Posted in 2022 Reviews Cloak and Dagger Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Dead Ringer (A Mattie Winston Mystery) by Annelise Ryan #Review / #Giveaway @ryan_annelise

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 . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

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

Also by this Author

Written as Allyson K. Abbott

I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy of Dead of Winter.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads
for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will
receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

The contest Will End on December 9, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
The winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For The Entry Form

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.”

Posted in 2022 Reviews Cloak and Dagger Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Dead of Winter (A Mattie Winston Mystery) by Annelise Ryan #Review / #Giveaway @ryan_annelise

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 of Winter (A Mattie Winston Mystery)
Hard-Boiled Mystery
10th in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Kensington Cozies (February 26, 2019)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 352 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496706714
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496706713
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 448 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496706722
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496706720
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B07DBQRJHN

Before medicolegal death investigator Mattie can smooth out the unexpected chaos of her new home, new marriage, and new family, duty calls. At the local ER, a battered and bruised teenage girl has been brought in by a mysterious man who claimed she’d fallen out of a car. The staff is suspicious, but while they attend to the teenager, the unidentified man slips out. Then the girl dies, but not before informing social worker Hildy Schneider that the man had her little sister as well.

Mattie’s exam reveals forensic evidence of long-term IV drug use and physical abuse, findings consistent with Hildy’s suspicion that the girl was a victim of human trafficking. They are able to confirm her identity as a teen who went missing six months ago, along with her sister—facts that are deeply unsettling to Mattie who now shares a home with her husband’s teenaged daughter.

Working closely with Hildy and Sorenson homicide detectives, including her husband Steve Hurley, Mattie must delve into a dark underworld to stop the ruthless trafficking of human lives—before it’s too late for another young girl . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Mattie and Hurley have moved into their new home and are settling in nicely with their children but at times Mattie feels a little overwhelmed when her work as a death investigator is added to the mix. Her latest case involves a teen who was brought into the ER battered and bruised and later dies but not before uttering “he has her too” and begging social worker, Hildy Schneider to help her little sister. Mattie’s exam is heartbreaking. It shows the teenager was a long-time victim of physical abuse and long-term IV drug use. Both Hildy and Mattie agree she was being human trafficked. Both are shocked that something like that could happen in Sorenson, Wisconsin. It just hits too close now that she is caring for Hurley’s teenage daughter. So working with Hurley, Hildy, other techs at the Medical Examiner’s office, and other local detectives Mattie takes a deep dive into human trafficking to find a little girl before it is too late.

Meanwhile, a member of Dom’s theater group falls from a catwalk to his death. A death that is quickly classified as a homicide. Add a first-class Wisconsin blizzard to the mix and things could get messy for Sorenson and Mattie.


This is such a wonderful series. With the 8th book in the series, Ms. Ryan added more serious themes but didn’t lose the humor readers expect from her. In this book that included a terrible, awful, very bad day for Mattie. I could relate on a personal level to part of it but that didn’t keep me from laughing at all her trials and tribulations. Young Matthew also tees up some hilarious things. He is at the perfect age to get into all kinds of mischief. Hurley takes just about everything in stride. Mattie is thankful that Emily, her teenage stepdaughter is able to help with Matthew and that they get along so well. It really eases up things at home and it is enabling Emily to collect a nice nest egg with the babysitting dollars she earns. All these characters grow in each subsequent book and they have true-to-life issues. They feel like neighbors that could live across the street. The hearse Mattie drives may be a little offputting at first but I am sure after a short time I would adjust.

Ms. Ryan takes on some hot-topic issues within the pages of this story. Even though it was released in 2019 the themes are even more relevant today. According to the U.S. Dept of State, there are an estimated 24.9 million victims worldwide at any given time of human trafficking, and with the repeal of Row vs. Wade illegal abortions are in the headlines again. Bringing it up close and personal to a relatively small town in Wisconsin makes people realize serious issues can happen anywhere but that there are good people trying to make a difference.

