cover image Arizona Dreams: A David Mapstone Mystery

Arizona Dreams: A David Mapstone Mystery

Jon Talton, Author . Poisoned Pen $24.95 (206p) ISBN 978-1-590

Retired professor David Mapstone once again brings a historian's touch to his job as Phoenix deputy sheriff in Talton's smartly plotted fourth adventure (after 2004's Dry Heat ). Nothing appears to link the ice-pick murder of lawyer Alan Cordesman in David's neighborhood with a body in the desert that turns out to be that of landowner Harry Bell. Months later, David starts connecting the dots when Harry's brother, Louis, also turns up with an ice pick through his skull, and David's supposed former student, who originally directed him to the location of the body in the desert, proves to be Dana Earley, wife of Tom Earley, Maricopa county supervisor and chief critic of the sheriff's department, run by David's prickly boss, Mike Peralta. David also links the Earleys to Arizona Dreams, a massive new development with one major problem: it has no water supply, a requisite in Arizona. But the Bell land does. While much of this is familiar territory, Talton crisply evokes Phoenix's New West ambience and keeps readers guessing with unexpected plot twists. (Sept.)