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Frozen Stiff by Annelise Ryan
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Mattie Winston, nurse turned deputy coroner, is called to a murder scene on a snowy morning. Down an embankment, they find a lovely woman, dead from a stab wound with a rather rare ivory handled knife. When Steve Hurley, the local detective, shows up, he looks at the corpse, turns white, and claims he is sick and they need to call in someone else. Unfortunately, this dead lady has ties to the hot cop. While the evidence is piling up against one, Steve Hurley, Mattie tries to find the truth of the murder and her feelings, all while trying to keep her job.

Mattie Winston is a smart, dedicated, loyal, confused protagonist. She is cleverly written and her epiphanies are well plotted and believable. She goes with her feelings and gut reactions and they are usually correct. Mattie is a tall, large boned woman who often laments about her size. In this book she begins going to the gym, much to the disbelief of most of the other characters. Her boss, Izzy, is also a great friend, who realizes what he has in Mattie and wants to promote her, but she would have to give up on any relationship with Hurley. His partner Dom likes to take care of people, including Mattie. Richmond, the overweight retired detective has to help out with this crime and as more and more incidents pile up, he is afraid that Hurley is going to be arrested based on the evidence. The more he and Mattie work together, the more likable he becomes. Mattie shames him into joining the gym and it looks like he might begin to take care of himself. These characters, plus Hurley, all work well together in this story to solve the crimes and take care of one another. I liked the mystery and the way the evidence unfolded. I was prepared for the culprit, but the reasons behind it were a bit of a surprise. A good story for any cozy mystery reader.
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  Carlathelibrarian | Feb 5, 2019 |
Matte is putting her job as Asst. Coroner in jeopardy by helping Detective Steve Hurley (now gone missing) discover who is working to frame him for the murders of Steve's ex-girlfriend, his back fence neighbor, & her soon-to-be ex-husband (attempted).

Her philandering husband refuses to accept the fact that their marriage is over and is doing his best to convince Mattie to come back to him, her hypochondriac mother is making her crazy, and the detective assigned to the investigation has connived Mattie into joining the gym with him....

This wasn't such a good book, in fact, I'm wondering why Mattie would sacrifice her job & her friendship w/ Dom (the Coroner) by hiding evidence of an on-going investigation.... I figured out most of it.... Meh! ( )
  Auntie-Nanuuq | Jan 18, 2016 |
I won this book on Goodreads and I am glad I did. This was a very good mystery novel with a strong female character. I enjoyed all of the characters, even the overweight, slovenly detective. Very solid storytelling with character development and great mystery. I have not read the previous books in this series, but I was able to jump into this one with no problem. I look forward to the next books in this series. ( )
  LeleliaSky | Feb 5, 2012 |
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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 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!… (more)

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