Being set during a Wisconsin winter really added to the story. The winds, cold, and snow, including a blizzard, are part of life around here. Winters have gotten milder over the years but Mother Nature is a fickle woman so we never know what to expect. In fact, one of my grandsons was born in the middle of a blizzard 10 years ago. My husband transported his parents to the hospital following a snowplow and they arrived just in time. Our older grandson was snowed in with his other set of grandparents out in the country for 3 or 4 days.

What gets me excited every time I open a book by Annelise Ryan is that I know I am going to read a great story filled with a mystery or two that grabs my attention. One that features characters that are engaging and that I have become invested in. And that I am going to laugh, probably often. She does an excellent job of blending top-notch mysteries with Mattie’s crazy everyday life.

Dead of Winter is a fantastic addition to this series. I highly recommend it and the rest of the series.

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

Also by this Author

Written as Allyson K. Abbott

I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy of Dead of Winter.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads
for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will
receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

The contest Will End on November 11, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
The winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For The Entry Form

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.”

Posted in 2022 Reviews Cloak and Dagger Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Dead Calm (A Mattie Winston Mystery) by Annelise Ryan #Review / #Giveaway @ryan_annelise

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 Calm (A Mattie Winston Mystery)
Hard Boiled Mystery
9th in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Kensington (February 27, 2018)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 384 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496706684
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496706683
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 384 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496706692
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496706690
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B07178SP36

As deputy medical examiner and homicide detective respectively, newlyweds Mattie Winston and Steve Hurley are dispatched to a grisly crime scene at the Grizzly Motel, a seedy joint for illicit liaisons on the outskirts of Sorenson, Wisconsin. A man and woman are found dead next to each other in bed in what initially appears to be a grim but straightforward murder-suicide. An affair gone sour?

But as the forensic evidence is gathered and autopsies are performed, Mattie and Hurley realize the scene has been staged. They have a double murder on their hands. The spurned spouses of both victims top the list of suspects, but as more is revealed, the case becomes increasingly complex. Dividing their time and resources between the crime and an ongoing investigation involving Mattie’s father, plus caring for their kids, the two are stretched to their limits. After another victim turns up dead, there’s no room for error as they stage a scene of their own to back the killer into a corner . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Deputy Medical Examiner Mattie Winston and her husband Homicide Detective Steve Hurley are called to the Grizzly (No Tell) Motel for 2 bodies. At first, the deaths are thought to be murder/suicide to end an affair but some keen observations and the autopsies show that isn’t what happened. It is a double murder case and the couple’s respective spouses are now the prime suspects.

Mattie and Hurley are also still working on an investigation that involves Mattie’s father, trying to build a house, taking care of their family, and more. With this new double murder, they are juggling a lot and it may just be too much. Then another body is found and Mattie pushes her boss to hire a replacement for her recently deceased coworker before she goes over the edge. Until then she and her hunky detective may need to get creative to solve a complex case and catch a killer.


Ms. Ryan has packed this book full of mysteries! An old case that started in a previous book, a strange case that may involve aliens, and the current murder case. All three grab a hold of the reader and play out at their own pace throughout the book. The alien case made me think of the recent release by this author, A Death in Door County. It shows me that the author has wanted to explore unique storylines for a while and she does it very well. The old case is very complex and has many tangents to explore which I enjoyed. The new case was more straightforward and easier for readers to solve.

I really appreciate that Ms. Ryan writes true-to-life characters. Mattie Winston is not a superwoman and her work is starting to take a toll on her mind and body. Steve is very supportive but he gets overwhelmed at times as well. Izzy and Dom are struggling a bit too with Izzy going back to work, his mother living on the premises, and Dom wanting to get back to some of the things he was doing before the baby came. Dom is also babysitting Matthew for Mattie and Steve.

The recognizable Wisconsin references are always a treat. This time Mattie truly was in my neck of the woods, just mere blocks away.

I love the way Ms. Ryan writes a story and the way she blends together mysteries and family life. At first, I thought this book was a little light on the author’s signature humor. That was until Izzy and Mattie started to interview for someone to replace Hal. Oh my stars, you won’t believe who they ultimately hire. I think things are going to be very interesting around the morgue. It may mean everyone working there will need to receive a special piece of equipment.

