dead in Absaroka County, along the interstate with Virgil White Buffalo as the only concrete suspect. A homeless Crow Indian, Virgil White Buffalo was found in possession of the dead woman’s purse but there’s more to the mystery as the Sheriff doesn’t think the homeless man with a troubled past is the culprit.

The Dark Horse

  • Original publishing date: 2009
  • Publisher: Penguin Books
  • Genre: Mystery, Western fiction
  • Paperback volume: 280 pages

Craig Johnson's Walt Longmire Books
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The fifth book in the Longmire series, The Drak Horse takes readers through the sparsely populated and rugged landscape of Wyoming as Longmire investigates the case of a woman who confessed to killing her husband. Determined to unravel the truth with total conviction that the confession was fabricated, Longmire went undercover as an insurance claims investigator to get the root of the matter.

Though the initial story was that Wade Barsad was shot six times in the head by his wife after locking her horses up and setting them on fire, Longmire discovered during his investigations that a lot of people in the town wanted Wade dead.

Junkyard Dogs

  • Original publishing date: 2010
  • Publisher: Penguin Books
  • Genre: Mystery, Western fiction
  • Paperback volume: 332 pages

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The sixth installment of the Longmire book series is both hilarious and suspenseful. The story is set in Durant, Wyoming, where someone’s severed thumb is discovered in a junkyard.

A series of events keep Sheriff Walt Longmire and his team on their toes as they work on achieving Western justice amid scintillating plot twists.

Hell Is Empty

  • Original publishing date: 2 June 2011
  • Publisher: Penguin Books
  • Genre: Mystery, Western fiction
  • Paperback volume: 280 pages

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In this 7th installment of the Longmire book series, Sheriff Walt Longmire is once again fighting with everything he has to ensure that justice is served but this time, things got a little bit personal. The sheriff escorts Raynaud Shade, one of the deadliest sociopaths in the country, to the Bighorn Mountains where he claims to have buried a boy he killed ten years ago. Things got personal when the identity of the boy was revealed as White Buffalo, the homeless Crow Indian.

Divorce Horse

  • Original publishing date: 16 April 2012
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Genre: Mystery, Western fiction, Police procedural, Crime Fiction
  • Paperback volume: 54 pages

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A Craig Johnson original story, Divorce Horse is a short ebook that focuses on the time Sheriff Walt Longmire spends with his daughter Cady as he recuperates from his encounter with death while hunting Reynaud Shade down in the Bighorn Mountains. Cady is also getting married in a few months and the groom is the brother of Longmire’s under-sheriff, Victoria Moretti.

While a few troubling moments emerged with Tommy Jefferson’s horse missing, this book is not full of danger like the preceding ones in the series. Rather, Divorce Horse is more about personal matters for Longmire and his daughter.

As The Crow Flies

  • Original publishing date: 15 May 2012
  • Publisher: Penguin Books
  • Genre: Mystery, Western fiction
  • Paperback volume: 280 pages

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As the Crow Flies features Sherrif Walt Longmire as he’s tricked into joining an investigation while on a quest to secure a wedding reception venue for his daughter. His old-time friend Henry Standing Bear and the sheriff himself are filling the position of wedding planners but with the original venue going up in flames just two weeks before the nuptials, they must find an alternative before the bride throws a tantrum. The novel is part of the basis for Longmire, the hit Netflix original series.

Christmas in Absaroka County

  • Original publishing date: 4 December 2012
  • Publisher: Penguin books
  • Genre: Mystery, Western fiction, Thriller, Suspense, Police procedural, Christmas Story, Holiday fiction
  • Paperback volume: 60 pages

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A Walt Longmire holiday adventure, Christmas in Absaroka County is a must-have for lovers of Craig Johnson’s books. The piece depicts a softer Sherrif Longmire as he deals with personal matters from the past like the death of his wife. The book is a collection of four stories — “Ministerial Aid,” “Slick-Tongued Devil,” “Toys for Tots,” and “Unbalanced” with the first chapter of Johnson’s first book The Cold Dish getting a mention.

An eventful Christmas Holiday sees Longmire reminded of his wife’s death when her obituary shows up while the Sherrif was trying to help everyone that needs it, even those who didn’t ask for help.

