Working Stiff by Annelise Ryan is the first book in the new “Mattie Winston” mystery series. Publisher: Kensington, September 2009

When Mattie Winston catches her husband David Winston receiving some very special loving care from R.N. Karen Owenby, she quits her job and moves out. Mattie’s best friend Izzy offers her a place to stay and a job as deputy coroner. Now instead of taking patients’ pulses, she’s weighing their hearts and livers.

But Mattie’s first homicide call turns out to be for none other than Nurse Karen, and even though she saw her ex in a heated argument with the newly deceased the night before, she refuses to believe David could be a killer. Keeping mum about what she saw, Mattie is soon in deep water and in danger of sinking quickly, especially when she places herself dead center in the past of a desperate—yet determined—killer.

We are introduced to Mattie Winston who is now working in the coroner’s office. She is surprised to see the dead body of her husband’s girlfriend dead, this after she sees them fighting. Because of her new job, she is able to ask questions to determine the cause of death and she doesn’t believe that the man she lived with for seven years is a killer, despite all the evidence pointing to him. I really like Mattie because she’s the every day woman who has to learn a new job rather quickly, deal with her weight and insecurities while trying to solve the murder in a competition with the handsome police detective. I love the characters in this story and I look forward to reading the next book in this series. My rating: 4 stars

*new-to-me author

Annelise Ryan is the pseudonym of Beth Amos.

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