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 Mattie’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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Frozen to the Pages
(Wednesday, January 4, 2012)
Reviewer: Stacey Pagan
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!
“You’ll Be Frozen To The Pages”
(Thursday, December 15, 2011)
Reviewer: Nancy Narma
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
Mattie Winston is delightful.
(Thursday, September 29, 2011)
Reviewer: Lucy D.
The story is about Mattie Winston, who is recently separated from her surgeon husband 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 that 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.
Rating 3.5 stars