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Working Stiff

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When Mattie Winston catches her husband Dr. 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 suggests she'd be a natural as deputy coroner. Now, instead of taking patients' pulses, Mattie's weighing their hearts and livers.But Mattie's first homicide call When Mattie Winston catches her husband Dr. 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 suggests she'd be a natural as deputy coroner. Now, instead of taking patients' pulses, Mattie'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 also left speechless by the sight of hunky Detective Steve Hurley... From learning the ropes on her new job to sorting out her feelings about her ex and dealing with her growing attraction to Detective Hurley, Mattie's in deep water and in danger of sinking quickly, especially when she places herself dead center in the path of a desperate yet determined killer.


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When Mattie Winston catches her husband Dr. 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 suggests she'd be a natural as deputy coroner. Now, instead of taking patients' pulses, Mattie's weighing their hearts and livers.But Mattie's first homicide call When Mattie Winston catches her husband Dr. 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 suggests she'd be a natural as deputy coroner. Now, instead of taking patients' pulses, Mattie'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 also left speechless by the sight of hunky Detective Steve Hurley... From learning the ropes on her new job to sorting out her feelings about her ex and dealing with her growing attraction to Detective Hurley, Mattie's in deep water and in danger of sinking quickly, especially when she places herself dead center in the path of a desperate yet determined killer.

30 review for Working Stiff

  1. 4 out of 5

    LORI (Dollycas) CASWELL

    Dollycas’s Thoughts I am late to the party on this series and am kicking myself. Dr. David Winston cheated on his wife R.N. Mattie Winston and she has moved out of their house and quit her job. She caught him and R.N. Karen Owenby getting very cozy with each other in an operating room. An operating room she worked in with her husband. Her friend Izzy offers her a roof over her head and a job as his new deputy coroner. It will take some getting used to, dead patients instead live ones, but she is d Dollycas’s Thoughts I am late to the party on this series and am kicking myself. Dr. David Winston cheated on his wife R.N. Mattie Winston and she has moved out of their house and quit her job. She caught him and R.N. Karen Owenby getting very cozy with each other in an operating room. An operating room she worked in with her husband. Her friend Izzy offers her a roof over her head and a job as his new deputy coroner. It will take some getting used to, dead patients instead live ones, but she is determined to make it on her own. Nervous about her first homicide, which Izzy pulled her out of bed for, she is positively floored when the body is none other than R.N. Karen Owenby. The woman messing around with her husband and the woman she saw him have an argument with not too many hours ago. She also meets Detective Steve Hurley, who is a definite distraction for Mattie. So she has 2 men on her mind, David couldn’t have killed Karen, could he? and the handsome detective she would like to get to know better. She also is meeting her new coworkers and her new job. She may be in the killer’s sights too, hopefully she won’t end up being the next stiff in the morgue. I loved this story and I loved Mattie. Her life gets turned upside down, but she picks herself up, dusts herself off and gets on with her life. With a little help from her friends she carries on, even overstepping the requirements of her new job to do a little sleuthing on her own. Izzy and his partner play key roles and they are wonderfully written. I could almost feel the heat between Mattie and Steve burning up the pages. This is going to be an interesting relationship. The plot was complex with clever twists. I followed each clue right along with Mattie and figured it out mere moments before she did. The dialogue between the characters was so realistic and the situations were as well. I enjoy that this series is set not too far from where I reside. The local references warmed by heart. What I did not expect were the laugh out loud funny moments, there were quite a few. I even had my own “spit – take”. Do not read this story and drink at the same time. Luckily my Kindle survived the experience. I may have come late to this series but I hope to catch up quickly. I can’t wait to dive into Scared Stiff. It is set at Halloween, so I should have read it last month, but I sure am not going to wait for next year 🙂 You may be seeing my review next week.

  2. 4 out of 5

    KDawn

    Story? Good...pretty good writing and an okay plot. Liked the main character and her job/detective work made sense and worked well in the story. Things I didn't like? Too much sexual innuendo and euphemisms. I'm not 16...adults (at least the ones I know) aren't generally that crass. And she kept referring to being gay as 'a lifestyle.' Why? It's not like 'an active lifestyle' or the 'Atkins lifestyle.' It's just who they are. That's just a pet peeve of mine. Will a read the second? Probably.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kirsten

    An excellent debut cozy. Though, there are many elements in this mystery that you wouldn't normally find in a cozy. I really enjoyed this one. A good mystery with many elements. Quirky characters. Good relationships. A real page-turner.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mystereity Reviews

