The Vicarious Liver -or- Working Stiff
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The Vicarious Liver -or- Working Stiff (Mattie Winston Mysteries #1)

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  577 ratings  ·  98 reviews
A nosy RN turned small-town-coroner gets more than she bargains for when she unexpectedly becomes the main suspect in this darkly comedic tale of murder, mayhem, and political hi-jinks.

Mattie Winston, RN, is wryly cynical, politically incorrect, and inherently nosy, traits that suit her well when she trades in her hospital scrubs and operating room table for a plastic apro...more
Paperback, 296 pages
Published by (first published September 2009)
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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 as...more
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...more
Why I really, really, really like this book...

Annelise Ryan's Mattie Winston books are a fabulous new mystery series that I recently become somewhat addicted to. Mattie has recently had a life altering revelation (of sorts) involving her Doctor husband, but also her profession since Mattie worked as a nurse in the same hospital. Luckily Mattie has Izzy, her gay best friend, and now because of his job as chief medical examiner, her boss. Mattie's life now with a new job, a new home (also thanks t...more
Doris Ernst
Good read. Cozy mystery. Kept me interested all the way through. Several twists and turns. Didn't figure out who done it until almost the end. Mattie, a nurse turned deputy coroner, investigator is really likable. The detective Steve Hurley livens things up a bit too. Easy guess as the character Mattie grows in her new job so will the relationship with hunky detective Hurley as the series continues.
Mary Brown
Working Stiff by Annelise Ryan was a great cozy mystery. There was mystery, suspense and lots of humor. I think the humor is what made this book stand out from other cozy mystery. There were a lot of times that I not only smiled but laughed out loud. Mattie says and thinks the most outrageous things. The mystery was well thought out and I didn't figure out the murderer until it was revealed at the end, although I did have a slight feeling I knew who it was when all of the events at the end unfol...more
Shelley Ochowski
Hilariously funny. As a nurse I found this book very accurate and Mattie had me in stitches. This lighthearted read would be a great gift for anyone, especially someone with a medical background.
this was a cute cozy mystery - i liked the characters and the story had some twists and a funny ending. this has the makings of a fun series, so i'll look forward to more.
The first in the Mattie Winston series. I loved the humor that's in this book and am looking forward to what other trouble Mattie gets in :)
❂ Jennifer (reviews on BookLikes)
Not a bad start to a series. Interesting blend of humour and drama and the characters are interesting enough for me to read the next one.
Adarsh Kota
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Now this -- is funny! This deserves "humor"-status.

I really liked this story. Throughout most of the first half, the humor just kept on coming. The second half was less humorous though my interest was maintained because the plot was maintained and and the guilty party was not easy to figure out.

While other books of this genre struggle with believability, in "Working Stiff," because of Mattie Winston's background previously working as a registered nurse at a local hospital, and now as a morgue a...more
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...more
Meg Fee
This was an interesting book, at no time did I even have a suspect. The only thing the main character, Mattie, was certain of at the beginning was that her husband, that she'd left 2 months ago because she caught him cheating, did not kill the woman he was cheating on her with. Because she didn't want to work at the same hospital as David, her husband, she moved into her best friend (and neighbor)'s guest house. He also got her a new job working with him as a coroner. Somehow her first homicide...more
Mattie catches her Dr. hubby giving his new nurse some tender loving care. Marriage over. She also couldn't continue to work at the same place they did. So when the coroner's office has an opening she stepped up. However one night she when to go get some of her things back that she left behind at their house. But instead of catching them gone, she possibly catches sight of dr hubby murdering his new nurse. As Mattie works toward solving the mystery, because no matter what kind of idiot dr hubby...more
Quirky, keen and not for the faint at heart, Annelise Ryan’s debut new cozy mystery series will have readers dying for more!

With an opening line of “I’m surprised by how much the inside of a dead body smells like the inside of a live one.”, I knew that I was going to be in for one interesting read. I was not disappointed. Annelise Ryan blends together a hint of the macabre, humor, mystery and one sassy main character to give readers a rather unique cozy mystery. Do be warned that parts of the st...more
Author is a nurse and she really knows her stuff. Her heroine is Mattie Winston, an ER and OR nurse who is going through a divorce from her doctor husband. She caught him in the OR with another nurse and they weren't operating on a patient.
She leaves him and her job. Her best friend, Izzy, is the Medical Examiner. He hires Mattie as a Deputy Coroner.
Then the fun starts as the bodies start to drop. First is the infamous nurse of the OR incident. Is Mattie a suspect?
Her life is complicated by the...more
This has potential to be a good series although I thought the story this time around was dragged out somewhat. I kept looking at how many pages i had left to finish which is not always a good sign.

