Frozen Stiff

( 37 )

Overview

Death is never pretty, and deputy coroner Mattie Winston's latest case is no exception. But this victim certainly was strikingly beautiful. . .before someone stuck that knife into her chest.

Mattie knows everyone in the charmingly small town of Sorenson, Wisconsin, so the deceased is definitely a stranger from out of town. If a woman this attractive had moved into town, the news would have surely hit the gossip mill in record time. So what was ...

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Frozen Stiff (Mattie Winston Series #3)

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Overview

Death is never pretty, and deputy coroner Mattie Winston's latest case is no exception. But this victim certainly was strikingly beautiful. . .before someone stuck that knife into her chest.

Mattie knows everyone in the charmingly small town of Sorenson, Wisconsin, so the deceased is definitely a stranger from out of town. If a woman this attractive had moved into town, the news would have surely hit the gossip mill in record time. So what was the victim doing here, laid out in this desolate field?

Things only get murkier with the arrival at the scene of the usually stoic and dependable detective Steven Hurley; one look at the body and he turns as white as the newly fallen snow. . .and excuses himself from the case. It turns out the victim was a top investigative reporter from Chicago, and Hurley not only knew her. . .they dated a year and a half ago, until she broke it off. While Mattie grapples with her jealousy of a gorgeous dead woman, Hurley swears her to secrecy and tells her. . .that knife in his ex's chest is his!

It's a case with more twists than Maddie's own crazy love life, and it'll take all of her forensic skills to unravel the increasingly bizarre clues and find the killer. . .before she herself becomes just another cold case!

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Deputy coroner Mattie Winston's (Working Stiff) heart cracks just a little when she learns the beautiful corpse in the snow was once the girlfriend of handsome local detective Steve Hurley. The victim was a Chicago news reporter, and the killer dumped her in small-town Sorenson, WI, to frame Steve. Or is Steve really a killer intent upon wreaking havoc on all his neighbors and friends? A series of wild events over the Thanksgiving holiday truly challenges Sorenson's law-enforcement team. Mattie continues her clumsy but fearless forays into finding the answers to puzzling questions. Her self-deprecating, slightly raunchy humor can detract, but her competence as a former ER nurse, plus a quirky supporting cast, makes the series intriguing. VERDICT Ryan has a good eye for forensic and medical detail, and Mattie gets past her Big Girl complex to be the woman of the hour in her third outing. Sue Ann Jaffarian fans might like. Ryan is a pseudonym for suspense writer Beth Amos.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780758234575
  • Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 8/7/2012
  • Series: Mattie Winston Series , #3
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 187,277
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Frozen Stiff


By Annelise Ryan

KENSINGTON BOOKS

Copyright © 2011 Beth Amos
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-7582-3456-8


Chapter One

Death is never pretty and this one is no exception. But the victim, whose face is largely untouched by the violence that killed her, is exceptionally beautiful: a tiny, well-shaped nose, huge blue eyes, auburn hair, pouty lips, and porcelain skin with nary a blemish. She falls short of perfection however, because her lips have a deep bluish tinge to them and much of that pale coloring comes from a lack of circulation. People tend to change colors once they're dead, especially when they're lying on top of snow like this woman is.

I hang around dead people a lot these days. My name is Mattie Winston and I work as a deputy coroner here in the small Wisconsin town of Sorenson. I've lived here all my life and before my current job I worked in the local hospital: five years as an ER nurse and seven in the OR. As a result, I know a goodly portion of the people who live in town, but this woman's face is unfamiliar to me. I'm certain I'd remember her if I'd ever seen her before because she is striking, even in death. This makes me suspect she's an out-of-towner, and the fact that Junior Feller—one of the two uniformed cops standing beside me and a Sorenson lifer like me—doesn't recognize her affirms this belief. I suppose it's possible our victim is simply new to the area, but I doubt it. If a woman this beautiful had moved to town it would have hit the gossip mill in record time and worried wives would be out in force with their husbands, keeping a watchful eye. Plus the victim isn't dressed like the average Sorensonian. Her tiny, petite frame is covered with knit black slacks, a form-fitting, lime-green jacket, and high-heeled leather boots. The clothes look like impractical, expensive, designer duds, whereas most of the locals tend to favor clodhopper boots, down-filled coats, furry trapper hats with earflaps, and layers of long underwear that make it look like the town is populated by descendants of the Michelin Man.

