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Sheriff Bill Gastner Books In Order

Publication Order of Posadas County Mysteries Books

Heartshot (1991) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Bitter Recoil (1992) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Twice Buried (1994) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Before She Dies (1996) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Privileged to Kill (1997) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Prolonged Exposure (1998) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Out of Season (1999) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Dead Weight (2000) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Bag Limit (2001) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Scavengers (2002) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Discount for Death (2003) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Convenient Disposal (2004) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Statute of Limitations (2006) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Final Payment (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Fourth Time is Murder (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Red, Green, or Murder (2009) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Double Prey (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
One Perfect Shot (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Night Zone (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Blood Sweep (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Come Dark (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle


The Sheriff Bill Gastner series is a series of mystery and police procedural novels written with a western theme by the author Steven F. Havill. There is a total of 9 books in the series published between the years 1991 and 2001. All the novels of the series feature the main protagonist in the form of Bill Gastner, who is introduced as an Undersheriff of the Posadas County in New Mexico. Author Steven F. Havill has written another novel series titled ‘The Posadas County Mysteries’ series, which is a follow up of the Sheriff Bill Castner series and shows the character of Undersheriff Estelle Reyes-Guzman after the retirement of Bill Gastner as the sheriff of the Posadas County. This series consists of 11 books published between the years 2002 and 2015. Even though the character of Bill Gastner is not a primary part of the second series written by author Steven F. Havill, there are several instances of his appearance throughout the series. Therefore, it can be rightly said that Bill Gastner is a part of all the 20 novels of the two series combined together.

Author Steven F. Havill began writing the Sheriff Bill Gastner novel series in the year 1991 with the publication of the first novel of the series titled ‘Heartshot’. After the first nine novels of the series, the author described Bill Gastner as getting retired from his post of the Sheriff of the Posadas County and began focusing on the development of the character of the Undersheriff Estelle Reyes-Guzman. The series is still going on as author Steven F. Havill is working on the next novel of the series. In the beginning of the Sheriff Bill Gastner series, Bill is introduced as an aging and hard working Undersheriff of the Posadas County, who goes on to be elected to the post of the sheriff. Bill Gastner does not seem to have anything else to do in his life, besides serving for the law enforcement in the town. In fact, he does not even seem interested in pursuing anything else to do. One of the initial cases that Bill Gastner comes across as the sheriff of the town is that of a speeding car full of 5 teenagers. They somehow dodge Deputy Torrez and move towards the rocky outcrop of the town of Posadas County. In the end, all the five teenagers lose their lives in a brutal accident after a short while. As Bill Gastner begins to investigate the case, he finds some cocaine hidden in the car which probably answers the question of why the teenagers were speeding away in the first place.

The first novel of the Sheriff Bill Gastner series was published under the title ‘Heartshot’. It was released in the year 1991 by the Poisoned Pen Press publishing house. The plot of this novel is set in the fictional town of Posadas County, located in New Mexico and revolves around the happenings in the life of the central character named Bill Gastner, who gets appointed as the new Undersheriff of the town in the beginning of the novel. In the opening sequence of the plot of the novel, the fictional town of the Posadas County in New Mexico is described as hugging the mountains of San Cristobal, which separates it from Mexico. The town is believed to have a very few mean streets. Also, Bill Gastner is introduced as not a city-slick cop, but one of the earnest and humble elected Undersheriff. He is described as an aging cop nearing his sixties and along with his sheriff, he has nothing else to do in life except the law enforcement.

Being a widower, Bill Gastner does not seem interested in getting indulged in anything else other than his duties. He does not even care about the fact that his attitude is making his commanding officers to nudge him towards retirement. Soon, a big trouble comes into his life in the form of his first investigative case. Deputy Torrez tries to stop a car full of teenagers beside the lake in the town, but then they speed away from the stop by and go in the direction of the rocky outcrop. Being airborne and landing on the outcrop causes the death of all the five kids that were in the car. Bill Gastner begins the investigation of the case, thereby discovering a stash of cocaine that was hidden under the seat of the car. The amount of cocaine discovered makes him believe that there are the ones who are trying to bring a big crime in the county.

When Bill Gastner begins to investigate more about the five teenagers, he gets to meet the grieving parents and deploys his department all over the town. Soon, a second case of violence is seen in the county in which an undercover cop is seen fighting a brave fight against a criminal. Feeling the pressure to bring down the crime rates in the county, the sheriff department is forced to make a team of formidable men. However, Bill Gastner appears to be the only weak spot as his body seems to be succumbing to the stress of the job. He tends to ignore all the advice from his colleagues and goes on to indulge with a killer in a midair confrontation. Overall, the novel stands out as an interesting read because of the deep affection of the author Steven F. Havill towards the southern New Mexico, which he has vividly described throughout the plot of the novel.

The second novel of the series was published under the title ‘Bitter Recoil’ and was released in the year 1992 by the Poisoned Pen Press publishing house. The plot of this novel continues to feature the aging Undersheriff of the Posadas County named Bill Gastner. In the opening sequence of the plot of the novel, it is depicted that he is enjoying a rare vacation in the northern mountains of the state. He seems to be staging a reunion with one of his former detective Estelle Reyes-Guzman and tries to avoid the medical providers who believe that he has grown too old to work as an Undersheriff. The vacation plans of Bill get disturbed by the sirens after which he gets to meet Reyes-Guzman and her new husband over dinner, also coming the dead body of a pregnant woman. The initial investigation reveals that she was the victim of a hit and run case, but after the medical examination, Bill and Reyes come to know that she was actually thrown out of a moving car after the attempts of rape. This is followed by 4 more murders in the town which force Bill Gastner to give up his holiday vacation and begin to stop the rash of murders happening around his holiday destination.

Book Series In Order ┬╗ Characters ┬╗ Sheriff Bill Gastner