Denise Swanson Books

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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.

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Order of Scumble River Mysteries Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Murder of a Small-Town Honey 2000 Description / Buy
2 Murder of a Sweet Old Lady 2001 Description / Buy
3 Murder of a Sleeping Beauty 2002 Description / Buy
4 Murder of a Snake in the Grass 2003 Description / Buy
5 Murder of a Barbie and Ken 2003 Description / Buy
6 Murder of a Pink Elephant 2004 Description / Buy
7 Murder of a Smart Cookie 2005 Description / Buy
8 Murder of a Real Bad Boy 2006 Description / Buy
9 Murder of a Botoxed Blonde 2007 Description / Buy
10 Murder of a Chocolate-Covered Cherry 2008 Description / Buy
11 Murder of a Royal Pain 2009 Description / Buy
12 Murder of a Wedding Belle 2010 Description / Buy
13 Murder of a Bookstore Babe 2011 Description / Buy
14 Murder of a Creped Suzette 2011 Description / Buy
15 Murder of the Cat's Meow 2012 Description / Buy
16 Murder of a Stacked Librarian 2013 Description / Buy
17 Murder of a Needled Knitter 2014 Description / Buy
18 Murder of an Open Book 2015 Description / Buy
19 Murder of a Cranky Catnapper 2016 Description / Buy

Order of Scumble River Mysteries Short Stories

# Read Title Published Details
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

# Read Title Published Details
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

# Read Title Published Details
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

# Read Title Published Details
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

# Read Title Published Details
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

# Read Title Published Details
1 Tart of Darkness 2018 Description / Buy
2 Leave No Scone Unturned 2019 Description / Buy
3 Winner Cake All 2020 Description / Buy
4 Chili Chili Bang Bang 2023 Description / Buy

Order of Delicious Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Sinfully Delicious 2016 Description / Buy
2 Dangerously Delicious 2018 Description / Buy

Order of Forever Charmed Mysteries Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 A Call to Charms 2019 Description / Buy

Denise Swanson Anthologies

# Read Title Published Details
1 ...And the Dying is Easy 2001 Description / Buy
2 Drop-Dead Blonde 2005 Description / Buy
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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 Chili Chili Bang Bang and was released on September, 12th 2023. It is the newest book in the Chef-To-Go Mysteries Series.

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