Dead Calm is not a book you can read as a stand-alone because of the arc of one of the cases. Of course, as a fan, I think you should read the entire series in order to really get to know these characters.  But if you want to jump in later in the series it twisted from the cozy realm to more hard-boiled with Dead in The Water so that one should definitely be read before this book.

I have enjoyed this entire series and look forward to reading Dead of Winter soon.

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

Also by this Author

Written as Allyson K. Abbott

I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy of Dead Calm.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads
for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will
receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

The contest Will End on October 28, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
The winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For The Entry Form

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.”

Posted in 2022 Reviews Cloak and Dagger Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

A Death in Door County (A Monster Hunter Mystery) by Annelise Ryan #Review @ryan_annelise

Release Date – September 13, 2022


A Death in Door County (A Monster Hunter Mystery)
Traditional Mystery
1st In Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Berkley (September 13, 2022)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 336 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0593441575
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0593441572
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09N6MRYVV

A Wisconsin bookstore owner and cryptozoologist is asked to investigate a series of deaths that just might be proof of a fabled lake monster in this first installment of a new mystery series by USA Today bestselling author Annelise Ryan.

Morgan Carter, the owner of the Odds and Ends bookstore in Door County, Wisconsin, has a hobby. When she’s not tending the store, she’s hunting cryptids—creatures whose existence is rumored, but never proven to be real. It’s a hobby that cost her parents their lives, but one she’ll never give up on.

So when a number of bodies turn up on the shores of Lake Michigan with injuries that look like bites from a giant unknown animal, police chief Jon Flanders turns to Morgan for help. A skeptic at heart, Morgan can’t turn down the opportunity to find proof of an entity whose existence she can’t definitively rule out. She and her beloved rescue dog, Newt, journey to the Death’s Door strait to hunt for a homicidal monster in the lake—but if they’re not careful, they just might be its next victims.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

What lies deep in the waters of the Great Lakes? Could there be a monster or two? Morgan Carter is determined to find out. Her hobby is hunting cryptids—creatures whose existence is rumored but never proven to be real.

Police Chief Jon Flanders has learned of Morgan’s hobby and has asked her for help when bodies, human and animal, have washed up on the shores of Lake Michigan with unusual bites from an unknown animal. Morgan cannot turn the man down so she and her rescue dog, Newt take on the case of the “monster” in the Death’s Door strait. Will they survive or be the next victims of the monster lurking beneath the surface?


As a Wisconsin resident and a fan of Annelise Ryan, I was not sure where she was going with the Monster Hunter theme but was pleasantly surprised when I started reading this story.

Morgan Carter is a unique protagonist that has a sad backstory, her parents were killed a couple of years ago, an unusual hobby, hunting cryptids, and is the owner of the Odds and Ends bookstore which is filled with some really peculiar items. She is smart and driven especially when she is on a hunt. Her best friend is her rescue dog Newt. He goes along with her everywhere she goes. We also meet Police Chief Jon Flanders. He also has a painful past. Morgan’s employees, Devon and Rita, bring a lot to this story too. All these characters are well-developed, especially for the first book in the series.

The mystery was captivating. The weather on the lake was haunting most of the time. The search really drew me in. So much so that I physically jumped back in my seat more than once. Ms. Ryan paced the entire story perfectly. Near the end, I finally had some clues fall into place but I loved the final reveal. When I turned the last page I felt like I had been on a real adventure.

Setting this book in Door County was fun. I recognized the places Morgan traveled and those I was unfamiliar with were described perfectly to create the images in my mind.

The author adds some worthy themes into this story, like building trust and coping with past traumatic events. She also made the idea of cryptids actually believable, even though I have lived here my whole life and never heard of any such thing in any of the Great Lakes.  The truth is you never know what you may find in those waters. Hear my diabolical laugh here.

A Death in Door County was a Perfect Escape. Ms. Ryan has given this series a great start. I am eager to see where she takes her characters next.

