When you hear the name Denise Swanson and think cozy mystery you immediately think of her Best Selling Scumble River Mystery Series featuring school psychologist Skye Denison. Murder of a Creped Suzette,the 14th book in the series, was released back in October. But today she is here to tell us about her brand new Devereaux’s Dime Store Mystery series.
Little Shop of Homicidewas released on March 6 and it is a wonderful debut but I ‘ll post my review after we visit with Denise. Pour a cup of coffee and let’s hear how Devereaux Sinclair’s life was born onto the pages for all of us to enjoy!
Hi Everyone, I am happy to be here.
Writing a Second Series
It took me a long time to decide to write a second mystery series. I was happy writing about Skye and her gang in my Scumble River series and didn’t really have an idea (at least not a good unique one) for another mystery series. I had lots of ideas for contemporary romances, paranormal romantic mysteries, and even one for a suspense thriller and an end of the world book—all of which I wrote several hundred pages on before having to turn back to Skye because of a looming deadline.
However, about a year ago, a character named Devereaux Sinclair popped into my head and started telling me her story. Dev, which is what most people call her, was a financial advisor for six years before buying her hometown dime store. Her boss viewed the glass ceiling as a protective barrier and her colleagues committed most of the seven deadly sins before their first coffee break.
Dev lives in the fictional town of Shadow Bend, Missouri with her grandmother, Birdie. With her father in jail for vehicular manslaughter and her mother hiding in California, Dev has no other family. She does have two best friends—a cynical bad girl named Poppy Kincaid who owns Gossip Central, the local bar, and Boone St. Onge a small-town lawyer who handles the local divorces and real estate deals.
When I realized I finally had an idea that was sufficiently different from Skye, but still with enough similarities to make me want to write about it—small town setting, quirky family and friends, and murder—I decided to give it a try.
The Devereaux’s Dime Store books offer me a chance to spread my wings and write about some edgier situations, while still keeping my same voice AKA writing style. My goal is to continue to give my readers a satisfying mystery, but add a tiny bit spicier romance and more complicated family relationships. Not to mention, the nostalgia that only an old fashion dime store can truly provide.
In a way, it’s like having a second child. I wanted to do all the things that I had done right with the first series, but try some new things as well—and avoid some of the mistakes. And while I love my first-born, and am continuing to write about her adventures, (the next Scumble River comes out in September) I also love Dev and her town and I hope you will, too.
–Denise Swanson, New York Times bestselling author
Denise, I am so glad Dev popped into you head along with all her friends. As you will see below I LOVED this story!!
Little Shop of Homicide
(Devereaux Dime Store Mystery)
An Obsidian Mystery
Published by New American Library
A Division of The Penguin Group
Welcome to Devereaux’s Dime Store and Gift Baskets complete with a 3 stool soda fountain and a glass candy case. The best thing Dev ever did was quit the rat race, move home and buy this store.
Today she is rethinking her big decision as Kansas City Detective Woods arrives before the store is even open to accuse her of murdering her ex-boyfriend’s fiancée Joelle Ayers. Just because some items from a gift basket she created were used as murder weapons didn’t mean she had anything to do with the woman’s death and he surely doesn’t have enough evidence to arrest her. He makes a few threats and leaves.
Panicked Dev gets her friends Poppy and Boone to help her investigate. Then, hunky Jake Del Vecchio, a U.S. Deputy Marshall in town recovering from an injury, enters the picture. Seems his uncle and Dev’s grandmother are old friends and he has been encouraged to help her clear her name. Only one problem, this guy Jake is hot, and Dev is finding it difficult to concentrate on finding the real killer. If she is not careful to keep her mind on the tasks at hand she may find herself doing time behind bars instead of behind the counter of her five-and-dime.
I keep breaking my own rules. I used to say I couldn’t give the first book in a new series 5 stars because it takes time for the characters to develop. However, I started this book and couldn’t put it down. The characters, while new, grabbed my heart immediately. The romantic tension was fabulous, a new twist to the typical cozy and I think it is wonderful. Plus the small town setting and the dime store evoke memories of a store from my childhood, a place I adored and drank quite a few cherry cokes.
Denise Swanson has created a marvelous debut for this new series. The mystery is top-notch, with several twists of its own. She has taken a small risk adding a bit of spice to the romance and this reader absolutely loved it. These are characters I am invested in and I can’t wait to tag along on their journeys. Bravo Denise!!
Thanks to the folks at Penguin
I have 2 copies of this book to give away!!
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”