"I'd venture to say the cause of death is obvious," says Ron Colbert, the second uniformed cop. He makes this pronouncement with great authority, as if it's some brilliant investigative deduction despite the fact that we can all see a knife buried in the left side of the victim's chest. Colbert is new on the force—I met him for the first time a few weeks ago at the scene of another homicide—and like most rookies, he seems both eager and naïve, though my assumption of naïveté may be due to the fact that he looks like he's twelve years old thanks to his small stature and a zit in the middle of his forehead that looks like a third eye. It was Colbert who discovered the body as he was driving along the road: the bright splash of green on top of the fresh, white snow caught his attention. No doubt it was a bit of a rush for him since the most exciting calls our cops typically get are for teenaged marauders who are out cow tipping and snipe hunting, or an illegally parked tractor at one of the town's bars.

Deaths of any sort aren't all that common here in Sorenson—Wisconsinites tend to be a hardy bunch as our winters weaned out the weak gene pool decades ago. Homicides are even rarer, and as such they are often the highlight of a cop's career . Colbert must feel as if he hit the jackpot by running across two of them in a matter of weeks, so his eagerness is easy to understand.

I shift my focus from the corpse to take in my surroundings. The body is lying on the edge of a large, harvested cornfield blanketed with six inches of fresh snow that fell during the night. The morning sun glistens on the snow's surface, making it sparkle like a bed of diamonds. It's an isolated spot; there are fields all around us, the nearest house is half a mile away, and the road beside the body is hardly a main thoroughfare though the plows have already been through. All in all it combines to make for a picturesque setting. Given that it's the Friday before Thanksgiving, this slice of pastoral serenity triggers thoughts of traveling o'er the fields to Grandmother's house ... until I remember the corpsicle.

I look back at the body site and note how clumps of snow cast aside by the plow have rolled down the shoulder's edge and into the bordering field, settling atop the small drifts like little snowman turds. The clumps are all around us, but there are none on the body. That, along with the blood-smeared path punched through the snowbank piled up on the shoulder, tells me our victim was dumped here after the plow came through.

I say so and Izzy, who is busy taking pictures of the scene, nods his agreement.

Izzy, whose full name is Izthak Rybarceski, is the county Medical Examiner as well as my boss, my friend, my neighbor, my landlord, and the anti-me. He is barely five feet tall with dark skin and hair—most of which circles his balding head like a friar fringe—whereas I clock in at six feet, and my fair skin, blond hair, and size twelve feet earned me the nickname Yeti in high school. Our only commonalities are a shared fondness for men, our tendency to grow insulation all year long like bears readying for hibernation, and our knowledge of internal anatomy.

I've only been at this job since early October. Izzy offered it to me a couple of months after I caught one of my hospital coworkers in an OR having a face-to-face meeting with a surgeon's one-eyed trouser snake. Unfortunately that surgeon was my husband, David Winston. In order to escape the painful reminders and curious stares, I fled both my job and my marriage. Izzy was kind enough to let me stay in the small cottage he has behind his house and it provided me with somewhere to hide while I licked my wounds. My new home is charming and cozy, and I'm forever grateful to Izzy for allowing me to move into it. But because Izzy has been my neighbor for several years, the cottage does have one major drawback: it's a stone's throw away from my marital home.

After a couple of months of isolation and self-pity, I emerged in need of money and a job. Given that the next nearest hospital is over an hour away and my main talent is my ability to look at blood and guts without puking or fainting, I feared I'd end up dressed in a trash-bag overcoat living under a bridge, or worse ... with my mother. But Izzy rescued me once again by offering me a job as his assistant and nowadays I'm in the business of dissecting lives in every sense of the word.

I find my new career highly interesting on many levels, not the least of which is Steve Hurley, the primary homicide detective with the Sorenson Police Department. Unfortunately, I can't help but notice that he's the one thing missing from the scene before me now.

"Is Hurley coming?" I ask no one in particular.

"He had to go to Madison yesterday to testify in a trial and spent the night there," Junior says. "He called just a bit ago to say he had just gotten back and would be here soon." As if on cue, we hear the sound of a car approaching.

I look toward the road and recognize the car as Hurley's. My heart skips a beat, something that seems to happen whenever Hurley is around. His black hair, intense blue eyes, and sit-on-my-lap thighs always get me revved up, but I've been working extra hard to rein in my hormones. That's because, lately, Hurley has been oddly distant whenever we're together: courteous and professional, but also strangely detached. It's a puzzling change given that we've shared a couple of heated kisses in the not-so-distant past and I'm afraid I know the reason for it.

