On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.
Frozen Stiff (A Mattie Winston Mystery)
3rd in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Kensington (September 1, 2011)
Hardcover: 368 pages
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
Kindle ASIN: B008K6GNB6
Deputy coroner Mattie Winston knows everyone in the charmingly small town of Sorenson, Wisconsin–except the latest body discovered in a desolate field. If a woman this attractive had moved into town, the news would have surely hit the gossip mill in record time. So who was the murdered femme fatale? Whose knife was left planted in her chest? The mystery deepens when detective Steven Hurley takes one look at the body and turns as white as the newly fallen snow… .and excuses himself from the case.
It’ll take all of Mattie’s forensic skills to unravel the increasingly bizarre clues and find the killer… before she herself becomes just another cold case in a frigid Midwest winter!
Winter in Wisconsin can be a pure delight if you like the cold and you don’t find a dead body on the side of the road with a knife plunged into her chest. That is exactly what Deputy Coroner Mattie Winston finds. Detective Steven Hurley catches the case but as soon as he gets there he says he isn’t feeling well and reassigns the case to Bob Richmond, a cranky and almost retired detective. Mattie feels slighted by Hurley as he seems to be avoiding her. That is until he calls her later, swears her to secrecy, and asks for her help. Maddie could lose her job if she agrees, but there is no way she can turn Hurley down. She just hopes Izzy, her boss and friend can forgive her.
Maddie Winston can sure get herself into trouble. She is independent, leaps, before she thinks things through, will do anything for her friends, an even risk her life to save her ex-husband. She is a fantastic protagonist. Steve Hurley is the detective Mattie usually works with and has feelings for. In this story, she learns that a relationship with him may be impossible. Her ex-husband lives in their house right next door. She caught him in a compromising situation at the hospital with another nurse. That is why she is living in her new boss Izzy’s guest house and why she is no longer a nurse. He keeps trying to win her back but she doesn’t back down, she is moving on. All these characters and the rest of the cast is very well written.
The mystery has a nice twist this time that has Mattie still working with Hurley while working the case at the same time with Detective Richmond. I don’t want to give too much away but I really enjoyed the way the whole thing played out. Maddie even gets closer to Richmond, a man she started out despising. I liked the friendship that blossomed and some of their time together was so funny.
Humor again reigns supreme throughout this book. The story a hunter tells when he arrives in the Emergency Room almost had me rolling on the floor, even though I had heard a similar story somewhere else. The dialogues between the characters are funny. Some situations they find themselves in are funny. After just 3 books in this series, I know that when I am having a bad day, picking up a book by this author can pick me up usually within the first few pages.
While there is humor, there are serious situations too. Mattie does put herself in some very dangerous situations and sometimes her dog, Hoover follows right behind or even runs ahead. There were at least two times that had me on the edge of my seat. The author plotted out a great mystery and threw in some very clever turns. I had my “aha moment” right along with Mattie which was almost too late.
I love this series because it is set in Wisconsin and love to read about places I recognize. But I also love this series because these characters keep me as a reader on my toes. Annelise Ryan has written a story that makes me think and keeps me entertained from beginning to end.
*Note – This book does contain some explicit language.
About the Author
Annelise Ryan is the USA Today bestselling author of the popular Mattie Winston mystery series and a pseudonym for Beth Amos, who also writes the Mack’s Bar Mystery series under the pseudonym Allyson K. Abbott. Beth is a real-life emergency room RN living in Wisconsin. She believes laughter is the best medicine, and with the Mattie Winston series, she is hoping to “medicate” the masses.
For more Mattie Winston fun and to keep up with the latest news, visit www.mattiewinston.com
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*This was from my personal collection.