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Murder of a Barbie and Ken: A Scumble River Mystery
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Murder of a Barbie and Ken: A Scumble River Mystery (A Scumble River Mystery #5)

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  1,123 Ratings  ·  51 Reviews
In search of a social life in Scumble River, Skye Denison has revently joined the GUMBettes-the ladies auxiliary of the men's Grand Union of the Mighty Bulls. Now she and her boyfriend Simon hobnob with the upwardly mobile professionals in town. But when a seemingly perfect couple is murdered, Skye discovers that success doesn't equal survival...
ebook, 272 pages
Published November 1st 2003 by New American Library
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May 26, 2016 N rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: english
I was expecting a black comedy, but this is just straightforward small-town chick lit with a murder mystery thrown in.

Main character Skye, the world's worst psychologist, tries to solve the mystery while:
- telling her boyfriend to be nice to his abusive mother
- settling for a tiny office in which her clients can't even sit properly
- signing up for a multi-level marketing scam
- stopping herself from crying after finding two mutilated bodies, because her tears might upset her dad
- voluntarily at
Sep 22, 2011 Jenn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like this series as a whole pretty well, but a few things bugged me in this one. One, a teenager says, (paraphrasing) "Have you seen what they do in those popular music videos?" Is she 80? Two, the information from a computer sure sounded like it was saved on floppy disc. Really? This book was written in 2003! Three, Sky dated Simon for 8 or 9 months. They broke up. Then they dated for 5 or so more months. (I haven't read the books that this happened in, but they summed it up.) They just recen ...more
Jan 26, 2011 Sheri rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Murder of a Barbie and Ken (Scumble River Mystery #5) Denise Swanson
murder/mystery. I have to admit I do love Denise Swanson and the Scumble River Mystery books. Funny, fast paced, good clean read. Some may say a bit cheesy, but I find it is just what I need when I want a break from my daily routine.

Skye Dennison is the local school psychologist, self proclaimed investigator of crime in her home town of Scumble River Illinois. She is dating Simon the local coroner/funeral director. Skye finds he
Jan 26, 2017 Patty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I forgot how enjoyable this series is. Another good read.
Lacey Thornton
May 15, 2017 Lacey Thornton rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: cozy-mystery
Recommended to Lacey by: librarian
Shelves: home, cozy-mystery
Series books can become redundant. This is not true for the Scumble River Mysteries. I also break up the series with other books to change the speed. The main characters, mainly Skye Deninson, school psycholigist in a small ends up investigation murders. Usually because she stumbles upon a dead body. Denise Swanson has a way of providing details at the beginning of the back that the main character went back to at the end. I didn't notice it in the previous books but something I am going to pay c ...more
anonymae anonymae
I read this series to learn how certain writing errors effect a readers experience of a story's narrative. I also read this series to learn about creative similes.
Jun 05, 2014 Lindsey rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I think that I really am done this time. The "charm" is wearing thing and Skye, as a main character, has become intolerable for many reasons.

First and foremost, most of what she does during the course of the story is complain. About her family, about her town, about her boyfriend's mother. (And then, inexplicably, includes said mother in EVERYTHING she does because she feels sorry for her). If she's not complaining, she's meddling or planning on meddling or manipulating people to do what she wan
Jan 18, 2008 Jackie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Super amateur sleuth, Skye Dennison, is at it again assisting the Scumble River, Illinois police department solves a particularly mysterious murder. Barbie and Ken are the quintessential perfect couple, rich, gorgeous and successful. Ken is the handsome town doctor with a thriving business. He has just recently made important discoveries that could shock the medical community. Barbie is the leader of ‘Gourmet Instant Food’, an at home party business. She, too, is ambitious and her business is fl ...more
Sep 07, 2009 Vicky rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
i am hoping fo the best with this one. This small town in Illinois seems like a small town in the south and the names are horrendous. Once again, an attempt to make Skye look "better"?

Ok. This story has caught my interest but who in their right mind would allow a stranger into their home after having been a part of several murders? And school is cancelled, the motel is full, the roads are bad, Skye is sick yet she goes out shopping and to get her gourmet meals? Come on! These things pull the re
Georgiann Hennelly
When Simon and Skye decide to expand their horizons by joining Scrumble Rivers Social club .Skye ends up buying a weeks worth of instant Gourmet food at a home product -peddling partyhosted by Barbie Addison. Also club members Barbie and her husband Ken maintain -a designor lifestyle. It's like they are living in a dream world. But when Skye goes to pick up her food she finds Barbie and Ken dead with ribbons tied tightly around their necks. Of course they need her help to solve this disturbing d ...more
Aug 22, 2014 Anastasia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Murder of A Barbie and Ken by Denise Swanson is the 5th book in A Scumble River mystery series. After attending a gourmet delite party, Skye finds the bodies of the hostess, Barbie Addison and her husband Ken when she stops to pick up her meals the next day. I love this series and it seems to be getting better with each book. I love the characters and it is a series that should definitely be read in order to appreciate their development and relationships. This book introduces us to Simon's mothe ...more
The Scumble River Mystery series is a fun series to read. The books are pretty short and they are fast and funny reads. School psychologist Skye Denison gets into all kinds of trouble when she plays around as an amateur investigator in each book. The mysteries are full of twists, turns and surprises and there are always plenty of suspects to choose from. I almost never know for sure whodunit until fairly close to the end. The whole series makes for excellent pool or beach reads for the summer.
May 26, 2009 Primadonna rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Skye's personality makes my teeth ache. She is oh supposed to be so sweet and adorable and understanding and blah blah, I honestly can't stand a female protagonist who succumbs easily to emotional blackmails. Especially the ones who are supposed to understand human nature, being a counselor and all that.