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

Also by this Author

Written as Allyson K. Abbott

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.”

Posted in 2022 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways TBR Pile Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Dead in the Water (A Mattie Winston Mystery) by Annelise Ryan #Review / #Giveaway @ryan_annelise

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 in the Water (A Mattie Winston Mystery)
Hard-Boiled Mystery
8th in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Kensington (February 28, 2017)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 352 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 149670665X
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496706652
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 368 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496706668
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496706669
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B01GBAG70E

As a single mom and deputy coroner of Sorenson, Wisconsin, Mattie Winston is used to her life being a juggling act. But now that she’s moved in with Detective Steve Hurley and his teenaged daughter, and has started planning their wedding, her home life is looking more like a three-ring circus. At least her workload at the Medical Examiner’s office is lightened by the new hire Hal Dawson. But before Hal can even cash his first paycheck, he’s murdered on a fishing trip with his girlfriend, who’s gone missing. To keep her life from going completely under, Mattie will have to dive deep for clues. But a killer is just as determined to keep the truth from ever surfacing . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Mattie and Hurley have moved into together to raise their son, Matthew now that they have his teenage daughter Emily’s approval. A wedding will happen soon if they can squeeze it in around their hectic jobs. Mattie had thought her part-time schedule would free up some time but her new co-worker Hal Dawson was just found dead on his boat and his girlfriend is missing. On top of that her boss, Izzy is having some serious medical issues and a temporary Medical Examiner has stepped in. Mattie finds herself working closely with Hurley to find out why Hal was found Dead in the Water but the killer seems to be quite elusive and the bodies are piling up.


I do love that the series is set very close to where I actually live and that when they say someone is on their way to or from Madison or Milwaukee I can easily visualize the trip. It is fun when other landmarks are mentioned too.

I am so happy that Mattie, Hurley, Emily, and Matthew are all under one roof and they have come up with a plan to try to juggle everything in their complicated lives. They all seem really happy and I am excited about their future. I am concerned about Izzy and Dom. They are still finding their way with a new baby in the house and Izzy’s judgemental mother in the guest house. Izzy has a serious medical episode in this story and it was very scary. As you can see, I have become invested in these realistic genuine characters Ms. Ryan has created. The unique family dynamic is what really drives the books in this series.

This story grabbed me from the start. Mattie is in court testifying about a gruesome discovery she made when called to a scene for a suspicious death. Then as soon as she is done she is set to another scene for another death that has some unusual facets. Then she has to deal with Izzy which is followed quickly by the dead body found Dead in the Water. Are all or some of these cases related? That is up to Mattie and Hurley with a little assistance to figure out all while dealing with the joys of daily family life.

I really enjoyed the way the author plotted out this story. She mixes together mystery, suspense, family, and humor with such a talented hand. The story flows so well that it is almost impossible to put down due to some hair-raising twists and deadly turns. The ending just rocked me to the core. We have definitely moved from the cozy Stiff part of this series to the edgier hard-boiled Dead part of this series and I am more than fine with that.

Dead in the Water is my favorite book in this series so far. I am excited to dive into Dead Calm soon!

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

New Series Starting September 13, 2022

Also by this Author

Written as Allyson K. Abbott

I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy of Dead in the Water.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads
for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will
receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End June 3, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For The Entry Form

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.”

Posted in 2022 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Night Shift (A Helping Hands Mystery) by Annelise Ryan #Review / #Giveaway

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.


Night Shift (A Helping Hands Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Kensington Cozies (July 28, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 368 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496719441
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496719447
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B07ZPLB14V

When social worker Hildy Schneider commits to an after-hours side job, she finds herself drawn into the darker side of small-town Sorenson, Wisconsin—and the twisted mind of an unnamed killer . . .

Strange things have been happening since Hildy started moonlighting with local police, but a desperate late-night call involving a former patient from Sorenson General Hospital tops the list. Although Danny Hildebrand has been tormented by hallucinations for years, he swears he’s being haunted for real by the victim of a grisly murder . . .