I watch him now as he parks behind my car, climbs out, and scans the road. When I see him shake his head in dismay I think I know why: the macadam is damp, but otherwise clear. What little snow the plows left on the road has melted beneath the morning sun, effectively obliterating any tire-track evidence we might have been able to collect.

"Too bad the plow came through," Hurley hollers down to us, verifying my suspicion.

"It may not be all bad," I yell back. "It looks like the body was dumped here and knowing when the plow came through may help us figure out when."

Unfortunately the killer's trail down to the body has been smeared, smudged, and kicked apart enough that there are no usable boot prints to identify, damage I suspect may have been done intentionally. All may not be lost, however. Incidental evidence, like a fallen hair or fiber, could have been dropped along the path. Keenly aware of this possibility, everyone who has arrived on the scene has been careful to blaze their own trail to the body rather than contaminate the existing one.

After Junior points out the path the rest of us have followed, Hurley makes his way down to us and the body. I try to catch his eye to gauge today's level of temperament toward me, but his attention is focused solely on the surrounding area until he reaches our little group. Then his gaze shifts to the victim. He stops dead in his tracks and the rosy color the cold has stamped on his cheeks drains away with frightening rapidity, leaving him nearly as pale as our corpse. As a nurse I've seen that happen plenty of times before, usually right before someone faints and does a face-plant on the floor.

I edge a bit closer to Hurley just in case. I harbor no illusions about my ability to catch him—he is well over six feet tall and sturdily built. But I figure if he does start to go down I can at least shove him hard enough to keep him from falling into our crime scene.

"Are you okay?" I ask him.

The others turn to look at him but he ignores us for several beats as he stares at the body. "Not really," he says finally, cutting his eyes back toward the neighboring field. He covers his mouth with one hand and his Adam's apple bounces as he swallows hard. "I'm feeling a bit off this morning. Must be something I ate."

The others in the group all shift a step away from Hurley, no doubt because they're afraid of getting ralphed on. I, on the other hand, move closer. I overcame my aversion to gross bodily excretions very early in my nursing career and it's going to take more than the threat of a little early morning barf to keep me away from a man who I've discovered can curl my toes with one kiss.

"I think I'm going to call someone else in for this one," Hurley says. He turns and backtracks along the trail he came in on, allowing me a few moments to surreptitiously admire his backside. Along the way he takes out his cell phone and punches in a number, but by the time he gets an answer he is too far away for me to hear the conversation. When he reaches the road, he hangs up and turns back to us.

"Bob Richmond is going to take this one," he hollers. "He should be here in about ten minutes. I'm heading home to bed."

This is bad news for me on several fronts. Bob Richmond is a grizzled old detective who is basically retired, though he occasionally fills in when needed. He's cranky, impatient, and built like the Pillsbury Dough Boy—and that's before you stuff him into a down-filled winter jacket. Plus, he's not Hurley, and as far as I'm concerned, that's his biggest fault.

Crestfallen, I watch as Hurley climbs into his car and pulls away without so much as a wave or a second glance. Once again I'm left feeling slighted and snubbed, and I have no idea why. Actually, that's not true; I do have a suspicion. A few weeks ago, while riding in the back of an ambulance with Hurley, fearing he was mortally wounded, I whispered in his ear that I might be falling in love with him. He was more or less unconscious at the time so I didn't think he heard me, but now I'm not so sure.

Swallowing down my frustration, I turn my attention back to our victim and try to push thoughts of Hurley from my mind, which is like trying not to breathe. Izzy has finished taking his pictures and we squat down on either side of the corpse to begin our field processing. The body is cold and rigid but I'm not sure if it's from the weather, rigor mortis, or a mix of the two. If she's frozen it will make it more difficult for us to determine a time of death since none of the usual indicators—stage of rigor, body temperature, and lividity—will be of much help. I'm getting a sinking feeling that nothing about this case is going to be easy.

As Izzy and I process the body—looking for surface evidence, bagging the hands, and rolling her over to place a sheet beneath her—Ron Colbert and Junior carefully examine the surrounding snow. About fifteen minutes into our efforts we hear another car engine approach and an old-model, blue sedan covered with patches of rust and primer rumbles around the curve.

I haven't seen Bob Richmond in a few years and he's even bigger now than he was then. I guess his weight at well over four hundred pounds, and as I watch him struggle out of his car and waddle toward us, the words, "Bring me Solo and the Wookie," come to mind. By the time he reaches the crest of the snow berm above us, he's so winded, all he can do is stand there for a minute and gasp for breath, his ragged exhalations creating giant cumulus clouds as they hit the cold morning air.