I ended up not finishing the book. After about half the book I flipped it and reading the ending, I groaned.

Yes, it was a good thing I didn't waste more time in trying to read it.
Feb 21, 2008 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm working my way through this series, and enjoying the lightheartedness of the books. They're fast reads, not life-changing, but fun nonetheless. They're the perfect choice for when I've just finished a heavy novel and need a bit of an emotional break. Swanson's characters ring true to life and the quirkiness of the Scumble River, IL residents is endearing. If you have liked other Scumble River mysteries in the series, there's more to like here.
Dec 15, 2009 Shannon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one was better I think. One thing I HATE about the books is she keeps saying that Skye is larger and I am tired of it. I got one impression in the first book and then now it is like there is more and more weight...Now honestly in the real world who would really be able to investigate how the people in the books do?
Oct 20, 2011 Trish rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So far this is my favorite of the Denise Swanson Scumble River series. Things seemed to come together, we got to know characters a bit better and the mystery was enjoyable with the concept of the law enforcement, and others, asking Skye for help with the crime. All in all, an enjoyable read that makes me happy that I've stuck with this series.
Feb 11, 2016 Ronda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, humorous
I have been enjoying this series, but this particular installment fell a little flat for me. I swear it felt as though the main character was on a quest to use as many pithy Facebook sayings as possible in one story instead of holding actual conversations with other characters. Not my favorite.
Heather Campsmith
This was a cute book I loved the quotes on the top of each chapter. It was slow in the middle but it picked, up in the end ,I would never have guessed who had done it the author gives you clues but then says just kidding .
Dec 12, 2010 Jen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I did not like this one. Thankfully, I have not read them in order, becuase if this was early in my Swanson experience, Iprobably would have stopped. A hot mess of a plot and completely unbelievable. Skip this one.
May 17, 2008 Becca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I will never buy tupperware or anything from those weird ladies, EVER, after reading this.

I was afraid of my washing machine for a few days, since it beeps too.

I finally figured out that you can turn the beeping off, felt much better after that. :]
Fast funny read - I will pick up some more of her murder mysteries
Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*
The Scumble River mysteries didn't stand out to me much but they were fun, quirky, and quick read cozies. This was one of the better ones with the investigation of a play-centered murder.
Mar 21, 2008 Jennifer is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Sep 27, 2009 Ronica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I have been reading the Scumble River mysteries since Oct 09, they are fun, and light which is just how I like my mystery. What keeps me coming back is the town and the "characters" that live there.
Doward Wilson
Apr 27, 2015 Doward Wilson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A good entry in the series.
May 24, 2015 Lori rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
I enjoyed being back in Scumble River and meeting Simon's mother.
Aug 23, 2009 Roxann rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book from the Scumble River Mystery series. I don't think I will be reading another.
Kristi Lamont
My least favorite so far.....almost gave this one 2.5 stars. Mystery story line seemed a little convoluted, plus I'm all pouty about our main character's love life.
Jerry Ramsey
An interesting Scumble river Mystery.
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Denise Swanson lives in rural Illinois with her husband, classical composer David Stybr.

After 22 years as a practicing school psychologist, she's happiest sitting in her scree porch reading. However, when the weather turns too cold, she's willing to leave the Midwest to cruise the sunny Caribbean.

Denise is an animal lover, but her home is currently furless, since her kitty of 20 years passed awa
More about Denise Swanson...

Other Books in the Series

A Scumble River Mystery (1 - 10 of 19 books)
  • Murder of a Small-Town Honey (A Scumble River Mystery, #1)
  • Murder of a Sweet Old Lady (A Scumble River Mystery, #2)
  • Murder of a Sleeping Beauty (A Scumble River Mystery, #3)
  • Murder of a Snake in the Grass (A Scumble River Mystery, #4)
  • Murder of a Pink Elephant (A Scumble River Mystery, #6)
  • Murder of a Smart Cookie (A Scumble River Mystery, #7)
  • Murder of a Real Bad Boy (A Scumble River Mystery, #8)
  • Murder of a Botoxed Blonde (A Scumble River Mystery, #9)
  • Murder of a Chocolate-Covered Cherry (A Scumble River Mystery, #10)
  • Murder of a Royal Pain (A Scumble River Mystery, #11)

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