The rambling ghost story seems like another delusion. But after a body turns up in a neglected farmhouse crawling with secrets, Hildy and the magnetic Detective Bob Richmond rush to explain Danny’s knowledge of the incident. As the crime-solving partners unwittingly grow closer while examining a series of eerie leads, they realize that surviving past sunrise means shedding light on a criminal willing to do whatever it takes to stay in the shadows . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We are back in Sorenson, Wisconsin but this time we are tagging along with Social Worker Hildy Schneider in this second book in Annelise Ryan’s spinoff series from her Mattie Winston Mysteries.  Hildy is just starting her new side job working directly with the police on the night shift. Her first call involves a man she has worked with before. Danny Hildebrand has been taking medications to keep his hallucinations at bay for years.  When he stops taking them properly or they are no longer working as expected he needs to go into the hospital to get him back on track. Hildy expects that is what she is walking into with the police for this disturbance call. She knows her dog Roscoe has calmed Danny in the past so she convinces the police to let her take the lead. Roscoe does his magic but soon Danny is telling Hildy he isn’t having his normal issues, he swears he is being haunted by a real murder victim.

After getting Danny checked in to the hospital Hildy and her police partner find a horrific murder scene at a rundown farmhouse when sent to do a welfare check. A quick inspection of the scene looks eerily like Danny’s hallucination right down to a particular item. Detective Bob Richmond and Hildy start to work together and even have to call in some alphabet agencies when they discover something truly scary and above their pay grade on the dead farmer’s property. Just how deep is Danny involved in all this illegal activity? Can he be the key to finding the killer? Will Hildy help solve the murder? Or will she become another victim?


Hildy Schneider is a complex leading character. Peel back her layers and you will see how her troubled past has led to her Helping Hands present. She really is an amazing character with a unique way of seeing things others don’t. Her therapy dog Roscoe is fantastic too.

Another complex character is PJ, an autistic pre-teen that lives next door to Hildy and takes Roscoe on walks while Hildy is at work. The girl is brutally honest in all the best ways.

There are several characters that crossover from the other series. The most noteworthy is Detective Bob Richmond who has changed quite a bit over the course of that series and is now pursuing a deeper relationship with Hildy. Hurley makes a cameo at the end of the book and Mattie is mentioned a couple of times in the story.  All the characters are well crafted with plenty of room for growth.

The mystery ended up being much more expansive than one dead body. There was a major plan afoot and finding a dead Arthur Fletcher at his kitchen table was just part of a cover-up. I really enjoyed the way the author plotted out this story. Hildy’s keen observation skills and her willingness to really get involved with Danny and his care as she continued to piece everything together really was fun to read. One character felt off to me a few times but I kept discarding it until their behavior became more glaring. My attention still kept being diverted up until the very end.

Again, this story takes place in my home state. I love the local references and overall Wisconsin feel I get when reading books by this author.

Sadly there hasn’t been a 3rd book in this series. I really like the focus on Hildy that this series brings. She is unique and I would love to see more stories featuring her.

If you like your cozy mysteries with a bit of an edge and plenty of humor you will enjoy all the books by this author and those she writes as Allyson K. Abbott.

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

Also by this Author

Written as Allyson K. Abbott

I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads
for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will
receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End March 4, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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.”

Posted in 2022 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Stiff Competition (Mattie Winston Mysteries) by Annelise Ryan #Review / #Giveaway @ryan_annelise

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.


Stiff Competition (Mattie Winston Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Kensington (January 26, 2016)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 384 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1617734101
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1617734106
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B00X2EOZKC

A coroner must find a killer out to make a point in this hard-boiled mystery by the USA Today–bestselling author of Dead Even.

