Tag Archives: Denise Swanson

A Conversation with Wally Boyd by Denise Swanson

Murder of a Needled KnitterMurder of a Needled Knitter by Denise Swanson features Scumble River Police Chief Wally Boyd on his honeymoon cruise. He’s here today to chat with us about this upcoming trip.

I love my new wife, school psychologist Skye Denison-Boyd, to distraction, but her friends and family can be a bit overwhelming. Skye is a gorgeous curvy armful of delight with a heart as big as my native state of Texas. She’s smart and funny and makes me feel like I’m the luckiest man in the world. Our passion for each other is off the charts, and now that we’re finally married, and her resident ghost, Mrs. Griggs has put the seal of approval on our relationship, I plan to spend the rest of my life finding new ways to—nope, not going there. I probably shouldn’t have had that last glass of champagne on the flight from Chicago to Florida. Or maybe I should have turned down the mimosa our steward had ready for us when we got into our suite just now.

Okay. Back to the one little flaw that might gum up the works of our happy life-Skye’s family. She’s a lot closer to them than I am to mine, although I am getting along better with my dad and cousin since I convinced them that I’m never returning to Texas and never taking over the family oil business. But it’s a doggone shame that Skye’s people tend to be so smothering.

I have to admit, when she told me how hard it was to stand up to her mother and keep her independence, I figured it wouldn’t be a problem for me. Or I should say, I thought that way until a few minutes ago. We had just boarded the ship and were waiting for the elevator to take us to our suite, when Skye turned whiter than a bowl of rice, pointed to the staircase behind us, and said, “I just saw my mother.”

I assured her she was just overwrought from the past week—celebrating Christmas, putting on a wedding, and solving a murder would stress anyone out. But I’m a mite worried that my darlin’ could be right. I’m trying not to think about it, hoping Skye was mistaken, but my gut tells me that my mother-in-law is on our honeymoon cruise.

Well, even if May is onboard we can always lock ourselves in our suite so as long as no one gets murdered, I’m sure we can still enjoy our trip.


You can read more about Wally and Skye’s honeymoon, in Murder of a Needled Knitter, the 17th book in the “Scumble River” mystery series, published by Obsidian. The first book in the series is Murder of a Small-Town Honey.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 6 p.m. eastern on September 11 for the chance to win a copy of MURDER OF A NEEDLED KNITTER. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.

Meet the author
A former school psychologist, New York Times bestselling author Denise Swanson spent twenty-two years working in the public school system. She realized her experiences were actually excellent research for mysteries. Denise also writes the Devereaux’s Dime Store series, the third book, Dead Between the Lines, debuted in March. Find Denise at www.DeniseSwanson.com, on Facebook and on Twitter.

Dead Between the Lines by Denise Swanson

Dead Between the LinesDead Between the Lines by Denise Swanson is the third book in the “Devereaux’s Dime Store” mystery series. Publisher: Obsidian, March 2014

Opening an old-fashioned five-and-dime shop in her small Missouri hometown has been a great change for Devereaux “Dev” Sinclair. But when she hosts a reading group there, she learns that bad writing can mean life or death.

To keep her new business in the black, Dev opens up her shop to local clubs. But in the first meeting of the Stepping Out Book Club, the speaker storms out after members attack his poetry’s sexism and scorn for small towns. Later that night, the poet’s body is found outside Dev’s store.

Dev can’t afford for the murder to close her down, so she does a little stepping out of her own to investigate, with help from her two sexy suitors, Dr. Noah Underwood and Deputy U.S. Marshal Jake Del Vecchio. But when the killer threatens Dev, they will have to use every trick in the book to solve the case before she becomes the final chapter in this murder mystery.

This was a good read that was hard to put down. A dead body, two suitors, and a murder investigation is what you’ll find in between the pages of this fabulous book. How will it end? You’ll have to pick up a copy of this fast-paced and action filled light whodunit. The author does a great job of pulling you into every nook and cranny of this well-written drama. Dev is at her best trying to solve this mystery and I was taken by surprise with the revelation of the killer, which I did not see coming. Another fine job by the author and I do hope that Dev makes her decision soon (Jake!). With a great cast of quirky residents and good conversations, I can’t wait to see what lies ahead for Dev and the possibilities in the next book in this fabulous series.

previously posted on the Cozy Chicks blog

A Conversation with Devereaux Sinclair as told to Denise Swanson

Dead Between the LinesA year ago, I quit my high-powered financial consultant job at Stramp Investments in Kansas City and bought the old dime store in my hometown—Shadow Bend, Missouri, population 4028. At the time of my resignation, I had no idea that my boss had been stealing investors’ life savings. However, a lot of people thought Ronald Stramp’s employees were as guilty as he was, and having left several months before he was exposed didn’t spare me from the accusations or the venom. I was even persecuted for a murder that I didn’t commit, because one of the funds Stramp had ripped off belonged to a police officer’s group.

