Kensington, Sep 1 2010, $22.00
The residents of Sorenson, Wisconsin know each other as the town is very tiny. When Deputy Coroner Mattie Winston discovered her husband Erik cheating on her, she left him and moved into a house owned by her boss and closest friend Izzy. She meets Detective Steve Hurley when Mattie’s husband was under suspicions for murdering his girlfriend (see Scared Stiff) and to this day still has a crush on the cop.
They meet again when Izzy and Mattie are called to Shannon Tolliver’s home. She is lying face down on her outside sidewalk; shot to death. A witness states that the victim and Erik had a public fight; afterward she tossed him out of their home insisting she wanted a separation. Other circumstantial evidence surfaces and finally enough proof is gathered to make an arrest. Mattie rejects the notion Erik killed his wife in a crime of passion because she finds a letter he wrote to his Shannon just after they split up saying how much he loved her. She pleads her case with Steve before beginning her own investigation, which places her in danger from a deranged killer.
The Mattie Winston mysteries are funny, romantic and complex; blending together into an enticing read. The small town setting makes for a fine background for the “Trick or Treat” homicide as kids walk the streets not expecting to see a real corpse. Scared Stiff is a delightful tale starring a psychopathic villain vs. a dedicated deputy coroner using a taxi to get around (don’t ask what her cost is).