Deadly Adversaries By Terry Odell: Review/Giveaway/Interview

Apr 13, 2024 | 2024 Articles, Mysteryrat's Maze, Sarah Erwin

by Sarah Erwin

This week we have a review of the latest Mappleton Mystery by Terry Odell along with an interesting interview with Terry. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win an ebook copy of Deadly Production, another one of Terry’s Mapleton mysteries, and a link to purchase the new book from Amazon.

Deadly Adversaries: A Mapleton Mystery by Terry Odell
Review by Sarah Erwin

Deadly Adversaries by Terry Odell is the newest entry into her Mapleton Mystery series, but as with all the books in the series, each title can be read as a stand-alone.

In this small-town, police procedural, cozy-mystery blend, Gordon Hepler, Mapleton’s Chief of Police, discovers a dead body at the groundbreaking ceremony for the expansion of the community center. As Gordon works with his officers to secure the scene, he’s called to an area park only to find that the community center’s CEO has been assaulted. Could the two cases be related? Gordon and his officers begin to piece together what little clues they have.

It is not long before one of the officers is attacked, a resident who is homeless is missing, and another attack occurs. One homicide case becomes a multi-layered investigation involving surrounding jurisdictions and seemingly random clues. Could it be tied to the upcoming highly-contested mayoral election? Is someone against the new community center and promised programs to assist those experiencing homelessness? No one is sure, but Gordon and his team won’t stop until all is resolved, and their town is safe again.

I am so glad I read this unique story – I could not put it down. This has all the fascinating elements of police solving crimes combined with the cozy details of a small Colorado town. I enjoyed following along with Gordon and his officers as they used their many resources to piece together such a complex mystery with many moving parts. His officers are likable, and their respect for him as their chief is contagious as I watched Gordon lead. This would make a great read for mystery lovers who enjoy the procedural part of crime solving but want cozy instead of gory details. I will certainly return to Mapleton to follow along with these characters.

Sarah Erwin started her career as a children’s librarian, later becoming a public library director and now she’s a stay at home mom. While her career might have changed, her love of reading has been a constant since 4th grade and she reads over 200 books a year. Read along with her on her blog Sarah Can’t Stop Reading or on Instagram. Sarah lives in St. Louis, MO with her two kids, her husband and a family dog and cat.

Interview with Terry Odell:

KRL: How long have you been writing?

Terry: About 20 years now, but I had to stop and think. Sometimes it seems like forever; sometimes it feels like only a year or two ago.

KRL: When did your first novel come out? What was it called? Can you tell us a little about it?

Terry: My first novel was Finding Sarah, published by Cerridwen Press in 2007. Since then, I got the rights back and republished it with a few revisions to make it slightly more up to date, but that was so long ago, I’m sure parts are already outdated. It’s a romantic suspense police story set in a fictional small town in Oregon.

Terry Odell

Sarah is a recent widow and wants to be independent. Randy is a cop who sees everything in black and white. For me, it was a matter of seeing how far I could push him before he crossed into the grayer areas, and what it would take for Sarah to realize accepting help didn’t mean giving up her independence.

KRL: Have you always written mysteries/suspense? If not what else have you written?

Terry: I thought Finding Sarah was a mystery, but my daughters told me early on it was a romance, which I’d never read! I discovered the genre of romantic suspense, which blends both mystery/suspense and romance, and I’ve written three series in that genre: Pine Hills Police, Triple-D Ranch, and Blackthorne, Inc.

KRL: What brought you to choose the setting and characters in your latest book/series?

Terry: I liked the idea of a small-town mystery, so I chose Colorado, a place where I’d visited my children numerous times. At the time I had no idea I’d be moving there, but once I did, I liked the setting and the possibilities it provided. I chose a reluctant, untested Chief of Police as my main character, and hit him with the first homicide in the town’s collective memory to solve.

KRL: Do you write to entertain or is there something more you want the readers to experience from your work?

Terry: Honestly, I just want them to escape for a few hours. I think of my books as the sort you can take on an airplane and leave in the seat pocket, although I also hope readers will enjoy them enough to want to read more of the series.

