Monday, January 28, 2008

Murder of a Chocolate Covered Cherry-Denise Swanson

Murder of a Chocolate Covered Cherry
Denise Swanson
Obsidian, Apr 2008, $6.99
ISBN: 9780451223685

In Scumble River, Illinois it is time for Grandma Sal’s Soup-to-Nuts Cooking Challenge. School psychologist and police consultant Skye Dennison reluctantly enters the competition along with her brother and honoree uncle because her mother May wants to win this year and her family is using recipes she created. Mrs. Cherry Alexander is getting on everyone’s nerves with her caustic commentary and her dirty tricks, but no one expected her to be murdered for her nasty personality.

Skye is asked by her boyfriend Police Chief Wally Boyd to help on the case; she hesitantly agrees. She is also concerned that one of her students Ashley is missing. She had an unauthorized article written in the school paper that claimed she had sex with the entire male basketball team. Everyone insists that Xenia who wrote the article kidnapped Ashley. Skye works both cases unaware they are linked to one another.

Denise Swanson has written a wonderful small town cozy. The eccentric locals provide much humor yet that enhances the seriousness of the two investigations by bringing a reality of distance from the homicide and missing teen case. Skye wears two hats that she normally balances, but this time they overpay as trouble has come to idyllic Scumble River.

Harriet Klausner