"Anyone ... know ... who she is?" he manages, staring down at the corpse.

We all shake our heads.

"Any trace?"

Izzy fields this one. "Nothing obvious yet. It looks like she was killed somewhere else and dumped here. We've got a trail in the snow but it's too messed up to be useful for prints."

"TOD?" Richmond asks.

Izzy shrugs. "At this point there's no way to know when she was killed. And since she may be frozen to some degree, I'm not sure how accurate a range I'll be able to give you later on."

Richmond nods and then looks over at me, staring with a curious expression. "Do I know you?"

"Mattie Winston. I'm a deputy coroner."

He looks confused and shakes his head, as if he's trying to get his hamster back on its wheel. "Since when?"

"Since a few weeks ago." "What were you before that?"

"I worked as a nurse at Mercy Hospital."

His assumes an aha expression and nods. "You worked in the operating room, right?"

"For the past few years, yes. Before that I worked in the ER."

"I think you were working when I had my bunions removed."

I was, so I nod but say nothing. Most of what I remember about his case is how hard we struggled to move him off the OR table, but I figure mentioning that might not be the best way to start getting reacquainted.

"So how did you end up doing this?" he says, gesturing toward the dead woman.

Izzy and Junior exchange a look and then go back to their respective jobs with renewed intensity. They already know the sordid details, as does most of the town. Colbert, being new here, does not, but I can tell from the way he's eyeing the other two men that he caught their look and knows there's something juicy behind it.

"It's a long story," I tell Richmond, hoping he'll take the hint. But judging from the bemused expression on his face, all I've done is pique his interest.

"Aren't you married to a surgeon or something like that?" Richmond asks.

"Sort of," I say vaguely.

"Sort of?" he snorts. "You're sort of married? Isn't that like being a little bit pregnant?"

"We're separated," I tell him, trying to color my comment with an as if it's any of your business tone. "I'm filing for divorce."

"Is that right?" The curious tone of his voice tells me he's clearly unimpressed with my attempt to shut him down. "That's a darned shame. What went wrong?"

I find it hard to believe Richmond doesn't already know. Gossip in our town flows faster than an arterial bleed, and the fallout from the breakup of my marriage was some of the biggest news to hit in a long time, given that it was reminiscent of the Lewinsky-Clinton debacle and tied to a couple of murders.

"Where the hell have you been, Richmond?" I ask irritably. "Living in a cave?"

"Wait," he says, his eyes narrowing. "Are you the one who was involved with that nurse who was murdered? Wasn't she boffing your husband or something?"

"Or something," I say irritably.

"So you're the one who got Steve Hurley stabbed."

I glare at him. "You make it sound like I stabbed him myself."

Richmond arches his brows at me as if to say, Well, did you?

"He was in the wrong place at the wrong time," I say. "That's all."

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Frozen Stiff by Annelise Ryan Copyright © 2011 by Beth Amos. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON BOOKS. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 37 )
Rating Distribution

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(25)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 37 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 24, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Mattie Winston is delightful.

    The story is about Mattie Winston, who is recently separated from her surgeon husband and as well as her job as an OR nurse. She is now working as an Assistant M.E. in the small town of Sorenson, Wisconsin. This is the third story in the series, and although I haven't read the first two, I had no trouble in following along with the characters and the backstory. In this case, Detective Steven Hurley, who Mattie is romantically interested in, is being linked to various murders in their small town. But is he a crazed killer or being set up, and by whom? Hurley wants Mattie's help to clear his name, but is she letting her hormones rule, in trusting a man what might be dangerous. If you looking for a deep, psychological thriller, look elsewhere. This is a deliciously witty, and lighthearted book. Mattie Winston is a delightful character, and I enjoyed her sarcastic whit. It is a nice change of pace that the heroine is a normal, slightly imperfect woman, who's smart but a little quirky. Since she is recently separated from her cheating husband, and is getting mixed signals from handsome Steve Hurley, she does spend some time questioning her physical flaws, especially while looking over the beautiful (although dead) ex-girlfriend of Hurley. I certainly chucked enough to make this well worth the read. I enjoyed this story enough that I am adding the first two to my list of books to read, and I am going to keep an eye out for the next book in the series.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 4, 2012

    Frozen to the Pages

    What a read! I was so happy to be on winter break when I read this because I couldn¿t put it down! This is my first novel by Ryan, but it won¿t be my last!

