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.
Lucky Stiff (Mattie Winston Mysteries)
4th in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Kensington (March 5, 2013)
Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
Kindle ASIN: B009L93H7Y
It’s Christmas Day in the sleepy town of Sorenson, Wisconsin, but instead of unwrapping presents, deputy coroner Mattie Winston is at the burnt remains of a house, where a charred body has been found. The victim is none other than Jack Allen–a paraplegic who recently won a huge casino jackpot. Upon closer inspection, Mattie and detective Steve Hurley are convinced Jack was murdered to steal his winnings, giving the phrase Black Jack a whole new meaning. . .
But as Mattie investigates, even her cutting-edge forensic skills keep coming up short in a case with as many suspects as twists. After her odds-on-favorite turns up dead, Mattie and Hurley must race to find a killer before another victim cashes in his chips.
Deputy Coroner Mattie Winston catches a case on Christmas Day. Firemen called to a fire have found a body among the ashes. They are able to identify the man as Jack Allen, a paraplegic who was said to keep the fortune he recently won at the nearby casino in his home. Evidence shows the fire was deliberately set and not an accident as the killer had hoped. They also find Allen’s hiding spot empty. Working with detective Steve Hurley Mattie chases down clues while trying to ignore the romantic electricity that is running between them. They are also drawn into another case involving a missing man that was found floating in the river. Again, the evidence shows foul play.
I loved the first 3 books in this series for many reasons.
- It is set in my home state of Wisconsin.
- The text is full of Wisconsin references and the dialogue sounds just like the way I talk.
- The story is usually well-written and plotted.
- The humor flows from beginning to end.
But the thing I liked the best was protagonist Mattie Winston. She is a curvy woman, 6 feet tall, with size 12 feet, and she never fails to find herself the butt of a joke of her own making. This time mud and fire ants lead to two of her misadventures. The woman and the situations she gets herself into are flat out hilarious.
But this time she does some really stupid things that almost had me throwing the book at the wall and not finishing it. I also wish she stood up for herself better with her ex. She is a smart woman but when David is around she turns to mush. He cheated on her! He is the one who got at work with his pants down literally! Yet, she just lets him get away with everything. It is a good thing I was wrapped up in the main mystery and needed to know who killed a man in a wheelchair or this would have been a DNF.
Like Jack Allen, I deal with paralysis, I am a hemiplegic where my right side is mostly paralyzed while he is a paraplegic, paralyzed from the waist down. I identified with this character and was sad he was the victim. It really got my dander up that someone took advantage of him and then killed him all out of greed. So I was totally focused on his killer being brought to justice. There is a long list of probable suspects and I was “in the right church, wrong pew, with my thinking when it came down to nailing the killer.
The second case was easier for me to solve and really broke my heart. It hit a little close to home for me and sadly was a sign of our time.
There was also a trip to Florida for a forensic convention during the holidays, that really made no sense and could have been completely left out.
The romantic issues were like a roller coaster ride and I was excited about it until the first curveball hit, but it was the final pitch that again had me wanting to throw the book at the wall and because the mysteries were solved I DID!
So, No! this was not a Perfect Escape but it wasn’t A Dreadful Detour either. There were things I really enjoyed about the story but there many I didn’t. I really want to know what happens next with these characters. So after a little break, I will venture into book 5, Board Stiff in hopes this book just had a couple of missteps.
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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