"Body Over Troubled Waters" By Denise Swanson: Review/Giveaway

 Review by Terrance McArthur

 Details at the end of the post on how to enter to win a copy of the book and links to purchase it.

It’s a busy February day in the town of Scumble River, Illinois. The high school is on emergency lockdown, and Skye Denison-Boyd finds herself stuck in close quarters with the sick-looking district superintendent. She worries about her twins and her police-chief husband, and then the superintendent turns up dead in his home. On top of that, her godfather is in federal crosshairs over suspicious activities in the motel he owns. Maybe Skye should have taken a longer maternity leave.

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Image Source Poisoned Pen Press
Denise Swanson’s Body Over Troubled Waters is the fourth entry in her Welcome Back to Scumble River Mysteries, the second series of books set in the town. It’s a typical small town, with its quirks and problems, although stranger and funnier than your nice town, I’m sure.

The dead superintendent has complained of stolen collections…and his car. He was stabbed by a statue, and had his second wife’s friend living with them. The son by his first marriage has been hired to uncover out-of-district students and track truants. Many people had reasons to do in the man, but the true suspect list is small, giving more background to each one. Stolen objects return, an autopsy reveals unusual results, and suspicions prove right…and wrong.

One of the most interesting story elements is Skye’s interactions with students  she is counseling. Bad behavior is diverted into better activities, suspicious events are explained, and Skye is shown to be a caring, intelligent, compassionate person. Woven around the mystery is preparations for a Valentine’s Day dance and Skye’s love of her husband and their children. Police Chief Wally Boyd gets some chapters following his actions, as well as the Skye-centered episodes. It wouldn’t hurt to have read earlier Scumble River books, but the feel of the town is easily picked up without the need for lengthy information dumps.

 A trip to Scumble River is engaging, unusual, funny, and worth the journey. Don’t put off an excursion. It’s a trip you will enjoy.

To enter to win a copy of Body Over Troubled Waters, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "body,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen September 4, 2021. US residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via email please include your mailing address in case you win. If entering via comment please include your email address so we can contact you. BE AWARE THAT DUE TO THE CURRENT CRISIS THERE MAY BE A DELAY IN SHIPPING THE WINNING BOOK. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And check out our new mystery podcast which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors! A new episode goes up next week.

You can use these links to purchase the book. If you have adblocker on you may not be able to see the Amazon link:

Terrance V. Mc Arthur is newly retired as a Librarian in Fresno County, California. He is also a storyteller, puppeteer, magician, and maker of pine needle baskets. On top of that he writes stories that range from rhymed children's tales to splatterpunk horror. He's an odd bird, but he's nice to have around.
Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. I've been reading both of these series and
    thoroughly enjoy them each time. Sounds
    like another good read. thanks

  2. Thanks for the chance to win this book. I’ve enjoyed every book I’ve read that was written by Dense Swanson. Kudos to KRL! Your reviews are always “spot on!”

  3. Sounds like a fun series! tWarner419(at)aol(dot)com

  4. Would really love to read. Thanks for the chance.

  5. Denise Swanson always promises a great story. Thanks for the insight into her latest.

  6. Great series. I always enjoy these.

  7. This sounds so good! jasblue0324(at) yahoo(dot)com


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