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Deadly Secrets: A Mapleton Mystery Paperback – February 5, 2012
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About the Author
Terry Odell was born in Los Angeles and now makes her home in Divide, Colorado. An avid reader (her parents tell everyone they had to move from their first home because she finished the local library), she always wanted to "fix" stories so the characters did what she wanted, in books, television, and the movies. Once she began writing, she found this wasn't always possible, as evidenced when the mystery she intended to write rapidly became a romance. However, her entry into the world of writing can be attributed to a "mistake" when her son mentioned the Highlander television series on a visit home. Being the "good mother" she began watching the show and soon connected with the world of fanfiction, first as a reader, then as a critique giver, and then, one brave weekend, she wrote her first short story. Things snowballed and soon she was writing her first original novel. Much later, she mentioned something about a recent Highlander episode to her son, and he said, "Oh, I've never actually watched the show, I just thought the concept was cool." Little did he know what he'd started. With a degree in Psychology from UCLA, she loves getting into the minds of her characters, turning them loose in tight spots and seeing what they do. Too often, they surprise her. She is an active member of Romance Writers of America, and its Kiss of Death chapter, as well as Mystery Writers of America. When she's not writing, or watching wildlife from her window, she's probably reading.
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Top customer reviews
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First, I want to comment on a 2 star review left my Mamachu, in which that reviewer said the book dealt with the occult. It didn't. There was one character, a lady, who owned a vintage clothing store who kept calling the police telling them there were "ghosts" in her store. No one took the lady seriously, and other than her being mentioned about three times for her belief that ghosts were in the store, there was nothing more. Certainly not occult at all. This wasn't followed up on, and there were no spirits anywhere else in this book. It had absolutely nothing to do with the occult.
Now.. here's what I liked about the book... at first.... It seemed quite interesting. The writing was done well. Dialogue flowed smoothly, and I got the "feel" of Mapleton being a small town. There was definitely a mystery building up, and I was eager to get into bed each night and continue reading so I could find out what the mystery was.
However, at about half way through, suddenly the Chief of Police, who seemed like a very likeable, competent person, suddenly has a graphic sex scene with a waitress. And I mean GRAPHIC. Like fingers being inserted incertain places... etc. At that point I skipped the trash and tried to get back into the story. This sex scene had absolutely NOTHING to do with the story! Nothing at all! And the Police Chief, who was here-to-for coming off as a strong, determined man, suddenly becomes a comic strip character. When his paramour brings him dinner, he makes an obscene comment about bringing her "dessert." His other comments were simply cheesy and seemed totally out of character. When an author throws something like this into an otherwise somewhat interesting story, I have a hard time trying to figure out his or her motives, and no matter what I come up with, it's unfavorable.
There were a few problems with the story. At one point, a policewoman calls the Chief and tells him she's found a body in a store. The police woman was supposed to be doing some surveillance on the store, but she somehow found the body around 1 AM or something like that. Now, HOW did she do that? The store would have been locked up at night. Did the police woman break into the store? This was never made clear exactly how she found the body in the middle of a store in the middle of the wee hours of the morning. It's possible that a door was left standing open or something, and the officer went inside, and I just missed that part. If that's the case, my apologies to the author.
But another incidence concerns an elderly woman in her 70s who is kidnapped by a man and the police find them in the woods. When they come upon them, the kidnapper is found with a terrible knife wound to his stomach and the elderly grandma is found hiding in a pile of brush with a bloody knife in her hand. HUH??? We are not told HOW she got the knife.She goes from being bound hand and foot by duct tape in her house to being in the woods, unbound, and stabbing her attacker. Nothing at all is mentioned at how this elderly lady was able to overcome the kidnapper and stab him. But she is rescued and everything is hunky dory.
The characters were also a melange of confusion. The lead protaganist, Megan, was not strong nor well-defined. One minute she's a snotty jerk, the next minute a caring woman. Justin, one of the other main characters, was also someone I just could not get a grip on. I didn't feel as if I had any real understanding of him.
While the mystery at the beginning of the book was somewhat interesting, towards the end of the book everything seemed to just run amok. The "plot" was watery at best, and totally unbelievable. The motives the "villians" had were simply ridiculous. I can't really say much about it without spoiling it for anyone who intends reading it, so take your chances. I simply found myself wanting the book to be over and done with and I won't be reading any more in this series.
After a seven year absence from home, event planner Megan Wyatt comes back to visit her aging adoptive grandparents, Sam and Rose Kretzer. Their frailness and the furtiveness of their by-blood grandson who's also visiting raise Megan's hackles. Something's going on here and she means to get to the bottom of it. And when did Jumbo Justin turn into a hottie?
Like popcorn in the microwave, events hit Mapleton in a blinding flurry. A stranger is dead. Megan is assaulted in the park. Homes are ransacked. Then Betty is found dead, and Chief Hepler's sure a ghost isn't to blame. He calls in help and rolls up his sleeves.
Both story lines, the police procedural one and the amateur sleuth one, weave and diverge in a skillful manner, keeping my interest level high throughout the book. I found the book to be intricately plotted with deliberate pacing. Although I read book 2 of this series first, it was a joy to read this one and spend time with familiar characters. I very much enjoyed my visit to Mapleton and Odell's keen eye for detail.
Sam and Rose don’t talk about their past, but now it might be coming back to destroy the life they’ve built in Mapleton.
Justin is acting weird, Meggie is attacked and it all revolves around a secret that might be a lie.
This town finds itself troubled by a questionable car accident, an assault, breaking and entering, a murder,
a kidnapping…. what’s happening???
The chief of police, the sheriff, Megan, Justin, Opa, Oma arethe main characters. Each unique individuals
who work in solving the mystery presented. The plot is exciting with a few surprising twists and turns.
Besides being a great suspense mystery there is also a hint of romance involved.
It is a quick read as once you start to read you don’t want to put it down until the end.
Read and enjoy!!!
Most recent customer reviews
Gordon Hepler, is questioning his decision to take the job as Mapleton, Colorado’s police...Read more
Seemed to trudge along rather tiredly. I just couldn't get engaged with the storyline.Read more