Can forensics be fun? You betcha! Find out how by solving crimes along with wry and irreverent nurse-turned-coroner Mattie Winston in WORKING STIFF, SCARED STIFF, FROZEN STIFF, & LUCKY STIFF (all written under the pseudonym Annelise Ryan). You can find more details about Mattie Winston at www.mattiewinston.com. Check out Mattie's blog while you're there.
A nosy RN turned small-town-coroner gets more than she bargains for when she unexpectedly becomes the main suspect in this darkly comedic tale of murder, mayhem, and political hi-jinks.
Mattie Winston, RN, is wryly cynical, politically incorrect, and inherently nosy, traits that suit her well when she trades in her hospital scrubs and operating room table for a plastic apron and autopsy table. As a Deputy Coroner, Mattie gets to poke her nose into everyone else’s business and in the small Wisconsin town where she lives gossip is a highly tradable commodity. But Mattie's first case – a murder – hits a little too close to home. The victim is Karen Owenby, Mattie’s former coworker and the woman who had an affair with Mattie’s soon-to-be-ex-husband, David.
As Mattie tries to determine if her husband is a killer, her judgment is clouded by her attraction to the darkly handsome homicide detective in charge of the case, though her romantic notions are dampened by the fact that her own name is at the top of the list of suspects. Unable to pursue the case officially, Mattie launches her own investigation aided by a cast of quirky characters that includes a computer hacker with a superhero complex, a conspiracy theorist, a bug-loving nephew, a hypochondriac mother, and a new hairdresser whose office is in the basement of a funeral home. With their help, Mattie follows a trail of sordid secrets, deadly betrayals, and missing underwear as she races against the clock to identify a killer before she ends up as the next victim on the medical examiner’s autopsy table.
Book #2 in the series: Halloween night in Sorenson, Wisconsin, usually resembles any other small town: trick-or-treaters, costume parties, and lots of cheerfully scary decorations. But Deputy Coroner Mattie Winston is finding this year a little different, because among all the fake carnage is a very real, very dead body.
When Deputy Coroner Mattie Winston and her boss/best friend, Izzy, are called to the home of waitress and part-time model Shannon Tolliver, they find the ghoulish Halloween decorations a bit too authentic. Among the fake blood and skeletons is the corpse of Shannon herself. Since the whole town knows Shannon recently had a very public spat with her estranged husband, Erik, he's suspect number 1. But Mattie happens to know Erik truly loved his wife, and is simply incapable of the brutal act - even if he owns the exact same calibre handgun as the murder weapon...Determined to unearth the truth, Mattie puts her scalpel-sharp medical skills to work, and digs a little deeper. What she uncovers is stranger than anyone could have imagined...
Book #3 in the series: Death is never pretty, but Mattie's latest victim is strikingly beautiful . . . or at least she was before someone stuck that knife into her chest. When detective Steven Hurley arrives on scene, he takes one look at the body, turns as white as the newly fallen snow, and excuses himself from the case. 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. Hurley swears Mattie to secrecy and then 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!
Book #4 in the series: It's Christmas Day in the sleepy town of Sorenson, Wisconsin, but instead of unwrapping presents, deputy coroner Mattie Winston is at the burnt remains of a house where a charred body has been found. The victim is none other than Jack Allen - a paraplegic who recently won a huge casino jackpot. Upon closer inspection, Mattie and detective Steve Hurley are convinced Jack was murdered to steal his winnings, giving the phrase Black Jack a whole new meaning. But as Mattie investigates, even her cutting-edge forensic skills keep coming up short in a case with as many suspects as twists. After her odds-on-favourite turns up dead, Mattie and Hurley must race to find a killer before another victim cashes in his chips.
Book #5: Sorenson, Wisconsin's deputy coroner Mattie Winston is back on the job. . .in a nursing home examining the body of Bernie Chase—the now former president of the Twilight Home's board of directors—who is covered in a powder used to turn liquids to solids. The home's residents are certain Bernie was offing the patients who cost him too much. . .and the patient that found him can't remember a thing.
Between her ongoing tug of war with Detective Hurley, fulfilling her new job requirement of seeing a shrink, and wrangling with the Twilight Home's board of directors, Mattie's got her scrubbed hands full. She'll need all of her outside-the-box forensic skills to crack a case that's turning out to be stranger—and more dangerous—than anything she's seen before!
Book # 6: 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. . .
Book #7: Every fall, hunting season in Sorenson, Wisconsin, leads to some accidental injuries. Deputy coroner Mattie Winston just hopes the hunters don't bring any more business to her office. But somebody seems to have declared open season on land developers. One real estate developer who's recently come to town has been found dead in the woods with an arrow through his neck. Now it's up to Mattie to get to the bottom of the killing. That might be easier if she wasn't also hunting for Detective Hurley's teenage daughter, Emily, who has suddenly disappeared. With a homicidal William Tell out on the loose, Mattie is desperate to find Emily before the killer notches another arrow. . .