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The 10 Best Books and Movies Set in Phoenix

Phoenix, Arizona is a hot, dusty place known for its cacti and coyotes. But it’s also the birthplace of some great books and movies. Here are 10 of the best:

Phoenix Noir by Patrick Millikin

This book is a collection of dark, crime-ridden stories set in Phoenix. If you like your fiction gritty and realistic, this is the book for you.

Little Miss Sunshine by Paul Dano

This movie is set in Albuquerque, but it was filmed in Phoenix. It’s the story of a young girl who enters a beauty pageant and the family who has to deal with the fallout.

Raising Arizona by the Coen Brothers

This movie is a screwball comedy about a couple who kidnaps one of the quintuplets born to a wealthy man and his wife. It’s one of the Coen Brothers’ best films.

Jerry Maguire by Cameron Crowe

This movie is set in Los Angeles, but it was filmed in Phoenix. It’s the story of a sports agent who has a crisis of conscience and decides to start his own agency.

Last Dance in Phoenix by Kurt Reichenbaugh

Kent reconnects with his old friend, but things quickly go downhill when they start exchanging messages. His friend is in trouble and needs money, and Kent is soon in over his head. If you like suspenseful thrillers, you’ll love this book.

The Secret of Shadow Ranch by Carolyn Keene

Nancy Drew heads to a Phoenix dude ranch to investigate some strange goings-on. Could the ranch be haunted? Or is someone trying to scare the guests away? Nancy is determined to solve the mystery.

Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure by Chris Matheson

This movie is set in San Dimas, but it was filmed in Phoenix. It’s the story of two teenage slackers who travel through time to save the world from an evil dictator.

Driven by James Sallis

Driver, the protagonist of James Sallis’ novel Driven and the movie based on it, is a man with a dark past. After his fiancée is killed by two men, Driver sets out for revenge. He tracks down the men who killed her and kills them, but that’s not the end of his story.

Arizona Time: A Novel and Five Shorts by Scott C. Seckel

Phoenix is also home to some great Westerns. One of the best is Arizona Time, a novel by Scott C. Seckel. If you’re interested in post-frontier American West, or just want to read a classic Western, Arizona Time is a must-read.

Murder, Sonoran Style: An Adventure Calls Mystery by Kathy McIntosh

In Murder, Sonoran Style, eco-tour company co-owner Gabe Ramsay finds himself in the middle of another murder investigation. This time, the victim is the man he recently fought with, and the knife used to kill him is Jim’s own skinning knife. With no one else to turn to, Jim must use all his detective skills to track down the killer.

There you have it, 10 of the best books and movies set in Phoenix. So whether you’re looking for a crime-ridden thriller or a light-hearted comedy, there’s something here for you. And if you’re just looking to escape the heat for a few hours, these books and movies will do the trick.

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