Messenger: A Walt Longmire Story

  • Original publishing date: 23 April 2013
  • Publisher: Penguin Books
  • Genre: Mystery, Western fiction, Police procedural, Crime Fiction
  • Paperback volume: 57 pages

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What seems to be an ordinary day with Sheriff Walt Longmire, his friend Henry Standing Bear, and his undersheriff Victoria Moretti coming back from their fishing trip soon turned into a big adventure with a little twist here and there. The trio is faced with an ethereal messenger as the short story unfolds.

A Serpent’s Tooth

  • Original publishing date: 4 June 2013
  • Publisher: Penguin Books
  • Genre: Mystery, Western fiction, Suspense, Police procedural
  • Paperback volume: 280 pages

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When a Mormon boy – Cord Lynear shows up in Absaroka County, seemingly lost, Sherrif Longmire and his team set out on a quest for the young lad’s mother. Instead, they end up in a scavenger hunt that leads to Cord’s father (Roy)’s interstate polygamy group, from where the boy was kicked out for alleged bad behavior. Longmire and his crew, comprising of his deputy Victoria and his friend Henry, got more than they bargained for while going after the heavily-armed and secretive group led by Roy Lynear.

Spirit of Steamboat

  • Original publishing date: 17 October 2013
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Genre: Mystery, Western fiction, Adventure fiction
  • Paperback volume: 176 pages

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Another Christmas story with Sheriff Walt Longmire, Spirit of Steamboat takes fans on a trip down memory lane to a fatal accident on Christmas Eve in 1988, Walt’s first year on the job, and a glimpse at World War II events. The story takes off with Longmire reading a Christmas Carol in his office when a memory from the past in the form of a young woman comes with claims but is reticent to reveal her identity.

Any Other Name

  • Original publishing date: 13 May 2014
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Genre: Mystery, Western fiction, Adventure fiction
  • Paperback volume: 368 pages

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Walt Longmire’s former boss, Lucian Connally needs his help to unravel the circumstances that may have caused his old friend Detective Gerald Holman to commit suicide. The investigation unravels big secrets and the fact that Holman had information about three missing women leads to some dangerous revelations that threatened several lives.

Wait For Signs: Twelve Longmire Stories

  • Original publishing date: 21 October 2014
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Genre: Mystery, Western fiction, Suspense
  • Paperback volume: 280 pages

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Wait For Signs is made up of 12 Longmire stories, collated over the years as Craig Johnson released independent short stories about Longmire’s life and adventures. The piece marks the first collection of Longmire short stories in a single volume and in addition to the existing stories he already published, Johnson added a new one – “Petunia, Bandit Queen of the Bighorns” to the collection.

Dry Bones

  • Original publishing date: 21 April 2015
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Genre: Mystery, Western fiction
  • Paperback volume: 352 pages

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The death of Cheyenne rancher Danny Lone Elk, following the discovery of the most complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton on his property, raises eyebrows as many groups, including Danny’s family, line up to claim the priceless collection. Longmire sets out to comb through the ranch, looking for any clue to reveal who might want Danny dead. With help from Lucian Connally, Omar Rhoades, Dog and, his long-time friend Henry Standing Bear, the sheriff investigates a sixty-six million-year-old cold case.

The Highwayman

  • Original publishing date: 17 May 2016
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Genre: Mystery, Western fiction, Suspense, Thriller
  • Paperback volume: 208

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This piece takes Longmire and his friend Henry Standing Bear across this world and the next when a long-dead officer starts calling in for assistance. Rosey Wayman is trying to settle in following a transfer to Wind River Canyon where radio communication is a problem but she started getting calls from Bobby Womack, a popular patrolman who died in the same canyon almost 50 years ago.

An Obvious Fact

  • Original publishing date: 13 September 2016
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Genre: Mystery, Western fiction
  • Paperback volume: 320 pages

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The story revolves around a hit-and-run accident at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally involving a young motorcyclist who is left in critical condition. As Sheriff Walt Longmire, his deputy Vic, and his good friend Henry Standing Bear step in to investigate, things start getting twisted, more than they ever bargained for.

The Western Star

  • Original publishing date: 5 September 2017
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Genre: Mystery, Western fiction
  • Paperback volume: 320 pages

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While celebrating a Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy milestone, Sheriff Walt Longmire is confronted with the past when a young officer shows him a picture of twenty-five armed men standing in front of a Challenger steam locomotive. The photo takes Longmire back to when he came back from the battlefields of Vietnam and accompanied his mentor Lucian at the annual Wyoming Sheriff’s Association junket.