Thank goodness, with the help of my friends and a hunky U.S. Marshal named Jake Del Vecchio, I was able to figure out who the real killer was before the detective in charge managed to railroad me into the electric chair. After that incident, I had hoped never to be involved in another police investigation. Sadly, my wish wasn’t granted and I now have two more cases under my belt.

A few months after I was falsely accused, my BFF Boone St. Onge suffered the same fate when he was discovered standing over the dead body of one of his law clients. Once again, we had to rally the troops to discover whodunit. The troops being my other BFF, Poppy Kincaid, owner of Shadow Bend’s hottest club, Gossip Central and daughter of the police chief.

This time, my old high school boyfriend, Dr. Noah Underwood, joined us to lend a hand. It was a little awkward having Noah as part of our crew. The rivalry between Boone and Noah started way back in sixth grade over a campaign for class president, continued throughout high school, and into their adult lives. When Noah and I were dating, he and Boone pretended to get along. But the minute Noah dumped me, Boone’s true feelings had reemerged. And from then on, he never bothered to hide his contempt for the good doctor. Noah had since explained why he broke up with me right after my father was sent to prison, and even if I believed him, Boone didn’t.

However, we all managed to play nicely, find the real killer, and clear Boone’s name. After that, I was sure I had solved my last case. Apparently, I was wrong again. Recently, I allowed the local book club to meet at my store. Who knew that bad poetry could mean life or death? I should probably let the police solve this case, but I think I might have been bitten by the sleuthing bug. Besides, the creep got killed on my property and I’ve never been one to disrespect like that lying down.


You can read more about Devereaux in Dead Between the Lines, the third book in the “Devereaux’s Dime Store” mystery series, published by Obsidian. The first book in the series is Little Shop of Homicide. Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

Dead Between the Lines debuts on March 4, 2014
Opening an old-fashioned five-and-dime shop in her small Missouri hometown has been a great change for Devereaux “Dev” Sinclair. To keep her new business in the black, Dev opens up her shop to local clubs. But in the first meeting of the Stepping Out Book Club, the speaker storms out after members attack his poetry’s sexism and scorn for small towns. Later that night, the poet’s body is found outside Dev’s store.

Dev can’t afford for the murder to close her down, so she does a little stepping out of her own to investigate, with help from her two sexy suitors, Dr. Noah Underwood and Deputy U.S. Marshal Jake Del Vecchio. But when the killer threatens Dev, they will have to use every trick in the book to solve the case before she becomes the final chapter in this murder mystery.…

“Delightful.…Readers will look forward to seeing more of the quick-witted Dev.”—Publishers Weekly

“[A] spunky new heroine with a Missouri stubborn streak.”—Library Journal (Starred Review)

“Swanson puts just the right amount of sexy sizzle in her latest engaging mystery.” –Chicago Tribune

GIVEAWAY: Comment on this post by 6pm EST on March 16, and you will be entered for a chance to win a copy of DEAD BETWEEN THE LINES. One winner will be chosen at random. Unless specified, U.S. entries only.

Meet the author
New York Times Bestselling author Denise Swanson writes both the Scumble River and Devereaux’s Dime Store mystery series. Denise was a practicing school psychologist for twenty-two years and grew up in a small town similar to Shadow Bend and Scumble River. She is married to classic music composer David Stybr and lives in Illinois with her cool black cat Boomerang.

