Sunday, September 24, 2017

Blog Tour: Dead in the Water by Denise Swanson (Review)

About the Book

Genre: Cozy Mystery, #1 in Welcome Back to Scumble River Mystery Series
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Release Date: September 5, 2017

Synopsis from the publisher:

The first book in the brand-new Welcome Back to Scumble River series featuring New York Times bestselling author Denise Swanson’s beloved setting and characters, Dead in the Water, is a gripping mystery that won’t let you go until you’ve turned the last page.

School psychologist Skye Denison-Boyd wishes she could click her ruby-red high-tops, chant “There’s no place like home,” and go back to life pre-tornado. With her house destroyed and a baby on the way, the last thing she needs is a dead body among the rubble.

But that’s exactly what she finds.

Zeke Lyon, the town’s mild-mannered bookkeeper, appears to have been a victim of the tornado—but some of the details don’t quite add up. When Skye starts to dig into Zeke’s mysterious death, her police chief husband, Wally, goes missing and she’s sure he’s been kidnapped.

Will she be able to solve the case and find her husband before it’s too late?

My Review

A tornado storms through the small town of Scumble River leaving the town nearly destroyed.  As the town tries to pick up the pieces of their broken lives, police chief Wally Boyd discovers a dead body amidst the rubble.  The body turns out to be a local councilman. Wally investigates what looks like a case of murder and not by a tornado.  During his investigation, Wally disappears leaving his very pregnant wife, Skye, frantic and desperate to find him.

Skye is beyond frustrated as the entire police force are busy dealing with the destruction from the tornado.  They can't spare the manpower to search for Wally. Skye has no choice but to do it herself with some help from family and friends.  She needs all the help she can get as she investigates both the murder and her husband's disappearance.

What a wonderful visit with my old friends from Scumble River.  Denise Swanson still has it! She brings the close-knit community of Scumble River to life with a cast you truly care about. I read the original series way back before I knew “cozy mysteries” were a genre unto itself. I still have a couple more to read from the original series, but I didn’t mind skipping ahead to this brand new series, “Welcome Back to Scumble River”.

For those not familiar with the original series, not to worry. The author provides plenty of background info throughout the book to fill in the blanks. This new series is a great start for new fans, as well as a welcome return for old fans.  You definitely do not need to read the original, but I think you'll want to.  It's a fun, warm series...cozies at their best.

This is a timely story since there are hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes happening all around the world today. The author paints a realistic, vivid and frightening picture of what people go through after experiencing such a disaster. I found myself caring about the town as much as I do for the characters.

The ending is explosive and the killer reveal took me by surprise.  I felt as if I lived this whole experience with Skye.  It even left me teary-eyed, which rarely happens to me.

Denise Swanson never ever disappoints me. I devoured this book and enjoyed every minute of it. Skye is one of my favorite amateur sleuths and I’m thrilled her story continues.

For reading challenges:
Cloak & Dagger Reading Challenge 2017
Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge 2017

FTC Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.

About the Author

Denise Swanson is the New York Times bestselling author of the Scumble River Mystery and Deveraux’s Dime Store Mystery series. She has been nominated for RT Book Review’s Career Achievement Award, the Agatha Award, and the Mary Higgins Clark Award. Visit her at

Author Links

Twitter: @DeniseSwansonAu @Sourcebooks



Purchase Links


  1. Now I'm curious. I have tw new series to check out too! Enjoyed your review and will be going to check out this author!

  2. I've always enjoyed this series and have been slowly working my way through it. However, I got to Murder of a Wedding Belle and came to an abrupt stop. I could not get past Page 19. I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed this one- I think I'll just skip Wedding Belle and move on to the next one.


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