Frozen Stiff - Annelise Ryan

Mattie Winston, assistant to the medical examiner, shows up to a murder scene on a snow covered morning to a cold but lovely corpse. Unfortunately, this dead lady has ties to a certain hot cop of Mattie's complicated acquaintance. 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.


I liked this installment a lot and am so glad I was introduced to this series of cozies.


Mattie Winston is a riot. Her zany antics are funny in and of itself, but as a bonus, she is whip smart. She is cleverly written. Her epiphanies are well plotted and believable and I wasn't begging her to catch up with 'me'. Plus, everyone in the book is so much fun, even the jerks, and none of them take over the spotlight. Typically with multiple players I'm sorta of itching to get back to interaction with a couple specific ones - not so here.


On paper, I would certainly be annoyed by a characters tendency towards constant whining about body type and weight (especially when they are essentially being fought over by two attractive, professional men), but somehow her vulnerabilities sort of work for me because she really keeps them to herself. She acts like a mature human being who doesn't drag all of her personal turmoil out for everyone to react to. I so admire that about her character that I can ignore all the inner angst.


Finally, though the murders tend to be a little over the top (and I wonder how many crazy murders one small town could suffer), there are some moments when the utter fiction swings to utterly realistic so easily - particularly scenes in which Mattie's nursing experience takes over and everything is so RIVETING. So, a really nice balance of wacky and earnest. On to the next, I say!