Crime & Beyond Wiki

This month’s Crime & Beyond pick was a boy cozy (term coined by Amy, I can take no credit). As Amy pointed out, girl cozies have cats, boy cozies have falcons. And the falcons in question were in Stone Cold, the 14th Joe Pickett novel by C. J. Box. Joe Pickett is a favorite for us at Crime & Beyond. We’ve read C. J. Box before and he was well received. It doesn’t hurt that a few of us picture Joe as a sexy game warden. Still don't know who would play him in a movie, though.

In this latest installment, Wyoming game warden, Joe Pickett, is asked by the governor to go poke his nose in the goings on in a town located in a remote area of Wyoming. There have been reports of a very wealthy resident who has a private airstrip, several businesses, and is the benefactor for the entire town. Additional rumors lead the governor to believe that the man is making money by carrying out murders for hire.

Joe is sent to see what he can find out, while trying not to appear conspicuous (although he doesn’t quite pull this part off). The local game warden resents his presence, the townspeople won’t say one negative thing about their benefactor, and he learns that his old friend Nate Romanowski may have some connection to the mysterious man. The remote location of the town is made even more treacherous by the fact that Joe is there when a snow storm hits. He has to try to conduct his investigation as he deals with weather conditions that make things even more difficult.

Everyone really enjoyed the book and the ratings were mostly in the 7-9 range. We had a really good discussion about Joe’s and Nate’s different set of values. Janice thinks Nate lost his moral compass when his girlfriend was killed, and I tend to agree. Judy wished that the author would have explained more of the history between Nate and Joe. It’s hard to jump into book 14 and get an idea of why the characters are doing what they’re doing if you haven’t read 1-13. Dave explained a bit of their past for us, so that helped.

Some of the members liked the side story with Joe’s daughter in college. Others thought it took away from the main story. One member thought the beginning dragged and then picked up. Another thought it dragged at the end. We’d be a horrible test group for a poor author. They’d walk away not knowing where the heck to go.

Some of the only negative comments were that the book was a bit slow, a little redundant, and Kim just wanted Joe to go home. I mean, how many times should he have left that crazy town and gone home to his wife and kids? I do think that it’s worth noting that the “negative” comments I refer to were given by people who still rated the book between a 7 and 9. I guess even the slowest C. J. Box book is still a good book. I know Dave would agree.

Cindy brought bread pudding with ice cream. Yes, ice cream. The bread pudding was still hot and the ice cream (well, obviously cold) and it was delicious. Such a great fall snack.

In October we will read The Heist by Daniel Silva. If anyone needs a copy, I believe there’s a Playaway available. Ok fine, if you want a book, there is probably one of those too. I will lead and Lorraine will bring snacks.

It’s October, and you know what that means…….Costume Contest!!! Wear a costume and you could win a prize. The only costume we’ve banned is naked Nate in a tree. I think that one is sold out at Spirit of Halloween anyway. See you on the 26th.


P.S. The Christmas party will be held at my house on Thursday 12/17. Mark your calendars, more info to come.