    Mattie Winston seems to have a knack for finding trouble or trouble finding her, and Frozen Stiff is full of trouble for Mattie! As a previous ER nurse, she is now working as deputy coroner given that she found her husband canoodling with other nurses. She is relatively new to the position and in dire needs of the income. However, in this novel, she finds herself having to decide between ethical morals and her feelings for Hurley (police detective), the man she is currently crushing heavily on. Trouble!

    When a beautiful blonde news reporter from Chicago is found murdered, Hurley asks a lot of Mattie during the investigation, one in which he has removed himself from. TROUBLE! Mattie finds herself in a whirlwind of cons, murders, fire, shootings and mixed love feelings. TROUBLE! However, Mattie is able to suppress her emotions, puts her life at stake and ends up solving the case!

    During the detective work Mattie performs, she is finally able to knock sense into her ex and he realizes they are no longer meant for each other. This makes me wonder what will happen between Mattie and Hurley in the next novel, which I anxiously await.

    Ryan has done a superb job defining the characters in this novel. As a reader I even became concerned for a side character that Mattie tried so hard to despise, but ends up concerned for. I could easily see this series as a TV show ¿ witty, suspense, and romance, which is what every woman is looking for!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2012

    Very cute

    Really enjoyed. Kept you guessing how it would end. Kinda wish for a biy more romance happy happy.. but it fits well with the book

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 6, 2012

    love this seeries

    the story line is interesting and funny. can really relate to the characters. Each one in this series has a very unexpected twist at the end. Looking forward to the next one due the first of next year.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2012

    Loved it!

    I absolutely LOVE all three books in this series!! I hope there are many more to come!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 30, 2011

    Loved it

    Hope there will be additional books in the series!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2013

    Kk

    Sharptail organizes all her herbs. Then she neatly stacks up piles of cobwebs on top of each other. She takes out a worn stick and starts grinding marygold and poppyseed together. Its always good to be prepared.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2013

    Thanks to the quirky humor combined with solid mysteries, Anneli

    Thanks to the quirky humor combined with solid mysteries, Annelise Ryan has quickly become on of my favorite authors.   When I am in the mood for a light mystery, the Mattie Winston series never fails to deliver an entertaining romp.  Frozen Stiff was no exception.  The only problem with it is that as soon as I finished it, I was hungry for more, and the next book in the series isn't due out for a few months.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 15, 2011

    "You¿ll Be Frozen To The Pages¿

    Mattie Winston¿s life is never a boring one. She has had stints as an ER and OR Nurse and now works as a Deputy Coroner in the sleepy town of Sorenson, Wisconsin under the direction of County Medical Examiner Izzy Rybarceski; who is also her good friend, neighbor, and, since her separation from philandering husband, David, her landlord. Mattie¿s ¿day to day¿ is complicated enough, but when the body of the stunning Chicago TV News Investigative reporter, Callie Dunkirk turns up frozen and tossed like trash on a snowy rural roadside. Mattie digs her heels into the case, much to crusty, rotund Homicide Detective, Bob Richmond¿s dismay. Mattie is disappointed also, as she had hoped to work closely¿VERY CLOSELY, with the hunky and handsome Homicide Detective, Steve Hurley; with whom she had shared a couple of kisses with fervent hopes of more. Meanwhile, to add to her heart¿s confusion, David wants to reconcile. Mattie is sure she wants no part of it, although something inside keeps telling her she might still have feelings for him. Evidence starts to pile up and point in an unexpected and upsetting direction. Or is this to lead Mattie astray? Could any of this be true? Mattie uses all of her investigative tactics and instincts and squelches her conscience while trying to make sense of the information she uncovers. Where do convict Quinton Dilles, Atty. Connor Smith and the suave but slimy, Mike Ackerman fit into all of this? Or do they? Perhaps she¿s just overstressed and overtired and not looking at things clearly? Ms. Ryan has woven an intriguing volume full of ¿A-Ha¿ and ¿Gasp¿ moments with a sprinkling of chuckles, especially where Mattie¿s hypochondriac Mother and her dog; ¿Hoover¿ (Yes, aptly named for the vacuum cleaner-type canine he is) are concerned. Just when you believe you have this tale of murder, and intrigue figured out¿Ms. Ryan whisks you down another avenue. I¿m sure you¿ll enjoy it as much as I did and am looking forward to more of Mattie¿s adventures. Nancy Narma

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Frozen Stiff if Ms. Ryan's best one yet!