We are introduced to Mattie Winston who has started to work as a deputy coroner due to some massive changes in her life. Izzy is great at teaching Mattie patiently the ropes and of course (as I've now come to expect in all these cozy mysteries) he is her gay best friend. It is amazing how each of the s...more
Michele Chambers
i'm new to reading the light-hearted mysteries. This was so enjoyable. I found myself not wanting to stop reading a chapter.

Absolutley love the chaacter Mattie Winston. The fact that she wasn't created to be another blond bomb shell or but just as beautiful is so refreshing. Also the side characters also. Especially Dective Steve Hurley.
The fact that she is a former nurse but is now work as a Deputy Coroner's Assistant is very different, but also extremely interesting.

Please tell me there wi...more
Linda Smatzny
This is the first book in a series featuring Mattie Winston. Mattie is a RN who is now working as a deputy coroner. The first case is that of the murder of Karen Owenby who was having an affair with Mattie's husband, David. Mattie is very curious which is good in her job. The story is set in a small town in Wisconsin so lots of characters. It was an easy read - the pages just seemed to fly by. Can't wait to read the next.
Let me start with, I really liked this book. Really. However..Two things I hate in my cozys..foul language, and rape incest or any thing of that nature..I'm not a prude..I just don't like such content in my cozys. I read cozys to avoid such material. Now that being said, I did enjoy the characters the mystery itself was great..I didn't figure out "whodunnit" until near the end , so I will likely overlook my dislikes of this one and read the next in the series
I totally enjoyed this book. Mattie is a likeable character who may get into some predicaments but she is not stupid. The reactions she has to circumstances is real and believable. The other characters in the book are likeable, especially the detective who hopefully shows up in the other books. The mystery was one that kept me guessing with plenty of twists that kept me turning the pages. I will definitely read the rest of this series.
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...more
While Mattie is pretty dumb occasionally, I really enjoyed the humor and characters in this book. A nice cozy mystery. I didn't really expect the ending until the very very end, which was nice. Mattie's blunders are a little difficult to swallow sometimes, as she's an otherwise intelligent character who shows bad judgment. One of the up sides of this is that she consistently makes bad choices.
Picked up books 1, 2 and 4 at the library and read them all in 2 days. Have 3 on request.

I really enjoyed Mattie and the cast of secondary characters. I was happy that Mattie didn't obsess too much over her husband or any other element in her life which I sometimes find happening in cozy mysteries. I laughed out loud about 3-4 times during each book which is very rare for me. Some people might not relate to Mattie or think the conversations she has are true to life (like the one she has during h...more
I found this to be a very enjoyable murder-mystery novel. If you enjoy Janet Evanovich or Kathy Reichs, and can handle some in your face writing from inside a coroner's office, I would give this new series a try. The author, writing under pseudonym, Annelise Ryan did a great job with her character development, and plot. Add in some silliness, and life in a small town USA and you are invited in for a quick, laugh out loud read. I am off to get the next series book. I hope you join me!
David Caldwell
First in the series.Meet Mattie Winston who just recently caught her husband in the O.R. with a nurse trying out for the head nurse position.Now she has moved out and got a new job as Deputy Coroner.Unfortunately her first case as an investigator is the same nurse. Now she and her soon-to-be ex-husband are both suspects.

A delightful mix of humor and mystery with a little romance thrown into it.The characters are smart and engaging.Mattie is not one of these perfect characters that never has anyt...more
Jeannie and Louis Rigod
Mattie Winston is the new Deputy Coroner after a very sad divorce begins. She is living in the guest house of her best friend and now, boss, Izzy and his partner, Dom. Thing is the house is practically next door to her soon-to-be ex.

Although, Mattie is a R.N., she needs to train to be a coroner and her very first case out is her husband's lover. Not only is Mattie shocked that she knows the victim, but, she is overwhelmed when the case is ruled a homicide.

This book walks us through an autopsy, a...more
It was okay, as the star rating indicate. I am preceding to book two in the series in the hope that our heroine is much smarter and the narrator has also improved.
This book was good enough for me to be interested in picking up another in the series and trying it. As a first in the series there is a certain amount of time relegated to setting up the characters/relationships/setting in preparation for continuing the series. My issue was that it did require more than average suspension of disbelief: The main character is an O.R. nurse who catches her husband and the HEAD nurse. She then quits with no notice , hangs around her neighbor who happens to the be t...more
Ugh. Painfully stupid read. Way too much sarcasm in the dialogue.....the author trying to make the story clever and funny. It wasn't.
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question 1 13 Jul 27, 2012 06:26PM  
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“I'm surprised by how much the inside of a dead body smells like the inside of a live one.” 4 likes
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