    I don't know why it took so long for me to hear about this series, but I'm happy I found it! Laugh out loud funny and suspenseful, it was impossible to put down. In fact, I started this on audiobook and it motivated me to get out for my daily walk, but switched to the Kindle copy because it was so good, I just couldn't wait any longer to finish it! Mattie is equal parts hapless and unflappable, with a positive attitude that I really enjoyed and appreciated. Despite the setbacks of her failed marr I don't know why it took so long for me to hear about this series, but I'm happy I found it! Laugh out loud funny and suspenseful, it was impossible to put down. In fact, I started this on audiobook and it motivated me to get out for my daily walk, but switched to the Kindle copy because it was so good, I just couldn't wait any longer to finish it! Mattie is equal parts hapless and unflappable, with a positive attitude that I really enjoyed and appreciated. Despite the setbacks of her failed marriage, her cheating husband accused of murder and quitting her job, she took it all in stride and kept going, no dwelling on a pity party for our Mattie. The other great characters made the book even more enjoyable, from the hairdresser at the funeral home to Joey the superhero to Izzy and Dom, I loved every one of them (well, except the reporter. Why does there always have to be an annoying reporter? Ugh.) The smoldering on/off romance was amusing and a tad overdone, but I enjoyed it anyway. I really liked the forensics trivia tucked in there (I'm a sucker for that stuff) and the well-crafted plot had plenty of surprise twists and turned up suspect after suspect, ending with a bittersweet unexpected revelation at the end. I didn't pick up on who the murderer was until just before the exciting (and slightly hilarious) ending. Altogether, this was an excellent start to a series and I'm already well into the second book. Outstanding!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Meg

    You know a book and its characters really worked for you when you want to ignore the other books you've lined up for the week to go right into next book in a series. I almost did that in the early hours of the morning after I finished this one. The mc has a grim new job as Assistant Medical Examiner, not really my first choice for a protagonist's occupation, but the author did a very good job mixing in some humor and light romance to balance things out. The denouement totally surprised me, making You know a book and its characters really worked for you when you want to ignore the other books you've lined up for the week to go right into next book in a series. I almost did that in the early hours of the morning after I finished this one. The mc has a grim new job as Assistant Medical Examiner, not really my first choice for a protagonist's occupation, but the author did a very good job mixing in some humor and light romance to balance things out. The denouement totally surprised me, making for a satisfying ending. As an aside, I wouldn't tag this a cozy mystery for those who only read within that subgenre.

  6. 4 out of 5

    ☼♎ Carmen the Bootyshaker Temptress ☼♎

    Right from the beginning the book kept my interest. If it wasn't for the family I would have finished the book a lot sooner. Mattie was a smart even though she had her oops moments which were funny but she just managed to get into things even without meaning to. I understand that some people may think that she rushed into a relationship but hey if your husband is a jerk like hers you'll understand and she did feel guilty at times and also start to soften to him but then the person she saw at tim Right from the beginning the book kept my interest. If it wasn't for the family I would have finished the book a lot sooner. Mattie was a smart even though she had her oops moments which were funny but she just managed to get into things even without meaning to. I understand that some people may think that she rushed into a relationship but hey if your husband is a jerk like hers you'll understand and she did feel guilty at times and also start to soften to him but then the person she saw at times and heard of made her think twice about him. I have to say Hurley is a pain but he was a good man even when he knew things and had some fun with Mattie. I really enjoyed the twist to this book and will continue the series since not only was it a great cozy mystery but the characters are just a lot of twisty people as well and we can't leave Izzy, he is fun as well.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Betty

    Mattie and Steve Meet In the first book of the Mattie Winston series Mattie finds her husband with another woman. She responds to the betrayal and hurt by quitting her job and life for awhile. She accepts the job of deputy corner is dismayed when she recognized the victim is her husband's lover. She meets homicide detective Steve Hurley and sparks fly between them. Steve feels her husband is the killer and Mattie is sure he is not. Mattie is determined to prove him wrong. The characters are devel Mattie and Steve Meet In the first book of the Mattie Winston series Mattie finds her husband with another woman. She responds to the betrayal and hurt by quitting her job and life for awhile. She accepts the job of deputy corner is dismayed when she recognized the victim is her husband's lover. She meets homicide detective Steve Hurley and sparks fly between them. Steve feels her husband is the killer and Mattie is sure he is not. Mattie is determined to prove him wrong. The characters are developed and descriptions are tip top. Mattie adopts a kitten she calls Rubbish. There are funny scenes. With all changes I, was surprised by the killer.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Christa