KRL: Do you have a schedule for your writing or just write whenever you can?

Terry: No real schedule, but since I’m retired, I usually have enough time most days to get my word count in.

KRL: Do you outline? If not, do you have some other interesting way that you keep track of what’s going on, or what needs to happen in your book when you are writing it?

Terry: No outline, and I’m very bad about keeping up my chapter summary spreadsheet, but when I do, I keep track of what ‘story day’ it is, who’s the POV character if it’s a two-POV book, where the scene is set, other characters on the page, and a brief “what happens” summary. I use a board for ideas and things to keep track of, too.

KRL: If you had your ideal, what time of day would you prefer to write?

Terry: Most days, I don’t have that “ideal” but I seem to be most productive with moving forward in the afternoon. Mornings, I deal with social media, emails, etc., and then I transcribe what I’ve made notes on the night before, which gives me a running start.

KRL: Did you find it difficult to get published in the beginning?

Terry: Yes, by a traditional publisher, but I did get published by a digital publisher. At the time, these publishers were just surfacing. Amazon for publishing books didn’t exist yet, so each publisher had its own store. I had three books published by Cerridwen Press, which is no longer in business. But it gave me good feedback, and I learned a lot about how the business side of things worked. I happened to meet an editor from Five Star/Cengage at a conference, and he invited me to pitch to him. They accepted three of my Blackthorne books before closing down their romance/romantic suspense line.

KRL: Do you have a great rejection/critique or acceptance story you’d like to share?

Terry: My favorite rejection letter: “We did review your proposal, and for some reason we don’t feel we can represent it. Some of them come close, and yours may well be one of those, but we do have our reasons for declining.”

KRL: Future writing goals?

Terry: I’m happy to keep doing what I’m doing. I’ve got four series going that I can add to. Maybe I’ll write another book like Cruising Undercover or Heather’s Chase, where I can incorporate my travel.

KRL: Writing heroes?

Terry: Sandra McDonald, although she’s not writing much lately. She took me under her wing and got me started writing. The late Barbara Parker, PJ Parrish, and Suzanne Brockmann also helped me along and had the patience to help out a newbie writer.

KRL: What kind of research do you do?

Terry: As little as possible! But yes, I do make sure I get things right. It’s hard to keep from falling down the rabbit hole, so I generally research things as I discover I need them. It’s harder to know what you don’t know, like finding out not all cars have a manual transmission option. Thanks to a keen-eyed critique partner for pointing that out before I embarrassed myself on the page.

KRL: What do you read?

Terry: Mysteries mostly. CJ Box, John Sandford, JD Robb, Harlan Coben, Michael Connelly, Faye and Jonathan Kellerman … the list goes on.

KRL: Favorite TV or movies?

Terry: Haven’t been to a theater in decades. Don’t watch a lot of TV, and it’s usually something recorded or streaming, and the Hubster and I have to agree on programs. We’re watching Shetland, still several seasons behind, Midsomer Murders, even more seasons behind, New Tricks. We watched Reacher, Joe Pickett. Hubster likes the CSI/NCIS series. If it’s just me, I like cooking shows. Chopped, Top Chef, Iron Chef.

KRL: Any advice for aspiring or beginning writers?

Terry: Read. Write. Find a critique group or writing buddy. Read. Go to workshops or webinars. Read.

KRL: Anything you would like to add?

Terry: I think you’ve covered just about everything, but if anyone has more questions, they can ask, and I’ll try to answer.

KRL: What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

Terry: We have a skull collection on our mantle.

KRL: Website? Twitter? Facebook?

Terry: Website:
My blog: Terry’s place:

You can click here to purchase this book.

To enter to win an ebook copy of Deadly Production, another one of Terry’s Mapleton mysteries, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “deadly” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen April 20, 2024. U.S. residents only, and you must be 18 or older to enter. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Also listen to our new mystery podcast where mystery short stories and first chapters are read by actors! They are also available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Spotify. A new episode goes up next week.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. Great interview! Count me in!

  2. We have a winner!


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