Friday, June 28, 2013


Publisher:   Signet
Date published:   March 2011
ISBN:  978-0451232809
Genre:   Cozy Mystery
Book format: Paperback
Obtained via:  Publisher
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina

There’s big doings in Scumble River—the town is getting not just a bookstore, but a bookstore with a café with space for book signings and other literary events. Eager to support her community school psychologist Skye Denison is among the early visitors to the store but all does not run smoothly. Cantankerous high school English teacher Pru Cormorant is certain Tales and Treats is riff with books that will cause the most salacious of sexual acts and teach the young of Scumble River all about witch craft. Then there’s Skye’s Uncle Dante who has no use for any business that will encroach on his used car lot’s parking spaces.

The Tales and Treats is not without its supporters including some town folk who see it as a positive change in the local economy.  At least one local has found a job in the quaint shop.

But on the eve the store opens a body is found underneath a heavy bookcase. Identification isn’t the easiest because an employee and the owner look very much alike. The mystery is on as to who killed the woman under the bookcase.

I’ve read and enjoyed Denise Swanson’s Scumble River series from the very first book and I have to admit I do like watching Skye figure out who done it. The characters grow on you and just when I thought the series was hitting a slump Ms. Swanson makes a fun turn with MURDER OF A BOOKSTORE BABE.  Until this entry into the series things were getting a tad formulaic with a really mean and nasty person coming into town, ruffling feathers and they ended up dead.  In MURDER OF A BOOKSTORE BABE some new characters are introduced and they are pretty decent folks.

There is a bit of romance to the stories and they are nicely paced.  I was on Team Wally from the beginning but there were some things I liked about Simon.  I wasn’t sad when Skye broke things off with Simon when he lied to her and I applaud the author for not making it easy for Simon to try to win her back. Skye’s relationship with Wally hasn’t been rushed—although I am ready now in book 13 for them to either say their “I do’s” or move on. The Catholic church threads of the stories are getting longer and more frequent which is starting to be a turn off. There is the appearance it’s the only church in town.

The characters can be a tad two dimensional, but they are fun, especially the Dooziers and I adore Bingo the cat and Skye’s dad Jed. Her mother, Mae, can get a bit wearing but I do enjoy her dress-up goose. 

Each book in the series is a standalone and because the author gives a solid but well woven back story you do not have to read the earlier books to enjoy this one. That said, I do recommend the series if you are looking for a good cozy with characters you enjoy getting to know.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.


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