Visit Denise at www.DeniseSwanson.com | Facebook | Twitter


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Murder Of A Stacked Librarian by Denise Swanson

Murder Stacked LibrarianMurder Of A Stacked Librarian by Denise Swanson is the 16th book in the “Scumble River” mystery series. Publisher: Obsidian, September 2013

There’s no place like Scumble River at Christmastime, and this year, school psychologist Skye Denison has twice as much to celebrate—and to do. In addition to the usual holiday frenzy, Skye’s wedding to police chief Wally Boyd is less than a week away—that is, if the groom isn’t too busy working to attend. The town’s sexy new librarian, Yvonne Osborn, has just been murdered, and the list of suspects is piling up faster than late fees on an overdue book.

Yvonne’s strict sense of right and wrong annoyed some townspeople and infuriated others. Did her high standards lead to her death? Skye is distracted by worries about what havoc the crazy Dooziers will wreak on her wedding day and whether she’ll fit into her dress. But Skye can’t afford to leave any page unturned because unless she works quickly to expose the scheming killer, her happy ending may be put on permanent hold.

Will the recent murder interrupt their wedding day? Will they get to the church on time? That’s what you’ll find in between the page in this delightfully entertaining read. I’ve been reading this series since the beginning and the road to this final culmination was filled with excitement as Skye prepares for her wedding while helping the PD solve the murder of the librarian. This was a well-written whodunit that quickly became a page turner as I had to see how it was all going to end. The whole gang was here that included her best friend Trixie and of course her mother May. This was the best book in this wonderfully crafted series and I can’t wait to see where the next adventures begin.

Skye Denison: Wedding Bell Blues by Denise Swanson

Murder Stacked Librarian“You need to have more than three bridesmaids.” My mother May folded her arms and glared at me. “How about your cousins Ginger and Gillian? They’re feelings will be hurt if you don’t include them.”

“No they won’t.” I turned my back on Mom, always dangerous, but I was busy getting ready for my first day back at work and wanted to finish the list of re-evaluations that I’d been making when my mother burst through my backdoor. I was a school psychologist and classes started tomorrow. “Ginger and Gillian will be relieved not to have to shell out a lot of money on a dress they’ll never wear again.” As the owner of way too many bridesmaids’ gowns, I was sure of my facts.

From the minute my fiancé and I set our wedding date, I knew my mother would drag me along the road to insanity, I just hadn’t expected it to be quite so bumpy. A serious error on my part. I also hadn’t realized how many others would be hitching down that stretch of highway. It seemed as if everyone in Scumble River had a helpful suggestion and they all were hell bent on tracking me down and sharing those ideas.

“With such a small wedding party, people will talk. They’ll think your dad and I are cheap.” May complained.

“No they won’t.” It was beginning to sound like an echo chamber in here. “They’ll think you have too much sense to spend a fortune on an event that’s over in the blink of an eye.”

I didn’t mention the fact that my fiancé was actually picking up the tab for the wedding since we’d agreed not to tell anyone that my parents weren’t paying. He had the money and my folks didn’t, but we didn’t want to hurt my father’s pride.

“Have you thought any more about the doves?” May turned her attention to the next thing on her to-nag list.

“I am not releasing live birds in the middle of winter in Illinois,” I said. “Do you really want the ceremony raided by the SPCA?”

“How about balloons?” She countered.

“Tacky.”

“A live orchestra at the reception would be classier than a DJ.” May pursued her dream of an over-the-top event. “And on my soap opera they had a harpist at the ceremony.”

“A DJ offers a better mix of music than an orchestra,” I explained, trying to not let the fact that we’d had this conversation twenty times turn me into a screaming shrew. “And Father Burns said no to any outside instruments in the church.”

“I think getting married the Saturday after Christmas is a mistake.” May changed tactics. “If you had waited until next summer we could have really did it up right. What if your special day gets lost among the holidays?”

“It’ll be fine,” I closed my notebook and smiled at my mother.

I sort of agreed with her on date issue. With a December birthday, I knew exactly how easy it was to be overwhelmed with Christmas and for everyone to forget any other events that took place during that month. But my fiancé had insisted he didn’t want to wait six additional months, and considering how long it had taken us to find each other and his age—he was several years older than me—I gave in.

“What I’m really nervous about is if you two have to work a case that week.” May wrinkled her brow. “As long as no one is murdered, the rest will probably be okay.”

“At last, something we both agree on.” I hugged Mom and shook my head. She was such a worrywart. The odds that someone would be killed the week of my wedding had to be astronomical. I frowned. Or were they? Had Mom just jinxed us?


