Published: September 6 2016
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Obtained via: Publisher
Reviewed by name and email address: Gina Ginalrmreviews@gmail.com
Back from her honeymoon it’s business and life as usual for Skye Dennison-Boyd. Well almost. She and Wally are expecting their first child and she’s trying out a new kind of therapy to help her special ed students. A local veterinarian has had some marvelous success with a therapy cat and dog. During the first session though, one of the school board members, Palmer Lynch, who is not a fan of dogs and cats shows up. He not only doesn’t like animals—he’s hoping to snag Skye’s godfather’s role as school board President out from under him. It doesn’t take long for Skye to learn that Palmer isn’t exactly the nicest guy to anyone…after his housekeeper finds him dead…under some very odd circumstances. While checking out the murder scene Skye comes across one of the therapy animals, Maine Coon kitty Belle. How the cat ended up in the house of an avowed animal hater is beyond Skye and Wally, but they are on the trail.
Denise Swanson’s Scumble River series is one of the most enduring cozy mystery series with the first book, MURDER OF A SMALL TOWN HONEY being released in 2000 and not one has been dull or repetitious. Swanson has done a great job of moving Skye’s life and relationship with Wally, her mother and other characters along. None of them have been stagnant—not an easy feat given the number of regular characters that appear in the books. And underlying each of the different mysteries is a life issue that anyone can relate to. She deals with the issues faced by special ed students with compassion. While it’s easy to say of course she does because she was a school psychologist for twenty-two years, she still approaches each situation with an understanding, if not fresh, perspective.
The mystery behind the murder in this one was a good one. I certainly didn’t expect it and had a momentary jaw drop when the reason came out. As usual, when I finish one of her Scumble River books I can’t wait for the next.
This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.