    This first Mattie Winston mystery was filled with interesting characters and an enjoyable storyline. Mattie's marriage to surgeon David Winston is ending, and needing to work somewhere other than the hospital where he is, she takes a job as a deputy coroner. In a strange twist, one of the first local deaths after she starts her new job is that of the woman her husband was unfaithful to her with. Mattie is sure her ex couldn't be a murderer. Or is she really sure? Maddie faces lost of twists and t This first Mattie Winston mystery was filled with interesting characters and an enjoyable storyline. Mattie's marriage to surgeon David Winston is ending, and needing to work somewhere other than the hospital where he is, she takes a job as a deputy coroner. In a strange twist, one of the first local deaths after she starts her new job is that of the woman her husband was unfaithful to her with. Mattie is sure her ex couldn't be a murderer. Or is she really sure? Maddie faces lost of twists and turns as she tries to puzzle out who killed her husband's other woman. Soon, this isn't the only murder in town, and Maddie is in the path of a killer. Great first book of the series! I'm looking forward to reading the other books and getting more of Maddie, Detective Hurley, Izzy, and the other great characters.

  9. 5 out of 5

    CD {Boulder Blvd}

    2.5 stars rounded down. I think this might be classified as a cozy mystery. I found the clumsy mishaps of the lead character more eye rolling and irritating then cute and funny. The mystery plot was OK. The non-relationship with Hurley came off kind of high schoolish and immature. In fact the lead character comes of like a high schooler and immature too many times during the book. This is really emphasized with the 1st POV. Although I had thought of trying to continue this series, I looked at some 2.5 stars rounded down. I think this might be classified as a cozy mystery. I found the clumsy mishaps of the lead character more eye rolling and irritating then cute and funny. The mystery plot was OK. The non-relationship with Hurley came off kind of high schoolish and immature. In fact the lead character comes of like a high schooler and immature too many times during the book. This is really emphasized with the 1st POV. Although I had thought of trying to continue this series, I looked at some reviews, skimmed the next book and it looks like too much of what irritated me is repeated.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    Update 23/07/16: Ahh, this makes me sad. I remembered loving this book back when I read it 4 years ago, so I picked up the audiobook version this time, figuring it'd let me "reread" it with a fresh perspective. Turns out it was a terrible idea, because the narrator's raspy voice and inability to differentiate her reading of prose versus dialogue made listening to it an absolute chore. Listening to an audiobook also forces you to listen to everything VERY closely, with no option to read quickly pa Update 23/07/16: Ahh, this makes me sad. I remembered loving this book back when I read it 4 years ago, so I picked up the audiobook version this time, figuring it'd let me "reread" it with a fresh perspective. Turns out it was a terrible idea, because the narrator's raspy voice and inability to differentiate her reading of prose versus dialogue made listening to it an absolute chore. Listening to an audiobook also forces you to listen to everything VERY closely, with no option to read quickly past the boring parts. Only now do I realize just how much telling there was, rather than showing - the book is like a never ending monologue by Mattie, reciting in great detail every moment of her day, the physical attributes, manner and quirks of everyone in her town, etc. It's just not very interesting. On top of that, I noted in my original review that her way of poking around and asking questions is more believable than that of most amateur cozy mystery sleuths, because of her job and wide network of acquaintances. That stands true, but what I DIDN'T note was just how stupid her behavior was. Mattie didn't really need to stick her nose into it - her personal angle was weak and her job at the ME's office certainly didn't require her to do the job of a homicide detective, particularly when the detective in charge was actually very competent. She had a way of thinking to herself how stupid it would be to do something... and then she'd go ahead and do it anyway. It annoys me to have to change my mind so significantly about a book I previously enjoyed, but that won't stop me from lowering my rating to 3 stars. Original review: This book is so much fun! This had been recommended to me many times, but I remained cautiously optimistic and was rewarded with a bucketload of laughs. Mattie is a crack-up without being a total crackhead; she’s funny and gets into hilarious situations, but she’s not stupid and forever tripping over her own feet, either. I love the supporting characters – Izzy and his partner Dom, Arnie, and of course the hunky Detective Steve Hurley. There aren’t too many developments between him and Mattie aside from an obvious attraction, but that’s fair enough, considering Mattie’s newly (sort of) divorced status. I actually prefer it when relationships move in small steps rather than big leaps, anyway. The latter always strikes me as risky and unlikely to last. The book begins a little after Mattie catches her philandering husband, David, with another nurse at the hospital where they work. Thankfully Mattie doesn’t spend too much time agonizing over it, or at least not during moments of narration, so we don’t have to read endless angsting. The mistress’ subsequent murder and Mattie’s change of occupations from nurse to deputy coroner puts events into motion. The investigation of Karen Owenby’s murder is interesting and well-developed, but what’s even more interesting is Mattie’s new job and what it entails. What she learns as a coroner and her previous years of experience as a nurse means that Mattie’s set of connections makes her detecting believable – because she knows so many patients from her old job, the fact that she might call on them with questions is that much more reasonable. I’ve always been startled at cozy mystery protagonists randomly knocking on doors and calling up people; in real life, who on earth would actually respond to strangers’ enquiries so cooperatively? Working Stiff has fun and likeable characters, and the murder mystery is well done. Getting a brief insight into the job of a coroner is interesting, as well, and having a protagonist that is actually professionally qualified to do things related to the investigation is refreshing. It’s a shame it took me so long to get my hands on a copy of this book, because I could have discovered the series that much sooner if it was more popular.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Page

