I got a recommendation via email: novels by Richard Parrish that are set in Tucson in the 1940's and 1950's. Also a very helpful suggestion re. the Stop, Your Killing Me website (http://www.stopyourekillingme.com/) who maintain a list of mysteries by geographical location (use the the Location Index on the left side of their page).
Also, suggest you go to Kittling Books website and post a question to its very amiable and well-read blogger, Cathy Cole.She lives and reads in Arizona and is a wealth of information on crime fiction.
Rob, The Big Maria is set in the general area and is a very funny read and well-written. Shades of Carl Hiassen but more grounded. Its received a lot of great reviews.
Travis, thanks. I'll give Big Maria a go. Sounds like my kind of thing. Kathy, many thanks for the suggestion. Between LA and Tucson I now have a mound of books for this trip.
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