Review: Dead of Winter (Mattie Winston Mysteries #10) by Annelise Ryan

Print Length: 352 pages
Publisher: Kensington (February 26, 2019)

From Winters in Sorenson, Wisconsin, can be unforgiving. But it’s murder that keeps Mattie and her family from settling into their new home . . .
A new home, a new marriage, a new family. It’s a lot to sort out. But before medicolegal death investigator Mattie can smooth out the unexpected chaos of her new life, duty calls. At the local ER, a battered and bruised teenage girl has been brought in by a mysterious man who claimed she’d fallen out of a car. The staff is suspicious, but while they attend to the teenager, the unidentified man slips out. Then the girl dies, but not before informing social worker Hildy Schneider that the man had her little sister as well. 
Mattie’s exam reveals forensic evidence of long-term IV drug use and physical abuse, findings consistent with Hildy’s suspicion that the girl was a victim of human trafficking. They are able to confirm her identity as a teen who went missing six months ago, along with her sister—facts that are deeply unsettling to Mattie who now shares a home with her husband’s teenaged daughter. 
Working closely with Hildy and Sorenson homicide detectives, including her husband Steve Hurley, Mattie must delve into a dark underworld to stop the ruthless trafficking of human lives—before it's too late for another young girl . . .

My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Although this is the tenth book in the series, this is the first in this series (and by this author) that I have read. The only thing I feel I am missing story wise is why Mattie is still using her ex-husband's last name instead of taking her new husband's. That is a little weird to me considering her ex has obviously moved on. 

As for the story - I wanted to like it. And really, it was  fairly complex and well written so it had that going for it. But the amount of times I had to read about someone farting (medical condition or not), or someone pooping, or some other juvenile variation thereof just diminished this story for me. Why would you ruin an otherwise gripping and engaging story with something so childish? It served no real purpose to move the story along. I was also highly disappointed that Mattie would take her dog to a place she wanted to investigate, and leave said dog locked in the car despite the fact that it was freezing outside. I also couldn't figure out why she was calling people, and investigating instead of passing along the information to her husband, or any of the other detectives on the force considering -  spoiler alert - she's not a cop! 

As much as I enjoyed the way the people involved were captured, and the author's take on this very real issue, I just can't get over some of the unnecessary fodder that was included in this story.  And while I am sure it will appeal to a variety of readers (especially those already familiar with this series), at this point I am undecided if I would read another from this author.

DISCLAIMERI received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.


                            Dead of Winter  is available from

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