Official Author Website

The David Mapstone Mysteries

Concrete Desert: "The perfect setting for private eyes used to be the urban jungle, rife with alienation and secrets. More recently, though, such writers as Tony Hillerman and Nevada Barr have opened up regions of landscape, history, and soul previously unexplored by the detective novel. Talton's summer mystery, a first novel, shows how fertile the desert can be as mystery setting...A stunning debut." (starred review) (Booklist)

The Phoenix setting is particularly strong, with wonderful and succinct descriptions of a city in flux...more intelligent and rewarding than most contemporary mysteries." (Washington Post)

Cactus Heart: " Tightly plotted, smartly paced and enlivened by dollops of enthusiastic sex -- is purple-proof. Talton's best yet."" --Kirkus Reviews

Camelback Falls: "The Arizona setting (from the 1970s to the present) is faultless…Talton has mined another gem from the Southwest's trove of memorable sheriffs.” – Publishers Weekly

Dry Heat: "Taut prose helps tighten the screws, and the winning, sensitive portrayal of the Mapstones—both of them a relief after too many hard-nosed PIs who are all gristle and no brain—lends credibility to the noirish narrative.” –Publishers Weekly.

Winner of Arizona Highway's Award for Best Fiction of 2005

Arizona Dreams:  "Talton crisply evokes Phoenix's New West ambience and keeps readers guessing with unexpected plot twists." — Publishers Weekly

South Phoenix Rules: "A haunting noir story vividly rendered by Talton's white-hot prose...original...impressively unyielding." — New York Journal of Books

"Talton has created a richly complex character in Mapstone, who struggles with adversity and resists taking revenge, however sweet it would be. A well-crafted, nuanced series. " — Booklist

The Night Detectives: " Mapstone and Peralta have gone into business as private detectives, and their first case sends Mapstone to San Diego to investigate the death of a young woman...The trip drags Mapstone out of his slump, gives his marriage a boost, and gets the new partnership off to a flying start." — The New York Times

High Country Nocturne: "Mapstone's seventh outing features tight prose and plotting and a pair of complex and fallible protagonists whose character development continues in a series that just keeps getting better." — Booklist (starred review) "

Winner of the 2016 Spotted Owl Award from Friends of Mystery.

The Bomb Shelter: "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

The Cincinnati Casebooks

The Pain Nurse: "The author of the David Mapstone series set in Phoenix (Cactus Heart, etc.) puts an interesting twist on the detective solving a mystery while bed-ridden scenario in this tense, well-crafted whodunit." — Publishers Weekly 

Powers of Arrest: "Talton crafts a solid mystery while telling the engrossing, sometimes poignant story of a cop with a cane who refuses to be pigeonholed." — Kirkus Reviews (starred review).

"Excellent...The Ohio local color lends depth, and the threat of extreme violence compels, but the novel's chief interest is watching two mature, vulnerable people become real partners whose survival really matters." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Other books:

Deadline Man, a novel: "Well-rounded characters and a lightning-paced plot raise this well above the average global conspiracy story." — Publishers Weekly

"A chillingly plausible thriller plot built around black ops. A knockout novel that leaves the reader with renewed appreciation for independent daily newspapers." — Booklist (starred review)

A Brief History of Phoenix:  "This is a coherent and valuable assessment of our past, useful and accessible and deeply informative. More important, A Brief History of Phoenix offers an entertaining read, even for readers with only a passing interest in our desert city." — Robrt Pela in Phoenix New Times.

The Gene Hammons Novels:

City of Dark Corners:  "This gritty stand-alone deals with Phoenix's rough-and-tumble past and its questionable police force in the 1930s. Talton excels at creating the ambiance of historic Phoenix. [Suggested] for fans of realistic historical mysteries or Phoenix Noir."
―Library Journal, Starred Review.

"Talton shines in weaving together the mystery elements of the plots with historical events from the Prohibition period. Fast-paced, gritty, and exciting, this one will have fans of both Depression-era and southwestern-set crime fiction begging for more!"
―Booklist, Starred Review.

The Nurse Murders: It's 1936, and private investigator Gene Hammons has more work than he can handle. A crime syndicate, J. Edgar Hoover, a wealthy family from back East, and a wily stalker all want something from him. His capable-but-drug-addicted brother, still a homicide detective, is as much a hindrance as a help. Luckily, Hammons finds a professional ally in Pamela Bradbury, a fellow gumshoe with some new tricks to teach him. When the two pair up, there doesn't seem to be a case they can't solve, from kidnapping to blackmail to an intricate gold-smuggling operation.

"Talton juggles so many balls—period details, cameo appearances by a dozen historical figures, the city’s ongoing criminal culture, the crimes that especially catch the eye of Gene and Pamela, and the development of their relationship—that it’s no disgrace the mixture is marked by a wobbly focus that shifts abruptly between tight closeups on action sequences and summaries glossing over the connecting tissue.The most surprising feature is an appendix that identifies more real-life characters than anyone will have recognized." — Kirkus Reviews.

​"The result is a crafty history lesson that references local people and places — including a young Barry Goldwater and a fellow named Otis Kenilworth, the first Phoenix barber to serve both black and white clients." — Robrt Pela in Phoenix Magazine.