Depth of Winter

  • Original publishing date: 4 September 2018
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Genre: Mystery, Western fiction, Thriller, Suspense
  • Paperback volume: 320 pages

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It doesn’t get more personal than when Longmire’s daughter is kidnapped by the leader of a vicious drug cartel in Mexico. The drug lord is apparently one of the enemies Longmire accrued in the line of duty but his only reason for kidnapping Cady is to sell her to the highest bidder among the sheriff’s enemies. Knowing his enemies are many and there would be buyers for his daughter, Longmire must do something quick but the challenge is that all agencies are too busy to help him. With his daughter up for sale and her life at stake, Sheriff Walt Longmire sets out on a rescue mission with no one to help him.

Land of Wolves

  • Original publishing date: 17 September 2019
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Genre: Mystery, Western fiction
  • Paperback volume: 336 pages

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Sheriff Walt Longmire is back to Absaroka County to recuperate from the harrowing experiences he lived through while on a mission to rescue his daughter in Mexico. However, his break is cut short when the possible murder of a shepherd is traced to the Basque Extepares family made up of ranchers with a history of violence. The investigation follows a long trail of evidence to reveal shocking facts.

Next to Last Stand

  • Original publishing date: 22 September 2020
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Genre: Mystery, Western fiction
  • Paperback volume: 320 pages

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Longmire takes up the investigation of a painting and a Florsheim shoebox filled with millions of dollars, he is taken on a trail of a deadly art heist. The story further revolves around Custer’s Last Fight, one of America’s most viewed paintings – supposedly destroyed in a fire that ravaged the 7th Cavalry Headquarters in Fort Bliss, Texas, in 1946.

Daughter of the Morning Star

  • Original publishing date: 21 September 2021 (expected)
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Genre: Mystery, Western fiction, Police procedural
  • Paperback volume: 336 pages

Craig Johnson's Walt Longmire Books
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In this last piece on the complete list of Craig Johnson’s Longmire book series, Tribal Chief Lolo Long calls for help as her niece Jaya faces death threats. As a member of the basketball team at the Lame Deer Lady Stars high School, Jaya is treading the same path as her missing older sister. As Longmire investigates the case, he faces the most dangerous villain he has ever dealt with.

Does The Longmire Series Follow The Books?

From the A&E network to Netflix, Longmire book series fans have had the pleasure of watching the live version of Sheriff Walt Longmire on the TV series, Longmire, which premiered on June 3, 2012. The TV series is based on the books by Craig Johnson with Robert Taylor depicting the lead role of Sheriff Walter Longmire. The Wyoming-native is supported by other characters portrayed by the likes of Katee Sackhoff, Lou Diamond Phillips, Bailey Chase, Adam Bartley, A Martinez, Zahn McClarnon, and John Bishop.

Filmed in Mexico, the TV show was first aired by A&E as the network’s number-one original series with an impressive viewership of 4.1 million. Following the cancelation of the show by A&E, Netflix picked it up from season four with the sixth season, which is the last, released in 2017. All episodes of the Longmire mystery series are available on Netflix. The shows span from June 3, 2012, to November 17, 2017.

Meanwhile, some discrepancies exist between the book and the televised version of the Longmire series. One of such anomalies is where the late wife of the sheriff was said to have died of cancer in the book while the TV series suggests she was murdered while suffering from the deadly disease.

Is Craig Johnson Still Writing Longmire Books?

With the last one published in September 2020, fans of the Walt Longmire series of novels are wondering if another one is in the pipeline, considering the consistency with which the author has released his books since 2004. At a point, he was releasing one book every year.

Going by the list above, Johnson’s novel, Next To Last Stand, which was released on September 22, 2020, will be succeeded by Daugther Of The Morning Star which is expected to hit the book stand on September 21, 2021, exactly one year after the last one. For now, Johnson doesn’t look like he is ready to drop the pen and he has not announced his retirement yet. So, until he makes it official that he’s retiring, we can only expect more books in the Longmire book series.

Onuoha Banks
Taking up the biggest challenges is Uloaku's strong suit and you don't want to challenge her on the entertainment arena. I'm goal-driven and when I'm not working, I might go for a hiking trip in the great outdoors.

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