    There have been very few times that I have not been able to finish a book. I pride myself on finishing what I start. But this one...I ended up quickly scanning 3/4 of the way through. It was just so insane, and not in a good way. SPOILER ALERT... I knew I was going to have problems right off the bat. There is no way - none - that a police detective would allow a murder suspect's wife be involved in any part of the investigation. But here is Mattie, the murder suspect's wife, investigating the murd There have been very few times that I have not been able to finish a book. I pride myself on finishing what I start. But this one...I ended up quickly scanning 3/4 of the way through. It was just so insane, and not in a good way. SPOILER ALERT... I knew I was going to have problems right off the bat. There is no way - none - that a police detective would allow a murder suspect's wife be involved in any part of the investigation. But here is Mattie, the murder suspect's wife, investigating the murder, talking to suspects, following up leads, even performing an autopsy on a victim related to the case. Seriously? Do some research. And then the hot-cold, hot-cold relationship between Mattie and Steve is ridiculous. Mattie's cat was much more believable that this couple. I just don't think a lot of thought went into the police procedure of this book. I would have understood it more if Mattie was asked to stay away until a suspect was finally arrested, and she decided to secretly investigate on her own. Anyway...I just felt it was a waste of time.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Dawn

    Mattie Winston’s life has taken an unexpected turn. First she caught her husband, Dr. David Winston, having an intimate moment with a nurse. Then after leaving the marital home, she also leaves her nursing job to avoid the two people who destroyed her marriage. Now to support herself, Mattie has accepted a job from her best friend Izzy, working as a deputy coroner while living in a guest house in his backyard. It is a little awkward that Izzy lives next door to David. When Mattie is called to he Mattie Winston’s life has taken an unexpected turn. First she caught her husband, Dr. David Winston, having an intimate moment with a nurse. Then after leaving the marital home, she also leaves her nursing job to avoid the two people who destroyed her marriage. Now to support herself, Mattie has accepted a job from her best friend Izzy, working as a deputy coroner while living in a guest house in his backyard. It is a little awkward that Izzy lives next door to David. When Mattie is called to her first homicide scene she is more than a little shocked to find that Karen, the nurse who was seeing her husband, is the victim. She begins to wonder if the perpetrator could be David. While spying on the couple the night before, Mattie had seen the two in a heated argument. Mattie also meets the new local detective, Steve Hurley. She never imagined that the handsome detective would soon have her panties in his hands (You have to read the book to find out how this happened within minutes of meeting each other.) Getting used to her new position is made challenging by her suspicions of David, her need to find the killer, and her attraction to the detective on the case. I enjoyed this book very much. It contains some quirky characters that provide some laugh-out-loud moments. The main characters are well-developed, and I found Mattie’s conflicting feelings for her husband refreshing. The setting is easy to picture, and the plot moves at a nice pace. I barely put the book down once I started reading it. This is a book I definitely recommend.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne

