This is book 4 in this series but this is the first book by the author that I've read.
There were actually two mysteries in this book. The first mystery is concerning the death of Jack Allen - a paraplegic who recently won a huge casino jackpot. The second investigation centers on the body of Donald Strommen that turned up floating in the water. I enjoyed both mysteries. They kept me interested and guessing so much that I never really stopped reading once I started. The laundry list of suspects in the Jack Allen case was very believable as legitimate suspects. I enjoyed the process of checking alibis and finding motives. The mystery involving the floater was compelling and very sad at the end of the case. I found the medical tidbits along the way very interesting. I normally read a lot of cozy mysteries. I wouldn’t really call this a cozy – it’s more like CSI. The first autopsy scene grossed me out a little but I was ok with the others. I liked Mattie, the main character. I thought her character seemed very real & likable. I could relate to her. I just couldn't believe it when she kept taking out money and going back to the casino. I understood what her reasons were but I felt like shaking her and saying "What the hell are you doing?" Going the first time I could understand but going back so many times and with so much cash drove me nuts. I also enjoyed the romantic tension between Mattie and Hurley. I was happy they finally hooked up at the end, but……everything that happened in Mattie’s personal life that happened directly after that just threw me for a loop. Between the evil ex-husband pulling the lousy thing he did, and Hurley’s past coming back to haunt them – it just seemed like too much. I really hope that things look up for Mattie in the next book because I really liked and care about the character & enjoy this author’s way of writing a mystery.