    Frozen Stiff By: Annelise Ryan Copyright: September 2011 Publisher: Kensington Death is never pretty, and deputy coroner Mattie Winston's latest case is no exception. But this victim certainly was strikingly beautiful. . .before someone stuck that knife into her chest. Mattie knows everyone in the charmingly small town of Sorenson, Wisconsin, so the deceased is definitely a stranger from out of town. If a woman this attractive had moved into town, the news would have surely hit the gossip mill in record time. So what was the victim doing here, laid out in this desolate field? Things only get murkier with the arrival at the scene of the usually stoic and dependable detective Steven Hurley; one look at the body and he turns as white as the newly fallen snow. . .and excuses himself from the case. It turns out the victim was a top investigative reporter from Chicago, and Hurley not only knew her. . . they dated a year and a half ago, until she broke it off. While Mattie grapples with her jealousy of a gorgeous dead woman, Hurley swears her to secrecy and tells her. . .that knife in his ex's chest is his! It's a case with more twists than Maddie's own crazy love life, and it'll take all of her forensic skills to unravel the increasingly bizarre clues and find the killer. . .before she herself becomes just another cold case! Mattie Winston's job as a Deputy Coroner is an always changing challenge. This newest case has her outside of town in a snow covered field looking at the body of a murdered woman. Neither she nor any of the responding police recognize the victim and are wondering how she ended up out there. Then add to that the mystery of why Detective Steve Hurley takes one look at the body and leaves, sending in another detective to take over the case. Hurley then puts himself on medical leave and poor Mattie is stuck dealing with Det. Bob Richmond, a retired cop who still gets called in when they need extra help. Mattie's skills, friendships and job are going to be on the line with this case. Can she handle all the problems that are going to jump in her face? I'm a big fan of the Mattie Winston series. The characters always come off as three dimensional and real. I have friends and family on the job here in NY, and can see some of them in the cops who show up in this story. Scary isn't it? FTC Full Disclosure: This book was sent to me by the publisher, hoping only for a fair and impartial review.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 23, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    This is an amusing Thanksgiving whodunit

    Amidst the snowy cornfield near Sorenson, Wisconsin, the corpse of a young woman is found. Town life deputy coroner Mattie Winston arrives at the crime scene and realizes the stabbing victim is a total stranger; fellow lifer uniformed cop Junior Feller does not recognize her either. Her boyfriend, SPD homicide detective Steve Hurley takes a look at the face and turns paler than the background and pronounces Bob Richmond will investigate.

    Steve dated Chicago investigative reporter Callie Dunkirk over a year and a half ago; she ended their relationship. Complicating matters for Steve is the weapon sticking out of the deceased's chest belongs to him. A second homicide has the police detaining Steve as the only suspect in both murders. Still married though separated (see Scared Stiff to learn what happened to the other woman) Mattie moves passed her Big Girl jealousy of a dead woman to investigate as she is certain her BF is not a killer even if the evidence overwhelmingly hangs him.

    This is an amusing Thanksgiving whodunit as the klutzy Big Girl in her used hearse investigates the murders though she slips and ricochets more than she succeeds. The eccentric cast brings wintry Wisconsin to life while the heroine's humorous self deprecating asides are fun but can slow down the pace as there are too many of them (sort of like Debbie Reynolds in Mary, Mary). Fans will enjoy the second "Stiff" investigative tale as the heroine tries to save the day in spite of herself.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2014

    Hi

    Hi

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2014

    Love this series.

    Great series, love everthing about the characters. story line. etc . I look forward to Mattie and Hurley romance getting better.

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  • Posted June 13, 2014

    great read

    I really enjoyed this book, love the series! Can't wait to read the next one :)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2014

    &infi &stars &hearts &qmarks

    YAY I LOVE THIS SO FUN!!!! &STARS &STARS oops caps lock on srry &infi &infi &qmarks

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  • Posted May 28, 2014

    Interesting drama!

    I really like the Mattie Winston mysteries. She's into lots of interesting murders that seem to get her into trouble when she figures out the suspects a little too late. But she survives another close call. I'd like to see something good happen in Mattie's life though, she's had lots of ups and downs , she deserves it. As well as the readers, we can only take so much dumb luck.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2014

    &infin

    &hearts&star&infi

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2014

    &hearts

    &star &stars

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2014

    Warriors Den

    A cave juts from the hill. The insinde is snow coated with lichen nests.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2013

    Love the series

    Totally enjoy Mattie's wit. . 297 pages

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