In this “prequel” to the popular David Mapstone mysteries, author Jon Talton takes us back to 1999, when everything dot-com was making money, the Y2K bug was the greatest danger facing the world, and the good times seemed as if they would never end. It was a time before David and Lindsey were together, before Mike Peralta was sherriff, and before David had rid himself of the sexy and mysterious Gretchen. In Phoenix, it’s the sweet season and Christmas and the new millennium are only weeks away. But history professor David Mapstone, just hired by the Sheriff’s Office, still finds trouble, chasing a robber into an abandoned warehouse and discovering a gruesome crime from six decades ago. Mapstone begins an investigation into a Depression-era kidnapping that transfixed Arizona and the nation: the disappearance of a cattle baron’s grandsons, their bodies never found. And although the kidnapper was caught and executed, Mapstone uncovers evidence that justice was far from done. But this is no history lesson. The cattle baron’s heirs now run a Fortune 500 company and wield far more clout than a former-professor-turned-deputy. Then one of the heirs turns up dead....
This message has been edited by chapteraday on May 12, 2008 1:57 PM This message has been edited by chapteraday on May 3, 2008 11:26 AM This message has been edited by chapteraday on Apr 28, 2008 5:58 PM This message has been edited by chapteraday on Apr 28, 2008 11:21 AM
I'm honored "Cactus Heart" is featured this week, and will be happy to answer any questions, either on the forum or via email.
This was intended to be the second Mapstone mystery, right after "Concrete Desert." But my old publisher didn't want it, and went straight to "Camelback Falls." So when we finally brought it out last year, it was with the narrator, Mapstone, looking back.
I'm on a break from the series right now, working on a stand-alone mystery and a thriller. But I am gathering string for the sixth Mapstone novel.
Have not read your books before but having this one in the club has introduced me to you and your protagonist - sounds like a good series with a likeable protagonist and according to reviews from my library website descriptive narrative of the changes in the 20 years since he has been away - my library has all of the series with this last one "on order" - think I will start with the first and go from there -
Welcome to the book club - Thanks for the books -
- Doris -
Welcome to our book club Jon! In today's reading, I loved your phrase "nonjudgemental judgementalism." I know many people who fit that description. I enjoyed that. I have one question. What guy would have an Uzi, and just drop it when a 9mm was pulled on him? And, who would pull a 9mm on a man with an Uzi? Great exciting start. I'm sorry to say I haven't Yet read your books, but I will now.
As Peralta says in a later book, thank god for stupid criminals. And when one is on the business end of any gun, courage may fail -- as it did for this bad guy. Peralta's motto is that a lawman never gives up his weapon. And he's tough enough, and got a good enough read on the intentions of the bad guys, to go toe-to-toe.
As to language, CH is definitely the raciest of the Mapstone books...
Thank you for responding to Dee re: language. I am often put off by free use of curse words and vulgarity in otherwise good mysteries. I plan to complete this one, and look forward to reading your other less racy books.
or so readers tell me. But the order they were written is:
The characters change and develop with each book (this isn't like Travis McGee, who is always 35 and bronzed). Concrete Desert is now out in paperback. We're working on a paperback deal for Camelback Falls, but you may have to get that one from a library or used. It's almost out of print in hardcover.
I'm a bibliophile; a voracious reader & OCD (obsessive-compulsive). As a result, I MUST read a series in order...This was easy for Sue Grafton's books; a little more difficult for Ed McBain's, who wrote 90+ books! (I'm currently up to 1980...) All that is intended to say that when I find an author I like I read everything by him or her I can get my hands on. And now I've got another author to read...But now I'm thinking of Marion Zimmer Bradley's Light series in which it was best to read one of the later books first as it introduced all the back story for the remaining novels...which leads me to my comment. In some instances chronolgical by date of publication is not the way to read an author's books...So, if the order of publication is the right order I'm all set; but, if Cactus Heat is a prequel then I should start with it & then read in pub. order. Your post confused me somewhat; so, is that the order you recommend?
I just read the first three installments today, totally drew me into the story right off the bat. When they were chasing the bad guys, I was reading faster to keep up. Love a story that I can feel a part of.