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CRAIG JOHNSON. Spirit of Steamboat

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CRAIG JOHNSON. Spirit of Steamboat. Viking. Hardcover, 160 pages, $20, us.penguingroup.com.

While reading A Christmas Carol on Christmas Eve, Wyoming Sheriff Walt Longmire is paid a visit – though not by a few Dickensian ghosts. Before you know it, however, Walt’s flash-backing to Christmas 1988, when the only way to save a Japanese girl seriously injured in a car accident is to talk WWII vet Lucian Connally into flying a beat-up B-25 named Steamboat (after Wyoming’s legendary bucking horse) through a blizzard to Denver – with Walt and others tagging along.

Johnson packs a lot of action into this fun holiday novella. You don’t have to be a fan of the Longmire series to enjoy this one, and while there’s not really a mystery to solve, you won’t be saying, “Bah, humbug” at the end.