    Mattie actually works! This is one of the few cozys where the main character actually works and doesn't flit in and out of the job. Mattie Winston has had a bad break-up with her cheating husband. She leaves the house and since they work together, she quits her job as an OR nurse and is talked into becoming an assistant coroner. In a small town how much work other than the usual would she have to do? Pretty soon people start dropping like flies and Mattie's soon to be ex is top suspect. I enjoyed thi Mattie actually works! This is one of the few cozys where the main character actually works and doesn't flit in and out of the job. Mattie Winston has had a bad break-up with her cheating husband. She leaves the house and since they work together, she quits her job as an OR nurse and is talked into becoming an assistant coroner. In a small town how much work other than the usual would she have to do? Pretty soon people start dropping like flies and Mattie's soon to be ex is top suspect. I enjoyed this first book of the series, a lot of humor, and Mattie isn't your typical 5' 2" Blonde,blue eye, perfect figured MC. On the down side. I figured out the murderer about 3/4 of the way through the book. Oh well, on to the next book in the series. This is a keeper for me.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Britney

    I have mixed feelings about this book. It's getting 2.5 -stars. I like the storyline, characters & mystery, but the MC actions kept driving me nuts. She kept incerting herself way to much into things. It's almost as if she's being nosey. Her thoughts were always on Dectective Hurley & how hot he was & kept thinking of sexual things they could do together. It doesn't read cozy mystery to me. More focus should of been on the crimes than the sexual innuendos. I kept feeling like everytime someone lo I have mixed feelings about this book. It's getting 2.5 -stars. I like the storyline, characters & mystery, but the MC actions kept driving me nuts. She kept incerting herself way to much into things. It's almost as if she's being nosey. Her thoughts were always on Dectective Hurley & how hot he was & kept thinking of sexual things they could do together. It doesn't read cozy mystery to me. More focus should of been on the crimes than the sexual innuendos. I kept feeling like everytime someone look at someone else they were sizing them up.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    3.5 stars This was a fun first book to a series. The sleuth is a newly minted assistant medical examiner and I loved the uniqueness. It's also clear that the author has a lot of medical knowledge or has done her research. It was also interested to follow a character who had a little bit of credibility to her snooping since she could claim it's part of her job. I really liked Mattie as a main character and her friends Izzy and Dom were really fun. I didn't love the detective, but mostly because I 3.5 stars This was a fun first book to a series. The sleuth is a newly minted assistant medical examiner and I loved the uniqueness. It's also clear that the author has a lot of medical knowledge or has done her research. It was also interested to follow a character who had a little bit of credibility to her snooping since she could claim it's part of her job. I really liked Mattie as a main character and her friends Izzy and Dom were really fun. I didn't love the detective, but mostly because I couldn't get a read on him. Sometime he's sweet sometimes he angry or oblivious. But I think he will make a good love interest in the future for Mattie. I did guess the culprit before Mattie. (view spoiler)[As soon as Sid was involved, I had a feeling his wife was killing people to cover up for him. It's so sad that it lead to his suicide. (hide spoiler)] I am looking forward to reading more from this series (and I recommend not reading it during lunch!)

  16. 5 out of 5

    CatBookMom

    Couldn't finish the 2nd chapter. I like cozy mysteries, and I like funny books, but this was a joke, with Our Heroine being TSTL (too stupid to live).

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lokki

    Meh....it was just okay. Certainly not as good as some of the reviews here led me to believe it would be. I didn't find it really that humorous although you could tell that Ryan thought she was being clever but really she was just trying too hard. There are just too many quirky characters in this town and it all becomes rather cliche. Overall I found it a rather amateurish foray. Shifting tense, overuse of the same words (sartorial?? who uses that these days and to use it multiple times?), no ac Meh....it was just okay. Certainly not as good as some of the reviews here led me to believe it would be. I didn't find it really that humorous although you could tell that Ryan thought she was being clever but really she was just trying too hard. There are just too many quirky characters in this town and it all becomes rather cliche. Overall I found it a rather amateurish foray. Shifting tense, overuse of the same words (sartorial?? who uses that these days and to use it multiple times?), no actual chemistry between the main characters despite a kiss out of nowhere and I really mean out of nowhere - so far out of left field, it really didn't make sense. I won't be bothering with the rest of the series.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

    Excellent. Probably one of the better cozies I've read recently.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sandy

