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Jon Talton 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

Publication Order of Cincinnati Casebook Books

The Pain Nurse (2009) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Powers of Arrest (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Deadline Man (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

A Brief History of Phoenix (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Jon Talton is an American mystery author and journalist best known for the David Mapstone Mysteries series of novels. A Phoenix Arizona native, Talon attended the Kenilworth School, proceeded to Coronado High School, before graduating from Miami University and Arizona State University. His eleven titles include the thriller “Deadline Man”, the “Cincinnati Casebooks series, and the David Mapstone mysteries. He is also the author of the popular “A Brief History of Phoenix” a non-fiction work. Jon made his debut in fiction publishing with his novel “Concrete Desert” first published in 2001 to critical acclaim and widespread popularity. The Washington Post described it as one of the most rewarding and intelligent of contemporary mysteries. Publishers Weekly wrote that the series and its lead protagonist was a relief from the many bland private investigators that were all brawn and no brain, making it one of the most noir of narratives in modern mystery writing. Before he got into journalism, Talton was an ambulance paramedic operating in the Phoenix suburbs. He was also a professor of theater at the Southeastern Oklahoma State University. He is a fourth generation Arizona native currently residing in Seattle.

Jon is a veteran blogger and journalist that has covered business and finance for more than 25 years. He has been particularly vocal about issues of public policy, economics, real estate, energy, and urban economies. He has been an editor and columnist for several reputable newspapers and magazines including the Rocky Mountain News, Charlotte Observer, Arizona Republic, Cincinnati Enquirer, and Dayton Daily News. He is also a regular contributor on CNBC. At Dayton, he was a leading member of the team that made the finals for the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for their work in making the United States’s first computer aided report on worker safety conditions. Working for the Charlotte Observer, he earned the honor of being named one of the US’s best business writers by the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. Some of the most prominent news stories that he covered included the Great Recession, America’s downtown renaissance, the big bank mergers of the 90s, the American auto industry, the troubles at General Motors, the 1980s collapse of energy prices, and the Texaco Pennzoil trial. As a university professor, he was honored with a community fellowship at the Arizona State University Morrison Institute, and was awarded the Knight Western Fellow Award in Journalism by the University of Southern California. He is currently a novelist, publisher of the blog Rogue Columnist, and economics columnist for the Seattle Times.

The David Mapstone Mysteries follow the lead protagonist that is a former history professor turned consultant for the sheriff’s office and later into a sheriff. When we are first introduced to David he has just been plunged headlong into a city full of murder, and corruption that lurk beyond the beautiful glow of dramatic sunsets and fantastic resorts. Even as Phoenix, Arizona is his hometown, he returns to find the city has completely morphed, becoming a seasonal retreat for the wealthy sophisticates from the West Coast and a haven for wealthy retirees. He reluctantly accepts a job from Mike Peralta an old friend and now Marico County Deputy Chief. Given his interest and knowledge of the history of the city, His brief is to look into cold cases that have been dormant in the department’s office for ages, and try to close some. Over the course of the novels, he moves from being just a consultant on the department, to sheriff when his friend Mike Peralta is killed in a case linked to corruption in the police force. In the meantime, Mapstone also has to deal with an old flame that had left him two decades ago for a wealthy lover and now wants him back. Things are even more complicated given that David is in an on and off relationship with a police computer expert that becomes something of a bodyguard and sidekick as the narratives progress. With all the echoes from the past and the clash of cultures brought about by the influx of wealthy new immigrants, David needs to solve a range of murder mysteries alongside the gang violence, drugs, tainted wealth, and corruption in the force and maintain a modicum of sanity.

“Concrete Desert” is the thrilling introduction to the David Mapstone Mystery series of novels by Jon Talton. David the lead protagonist has just left life in academia and is back home divorced and looking for a new job. Mike Peralta his old friend offers him a consultant job cum deputy to the sheriff at the county department. Peralta believes his vast knowledge of Phoenix, coupled with his legendary out of the box thinking could be the key to cracking several cold cases. David is soon in the thick of it and three days after taking the job, he cracks a fifteen-year-old case that boosts the reputation of the department. His next case is not as easy, as it is a decades old case of a woman’s mysterious disappearance and death on the way home from the train station in 1959. The young woman named Rebecca Stokes was the first cousin to the leading contender for governor and the niece of the outgoing governor. Mapstone believes the case could have been the work of a serial killer. In the meantime, Julie Riding his former flame arrives at his house, and true to form, she needs something from him. Her sister Phaedra has disappeared in eerily similar circumstances to those of the Rebecca cold case he is working on. Believing the two murders are linked he begins his investigations and soon finds himself playing a dangerous cat and mouse game with a vicious killer with unknown intentions.

“Camelback Falls” is the exciting sequel to the first novel in the David Mapstone mysteries “Concrete Desert”. When a sniper shoots the newly sworn in Sheriff Mike Peralta, David cannot help but try to find out just who is involved. While he is for the most part a history buff with little experience in law enforcement or running a police department, he is appointed acting Sherriff. For the powers that be, he is the only logical choice for the position given that his temporary appointment is the only one that will likely not infuriate any of the other leading contenders for the post. Meanwhile, Mapstone is forced to deal with his own personal history as a cryptic note by his comatose friend just before he was shot, tells of a terrifying possibility. His appointment to the post of Sheriff comes with deadly danger, and if he is not careful, he may not make it out alive. It is not long before David and Lindsey his girlfriend are running for their lives alongside a colleague embroiled in the struggle for power. David now urgently needs to find out the meaning of the scribble “Camelback” and the identity of the “River Boys”, if he is to save the reputation of his department, and most importantly his life and that of his companions. The mean streets of Phoenix Arizona have never been more dangerous.

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