Lars Sanderson is not a popular figure in Sorenson. He is a real estate developer who is often less than scrupulous. And it is Lars who Mattie finds is her first case back after maternity leave. Someone has shot him through the neck with an arrow. Unfortunately, he has multiple enemies and multiple girlfriends providing a nice pool of suspects.
There is a second mystery in the book. Hurley, Mattie’s steady and father of her son, has a daughter named Emily who disappears. Hurley’s gut tells him that this is not the usual cutting class situation. Looking for Emily provides a subplot for the novel. It gets less page play than Lars murder until about 80% through the book. Then it’s about equal time.
There is another subplot of the relationship type. Dom keeps Mattie’s son while she is at work. He is her boss’s significant other. And he is thinking about how nice it might be to have a child of his own.
The mystery involving Emily provides opportunities for character development for Hurley, Mattie, and Emily. The subplot between Dom and Izzy provides an opportunity for development for them and their relationship.
I enjoyed the mysteries. The only thing I wasn’t that keen on was how much page space was given to Mattie’s breastfeeding and all it involved. I didn’t really need to know what situations triggered or how frequently her milk let down. I have nothing against breastfeeding, I just didn’t like the amount of it in the book.
I gave this book 3.5 stars instead of 4 because of the breastfeeding issue. I would still read another book by this author. And I am looking forward to the next book in this humorous cozy series.
Stiff Competition by Annelise Ryan is the seventh mystery in the Mattie Winston series. It’s due out January 26, 2016 from Kensington.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.