Every fall, hunting season in Sorenson, Wisconsin, leads to some accidental injuries. Deputy coroner Mattie Winston just hopes the hunters don’t bring any more business to her office. But somebody seems to have declared open season on land developers. One real estate developer who’s recently come to town has been found dead in the woods with an arrow through his neck. Now it’s up to Mattie to get to the bottom of the killing. That might be easier if she wasn’t also hunting for Detective Hurley’s teenage daughter, Emily, who has suddenly disappeared. With a homicidal William Tell out on the loose, Mattie is desperate to find Emily before the killer notches another arrow . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The crisp autumn air in Wisconsin means there are deer hunters in the woods and fields first for bow hunting, later for gun hunting. Accidents are bound to happen but when a land developer is taken down with an arrow it turns out to be murder. Deputy Coroner Mattie Winston returns to work after the birth of her baby just in time to be put on the case. She starts working the case with her baby’s daddy, Detective Hurley but when Emily his teenage daughter goes missing he hands the case off to another detective to search for her. Mattie would love to help him but her relationship with the teenager is pretty icy. But soon she finds herself both on the trail for Emily and the killer.


Mattie’s life is full and complicated. She is trying to find a balance between work and motherhood. Thankfully she has a great babysitter in Dom but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t show up the first day back at work with baby puke in her hair and on her shirt. She is also hoping to bring her little family together but Hurley’s daughter isn’t having it. She is doing everything she can to keep Mattie and Hurley apart.

Maddie’s first days back at work are truly filled to the brim. Any mother can feel the strain of taking care of a newborn while trying to function through a workday. The author gives a true perspective. I identified with Mattie putting everyone and everything else first. Trying to squeeze in a haircut was a monumental task and then she made a poor decision.

Hurley is dealing with a lot as well.  He is in a high-pressure job that requires a lot of hours. His teenage daughter entering his life brings a whole new set of stressors and now he has the baby with Mattie. He is feeling guilty because he feels he is not doing any of the jobs well.

What really drives the books in this series are the many relationships between the characters. There is drama but there is an overwhelming feeling of love. The core characters all care about each other and make up a unique family situation. The characters continue to grow throughout each book and in Stiff Competition, one character has a wonderful awakening. It is so easy to get invested in these characters.

Ms. Ryan gives readers two mysteries to solve. The murder of a shady land developer and the disappearance of Hurley’s daughter. Maddie is up to her neck in both and the author twists both of them together with an expert hand. I was more caught up in Emily’s disappearance because she is a core character but it was fun following the clues to solve the other mystery too. I also enjoy the way humor is placed widely throughout the story. Real true-to-life events befall Mattie time and time again in a funny way.

Of course, this series taking place close to my home always brings extra enjoyment as landmarks and places I know are mentioned. It is easy to see in my mind right where everything is taking place.

Stiff Competition is a nice addition to this series. With the next book, we move out of the “Stiff” phase and into the “DEAD” phase. I am looking forward to continuing on Mattie’s journey with her family and friends. The ending of this book makes me excited to escape into Dead In The Water soon.

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

Also by this Author

Written as Allyson K. Abbott

I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads
for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will
receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End February 25, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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.”

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Stiff Penalty (Mattie Winston Mysteries) by Annelise Ryan #Review / #Giveaway @ryan_annelise

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.


Stiff Penalty (Mattie Winston Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Publisher: Kensington Books (March 1, 2015)
Print Length: 417 pages
Kindle ASIN: B00M4ASUL0

Danger multiplies for a pregnant coroner investigating a math teacher’s murder in this hard-boiled mystery by a USA Today–bestselling author.

 

Deputy coroner Mattie Winston knows a thing or two about dead bodies. That’s why she’s on the case of Derrick Ames, a high school math teacher stabbed to death with a barbecue fork straight to the heart. Sure, she’s turned up some motives and a few suspects, but nothing adds up. Especially when the evidence points to Ames’s teenage son. Newly pregnant Mattie can’t believe it, even as her own long-estranged father may be following her. But one thing’s certain, she’d better start figuring things out fast, or a deadly perpetrator could be subtracting two more victims from the population of Sorenson, Wisconsin . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Stiff Penalty is the sixth book in this series and I want to state upfront that these books should be read in order to fully understand the characters and the relationships but also for the hilarity that ensues within the pages of each book.

