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Denise Swanson is an American author that writes cozy mystery and romance novels. She worked as a school psychologist for 22 years. In the beginning, she tried to juggle both careers. She would dedicate Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday to her school. Then she would write on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Order of Scumble River Mysteries Series with Jeff Abbott, Dana Stabenow, Max Allan Collins, John Lantigua, Hazel Holt, Peter Tremayne, Judith Gieson, K.J.A. Wishnia, Peter King, Edie Claire, Tamar Myers, , Andy Straka, JoAnna Carl, Lydia Adamson
|1||Murder of a Small-Town Honey||2000||Description / Buy|
|2||Murder of a Sweet Old Lady||2001||Description / Buy|
|3||...And the Dying is Easy||2001||Description / Buy|
|4||Murder of a Sleeping Beauty||2002||Description / Buy|
|5||Murder of a Snake in the Grass||2003||Description / Buy|
|6||Murder of a Barbie and Ken||2003||Description / Buy|
|7||Murder of a Pink Elephant||2004||Description / Buy|
|8||Murder of a Smart Cookie||2005||Description / Buy|
|9||Murder of a Real Bad Boy||2006||Description / Buy|
|10||Murder of a Botoxed Blonde||2007||Description / Buy|
|11||Murder of a Chocolate-Covered Cherry||2008||Description / Buy|
|12||Murder of a Royal Pain||2009||Description / Buy|
|13||Murder of a Wedding Belle||2010||Description / Buy|
|14||Murder of a Bookstore Babe||2011||Description / Buy|
|15||Murder of a Creped Suzette||2011||Description / Buy|
|16||Murder of the Cat's Meow||2012||Description / Buy|
|17||Murder of a Stacked Librarian||2013||Description / Buy|
|18||Murder of a Needled Knitter||2014||Description / Buy|
|19||Murder of an Open Book||2015||Description / Buy|
|20||Murder of a Cranky Catnapper||2016||Description / Buy|
Order of Scumble River Mysteries Short Stories
|1||Dead Blondes Tell No Tales (Short Story)||2012||Description / Buy|
|2||Not a Monster of a Chance (Short Story)||2012||Description / Buy|
Order of Devereaux's Dime Store Mysteries Series
|1||Little Shop of Homicide||2012||Description / Buy|
|2||Nickeled-and-Dimed to Death||2013||Description / Buy|
|3||Dead Between the Lines||2014||Description / Buy|
|4||Dying for a Cupcake||2015||Description / Buy|
|5||Between a Book and a Hard Place||2016||Description / Buy|
|6||Lions and Tigers and Murder, Oh My||2017||Description / Buy|
|7||Fly Me to the Tomb||2021||Description / Buy|
Order of Change Of Heart Series
|1||Sweet Girl Undone (Short Story)||2015||Description / Buy|
|2||Good Girl Overboard||2015||Description / Buy|
|3||Lucky Girl Hits the Jackpot||2015||Description / Buy|
|4||Smart Girl Swept Away||2015||Description / Buy|
Order of Stephanie Danielson Series
|1||A Finger in Every Lie (Short Story)||2015||Description / Buy|
|2||All I Want for Christmas is You...Dead! (Short Story)||2015||Description / Buy|
Order of Welcome Back To Scumble River Series
|1||Dead in the Water||2017||Description / Buy|
|2||Die Me a River||2018||Description / Buy|
|3||Come Homicide or High Water||2019||Description / Buy|
|4||Body Over Troubled Waters||2021||Description / Buy|
Order of Chef-To-Go Mysteries Series
|1||Tart of Darkness||2018||Description / Buy|
|2||Leave No Scone Unturned||2019||Description / Buy|
|3||Winner Cake All||2020||Description / Buy|
Order of Delicious Series
|1||Sinfully Delicious||2016||Description / Buy|
|2||Dangerously Delicious||2018||Description / Buy|
Order of Forever Charmed Mysteries Series
|1||A Call to Charms||2019||Description / Buy|
Denise Swanson Anthologies
During those last three days of the week, she would write from 8 AM to 1 PM. Swanson would spend the afternoon and evening dealing with phone calls, emails, and social media engagements.
Later on, she abandoned her position to write full-time. Her writing habits have not changed drastically. Now she writes from Monday to Sunday from 8 AM to 3 PM. Swanson makes it a point to write 5 to 7 pages during each writing session.
She doesn’t regret pursuing publishing. Few things give her more pleasure than seeing the words she wrote in a book on a shelf in a store. She never thought she would succeed in publishing. Though, she was definitely born to write fiction.
Swanson has always written. She cannot think of a moment in her past when she wasn’t writing. Because she was an only child, she would pass the time by reading. The author would also lose herself in her imagination, concocting new stories she did not hesitate to share with her cousins.
It was only natural that she would start to put those stories on paper. She titled her first novel ‘Catfish Days Murder.’ It was a poor title for a book. Swanson had an editor who suggested a better title (Murder of a Small-Town Honey).
Not only was the title catchy, but it gave the author a clear idea of what her editor wanted, which is why every other novel in her popular ‘Scumble River’ series has a similar title.
Today, people love the series because of the author’s witty titles. They don’t always come easily to her. Because the ‘Scumble River’ series is so long, Swanson has written books for which she struggled to find titles. On the other side of the coin, sometimes she comes up with a title before figuring out the plot.
She takes inspiration from real people when writing her characters. It isn’t a coincidence that her ‘Scumble River’ books feature a school psychologist (Skye). When she first decided to create the series, Swanson had never seen cozy mystery novels exploring the life and career of a school psychologist.
It made sense for the author to use her experience to educate readers about the ins and outs of the profession. She has encountered readers who disagree with her description of Skye as an attractive woman. They don’t understand how a woman of her size would attract men.
The conversation bothers Swanson because she was always plus-size, but that never prevented her from getting boyfriends.
Denise Swanson Awards
Swanson has received Agatha, Reviewers Choice, and Mary Higgins Awards nominations.
Best Denise Swanson Books
The author has thin skin. She can’t handle bad reviews. Luckily, most reviewers love her work, and they have nothing but good things to say about her books. Swanson’s best novels include:
Murder of a Small-Town Honey: Skye Denison couldn’t wait to leave Scumble River. And when she finally accomplished her task, she swore she would never return. But destiny had other plans.
Once her life took a turn for the worst in the financial and romantic departments, she was forced to go home. Once there, she tried to stay out of the limelight despite the best efforts of the town’s inhabitants. But then a TV personality died, and the police chose to point the finger at her brother.
Now, she must leave her comfort zone to find the real killer before her brother suffers the consequences for a crime he did not commit.
Tart of Darkness: Dani inherited an enormous house in a college town just as her career was hitting a dead end. The development couldn’t have happened at a better time. She opened chef-to-go and started preparing food for the hungry students in the area.
But then she went too far. She made the mistake of renting the rooms in her new house to those same students. Dani loved her new life as a big sister to all the young adults in her care. But when one of them died, she became the prime suspect.
When Does The Next Denise Swanson book come out?
Denise Swanson doesn't seem to have an upcoming book. Their newest book is Body Over Troubled Waters and was released on July, 27th 2021. It is the newest book in the Welcome Back To Scumble River Series.