Mystery novels anchored in Phoenix

[Source: Bonnie Henry, Arizona Daily Star] — He works in a city with seemingly perpetual gray skies and writes a column on the economy — an even gloomier subject these days.  But Jon Talton, former columnist with the Arizona Republic and now with the Seattle Times, is keeping history-professor-turned-detective David Mapstone and his snoopings firmly planted in the sunny Southwest.  “He will always live in Phoenix,” says Talton, author of seven novels, including the Mapstone mysteries, “Concrete Desert,” “Dry Heat,” and “Cactus Heart.”

Talton will be one of more than 300 authors appearing in March at the Tucson Festival of Books. A Phoenix native whose family goes back four generations, Talton grew up in the city center, and weaves its history and characteristics into his scenes.  “I tried to do homage to Raymond Chandler, where the city was very much a character,” says Talton, whose Mapstone works in the sheriff’s office, using his historian skills to solve old cases.  And no, Sheriff Joe Arpaio does not pop up, even in a cameo appearance.  “My sheriff is a Mexican-American and he observes the civil liberties,” says Talton, who has covered business and finance for more than 25 years at newspapers stretching from North Carolina to Denver and now Seattle.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

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