Every time I read one of Denise Swanson’s Scumble River mysteries, I am shocked some mover and shaker hasn’t scooped up the rights to her series. Hollywood would definitely score big by bringing this hilarious and heartwarming series to the screen – big or small. Swanson has warmed my heart since I first picked up her 2000 debut, Murder of a Small-Town Honey.
Swanson knows firsthand what life in a small town is about and her series reflects it to perfection. No one can do anything without the entire community finding out and since I am a bit curious – I said curious, folks, not nosey – I love knowing the scoop in Scumble River.
Swanson’s 14th novel, Murder of a Creped Suzette features a delightful protagonist, an authentic cast of quirky characters, and rip-roaring fun that tickles even the dustiest funny bone.
When filthy rich wannabe cowboy Rex Taylor lands in Scumble River with dreams of building a country music theater, the townsfolk are excited to shine their spurs, don their glittery tops, hoot and holler as they prepare to shake their rears boot-scootin’.
Rex’s assistant and rising country star, Suzette Neal, has asked school psychologist Skye Denison to investigate her mother’s suspicious death nearly three decades prior. Skye agrees to help the talented singer when she discovers her flattened body. Now Skye has two deaths to investigate and the suspect list seems to be a mixed stew of unsavory characters. Motives sparkle everywhere like a rhinestone studded denim jacket and the murders pull Skye back to the first killing 27 years earlier.
Swanson has created one of the brightest amateur sleuths in fiction and with every installment she takes her to the next level. What makes Swanson a cut above the rest, is the fact that she doesn’t play games with her protagonist and stays true to Skye Denison – she isn’t trying to find a place for Skye in every outing, she knows exactly who Skye is.
Skye Denison is a vivacious, charming and down-to-earth heroine. She is fun, lovable, intelligent and has a family that keeps her centered, as well as seeking some counseling herself, but it is what makes it such an endearing and must-read series.
Every time I visit Scumble River and the vivacious inhabitants, my heart is filled with honeycomb warmth. Once again, Murder of a Creped Suzette showcases Swanson’s skills as a superb storyteller and readers get to experience the rich tapestry she has lovingly created.
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