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Deadly Puzzles (A Mapleton Mystery #3) by Terry Odell
Review by Mel Jacob
CreateSpace ebook  ISBN/ITEM#: 978147403956
Date: 21 April 2014

Links: Author's Website / Read an excerpt / Show Official Info /

Deadly Puzzles is mystery writer Terry Odellís third Mapleton Mystery. When Police Chief Gordon Helperís doctor recommends complete rest if Helper doesnít want to lose his eyesight, he goes to a bed and breakfast located hours from Mapleton. He soon finds plenty of trouble and danger aggravated by a major snowstorm, deadly accidents, and a possible attempt on his life.

Other guests at the B&B include a travel writer and an artist. Helper soon suspects a romance between the two. He is puzzled by the travel writer and sees links between her posts and the location of the murders of deadbeat dads. Then two other unexpected men arrive, Helper finds himself involved in more than he expected.

One man reaches the B&B on foot, claiming he ran off the road and left his wife waiting in the car for him. Helper agrees to use his SUV to take the man back to his car. At first, they canít find the car. Eventually they locate it down a ravine. There is no sign of the wife or her belongings.

The snow worsens, and the man is afraid his wife will freeze to death. Without proper gear, there is no hope of searching for the missing woman. After they return to the B&B, the other stranger, a wilderness guide, agrees to help with the search. He and Helper return to the scene and undertake a search during which Helper becomes lost and ends in a dangerous tree well.

Eventually, the other man finds him, and they return to the B&B. The husband becomes increasingly frantic. The highway patrol arrives and agrees to check things out, but can do little until the storm stops. A deadly shooting, heavy snow, and a traffic pile up delayed them. The number of loose ends and miscues related to both strangers intrigue and puzzle Helper. No one answers the phone at the home where the man whose wife is missing claims he is staying.

Meanwhile, things are happening in Mapleton, and Helperís subordinate captures an ATM scammer and gets national attention. The subordinate has a talent for searching the internet and finding interesting connections. Some prove vital in crime solving including the case of the missing wife. It takes all of Helperís skills and the assistance of his talented subordinate to solve the various puzzles related to the wife and the other deaths Helper encounters.

Odell had written a number of mysteries including one mystery series and a number of romantic suspense thrillers. She always provides plenty of action and excels at hidden connections between various characters. Some events in Deadly Puzzles are not resolved, but may provide hints to future Odell mysteries. Other titles in the Mapleton Mystery series include Deadly Secrets and Deadly Bones.

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