Review of Dead In The Water


Dead In The Water

Welcome Back To Scumble River, Book #1

Denise Swanson

5 Stars


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? (Goodreads)



I have read some of the first Scumble River books many years ago,  and I really liked them back then.  And I am happy to say that I really like the new Scumble River books too.  This book had everything I look for in a cozy mystery: great characters, great setting, great suspense and a great writing style.

The characters are well rounded and well developed.  I really enjoyed getting to spend time with Skye and Wally.  They were likable and felt like people I would like to be friends with.  Skye is spunky, smart and is not afraid to take chances when it comes to people she cares about.  Wally cares deeply for Skye and he has a keen sense of justice.  I also really liked the relationship between Skye and her mother, May.  Although they aggravate each other at times, you could tell how close they were and how much they loved each other.  This made the book seem more realistic to me.  The secondary characters added a lot to the story and I cannot wait to spend more time with all of them in upcoming books.  

The author is very talented in her descriptive writing and for much of the book I felt like I was right there, watching all of the activity taking place around me.  I really felt like I was right there with Skye and Wally when the tornado was barreling into them.  I also really felt that the author put personal touches into her writing, which pulls the reader into the book.  One such personal touch for me was what Skye and her mom ordered from Olive Garden.  They ordered chicken gnocchi soup, which is what I always order from there.  Such a s small thing but it really made me feel more drawn into the story and made it more personal to me.  

I liked the way there were more than one mystery to solve: who killed Zeke Lyons, who is behind the kidnapping of Wally and will he be rescued before it is too late?  Finding out the answer to these questions kept me reading well into the night, when I should have been sleeping.  The mysteries and suspense were well written.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well crafted cozy mystery.  I plan on reading the original Scumble River books that I have missed and am looking forward to the new books in the series.

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a honest review.  I would like to thank NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for the opportunity to read and review this great book.

8 thoughts on “Review of Dead In The Water

  1. I’m so glad to see this enthusiastic review! I have the book on order. My sister and I loved the series, and we’re excited it’s back! –kate, writing as c. t. collier

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