Stiff PenaltyStiff Penalty by Annelise Ryan is the sixth book in the “Mattie Winston” mystery series. Publisher: Kensington, February 2015

Deputy coroner Mattie Winston knows a thing or two about dead bodies. That’s why she’s on the case of Derrick Ames, a high school math teacher stabbed to death with a barbecue fork straight to the heart. Sure, she’s turned up some motives and a few suspects, but nothing adds up. Especially when the evidence points to Ames’s teenage son. Newly pregnant Mattie can’t believe it, even as her own long-estranged father may be following her. But one thing’s certain, she’d better start figuring things out fast, or a deadly perpetrator could be subtracting two more victims from the population of Sorenson, Wisconsin. . .

This is one of my favorite series and this fast-paced drama infused all types of emotions from sadness, to hilarity and to joy as once again Mattie is on the case with amusing antics that gets in her way but delights me as she shows her strength and determination. I love the approach the author took by having Mattie tell the story as she is talking to her therapist, giving us insights into her relationship with those around her. I’ve always liked Mattie and I like her even more. The mystery was great and I love that surprising twist of the killer’s identity; never saw that one coming. With a great cast of characters from Mattie to Richmond and to Hurley and sharply written dialogue, this is one of the best book in this enjoyable amusing series and I look forward to more adventures with Mattie and friends.

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