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David Mapstone Mystery Books In Order

Publication Order of David Mapstone Mystery Books

Concrete Desert (2001) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Camelback Falls (2003) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Dry Heat (2004) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Arizona Dreams (2006) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Cactus Heart (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
South Phoenix Rules (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Night Detectives (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
High Country Nocturne (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Bomb Shelter (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

The David Mapstone series are a series of crime mystery thrillers by bestselling American mystery writer Jon Talton. The first novel in the David Mapstone series of novels was “Concrete Desert”, Talton’s debut novel that was first published in 2001. After the major success of the first novel in the series, the author went on to publish several more titles in the series that were just as successful as the first. Given Jon’s background working as an ambulance medic in Phoenix, Arizona and as a journalist for several newspapers such as Rocky Mountain News, Charlotte Observer, and Arizona Republic, the author is best placed to write the detective mystery series of the David Mapstone mysteries. Using his expertise gained pounding the streets of Phoenix; he transfers the realities of detective work into one of the most enthralling of detective crime mysteries. A Phoenix, Arizona native, Jon Talton paints a vivid picture of the city incorporating with its energy filled downtown, extensive commuter train and rail transit system, and corporate headquarters that made it one the United States biggest cities,. He contrasts this with big city corruption and a history of crime, which continues to afflict the city to the modern day in the David Mapstone series. Mapstone the detective and former historian is the lead character in the series and seemingly its last hope in tackling the runaway crime and corruption the city, and to bring back repute to a city in decay.

David Mapstone, the lead character in the series is a history professor turned sheriff’s deputy. He takes up the deputy sheriff’s job after his college denies him tenure, forcing him to go back to his hometown, where his old friend believes he can be useful to law enforcement. Being a historian makes Mapstone uniquely qualified for the job as he brings in a novel approach to the investigation of crime in the district. Over the course of the series, he graduates from cold case investigator to one of the best detectives in the region, running his own team solving decades old crimes and some new ones. David makes his first appearance in the first novel in the series as a consultant for the Maricopa County Sheriff’s office, investigating a series of four-decade-old murders. He has to do that while dealing with the resurfacing of an old lover whose missing sister has something to do with one of his major cases. He soon graduates to acting sheriff when his old friend that had introduced him to law enforcement, Mike Peralta is shot just after coming from his swearing in ceremony. With his colleague turned girlfriend computer expert Lindsey he is soon deep in the search for the man that killed his former partner and framed him for a series of financial misappropriations. Over the following novels, he becomes more ingrained as sheriff facing off politicians, serial killers, jealous rivals, and the FBI, in narratives full of mystery and intrigue.

The David Mapstone Mystery series are smart noir tales with explosive action full of office politicking, kidnappings, and right wing conspiracy theories among others. Set in Phoenix, the novels commingle the present and the past mysteries in the later mysteries to create a complex layer of intrigue. The lead character David and his supporting cast are complex and lean characters with an empathetic touch that is quite the welcome change from the usual crotchety detective in many detective mystery novels. They are a suspense and clever set of narratives and even though they tend to be a bit formulaic, the author has a good grasp of what makes a good mystery and fully exploits the angles to make for some thrilling plot lines. Even as each novel is as engaging as the ones that came before it, all the novels will keep the reader guessing on just who the villain in the mystery could be. Talton writes his David Mapstone series in the first person as opposed to how many genre writers tend to write. However, even as writing in the first person only gives the lead protagonist’s perspective and makes it almost impossible to show action, the author manages to pull it off quite spectacularly. By moving the protagonist around and adding some minor characters with different perspectives, Mapstone follows the action and is on top of most happenings in the series.

“Concrete Desert” is the first novel in the David Mapstone Mystery series of novels that sees the lead protagonist thrust into a city full of betrayal, corruption, and murder underneath the gleam of dramatic sunsets and leafy resorts. Mapstone just lost his job as a history professor and is back in Phoenix, Arizona where he gets offered a job as the sheriff’s deputy. The city has dramatically changed and is now a haven for West Coast sophisticates and wealthy retirees. Given his expertise on the area’s history, the sheriff who is an old friend of his believes he is uniquely qualified to assist in solving a series of cold cases. A few days after accepting the job, his college sweetheart appears on the scene dumping a new case onto his lap – her sister has gone missing and she needs his help in trying to find her. He resolves the mystery of the missing woman first by finding the body out in the desert, only to make a grisly discovery of the past. His investigation of the murder is related to the current four-decade-old case he is investigating for his boss Mike Peralta. The novel is a highly unusual mystery with an intriguing mystery that just goes on to show the changing face of America.

“Camelback Falls” is the explosive sequel to the first novel in the David Mapstone Mystery series of novels that sees Mapstone become the new sheriff in town. A sniper has just shot Mike Peralta, his mentor and friend and it is now up to David to take the reins, lead the investigations into the shooting, and while at it lead the force. Even as he does not feel that he has the necessary qualifications, the powers that be believe that since he is the least controversial person, he is best suited to take over from the comatose Peralta. It will not be so easy for him to take up the position or to execute his duties as he faces opposition from the other officers who believe they are better qualified to take up the position. It soon comes to light that Mike had received a hastily written cryptic letter just before he was shot. The note forces Mapstone to confront his own personal history and come to the realization that in the mean streets of Phoenix, the past may have deadly consequences.

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