So, apparently, Johnson writes Longmire books for the fun of it. Sometimes they are short stories which are released, say, around every Christmas time, to be later gathered into a compendium for those who either missed the individual stories, or want to have them all in one place. And sometimes, when he starts writing a short story, it just sorta gets away from him. Or so, this is what he said when explaining the existence of the Spirit of Steamboat, a half-sized, not mystery, Walt Longmire book.
I have to say, I rather liked this book because it wasn't a mystery. It was a Walt Longmire adventure, which is great in its own right. But better than that, this book had the elements of suspense that, in this case, I would argue, were stronger than in the mystery books. And suspense in a good sense, too, the OMG OMG OMG KEEP READING READ FASTER sort of way that I like, not the torturous "omg what the f--- is going on I can't read this any more" sort of discomfort way that causes me to skip to the end of the book sort of way that I hate.
I was amused when Johnson had Walt hear the drums in the rotors and remark on them, given that Walt was surprised to hear the drums in the first of the Longmire series. So, either he didn't hear any drums in the intervening 22 years, or all the crazy antics between this book and book one of the series caused amnesia in the man. Both are plausible, given how much physical abuse Longmire takes when doing The Right Thing™.