Thanks to Penguin, I have one (1) copy of New York Times Bestseller “Murder of a Stacked Librarian” to give away. Leave a comment to be included in the giveaway. Contest ends September 14; US entries only per publisher’s request.


You can read more about Skye’s wedding in Murder of a Stacked Librarian, the 16th book in the Scumble River mystery series, which debut Sept. 3rd. The first book in the series is Murder of a Small-Town Honey.

Meet the author
Denise Swanson is the New York Times Bestselling author of fifteen (soon to be sixteen!) books in her Scumble River series and two books in her Devereaux’s Dime Store series both from Penguin. After Murder of a Stacked Librarian (Sept. 3, 2013) comes the next Dime Store book, Dead Between the Lines in March of 2014.

Visit Denise at her website or on Facebook.

Nickeled and Dimed To Death by Denise Swanson

Nickeled and Dimed To DeathNickeled and Dimed To Death by Denise Swanson is the second book in the “Devereaux’s Dime Store” mystery series. Publisher: Obsidian, March 2013

Dev’s five-and-dime may be doing well, but her love life is in turmoil. She’s torn between Deputy U.S. Marshal Jake Del Vecchio, who is on an undercover assignment, and her ex-beau Noah Underwood, the local doctor from a high-society family. So she welcomes the distraction when Elise Whitmore offers her a great deal on antique chocolate molds that would be perfect for her Easter gift baskets. But do the molds actually belong to Elise’s soon-to-be ex-husband? In buying them, has Dev committed a felony?

When Elise is found shot to death, the mystery deepens—and Dev’s good friend Boone, who discovered the body, is taken into custody. With the help of her best buds, Dev must clear Boone’s name and find the real killer. Good thing that when it comes to amateur sleuths, they broke the mold with Dev Sinclair.

Dev is on the case with her BFF is arrested for murder. This was a very enjoyable read that kept me glued to the pages as the author led us in the search for a killer and in the process, some truths were discovered. I’m eager to read the next book as I hope we have some resolution to Dev’s relationship. Again, a good read.

Dime Store Confidential With Devereaux Sinclair by Denise Swanson

Nickled and DimedWhen I pictured what my grown up life would be, owning an old-fashioned dime store in my hometown—Shadow Bend, Missouri—was not one of my top ten fantasies. Heck, it wasn’t even in the top hundred, but circumstances change, and people have to adapt or die.

After my father went to prison and my mom dumped me on my grandmother, I was determined to go to college, then grad school, and get a high paying job in the city. And I did all that, but then one day, Gran’s doctor called me and I had to make a decision. Keep my career as an investment counselor and put Gran in assisted living, or find a way to spend more time with her so she could stay in her own home.

There really was no choice, Gran had saved me, and now it was my turn to help her. So, I quit my job at Stramp Investments and bought the local dime store. Except for enlarging the space by buying the building next door and adding high-speed Wi-Fi and a gift basket business, I kept the store exactly as it always had been—tin ceilings, hardwood floors, brass cash register and all. Who wouldn’t love a job buying and selling vintage collectables, running a homemade candy counter, old-fashioned soda fountain, and creating fun baskets—erotic and otherwise?

Holidays are big in the basket biz, and one of my favorites is Easter. I mean come on, the Easter Bunny rocks. Think about it. Everyone needs a friend who is all ears. To him, there’s no such thing as too much candy. And the best things in life are still sweet and gooey.

Too bad my fondness for the Big Bun recently got me into a little trouble. This woman came into my store late one day and offered me a really good deal on antique chocolate Easter Bunny molds. Yeah. I know anything that seems too good to be true usually is, but the molds were awesome and cheap and I had just the baskets for them. Okay, maybe they did turn out to be hot, and get me involved in another murder investigation, but did I mention they were cheap?

And since Boone St. Onge, one of my BFFs, was accused of the crime, I would have gotten involved anyway. It’s not as if, I could have turned my back on Boone in his time of need. Thank goodness, my other BFF, Poppy Kincaid, was around to help. Since she’s the owner of the hottest night spot in the county, Gossip Central, she hears all the good rumors.

It’s a shame that sexy U.S. Marshal Jake Del Vecchio was out of town because I sure could have used his help figuring out the killer’s identity. On the other hand, my ex-boyfriend Noah Underwood really came through for me. And I have to admit, there are still enough sparks between us to burn down Rome. Maybe I should learn to play the violin.

