Saturday, January 23, 2016

Review: Stiff Competition by Annelise Ryan

Stiff Competition by Annelise Ryan is the seventh book in the Mattie Winston mystery series. It's due out January 26, 2016 from Kensington.

In this book, Mattie Winston is a new mother just returning to work. On her first day back, there is a murder in a hunting area involving a bow and arrow. Lars Sanderson, a developer, seems to have many enemies and several girlfriends. There is no dearth of suspects. As that mystery progresses, Hurley's daughter Emily disappears. Hurley is Mattie's steady relationship and her son's father. They put off getting married because of difficulties Hurley has been experiencing with Emily as the two of them get used to being father and daughter. Hurley's gut tells him Emily's disappearance is not the usual cutting class. When she doesn't show up for days, it would seem that Hurley is right.

Dom keeps Matthew, Mattie's son, while she is at work. Izzy, her boss, is Dom's significant other. There is character development between the two of them as Dom reaches an important decision about whether or not he wants to have children in the future.

Basically, there are 2 mysteries going on concurrently. I wanted to know who killed Lars, but he wasn't a very likeable character. And we only got to know him from other's points of view after his death. Emily's disappearance gets a little less page play until about 80% through, but it is key to character development for both Mattie and Emily. Even Hurley's character benefits from this mystery in terms of growth.

The one thing I could have done without in this book was the amount of description given to Mattie's breastfeeding and the details as to what it involved. The rest of the book was fine. And I have nothing against breastfeeding, it just was too much information. I really didn't need to know what made her milk let down.

I gave this book 3.5 stars instead of 4 stars because of all the breastfeeding details going on. I still would read another book by this author. I am looking forward to the next book in the series.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.