cover image The Bomb Shelter: A David Mapstone Mystery

The Bomb Shelter: A David Mapstone Mystery

Jon Talton. Poisoned Pen, $26.95 (334p) ISBN 978-1-4642-0959-8

As noted in an introduction, the real-life case of Arizona reporter Don Bolles, one of only a few American journalists murdered in the U.S. in modern times, is the inspiration for Talton’s lively ninth mystery featuring former history professor turned Phoenix sheriff’s deputy David Mapstone (after 2015’s High Country Nocturne). After attending an event commemorating the 40th anniversary of the death of reporter Charles Page, blown up by a car bomb in 1978, Sheriff Mike Peralta, Mapstone’s boss, receives a threatening text: solve the unsolved Page case or your family will suffer the consequences. Peralta asks Mapstone to investigate, and soon he’s on the trail of a series of brutal murders of people who are in some way involved with the decades-old case. Through Mapstone’s wryly witty first-person narrative, Talton expresses his genuine love of Phoenix as it once was, as well as his exasperated but tolerant attachment to the city as it is today. Clear writing, an intricate plot, and credible characters make this entry a winner. (May)