Steven F. Havill Books

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Steven F. Havill is an American author that writes westerns, police procedurals, and mysteries. Havill, who is married to Kathleen, a fellow artist, and writer, attended the University of New Mexico from where he got his BA and MA. He teaches biology and English to high school students.

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Order of Bill Gastner Mystery Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Heartshot 1991 Description / Buy
2 Bitter Recoil 1992 Description / Buy
3 Twice Buried 1994 Description / Buy
4 Before She Dies 1996 Description / Buy
5 Privileged to Kill 1997 Description / Buy
6 Prolonged Exposure 1998 Description / Buy
7 Out of Season 1999 Description / Buy
8 Dead Weight 2000 Description / Buy
9 Bag Limit 2001 Description / Buy
10 One Perfect Shot 2011 Description / Buy
11 Easy Errors 2017 Description / Buy

Order of Posadas County Mystery Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Scavengers 2002 Description / Buy
2 A Discount for Death 2003 Description / Buy
3 Convenient Disposal 2004 Description / Buy
4 Statute of Limitations 2006 Description / Buy
5 Final Payment 2007 Description / Buy
6 The Fourth Time Is Murder 2008 Description / Buy
7 Red, Green, or Murder 2009 Description / Buy
8 Double Prey 2010 Description / Buy
9 NightZone 2013 Description / Buy
10 Blood Sweep 2015 Description / Buy
11 Come Dark 2016 Description / Buy
12 Lies Come Easy 2018 Description / Buy
13 Less Than a Moment 2020 Description / Buy
14 No Accident 2022 Description / Buy
15 Perfect Opportunity 2024 Description / Buy

Order of Dr. Thomas Parks Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Race for the Dying 2009 Description / Buy
2 Comes a Time for Burning 2010 Description / Buy

Order of Steven F. Havill Standalone Novels

# Read Title Published Details
1 The Killer 1981 Description / Buy
2 The Worst Enemy 1984 Description / Buy
3 Timber Blood 1985 Description / Buy
4 Leadfire 1985 Description / Buy
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Havill kickstarted his literary career by writing medical westerns. The author was fascinated by the history of medicine. He turned that fascination into four westerns. Eventually, he abandoned Westerns for the mystery genre.

Havill is best known for the Bill Gastner mysteries series and the Posadas County Series. While the two series exist separately, they are so intimately intertwined that some people categorize them as a single series.

Bill Gastner mysteries came out first. It followed Bill Gastner, an aging sheriff struggling to keep up with the times. Once Bill retired, Estella, an undersheriff introduced in previous novels took over, paving the way for the Posadas County series.

When Havill wrote ‘Heartshot’, he had no idea that it would become the first in a series that would span dozens of novels. In fact, he did not intend to turn Bill Gastner’s story into a series, and neither did he discuss the possibility with his publisher.

When he introduced Bill to his readers, the character was a 60-year-old Sheriff just moments away from retirement. The finale of ‘Heartshot’ gave Havill an obvious direction to take the sequel, a direction that brought Bill even closer to retirement. But even then, all Havill knew was that he wanted to write a sequel.

It wasn’t until that sequel, ‘Bitter Recoil’, came out that the author began to toy with the notion of writing a series. Bill was not only likable but versatile. Havill realized that he could take the character in a variety of directions to keep the stories from growing stale, which is what he did.

In the years that followed, Havill did something interesting. He allowed his characters to age in real-time. Doing so compelled the author to phase Bill out of the story in favor of a younger cast of characters that could pick up where he left off.

Havill used some of his personality traits to create Bill. The Sheriff was struggling to keep up with the trends when Havill’s readers met him. He did not understand modern advancements and this contributed to the frustration he felt towards his job, not to mention his desire to find a replacement.

Havill could empathize with the protagonist. The author reached a point where he couldn’t imagine teaching a class of students armed with phones and tablets. Like Bill, he couldn’t keep up with the advancements in technology.

Best Steven F. Havill Books

The author describes himself as a cinematic storyteller that can see the scenes he writes quite clearly in his mind. Some of Havill’s best novels including:

Heartshot: William C. Gastner is approaching 60. As sheriff, he does what he can to keep Posadas County in New Mexico safe. But his age is a problem. Bill doesn’t have a social life. Law enforcement is all he knows. It is all he wants. And yet, he cannot ignore the fact that retirement is around the corner.

Bill is forced to put his personal struggles on hold when a car flies into a rocky outcrop. The fact that all five teens died in the crash is the least of Bill’s worries. Yes, he has grieving parents to console. But he also knows that a bigger threat is looming over the horizon. The teens had a significant stash of cocaine under the seat of the car, and Bill is not convinced that it was solely for recreational purposes.

Bitter Recoil: Bill was supposed to follow up his quadruple bypass with a long vacation. His body needed the rest. But Bill was determined to reunite with Estelle Reyes. His former detective was now working in San Estevan County.

But any plans Bill had were thrown out the window when he and Estelle came across an intriguing mystery. Someone had thrown a woman out of a moving vehicle. At first, it looked like a failed rape attempt. But then four more people died and Bill realized that he had to put his vacation on hold.

When Does The Next Steven F. Havill book come out?

Steven F. Havill doesn't seem to have an upcoming book. Their newest book is Perfect Opportunity and was released on March, 5th 2024. It is the newest book in the Posadas County Mystery Series.

1 thought on “Steven F. Havill”

  1. Steven F. Havill’s stories are absolutely superb. Anyone who has lived along the NM, AZ borderland can instantly visualize the landscape and relate to the complexity of an artificial demarcation between people that have been moving back and forth for centuries.

    The written work is excellent, but the audio books are almost as good. Rusty Nelson superbly captures the character of Undersheriff Bill Gastner

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