Mattie Winston has had a hard life, her father left when she was young, she caught her husband in the act of cheating on her at the hospital where they both work, and now she is dealing with a stalker, an unexpected pregnancy, and of course, another murder or two.


It took me a few minutes to get into this story because most of it is told in flashbacks but after I got the rhythm down the pages flew.

Ms. Ryan really brings the drama this time. Maddie is seeing a therapist and all her insecurities come out. It was great to see the other side of Maddie. She tries to keep a brave face on for the world but her life is changing in ways that can be downright scary.

There is drama at work too. High School math teacher Derrick Ames was stabbed straight into his heart with a barbeque fork. There are suspects but Maddie can’t piece the clues together to pin down the killer. But again, there is that stalker and the baby on the way. And being shot at doesn’t help matters. The drama doesn’t stop there either.

I really enjoyed Stiff Penalty. I started reading this series because it is set in my home state of Wisconsin. I keep coming back and reading more because I have become invested in these characters and the craziness that comes along with them. A great mystery or two just adds to the fun.

I am bound and determined to get all caught up on this series in 2021.

Your Escape With 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

Also by this Author

Written as Allyson K. Abbott

I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will
receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End December 18, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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.”

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Board Stiff (Mattie Winston Mysteries) by Annelise Ryan #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks

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.


Board Stiff (Mattie Winston Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Publisher: Kensington (March 4, 2014)
Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
ISBN-10: 0758272766
ISBN-13: 978-0758272768
Kindle ASIN: B00F8J6RG4

Sorenson, Wisconsin’s deputy coroner Mattie Winston is back on the job. . .in a nursing home examining the body of Bernie Chase—the now former president of the Twilight Home’s board of directors—who is covered in a powder used to turn liquids to solids. The home’s residents are certain Bernie was offing the patients who cost him too much. . .and the patient that found him can’t remember a thing.

 

Between her ongoing tug of war with Detective Hurley, fulfilling her new job requirement of seeing a shrink, and wrangling with the Twilight Home’s board of directors, Mattie’s got her scrubbed hands full. She’ll need all of her outside-the-box forensic skills to crack a case that’s turning out to be stranger—and more dangerous—than anything she’s seen before!

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The last book in this series was definitely not a fave but this time Mattie Winston is back in the coroner’s office and investigating a case at a local nursing home. The owner of the place died an unusual death and the place is full of suspects. Unfortunately, the man found with the body is dealing with dementia and can’t remember what happened.

As a condition of Mattie’s return to the job she has to meet with a shrink and she is not happy about that. She is also dealing with the demise of her relationship with Detective Hurley or is she? With them working together again are they going to be able to keep their hands off each other?

______

Okay, the author has got her groove back and it is stories like this I have have come to expect from her! Laugh out loud! Fun! Fun! Fun!

The mystery is well-plotted and full of twists. A plethora of suspects! A nursing home is a terrific setting because residents and staff all may have means, motive, and opportunity for wanting the guy in charge 6 feet under especially if the rumors floating around the place are true. The investigation was heady but handled correctly even with all the roadblocks the powers that be tried to throw up.

The characters in this series are great and the introduction of a special person in Hurley’s life adds a who adds a new element to his life and the series. Plus there is a cliffhanger that just blew me away.

I can’t wait to get started on the next book in this series as I continue my endeavor to catch up on the entire series. I love that it is set in my home state of Wisconsin and upset that it took me so long to find it.

This one was truly A Perfect Escape!

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

Also by this Author

Written as Allyson K. Abbott

I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End June 26, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

*This was from my personal collection.

Posted in Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Reviews 2019 Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring Needled to Death (A Helping Hands Mystery) by Annelise Ryan #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am thrilled today to feature Needled to Death
by Wisconsin Author Annelise Ryan!

Needled to Death (A Helping Hands Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Kensington (July 30, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1496719433
ISBN-13: 978-1496719430
Kindle ASIN: B07K5Y2PCS

As a colleague of deputy coroner Mattie Winston, social worker Clothilde “Hildy” Schneider is no stranger to unsolved murders at Sorenson General Hospital. Except this time, it’s up to her to crack the case . . .

