cover image Dead Even

Dead Even

Annelise Ryan. Kensington, $26 (336p) ISBN 978-1-4967-2257-7

When someone fatally stabs wealthy real estate agent Montgomery Dixon with a pool cue in Ryan’s well-crafted 12th Mattie Winston mystery (after 2020’s Dead Ringer), Mattie, a medicolegal investigator in Sorensen, Wis., and her husband, homicide detective Steve Hurley, have no lack of suspects. They include Monty’s younger, faithless, second wife; a ne’er-do-well son who has racked up gambling debts he hoped his dad would pay off; a former wife; a recently fired employee; and any number of victims of the shady business deals engineered by Monty and his twin brother. The motives vary as much as the suspects, and soon Mattie and Hurley discover possible connections between Monty’s murder and several others that cross their desks during the course of a weekend. Mattie is an engagingly flawed protagonist, and readers will connect with her insecurities and stressful home life. A fine cast of family and friends lend support, and Ryan weaves the many plot threads into a single, satisfying solution. This convincing procedural with a domestic twist should have wide appeal. Agent: Adam Chromy, Movable Type Management. (Apr.)