Kensington, Sep 1 2011, $22.00
Amidst the snowy cornfield near Sorenson, Wisconsin, the corpse of a young woman is found. Town life deputy coroner Mattie Winston arrives at the crime scene and realizes the stabbing victim is a total stranger; fellow lifer uniformed cop Junior Feller does not recognize her either. Her boyfriend, SPD homicide detective Steve Hurley takes a look at the face and turns paler than the background and pronounces Bob Richmond will investigate.
Steve dated Chicago investigative reporter Callie Dunkirk over a year and a half ago; she ended their relationship. Complicating matters for Steve is the weapon sticking out of the deceased’s chest belongs to him. A second homicide has the police detaining Steve as the only suspect in both murders. Still married though separated (see Scared Stiff to learn what happened to the other woman) Mattie moves passed her Big Girl jealousy of a dead woman to investigate as she is certain her BF is not a killer even if the evidence overwhelmingly hangs him.
This is an amusing Thanksgiving whodunit as the klutzy Big Girl in her used hearse investigates the murders though she slips and ricochets more than she succeeds. The eccentric cast brings wintry Wisconsin to life while the heroine’s humorous self deprecating asides are fun but can slow down the pace as there are too many of them (sort of like Debbie Reynolds in Mary, Mary). Fans will enjoy the second “Stiff” investigative tale as the heroine tries to save the day in spite of herself.