Anyway, as my friend the Easter Bunny would say, in order to show your true colors, you have to come out of your shell.


Thanks to the publisher, I have one (1) copy of NICKELED AND DIMED TO DEATH to give away. Contest open to US residents only and ends March 16. Leave a comment to be included in the giveaway. The book will be shipped directly from the publisher.


You can read more about Devereaux in Nickeled and Dimed to Death, the second book in the “Devereaux Dime Store” mystery series. The first book in the series is Little Shop of Homicide.

Meet the author
New York Times Bestselling author Denise Swanson writes both the Scumble River and Devereaux’s Dime Store mystery series. Denise’s second novel in the Devereaux’s Dime Store mystery series, Nickeled-and-Dimed to Death was released March 5. Visit her website at www.DeniseSwanson.com or visit her on Facebook.

Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

Murder of the Cat’s Meow by Denise Swanson

Murder of the Cat’s Meow by Denise Swanson is the 15th book in the “Scumble River” mystery series. Publisher: Obsidian, October 2012

When ex–Vegas showgirl and local business owner Bunny Reid starts an online dating service called Cupid’s Cat’s Meow, out-of-town visitors flock to her bowling alley for the speed dating and cat show events that she hosts to bring in extra cash. Bunny’s scheme sounds harmless enough, but school psychologist Skye Denison knows all too well that an influx of strangers in Scumble River always spells trouble….

Meanwhile, Skye is convinced that her house is haunted and is afraid her fiancé, police chief Wally Boyd, won’t move in until the ghost moves out. But ghost-hunting takes a back seat when Skye is called to the bowling alley, where a riled up contestant is choking a cat show judge for insulting his feline. Skye breaks up the scuffle, but the next morning the judge’s dead body is found, strangled with a cat toy. Now Skye must solve this purrplexing mystery—and show a devious killer that her sleuthing skills are the cat’s meow.

This was a fun book. Skye and her friends are back and I couldn’t be any happier. First Skye has to deal with a murder, then plans for her upcoming wedding and finally a way to de-haunt her house of Mrs. Griggs. I enjoyed the way the mystery played out keeping me in suspense especially when the killer was revealed. I especially love how Skye and Wally continue to work together to tackle police investigations. Boasting a great cast of characters, great dialogue and friendly interaction, this was the best book yet in the pleasantly appealing series and I can’t wait for the next chapters in the lives of Skye and her friends.

Little Shop of Homicide by Denise Swanson

Little Shop of Homicide by Denise Swanson is the first book in the new “Devereaux’s Dime Store” mystery series. Publisher: Obsidian (Penguin), March 2012

Devereaux Sinclair was never happier than the day she quit her city job and bought the old-fashioned five-and-dime in her small Missouri hometown. But her happiness is short-lived when murder turns her charming store into a little shop of horrors.

After Jollie Ayers, the fiancé of Dev’s ex-boyfriend, is found handcuffed to a hotel bed, murdered with a champagne bottle and a stiletto-heeled shoe, a revenge-crazed cop is determined to put Dev behind bars. The cuffs and the champagne were part of a gift basket Dev put together for the victim, and they have her fingerprints all over them.

Desperate to clear her good name, Dev enlists her two longtime pals, Poppy and Boone, to help investigate. Luckily, the sexy new guy in town, Jake Del Vecchio, also feels compelled to assist, and it doesn’t hurt that he’s a deputy U.S. marshal. But Dev had better fight her attraction to Jake and focus on discovering the killer—or this brand-new business owner may find herself trading her nostalgic five-and-dime store for a modern-day prison cell.

In order to clear her name when she becomes the prime suspect, Dev teams up with her two best friends and sexy newcomer Jake to find the person responsible as the detective working the case is determined to send Dev to where her father resides. What a ride! From the moment I picked up this book, I was thoroughly engrossed in this fast-moving story that had me quickly turning the pages to finish this character-driven tale. The mystery was good as it kept me guessing throughout most of the book. This well-written drama boasts an awesome cast with Dev leading the way to Gran who is a charm and friendly and engaging conversations. I love the idea of a dime store serving as the backdrop in the delightfully attractive series. This is a great debut and I hope to spend more time with Dev and company for years to come.

Full Disclosure – The publisher sent me a copy of this book