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Denise Swanson is an American author that writes Cozy mysteries and romances. Swanson can’t remember a time when she wasn’t writing. She was her family’s only child. Living in the country gave her plenty of time to read.
Order of Scumble River Mysteries Series
|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
|1||Dead Blondes Tell No Tales (Short Story)||2012||Description / Buy|
|2||Not a Monster of a Chance (Short Story)||2012||Description / Buy|
As her imagination grew, the author turned her attention to writing. Initially, she was content to tell the stories in her head to her cousins. But eventually, the desire to put them on paper overwhelmed her.
Swanson blames the two decades she spent in public education for her decision to write mysteries. The author worked as a school psychologist in every type of setting you can imagine. She thrived in the field because Swanson loves people.
She doesn’t stop at watching them. The author wants to know what makes them tick. This is why Swanson’s books are character-driven. She spends a lot of time exploring complex relationships.
She made the primary protagonist in her ‘Scrumble River Mystery’ series a school psychologist because authors typically write what they know. In this case, Swanson realized that most people were woefully ignorant about the role school psychologists played and the type of work they did.
They don’t understand that psychologists are investigators. Swanson sees her books as a tool for educating readers in that regard. Mysteries were a natural fit for her because they exist in a world where the villains always pay for their crimes.
This is a breath of fresh air for Swanson because her work as a school psychologist taught her that justice is a rare commodity in real life. Her personal experiences have influenced many of the stories Swanson writes.
This is also true for her cast. Although the characters are an amalgamation of multiple people as opposed to a single individual. Swanson wanted to set the series in her hometown (Coal City), but her husband thought the strategy would land her in legal trouble, which is why she created the fictional town of Scrumble River.
When she wrote the first novel, Swanson did not expect the series to run for so long. Her heroine was a desperate woman trying to re-invent herself in a new town. Initially, the author assumed that Skye’s story would end with her wedding.
But she eventually realized that life did not end for married women, which compelled her to extend the series.
Swanson writes in an office. She works from 8 in the morning to 3 in the afternoon. Her goal is to complete five pages before the day ends. But on a good day, she can write seven. She looks forward to those days when her characters surprise her.
The decision to make Skye a happy plus-size woman was deliberate. She wanted to show that women were not defined by their pretty faces and thin bodies.
Denise Swanson Awards
Swanson has received Mary Higgins Clark, Agatha, and Reviewers Choice Award nominations.
Best Denise Swanson Books
The author overcomes writer’s block by brainstorming with her best friend and husband. Swanson’s best books include:
Murder of a Small-Town Honey: Skye Denison couldn’t wait to kiss her high school goodbye. She had no intention of stepping foot in her small-minded town ever again. But then hard times sent her crawling back home.
Skye wanted to pursue a quiet life away from the limelight. But the town’s busybodies wouldn’t let her be. Skye made matters worse when she came across a TV personality’s remains, and the police accused her brother of the murder.
Fortunately, Skye was bright. She wouldn’t stop until she cleared her brother’s name, even if it meant catching the real killer.
Tart of Darkness: Dani thought life was hard. But things were about to get much worse. Initially, she got lucky. When her career hit a dead-end, Dani pivoted into a new life after inheriting a large house in a college town.
She opened Chef-to-Go, a company that sold ready-made meals to university students in the vicinity. Dani took things a step further and started renting the rooms in her house to some of the students.
They embraced her as the big sister figure they’d always wanted. Life couldn’t have been sweeter for Dani. But then one of her boarders lost a friend to a conniving killer, and Dani became a suspect. Everything she has built will crumble if she doesn’t clear her name.
What Is The Next Book in The Scumble River Mysteries Series?
There doesn't seem to be an upcoming book in The Scumble River Mysteries Series. The newest book is Murder of a Cranky Catnapper and was released on September, 6th 2016.