Interview with Denise Swanson, author of The Scumble River series

murder of stacked librarian

I’m a cozy mystery fan. Have been for years. The books are light and fluffy- but with a good mystery at it’s core. Plus the characters are funny and enjoyable!

This week, Denise Swanson’s latest, Murder of a Stacked Librarian, will be in stores! Denise found some time to come by and talk to me- so read the interview- then go buy the book!


Interview with Denise Swanson

Denise, how did you create the character Skye?

When I decided to write a mystery, a school psychologist as the main character seemed like a good idea. No one else was writing about that profession and as a school psychologist myself, I knew I could give readers a true idea of what it was like. I also thought the profession lent itself to being an ideal one for a sleuth as we are trained investigators and everyone tells us their secrets.


Scumble River is a fictional town set in the Midwest (near Chicago, IL). How did the idea of Scumble River happen?

I originally was going to set the books in my hometown of Coal City, but when I was offered a publication contract, my husband asked me if I had ever heard of the word lawsuit and suggested that I fictionalize the setting. Scumble River is inspired by Coal City, and the two neighboring towns of Braidwood and Wilmington. My mother grew up in Braidwood and I was a school psychologist in Wilmington for several years.


Murder of a Stacked Librarian is the latest book in the Scumble River series. How has Skye changed from the first of the series to now?

Skye has changed a great deal from her first appearance in Murder of a Small-Town Honey. In that book, she had just moved back to Scumble River after being jilted and fired. She had maxed out her credit cards and had only come home because she had no other options. Throughout the series, she’s learned what she really wants out of life and grown up a great deal.

Denise, do you have an idea how you will end the Scumble River series? Or will you keep writing for as long as you can?

I currently have no intentions of ending the series. For a while, I thought when Skye got married that would be the final book, but then I realized there is life (and sleuthing) after marriage. 😉

I’m finishing up the honeymoon book now and have a great idea for the 2015 book. The big question is will my publisher offer me a contract past the 2014 book, which is the last one I’m contracted to write. Penguin makes that decision based on overall sales, but even more on the first week sales. So the sales of Murder of a Stacked Librarian between September 3 and 7 will probably determine if I get to write about  the 2015 book or not.

Do you have a writing space or routine?

I’m fortunate to have an office, complete with a cat. My routine is to write from about 8 AM to 2 or 3 PM seven days a week. My goal is five pages, but if I can write seven that’s even better.

Can you reveal anything that is happening next for Skye?

Skye does get married in Murder of a Stacked Librarian, but I can say whether or not it’s to her current fiancé.  Her honeymoon is fabulous, but there is a big surprise waiting for her there.

The Dozier family is a set of characters that Skye interacts with often in the Scumble River series. What was the inspiration for the Dozier family?

Skye’s interactions with the Dooziers are inspired by many of my own experiences as a school psychologist. As I like to say, there’s a little Earl Doozier in everyone.

The 3rd book in the Dime Store Mystery series (your other cozy mystery series) will be released in spring of 2014. Will the next Scumble River be released in fall of 2014?

Dead Between the Lines, the third Devereaux’s Dime Store mystery comes out March 2014 and Scumble River # 17 will be out the first Tuesday of September 2014.


*Special thanks to Denise Swanson for agreeing to be interviewed!


denise swanson

Denise Swanson writes both the Scumble River Mystery series and Devereaux’s Dime Store mystery series. Connect with Denise on Facebook!



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