Motivated by her own difficult past, Hildy has an unparalleled commitment to supporting troubled clients through grief and addiction in Sorenson, Wisconsin. But when a distraught group therapy member reveals disturbing details about her late son’s potential murder, Hildy goes from dedicated mental health professional to in-over-her-head amateur sleuth . . .

Alongside her loyal therapy Golden Retriever, Hildy stumbles through incriminating clues—and an unlikely partnership with Detective Bob Richmond, the irresistibly headstrong cop who shares her passion for helping others. With signs of foul play surfacing all over town, can Hildy and Detective Richmond pinpoint the deadly traits of a sharp-witted killer before another seat gets filled at grief therapy?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Still dealing with my own grief for a loved one I was a little nervous about reading this book but I really wanted to support the author from my home state. An author whose own books have brightened some of my dark days I decided to push ahead knowing that if it got to be too much I could always stop. I am so glad I started reading because a few uncomfortable moments at the beginning of the story were clearly outweighed by the rest of the story. 

Clothilde “Hildy” Schneider works as a social worker at the Sorenson General Hospital. She also leads a grief and addiction support group at the hospital.  It is there she meets Sharon Cochran, a mom who lost her son to what the police have ruled a suicide. Sharon doesn’t believe her son took his own life and she begs Hildy and the support group to help her prove it. She feels her son was murdered and no one is paying attention.

First, Hildy checks in with the Medical Examiner’s office and finds some inconsistencies.  She then visits Sharon’s home and finds some interesting drawings and the young man’s computer. Armed with both she confronts Detective Bob Richmond in hopes he will share information and reopen the case. He realizes she may be onto something and agrees to work with her to find out what really happened to Toby Cochran.

I immediately liked Hildy and her open heart. She has great instincts and she doesn’t back down. She also has a wonderful golden retriever named Roscoe, who works as a comfort animal when needed. We also meet Hildy’s neighbor P.J., a very adult 11-year-old who walks Roscoe several times a day and even gives Hildy relationship advice and fashion tips. The author also sets up a prospective love triangle with Hildy, Detective Richmond, and evidence technician Jonas Kriedeman. Jonas is raising his 7-year-old daughter on his own. She is also very smart and independent for her young age.

But I really identified with Sharon Cochran. I could feel her pain. No matter how your child died the grief is with you the rest of your life. Life is never normal again. Ms. Ryan portrayed that very well in this character.

All the recurring characters are complex and I am excited to see them evolve as this series continues. Deputy Coroner Mattie Winston from the author’s other series does make a cameo appearance but this series stands completely on its own.

I really enjoyed the way Bob and Hildy worked together and the premise of this series means it is not just a one-time thing. This murder investigation was not an easy solve and had some truly surprising moments that had me holding my breath. My focus was in the right ballpark but I struck out putting everything together until it was clearly spelled out for me.

The icing on the cake was that this series takes place in my home state not too far from where I live. I loved recognizing all the landmarks as we followed along with Hildy and Bob as they chased down clues.

The Helping Hands Mystery series is off to a champion start! Needled to Death was a Perfect Escape and I can’t wait to read the next book in this series!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Annelise Ryan is the pseudonym for the author of the Mattie Winston Mysteries and the Mac’s Bar Mysteries (written as Allyson K. Abbott). She has written more than 200 published articles, worked as a book reviewer for Barnes & Noble, and is an active member of Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers.

Needled to Death is her first book in a new mystery series, A Helping Hands Mystery, featuring a social worker at the Sorenson Hospital who solves mysteries.

Annelise currently works as a registered nurse in an ER. She can be reached at www.mattiewinston.com. Her books have garnered numerous accolades, most recently she has been honored by the Wisconsin Library Association as a Wisconsin.

Author Links – FacebookGoodReadsAmazon

Written as Allyson K. Abbott

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.

Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

LIKE Kensington Publishing on Facebook for 2 Bonus Entries!

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End August 28, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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.”