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Dead in the Water
Cover of Dead in the Water
Dead in the Water
Welcome Back to Scumble River Series, Book 1

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

A twister, a kidnapping, and a murder—oh my! Scumble River may never be the same.

For school psychologist Skye Denison, there's certainly no place like home. When a violent tornado devastates her small hometown of Scumble River, she can't see how the community will ever recover—especially since town councilman Zeke Lyons appears to have perished in the twister.

But things get even worse for Skye when her police chief husband, Wally, disappears in the midst of investigating Zeke's death, and evidence arises pointing to foul play. Did Zeke really die in the storm, or was he murdered? And could Wally be next on the criminal's hit list?

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

A twister, a kidnapping, and a murder—oh my! Scumble River may never be the same.

For school psychologist Skye Denison, there's certainly no place like home. When a violent tornado devastates her small hometown of Scumble River, she can't see how the community will ever recover—especially since town councilman Zeke Lyons appears to have perished in the twister.

But things get even worse for Skye when her police chief husband, Wally, disappears in the midst of investigating Zeke's death, and evidence arises pointing to foul play. Did Zeke really die in the storm, or was he murdered? And could Wally be next on the criminal's hit list?

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Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    July 17, 2017
    Swanson’s witty, charming 20th adventure set in Scumble River, Ill., the first in a series reboot that moves the timeline forward to 2017, finds a very pregnant school psychologist Skye Denison-Boyd (who was suffering morning sickness in 2016’s Murder of a Cranky Catnapper) and her hunky husband, police chief Wally Boyd, dealing with the aftermath of a devastating tornado. But there’s no time to mourn their own losses; Skye’s jerk of an uncle, Mayor Dante Leofanti, is bellowing threats at Wally and demanding that he personally perform checks on his cronies’ properties. This turns up the body of city councilman Zeke Lyons, whose death doesn’t look accident- or tornado-related. But before Wally can delve too far into Zeke’s death, his check on an old farmhouse lands him in personal peril. And when Carson Boyd, Wally’s Texas millionaire dad, arrives to help, the well-kept secret of Wally’s wealthy background becomes another issue. Based on this delightful entry, this cozy series should have a long, bright future. Agent: Laura Blake Peterson, Curtis Brown.

  • Kirkus

    July 1, 2017
    A pregnant Illinois school psychologist braves a tornado's wrath while searching for a city councilman's killer.Only a few days before the start of school, Skye Denison-Boyd is scrambling to set up the year's testing, counseling, and intern supervision ahead of her upcoming maternity leave. But Mother Nature turns out to be the ultimate decision-maker, dealing Scumble River a blow that knocks the roofs off all three school buildings and levels much of the property. The home Skye shares with her husband, police chief Wally Boyd, is in ruins. Fortunately, Wally's father, multimillionaire Carson Boyd, is able to send the couple a deluxe mobile home in which to await the arrival of their firstborn. But Wally can't stay home while a town full of dispossessed homeowners struggle. Zeke Lyons' wife is darn near beside herself because her husband may still be in their house, where he stayed to care for their dog through the storm. Wally finds Zeke's body in the bathroom, but the burn marks on his corpse suggest it wasn't the twister that did the councilman in. Wally's just starting to investigate when Mayor Dante Leofanti sends him to check on his friend Hollister Brooks' tenants. Wally heads for Brooks' old farmhouse east of town and promptly drops off the radar. Now it's up to Skye, with help from Carson, to track down Zeke's killer in hopes of finding her missing spouse. Swanson relaunches her Scumble River series (Murder of a Cranky Catnapper, 2016, etc.) under the flag Welcome Back to Scumble River. But her stories are just too earnest, as well as too formulaic, to stay afloat long.

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Sheila Connolly, New York Times bestselling author of Buried in a Bog "It's a pleasure for Swanson's readers to welcome back her Scumble River characters, even though she throws them into danger from the first chapter to the last. A tornado, a corpse and a kidnapping make life in Scumble River challenging for Skye Denison-Boyd as she awaits the birth of her first child, but fans of Swanson's series know she can handle it all. Swanson's strongly drawn characters and vivid descriptions make this welcome return of her Scumble River series a pleasure to read."
  • Kate Carlisle, New York Times bestselling author "Rejoice, Scumble River fans! Skye and Wally and the whole gang are back-and Denise Swanson proves once again that she is among the top writers of the genre. With more twists and turns than a tornado-a real tornado!-Dead in the Water is fast-paced and fun, with a smart, savvy protagonist, some truly sinister villains, a suspenseful plot, and a delightfully satisfying ending. I can't wait to visit Scumble River again!"
  • Publishers Weekly "Based on this delightful entry, this cozy series should have a long, bright future."
  • Fresh Fiction "Denise Swanson is one of my favorite cozy mystery authors and DEAD IN THE WATER is yet another hit from her. I love that Denise Swanson has remained true to the heart of the Scumble River characters and atmosphere in her reboot of the series. If you love quirky characters combined with a darned good cozy mystery, then don't hesitate to give DEAD IN THE WATER a try. You won't regret it!"
  • Mysteryrat's Maze - Kings River Life Magazine "Always an enjoyable series, this is a timely tale considering all the storms and disasters the south and northwest have faced recently. It's a good mystery and a great example of how people work together when trouble hits a whole town. "
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Dead in the Water
Dead in the Water
Welcome Back to Scumble River Series, Book 1
Denise Swanson
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