Frozen Stiff

A Mattie Winston Mystery
Frozen Stiff: A Mattie Winston Mystery. Kensington. Sept. 2011. c.323p. ISBN 9780758234568. $22. M
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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