Deadly PlacesOccupation: Chief of Police of Mapleton, Colorado

Good morning. Welcome to Mapleton, Colorado. I’m Gordon Hepler, Chief of Police here. First, let me tell you I didn’t want to be Chief, but I owed Dix, my mentor, so when he pushed me to accept the position, I agreed. But I’d rather be out on the streets doing Police Stuff instead of behind my desk doing Chief Stuff.

Most days around here are fairly routine. Mapleton, Colorado is a small town, and we don’t have a lot of serious crime—not unless you count Betty Bedford’s murder, which happened shortly after I took over as Chief. But we caught the bad guy. Then there was the time a dog found a bone. Nothing unusual there, until it turned out to be human. And when I was supposed to be on vacation, there was a guy who showed up at the B&B saying his wife was missing—that turned into a crazy case. Or the time a movie crew came to Mapleton and we found a dead body. Okay, so I ended up getting shot in that one, but most of the time, it’s just noisy dogs, some rowdy patrons at Finnegan’s, or a missing drainpipe.

A typical day starts early. I like to get into the office and go over the night reports to make sure there’s nothing unusual going on. My favorite part of the morning is doing crossing guard duty at the elementary school. Let the kids see cops are the good guys.

Later, I’ll take a break at Daily Bread, the local café, where Angie makes the best cinnamon rolls in the county—maybe the state. We’ve been seeing each other, but that’s hardly a secret around town. It’s hard to keep secrets in Mapleton.

And then there’s Officer Ed Solomon. Ever since I had my disrupted vacation, he’s got this theory that there’s an assassination gang out there killing deadbeat dads. Every chance he gets, he’s looking for more evidence that will prove his theory. I let him follow his leads as long as it doesn’t interfere with his Mapleton Police work. He’s my best officer, and I want him to be happy here. Wouldn’t want to lose him to some big city force.

My least favorite part of the job is dealing with the mayor—we’ve had two since I took over as Chief, and all they care about is the money, so budget reports take up a lot of my time. That and proving to the mayor and the Town Council that what I do is for the good of all the citizens of Mapleton. I mean, he’s a politician, not a law enforcement officer. Things came to a head recently, and I’m kind of on probation. The mayor changed his mind after I showed him I had done everything by the book, but it pissed me off, so I decided to take the time off anyway.

Ed Solomon’s in charge while I’m gone, and I can’t help but wonder what’s going to happen with his Deadbeat Dad Killer theory. Wouldn’t it be funny if he was right?


Deadly Places is the fifth book in the “Mapleton” mystery series, November 2015.

Read Deadly Places to find out what happens when Officer Ed Solomon is faced with being Acting Chief of Police in Mapleton. Can he balance the Chief Stuff with his regular police work and his family? And what about the Deadbeat Dad Killer? Better yet, start at the beginning of this 5 book series with Deadly Secrets and see how Gordon has to solve the first murder in Mapleton’s collective memory.

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All comments are welcomed.

Meet the author
Terry Odell always wanted to “fix” stories she read so the characters did what she wanted. She discovered this wasn’t always possible when the mystery she intended to write became a romance—a real surprise, since she’d never read a romance. Terry writes mystery and romantic suspense, but calls them “Mysteries With Relationships.” Her works include the Blackthorne, Inc. covert ops series, the Pine Hills Police series, and the Mapleton Mystery series. Her short story collection, Seeing Red, is a Silver Falchion Award winner. She’s currently working on a new series set against the backdrop of a Colorado cattle ranch. Visit Terry at terryodell.com.

Giveaway: Leave comment below for your chance to win an autographed copy of an ARC (Advance Reader Copy, uncorrected proof) of Deadly Secrets, Book 1 in my Mapleton Mystery Series, US only. Or, a digital copy of the book, open to all. Winner’s choice of format: Kindle, Nook, iBooks, Smashwords, or Kobo. The giveaway will end February 19 at 12 AM EST. Good luck everyone!

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