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Murder by Death

I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.

Stiff Penalty (Mattie Winston, #6)

Stiff Penalty - Annalise Ryan

I'm giving this 4 stars in spite of a few things that stuck me, because I just didn't want to put the book down.  Mattie's world is an easy one to fall into, which I think says good things about the writer.


Mattie is a bit of a hot mess; but she's the kind of hot mess that I imagine most people can relate to - in whole or in part.  In spite of herself, she's still very capable, independent and strong.  Occasionally I question her intelligence, but she doesn't pull any TSTL moves.


Stiff Penalty is set up slightly differently from the other books in the series so far - it's first person POV, but is told retrospectively, as Mattie is meeting with her therapist, relating the incidents that brought her to her appointment.  I'm not sure I liked it; it worked, and after the first couple of chapters it didn't interfere with the flow of the story, so I won't complain.  I will complain about the abundance of foreshadowing because I'm not a fan; it makes my eyes roll every time.


The main plot was good; this one is a bit procedural-ish but the ending still ends up being a surprise.  A very abrupt one, and maybe a bit hasty and forced.  The secondary plot concerning Mattie was sort of weird: it was good, but it lacked any real tension and it should have had some tension.  By the end of the book, it felt like a non-issue.


This is one of the cozy series I genuinely enjoy, even if I sometimes think the author tries too hard, and I'll definitely read the next one.