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.
Dead Ringer (A Mattie Winston Mystery)
Hard Boiled Mystery
11th in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Kensington (February 25, 2020)
Hardcover : 336 pages
ISBN-10 : 1496722558
ISBN-13 : 978-1496722553
Kindle ASIN : B07R7S242R
A new murder victim with an old M.O. puts Mattie Winston on the trail of a killer who gives a grim new meaning to flower power . . .
Spring is beginning to brighten Sorenson, Wisconsin, for Mattie and Steve Hurley and their family. While their son Matthew may be in his terrible twos and Steve’s daughter Emily a moody teenager, the kids bring light to their lives when their work is dark by its nature—Steve is a homicide detective and Mattie is a medicolegal death investigator, aka medical examiner. They deal in corpses.
The latest corpse, a Jane Doe, was clearly an addict, but drugs didn’t kill her, at least not directly. She’s been stabbed multiple times in a pattern that is disturbingly familiar to Mattie. When she discovers flower petals from yellow carnations stuffed into the stab wounds, she recognizes a very specific M.O.—belonging to a convicted serial killer who’s currently serving a life sentence.
The details of the flower petals were never made public in the last case, so it can’t be a copycat crime. It looks like the wrong man is in prison, and the murderer is still at large. Now it’s up to Mattie and Steve to get the case reopened—and catch the real carnation killer . . .
Homicide Detective Steve Hurley and his new wife Medicolegal Death Investigator Mattie Winston have a new case involving a Jane Doe. During the autopsy, Mattie realizes the wounds and what is stuffed in them are familiar, a Dead Ringer for another case. She had recently been at a conference where a colleague from Eau Claire described the M.O. of a serial killer that he helped send to prison. A key piece of evidence was never publicized so unless that was somehow leaked there is no way this death could be the work of a copycat. While Mattie and Hurley work to solve their case they also dig deeper into the case upstate. Knowing that the wrong man could be behind bars pushes them to tie the cases together to catch the real killer.
I continue to be drawn in by these characters. They are so genuine and have real-life issues everyone can identify with. Mattie is a strong woman and Hurley is a strong man but each has their insecurities. They both excel at their occupations because they are driven to find the truth but at home, they question certain parts of their lives. They are getting settled in their new home and are raising a teenage daughter and a toddler son and at times worry if they are giving the children everything they need especially with their recent news. Jealousy also rears its ugly head within these pages adding more tension to their chaotic lives. Ms. Ryan has let her characters evolve realistically from Matthew’s terrible twos to Emily’s dating. Mattie and Hurley’s relationship isn’t all sunshine and roses, it has some bumps in the road. Izzy and Dom are dealing with a new baby and Izzy’s mother. Other relationships are developing between the secondary characters too. All the characters have become like old friends that I love to visit.
The mystery that Steve and Mattie have on their hands is very compelling. Ms. Ryan plotted this one out so well. The interaction between police departments is tense with the coroner’s offices do their best to work together. Mattie is like a dog with a bone and goes to great lengths to follow every clue. Again, she finds herself in hot water and that brought me right to the edge of my seat. When all was revealed I was a bit shocked but it made sense and the clues were all there, I was just so caught up in the story I failed to put them all together.
I love the way the author tours the state of Wisconsin. This time linking Sorenson and Portage with Eau Claire. Traveling up and down the highway and recognizing familiar places with the characters in this series is always a good time even when trying to solve a murder.
Dead Ringer is the 11th book in this series and the author has kept the characters fresh and wrapped them in yet another complicated mystery. It was another Perfect Escape for me and knowing there is just one more book in this series I really didn’t want this book to end.
Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent
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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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”