Didn't know there was a dinosaur museum in Durant, Wyoming. But it's highly regarded seeing as the area is one of the most fossil-rich locations on the planet. Museum director Dave Baumann and his subordinate Jennifer Watt are out on the prairie when a flat tire stalls the outing. Jennifer and her pet Mastiff wander off in search of shade under a rock ledge. The dog interrupts her nap, growling at something above her head . . . a two fingered talon. The dig is on and the Museum unearths one of the most significant archeological finds ever.
A nearly complete skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Tradition is that the new find is given the name of the finder.
At issue is ownership. Depending on various lines drawn on some map and a plethora on odd laws, its ultimate fate is up in the air. The publicity machine kicks in to keep the dinosaur local, "Save Jen" becomes the local cry.
One corner of the of property belongs to Danny Lone Elk who has deeded the property the skeleton was found to the Museum. Living with Danny are his son Randy, wife Eva, and high school age son Taylor. Uncle Enic is nearby. Danny is found face down in a pond further complicating the ownership issue. Mercury poising. Accident or murder?
As if Sheriff Walt Longmire didn't have enough on his plate, daughter Cady is headed home from Phillly for a visit with her 5-month old daughter Lola.
The local community has rallied around behind the "Save Jen" movement, but politics, the 'Acting' assistant US attorney, Robert and Bob the FBI twins, the museum, and the Lone Elk family dance around each other until it all comes down to a Sotheby auction to see us where "Jen" will reside.
#13 in the Longmire series (season 4 due Fall 2015 on Netflix) by Craig Johnson, resident of Ucross, WY population 25. What Johnson continues to deliver is the humanity of not only Longmire, but also of the myriad of supporting characters. The comfortable presentation is akin to sitting on a comfortable leather sofa listening to a favorite uncle regaling a long lost family story. The traits that make Longmire who he is are on display along with his considerable skill and luck at beating some challenge that nature throws at him all the time plus his ongoing visions.
Save Jen. Boy Howdy, Walt. You are the man.
Available May 12, 2015