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Last Updated onJon Talton is the author of two popular crime mystery series, David Mapstone and the Cincinnati Casebook series. He also wrote a standalone thriller titled Deadline Man.
David Mapstone is an ex-college-history teacher turned cop in Phoenix, Arizona, who can’t stay away from solving crimes. The series currently includes 9 books with the latest one, The Bomb Shelter, published in 2018.
This is the very series’ first book, Concrete Desert, that got me acquainted with the author. After reading that book, I was hooked.
The second series, The Cincinnati Casebook features Will Borders who is an ex-homicide cop in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Here are the Jon Talton books in order for his series and standalone works. The book list is updated regularly.
New Jon Talton Book
David Mapstone Series
- Concrete Desert (David Mapstone #1), 2001
- Camelback Falls (David Mapstone #2), 2003
- Dry Heat (David Mapstone #3), 2004
- Arizona Dreams (David Mapstone #4), 2006
- Cactus Heart (David Mapstone #5), 2007 (prequel to the story)
- South Phoenix Rules (David Mapstone #6), 2010
- The Night Detectives (David Mapstone #7), 2013
- High Country Nocturne (David Mapstone #8), 2015
- The Bomb Shelter (David Mapstone #9), 2018
Will Borders: Cincinnati Casebook Series
Other Jon Talton Books
Jon Talton Biography
The author Jon Talton was born in Phoenix, Arizona – as a fourth-generation Arizonan. He always loved reading books, and some of his influencers were, for the large part, classic authors like James Elroy, John D. McDonald, Raymond Chandler, Rex Stout, and Robert B. Parker.
However, he is also fond of contemporary thriller authors like Michael Connelly and Lee Child. In giving tips to new writers, he is quoted to say:
Read great writing and learn from it. Learn the craft. For thrillers, read the first chapter of Lee Child’s Persuader.
He attended the Kenilworth School, followed by Coronado High School, after which he worked as an EMT paramedic in Phoenix. Next, he worked as a teacher of theater and stage management at a small Oklahoma college.
Next, he attended the Arizona State University and Miami University of Ohio. After college, he began working as a columnist for the Arizona Republic, before a reorganization in the newspaper pushed him to leave the paper altogether.
After leaving Phoenix, Jon Talton moved to Seattle, where he was busy with a couple of things: first, he wrote his crime mystery and thriller novels; next, he was the economics columnist for the Seattle Times; and finally, he was what many people know him as The Rogue Columnist, which is the title of his personal political and social blog about Phoenix, Arizona, and the whole country.
As a veteran columnist and blogger, on The Rogue Columnist Jon Talton has covered business and finance topics for more than 25 years, including economics, real estate, public policy, and energy.
This blog is, in fact, how many readers actually learn about Jon Talton in the first place (one of my Facebook friends learned about his David Mapstone series after he started following his blog).
Some additional newspapers he worked as a columnist and editor are Charlotte Observer, Cincinnati Enquirer, Dayton Daily News, and Rocky Mountain News.
As a newspaperman at heart, Jon Talton wrote his only non-fiction book about…you guessed it, Phoenix, Arizona. The book includes not only many pictures of the desert city but also talks about urban renewal, the city politics, and even the long-term impact of the Great Depression.
It is not surprising that, even though the author no longer lives in Phoenix (although he still spends time there every year), his David Mapstone books are as Phoenician as they get.
For example, the latest Jon Talton Book, The Bomb Shelter, works through two issues that are close to the author’s heart: politics in Phoenix and journalism.
The main theme of the book is that of the murder of an Arizona reporter, Don Bolles, back in 1976 through a bomb in Phoenix. This was America’s one of most notorious murders back in the day as it involved an American journalist o the U.S. soil.
The author himself mentioned that he was an EMT paramedic during those times in the same city. He also mentioned in an interview with Crimespree Mag that readers of his novels asked him quite often to write a book where that particular old even was included. So, to all the fans who requested it, The Bomb Shelter fulfilled their wish.
Reading the Jon Talton books in order for his David Mapstone series is recommended, although if you do read them out of order, you can get enough background on the main character to avoid being lost. However, if you do want to read the series in chronological order, start with Cactus Heart, the 5th book in the series, which is also a prequel, showing David’s life in 1999 before the main book series began.
Praise for Jon Talton
Concrete Desert…More intelligent and rewarding than most contemporary mysteries. (The Washington Post BookWorld)
Mapstone is an attractive personality and the well-paced narrative is an entertaining read. (Telegraph)
Deputy Mapstone, firmly in the neo-noir tradition, is strong, suitably sensitive, and increasingly sympathetic. (Kirkus Reviews)
The characters are well-drawn, the action is non-stop, the tension is gripping, and the writing is tight and vivid. (Bruce DeSilva)
Talton celebrates investigative reporting and deplores the real-estate development that has damaged Phoenix as he delves into the dirty past and politics of the city. The ninth entry in a justly praised series. (Booklist)