Come Homicide or High Water (Welcome Back to Scumble River)
3rd in Series
Setting – Illinois
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press (December 31, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
Kindle ASIN: B07Y5NJ48Z
There’s something fishy just below the surface of Scumble River…
School psychologist Skye Denison-Boyd is getting ready to return to work from her maternity leave and hoping for a peaceful year in her job as a school psychologist. But when an elderly woman disappears on her first day back and a disgruntled parent threatens to sue the school, Skye realizes that her return will be anything but quiet.
When the parent suing Skye’s school is found dead and with the missing woman’s case is still unsolved, Skye suspects the crimes are somehow linked. With her chief of police husband, Wally, at her side, Skye dives into the investigations. But as tensions rise and Skye and Wally’s suspect list lengthens, they start to wonder whether a member of their own tight-knit community could be behind it all…
We return to Scumble River as work is almost complete on Wally and Skye’s new home. They are both looking forward to moving out of the RV and having plenty of room to spread out. Skye is also nearing the end of her maternity leave which means they have to hire a new nanny soon. During her leave, she has been going into the school when her intern replacement needs help dealing with school staff or parents. Right now she is trying to explain to a mother than her child is not as gifted as she thinks. The meeting takes a huge left turn that results in the mother threatening to sue the school. Oh boy, does Skye really want to return to all this drama?
Later the woman threatening to sue is found dead and Skye learns she was her contractor’s wife. Skye gets nervous that someone from the school could be responsible. She also worries that the death will halt construction on her home.
Wally has also asked Skye to assist him in the case of a missing woman. Could the two cases be connected? Could the killer be someone they know? Skye and Wally are determined to find out.
Denise Swanson is a remarkable storyteller. Her characters have become old friends and I couldn’t wait to get into the pages to see what they were up to this time.
I love the way Skye and Wally really compliment each other. They are excelling at parenting and working together too. Wally asks for Skye’s help and trusts her theories and opinions. They make a great team and I love that we get to see things from both Skye and Wally’s point of review. It is very refreshing to have a cozy mystery written in this way.
The main characters are surrounded by a great supporting cast as well. There is family to pitch in to help with the babies and to give their opinions on just about everything. Oh, May, you are such a treasure but there are times I want to reach in the book and tape your mouth shut 🙂
We have some quirky characters too. The Dooziers are doozies but always make me smile and sometimes laugh out loud. Friends, school staff and town residents round out the wonderful cast. The dialogues are crisp with a lot of humor. Very realistic for the midwest setting.
The main and subplots are very well-written and have a comfortable flow. The author packed the pages full of daily life and drama along with a nice bit of humor too. Twists, turns, red herrings, this story has them all. Ms. Swanson has given us quite an intriguing story. One of the mysteries wraps up in a delightful way. The other kept me guessing to the very end.
Come Homicide or High Water is a marvelous addition to this series. Entertaining characters wrapped in a delightful story that includes mysteries that are interesting and fun to try to solve. I can’t wait for my next trip to Scumble River.
This is the third book in the continuation of Denise Swanson’s Scumble Murder Mysteries. The change happened when the series was picked up by the new publisher. I had gotten behind on the series but was thrilled to jump back in with this new start. I love these characters and do plan to go back with the books I missed. Ms. Swanson has done an excellent job providing background so readers like me with a few books in arrears can pick up books in the continuation without feeling lost. I recommend new readers start with the first book in the continuation, Dead in the Water for maximum enjoyment. You will probably want to go back and read them all.
About the Author
Denise Swanson is the New York Times bestselling author of the Scumble River Mysteries, the Devereaux’s Dime Store Mysteries, the Change of Heart romances, and the Delicious romances She worked as a school psychologist for twenty-two years before quitting to write full-time. She lives in Illinois with her husband, classical music composer David Stybr.
Check out the publisher’s book page with a list of characters and a Scumble River map here.
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