    Mattie is married to David but not for long. After working in the OR at a local hospital for years alongside her husband, she catches him with another nurse in a compromising situation when he is supposed to be working late. Since she can't stay married after his cheating on her and she can't face the hospital staff, she quits and ends up working for a friend, Izzy in the county coroner's office. The first person she has to autopsy is a real surprise to her. The woman has lots of surprises and t Mattie is married to David but not for long. After working in the OR at a local hospital for years alongside her husband, she catches him with another nurse in a compromising situation when he is supposed to be working late. Since she can't stay married after his cheating on her and she can't face the hospital staff, she quits and ends up working for a friend, Izzy in the county coroner's office. The first person she has to autopsy is a real surprise to her. The woman has lots of surprises and the plot continues to thicken. Of course, the chief detective is a manly hunk of man that Mattie is attracted to from the start. I gave the novel 4 stars - I thought it read very well, plot was interesting and there were an ample number of characters but not too many. However, I give it a 4 because after being married for 7 years to someone, I found it hard to believe that Mattie the MC would find this detective so attractive after only 2 months of being separated. I did especially like the fact that this MC was not 5.2 and 100 pounds soaking wet! Yay for diversity!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Alice Teets

    what a good cozy! I had this book on my kindle since 2014, but had never read it. I just didn't know what I was missing. Mattie Winston caught her surgeon husband with another nurse in the on-call room at the hospital. That ended her marriage and her career as she could not bear to work as a nurse at the hospital anymore. Her friend Izzy offers her a job as assistant medical examiner, and Mattie takes it as she feels like she is out of options. Then one of her first cases ends up being the nurse what a good cozy! I had this book on my kindle since 2014, but had never read it. I just didn't know what I was missing. Mattie Winston caught her surgeon husband with another nurse in the on-call room at the hospital. That ended her marriage and her career as she could not bear to work as a nurse at the hospital anymore. Her friend Izzy offers her a job as assistant medical examiner, and Mattie takes it as she feels like she is out of options. Then one of her first cases ends up being the nurse her hubby was sleeping with, and he's the top suspect. I really liked this book and look forward to reading more in the series. It has a different feel than most cozies as there is more violence and more sexual undertones, but neither bothered me. It has a Evanovich feel to it, which is the highest compliment I can give.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kellene

    This series had been recommended to me several times, and I'm finally getting around to. Glad I did. This book made me laugh, a lot, and kept my interest throughout. I love the fact that Mattie is a real person with real imperfections. And that she named her cat Rubbish. I'm starting to see a trend with MCs having gay best friends, but I'm always glad to see LGBTQ characters represented positively in books (but I really need for Hurley not to use the terms creature and she-male in the future). A This series had been recommended to me several times, and I'm finally getting around to. Glad I did. This book made me laugh, a lot, and kept my interest throughout. I love the fact that Mattie is a real person with real imperfections. And that she named her cat Rubbish. I'm starting to see a trend with MCs having gay best friends, but I'm always glad to see LGBTQ characters represented positively in books (but I really need for Hurley not to use the terms creature and she-male in the future). All in all, it was a fun read and I look forward to going further in this series.

  22. 4 out of 5

    John

    First book I've read from this author. Was looking for a humorous cosy mystery to just get away from work/life's stresses. Did I get that? Yes. I've assumed that the medical references were accurate. There were sexual innuendos of the main character, but they were not vulgar or obscene. Let's not be too prudish. They were light-hearted and added to the character's personality. Overall, an above average humorous read. I'll be reading more of the series and see if the author maintains her funniness.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Anita

