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Murder of a Creped Suzette
Scumble River Mysteries # 14
Denise Swanson

Oct 2011/ 978-0-451-23500-8
Mystery / Cozy /School Psychologist / Female Sleuth

Reviewed by Laura Hinds

In the small town of Scumble River, Rex Taylor, a rich man who tries to personify a cowboy turned music promoter, has arrived, bringing with him an entourage and a plan to build a country-western music theater. A free concert is arranged for residents to get a feel for the idea. What no one counted on was murder as part of the package Taylor has brought to town.

When the opening act for the free show fails to show up on time, Rex insists that Flint James, who is the starring act go on early. Flint refuses and the men argue…and they just happen to be overheard by the protagonist, Skye Denison. Skye is a school psychologist with a penchant for solving murders. Might this argument she has overheard provide fodder for murder?

Suzette Neal shows up at last and does her performance as Flint’s opening act, but she’s also learned about Skye and shows up at Skye’s home to ask her to investigate the death of her mother, 27 years ago. Skye is interested, but things take a turn for the worse when Suzette is killed and, unfortunately for Skye, she is the one to find the body.

This is a nice small-town feel book, with well-established characters and a solid history of Scumble River. Having a murder happen in the present day and finding it related to one decades old, gives depth to the mystery. Swanson writes as if her characters are portraying their lives in a movie-like fashion to her, and she translates that well to print for her readers.

I enjoyed the bits of humor and romance tossed in with the mystery. The book has a casual, laid-back feel to it, and I look forward to going back and reading more of the series. Since I had not read any of Swanson’s previous books, the characters and town were new to me, but indeed whet my appetite to learn more about them.

There are many country music references in the book as well, so it should appeal to country fans as well as those who enjoy a good cozy mystery. Bravo to Swanson for continuing what is obviously a well- loved series.

Reviews of other titles in this series

Murder of a Small Town Honey, # 1   [review]
Murder of a Sweet Old Lady,
# 2    [review]
Murder of a Sleeping Beauty,
# 3    [review]
Murder of a Snake in the Grass,
# 4   [review]
Murder of a Pink Elephant,
# 6   [review]
Murder of a Smart Cookie,
# 7   [review]
Murder of a Real Bad Boy,
# 8    [review]
Murder of a Botoxed Blonde,
# 9   [review]--Thanksgiving
Murder of a Chocolate-Covered Cherry,
# 10    [review] - Halloween
Murder of a Royal Pain,
# 11    [review]
Murder of a Wedding Belle,
# 12   [review]
Murder of a Creped Suzette, # 14    [review]
Murder of the Cat’s Meow
#15 [review]
Murder of a Stacked Librarian #16 [review] --Christmas
Murder of a Needled Knitter #17 [review]

Reviewed 2011
© 2011