A Day in the Life with Gordon Hepler by Terry Odell

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!

56 responses to “A Day in the Life with Gordon Hepler by Terry Odell

  1. Anything by this author is a good read, and this sounds like a great start to a new series. Thanks for the chance to win.

  2. Great post. Thanks for the chance to win.

  3. Terry’S books are so good. I would love to win this one.

  4. This interview has me interested in the town of Mapleton. I will be looking for the books in this series. Thanks for the giveaway.

  5. I haven’t heard of this series but I’d like to start reading! Thanks for a chance to enter.

  6. Barbara Hackel

    This book sounds like a great addition to Gordon’s life story! I am looking forward to reading the latest installment. I enjoy the series. Thanks Terry for telling me about it. Thanks Dru for featuring this book! 🙂

  7. Linda Kuzminczuk

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  8. The description “Mysteries with Relationships” is fabulous. Terry Odell sounds like a great author to know! Thanks for the spotlight.

  9. This sounds like a terrific book/series – a must read!

  10. elainehroberson

    Thanks for a chance to win a copy. This sounds like a book I would really enjoy.

  11. This sounds like a wonderful book. Loved the glimpse into Gordon’s day.

  12. This sounds like an enjoyable book. Huuuum – deadbeat dads? What an idea but I’m pretty sure that would be against the law!

  13. I think I would like to read more and see how the ‘Chief stuff’ works out! Thanks!

  14. I love mysteries set in small towns. A slightly different twist on the locked room kinds of books.

  15. deadbeat dads in a small town, sounds interesting,, would love to read

  16. Looking forward to giving this series a try. Sounds like an entertaining read. Thanks for the chance to win an ARC.

  17. The Chief sounds pretty laid back. Thanks for the chance.

  18. I like the sound of this.

  19. Katrina Edwrads

    Would love to win the book and start a new series.

  20. Mapleton doesn’t sound quite as routine as Gordon says! I would love to read this series since I live in Colorado. I’ve put Deadly Secrets on my TBR list. Thanks so much for the giveaway!

  21. I love the cover of this book. It would win me over right away. Thanks for the chance to enter the giveaway. robeader53@yahoo.com

  22. Jeanie Dannheim

    I would love to win the first in series and start from the beginning! Although the cover for this one is exciting…a bear! I’m not sure I would want to live where bears can be in the front yard – but it might be safer than driving in traffic every day! Awesome photo, Terry, to inspire your cover, and congratulations on the new release!

    • Thanks, Jeanie — and if you go to my website and look at the cover of Danger in Deer Ridge, you’ll see another ‘cover model’ picture we took in our front yard.

  23. I would love to have a signed copy of one of Terry’s books for my special bookcase.

  24. I love police mysteries. This sounds like a good one. Looking forward to reading the first four.

  25. Sounds like a great read and I’m looking forward to it.

  26. I would love to read this series

  27. Sounds like a series that I should be reading. Thanks for the contest.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

  28. Della Williamson

    You know. I had to laugh when I was reading the blurb. Hepler said he’d rather be on the street than sitting behind a desk. back in the 70’s my uncle was in a position where he was going to be promoted and the next step would be behind a desk. I don’t remember if it was as high as a police chief. Really don’t remember for sure. but I do remember Mom asking him what he thought he was doing and he said getting demoted was the only way he could keep working with people, out on the streets, No one is going to turn me into a stupid paper pusher. I remember more than once calling mayors, governors, etc lack brain bureaucrats When I was older I began to understand just what he meant and agree. Hadn’t thought about him, or that in years. Thanks for the memory
    Enjoyed the blurb on this book it looks like a really great read. The author, the series is new to me and I look forward to getting to know both.

    • Thanks for sharing your story. I don’t think Gordon would have taken the job if he hadn’t promised his mentor he would. I’m sure there’s a story there