    This is a cute and fun start to a potentially winning cozy mystery series.  There are still some things about the characters and the story that fell short, but all-in-all, I very much enjoyed myself.  In fact, I had my heart set on reading a different book and finishing it before moving onto Working Stiff, but as soon as I started reading this one, I couldn't stop. Mattie is a funny, readily related to main character with her clumsy foibles and her wild imaginations.  She is very real, very down- This is a cute and fun start to a potentially winning cozy mystery series.  There are still some things about the characters and the story that fell short, but all-in-all, I very much enjoyed myself.  In fact, I had my heart set on reading a different book and finishing it before moving onto Working Stiff, but as soon as I started reading this one, I couldn't stop. Mattie is a funny, readily related to main character with her clumsy foibles and her wild imaginations.  She is very real, very down-to-earth, and absolutely NOT perfect.  She is also quick on her feet and resourceful.  Though if I had to nitpick anything about her, it would be her one-tracked obsession with Detective Steve Hurley. She has another flaw, which I can totally forgive her for if only because she's new at her job and kind of got hoisted into it by her best friend.  She kind of sucks at the investigating thing, because her tact at questioning people tend toward the "let's just give them the entire story and see what they know."  Which, if you've read enough crime thrillers, law enforcement officers hold back a lot of vital information when they interview people for very significant reasons.  You don't want to give away anything that could potentially screw up an investigation by either tipping off the culprit, or creating a copy cat to muck things up. But Mattie seems to be find just handing over every bit of information she has to anyone she talks to.  She's going to have to learn discretion, really... So hopefully, in the next few books to come, Mattie will get more training and pick up a feel for doing her job a bit better. Except for the fact that she's not a detective and it makes me a bit nervous that she decided to take on investigating this case personally. Her need to show up Detective Hurley by solving the murder case before he did was a bit childish, because so many things could go wrong.  And seeing as how she's not a trained professional in law enforcement, in real life, this could have opened up a whole can of worms for throwing evidence out of court.  But this ties in with her obsession with Detective Hurley, which was cute at first, but turned into a really badly handled passive-aggressive cat fight between her and any other woman showing the least bit of interest in him. It makes me cringe a little.  As realistic as the situation is, it bugged me a little bit that she was more concerned about looking good in front of the detective than anything else.  I mean, there's more to life than romance and men, and while I am a devoted romance reader, I tend to get a little irritated when the main character's thoughts keep coming back to her love interest at the most inappropriate moments. Especially when said love interest really has nothing going for him aside from being a good-looking man.  Because, really, Steve Hurley was no different than any other "love interest of the week" out there.  And until he proves to be anything different than just another good-looking man, I'm really not that interested. On the other hand, I'm really digging the mentor-apprentice relationship between Mattie and Izzy.  I love all the technical forensic lingo and all the little details that Mattie is learning about as she steps into her new position of deputy coroner. The few really dark, sad parts of the book near the end is what really made me cement this as a series I will continue to read.  And I'm not saying this because I'm sadistic or anything.  It brings out a different, more serious side of Mattie to balance out that wacky, trouble-making side of her that is probably inserted into the character bio as a point of comedic relief. Because that particular character trait is just always part of so many main characters in some of the cozies I've read to date, and it really DOES get old.  It's not always cute for your main female character to be klutzy or to generally bumble into things and screw shit up.  Yes.  I DO enjoy the occasional, endearing troublemaker, because goodness knows I don't get along with Mary Sues either.  But to make it a consistent, running gag can really rankle; especially if it's done on purpose just to make the main character seem cute.  Or to make the perfect love interest seem even more perfect.  Or to give said perfect love interest a reason to swoop in and save the day. But anyway, enough of that... Working Stiff really is an entertaining and enjoyable first book in this series, and I definitely look forward to reading more, with hopes of seeing some progressive development from Mattie, now that she can start a new chapter in her life. *** 2016 Reading Challenges: • Goodreads Reading Challenge • BookLikes Reading Challenge • Bookish Resolutions Challenge • COYER Summer Vacation 2016

  24. 5 out of 5

    Pat

    Was almost a DNF. I thought the initial actions of Mattie were pretty foolish, and it didn't seem like a promising start. But, I gave it another chapter, and got more involved in the story. A reasonably good start to a series.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Definitely going to read more of this series.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Pam

    I recently came across this book while wandering through the stacks at the local library and I'm glad I did. Reading the blurb on the inside cover made me want to read it but the first paragraph grabbed my attention and from that moment on I was hooked. I had to read more about this zany main character and see what strange things were going on in her life. Mattie Winston is a nurse. She doesn't let catching her cheating doctor husband with his pants down destroy her. Not this sassy woman. She goe I recently came across this book while wandering through the stacks at the local library and I'm glad I did. Reading the blurb on the inside cover made me want to read it but the first paragraph grabbed my attention and from that moment on I was hooked. I had to read more about this zany main character and see what strange things were going on in her life. Mattie Winston is a nurse. She doesn't let catching her cheating doctor husband with his pants down destroy her. Not this sassy woman. She goes to work for her friend Izzy (don't you love the name?)in the coroner's office. It allows her to start a new career, which lands her in the middle of a murder investigation...and lets her met a hunky but very irritating detective. Yes, this book does fall into the cozy mystery category but it's much more. The mystery is far above average in the number of plot twists...I didn't have a clue as the identity of the murderer,it's filled with interesting forensics, but more importantly its quirky, fun, entertaining and it made me laugh. I don't mean crack a smile, but laugh loud enough to wake my husband. Some of the situations Mattie gets into are hilarious and the bantering dialogue between her and some of the other characters is crazy funny. It's been a long time since I've felt so sucked into a character's life. I for one can't wait to see what happens to Mattie and her friends next. Now, I just have to get the second book. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

  27. 5 out of 5

    The UHQ Nasanta

    3 stars Having thoroughly enjoyed myself with Scared Stiff, the second book in the series, I decided to hunt up the rest of the books in the series. I did enjoy Working Stiff. I found the writing style to be readable, the protagonist's POV to be humorous and authentic, and the mystery to be fairly convoluted. This book did fail to hold my attention in the way that Scared Stiff did not. I found myself pausing about halfway through the book in favor of other reads, and found it easy to put down aft 3 stars Having thoroughly enjoyed myself with Scared Stiff, the second book in the series, I decided to hunt up the rest of the books in the series. I did enjoy Working Stiff. I found the writing style to be readable, the protagonist's POV to be humorous and authentic, and the mystery to be fairly convoluted. This book did fail to hold my attention in the way that Scared Stiff did not. I found myself pausing about halfway through the book in favor of other reads, and found it easy to put down after a couple of chapters. However, I think this had more to do with the type of read I was looking for at the moment. If it weren't for that, and the fact that the author's choice of words in certain situations made me question how educated she was regarding LGBTQQ(etc.) issues*, this book might have been a 4 star read for me. *It is quite possible that certain questionable terminologies used by certain characters were just them being in character.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Elaine

    At first I loved this book, and I did love the humor in it. In the end, though, I was disappointed by it. For starters, the book is not only written in first person (which is okay), it's also written in present tense throughout. That was jarring somehow. My biggest issue with the book was the behavior of the main character, Mattie Winston, where her 'romance' with the police detective was concerned. She is in the middle of some of the most incredibly heart-wrenching issues a wife and friend could At first I loved this book, and I did love the humor in it. In the end, though, I was disappointed by it. For starters, the book is not only written in first person (which is okay), it's also written in present tense throughout. That was jarring somehow. My biggest issue with the book was the behavior of the main character, Mattie Winston, where her 'romance' with the police detective was concerned. She is in the middle of some of the most incredibly heart-wrenching issues a wife and friend could deal with -- her husband's infidelity, his fathering of a child out of wedlock, suicide of a friend, multiple murders, treachery of a woman she trusted. Yet through it all she carries on a flirtation with police detective Hurley that has a distinctly 12 year old quality to it. All in all, I gave it three stars, but I really feel it deserved 2.5.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jean

    This is a new author and narrator for me. Ryan tells the story of Mattie Winston who has caught her husband David Winston, M.D., having an affair with Karen Owenby, R.N. Mattie moves out, quits her job, files for divorce and moves in with her gay friend Izzy, who is the Chief Medical Examiner. Izzy suggest Mattie apply for a job as a deputy coroner investigator. Mattie does and is hired and the first homicide call turns out to be the murder of Karen Owenby. Detective Steven Harley is assigned to This is a new author and narrator for me. Ryan tells the story of Mattie Winston who has caught her husband David Winston, M.D., having an affair with Karen Owenby, R.N. Mattie moves out, quits her job, files for divorce and moves in with her gay friend Izzy, who is the Chief Medical Examiner. Izzy suggest Mattie apply for a job as a deputy coroner investigator. Mattie does and is hired and the first homicide call turns out to be the murder of Karen Owenby. Detective Steven Harley is assigned to the case. Mattie sets out to learn how to be a deputy coroner investigator by trial and error and some book learning and instructions, a sort of on the job training. The author writes in a humorous way considering the subject matter. The book is light and easy to read. This book makes a great get a-way from it all read. Jorjeana Marie narrated the story.

  30. 5 out of 5

    E

    I appreciated the way the forensic science was explained as Mattie learned to do autopsies. I like the setup where Mattie is making a life for herself in a career change, with the help of a good friend (who happens to be the coroner) after a divorce. But at times, I felt it was trying hard to be funny in a very particular way, of pratfalls and predictable unresolved sexual tension. This is like what would happen if Stephanie Plum did forensics. I would love to find a funny mystery novel with a fe I appreciated the way the forensic science was explained as Mattie learned to do autopsies. I like the setup where Mattie is making a life for herself in a career change, with the help of a good friend (who happens to be the coroner) after a divorce. But at times, I felt it was trying hard to be funny in a very particular way, of pratfalls and predictable unresolved sexual tension. This is like what would happen if Stephanie Plum did forensics. I would love to find a funny mystery novel with a female protagonist where her self-deprecation wasn't central to the plot or its humor. Let there be bantering humor, instead of the heroine tripping over her feet and making a mess while playing amateur sleuth. Sigh.

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