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Murder of a Snake in the Grass (A Scumble River Mystery #4)

3.91  ·  Rating Details  ·  944 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
Skye Denison and the rest of Scumble River is celebrating it's bicentennial in style-with reenactments, a bingo tent, and a coal-tossing contest. Best of all, the guest of honor is the town founder's great-great-grandnephew, Gabriel Scumble. But his visit turns out to be short-lived when he is found dead. The murder weapon: a pickax.

Meanwhile, Skye's ex-fiancee is back i
Paperback, 263 pages
Published April 1st 2003 by Signet
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Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne FlukeMurder at the Vicarage by Agatha ChristieThe No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall SmithAbby Cooper, Psychic Eye by Victoria LaurieThe Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie
Best Cozy Mystery Series
325th out of 1,368 books — 1,499 voters
Dying for a Cupcake by Denise SwansonTax Cut by Michele Lynn SeigfriedDead Between the Lines by Denise SwansonNickeled-and-Dimed to Death by Denise SwansonLittle Shop of Homicide by Denise Swanson
Come for the Mystery stay for the Romance
18th out of 37 books — 9 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,623)
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Emily Crow
I am trying to be as fair as possible in my assessment, because the book isn't badly written and many readers would probably find it cute and enjoyable. After all, it's a cozy, and exacting realism isn't why people like to read this genre. So if you are a huge fan of cozies, my opinion might be completely off-base for you.

Now that I've been fair...this has to be one of the silliest plots I've ever suffered through. Not just wacky or improbable, but downright stupid. Fifty percent of the story wa
Feb 13, 2011 Sheri rated it it was amazing
Murder of a Snake in the Grass (Denise Swanson)
Book 4 in the Scumble River Mystery. This time a pair of teenagers stumble across a dead body. It appears to be Gabriel Scumble, a descendant of the founder of Scumble river.

Skye is finally getting used to being back in her hometown. She still seems to have some commitment issues and is not sure where her love life is going. Then her ex fiance, the man who left her in New Orleans, with no money and no where to go but home. This is not helping her r
Sep 07, 2009 Vicky rated it it was ok
I will admit that this installment of Scumble River is the best so far. But really Skye needs to mature. Is it the authors' fantasy to be a plus size in demand woman? Come on! It tortures Skye to allow a kiss on the cheek and she is 31 years old! Not a true to reality type of woman. Catholic or not! But I will again say that this book as a whole is better written than the previous far.

Is she serious?!?!???? Skye is years behind her age - very unprofessional.

Page 215 was a waste of sp
Georgiann Hennelly
Aug 20, 2011 Georgiann Hennelly rated it really liked it
Scumble River is celebrating its Bicentennial -with historical reenactments, bingo, a coal tossing tournament, and a crazy craft race. The guest of honor is none other than the town founders great great grand nephew, Gabriel Scumble. But when Skyes students Frannie and Justin find him dead with a pick ax protruding from his chest. And Skyes deceitful ex fiance, Luc St , Armant appears out of the blue throwing her love life into turmoil. Which is the real danger that Luc will chase away the men i ...more
Jun 01, 2014 Lindsey rated it it was ok
I... can't.... stop....

On the plus side, I finally figured out what got Skye fired from her last job (seemed a little far-fetched, but what in this series doesn't).

On every other side, Skye feels so self-important that it's hard to read the book and not want to slap her in the face. I STILL don't think she's a very good school psychologist. And all the characters are one-dimensional.

And yet, I just bought the next book for my kindle.

If you want to read a good murder-mystery with a strong femal
Aug 22, 2014 Anastasia rated it really liked it
Murder of a Snake in the Grass by Denise Swanson is the 4th book in A Scumble River mystery series. During bicentennial celebrations, a guest and ancestor was found murdered. Skye is also tied up with school delinquents and the return of her ex fiance.A complicated story with the murder almost taking a back seat to the other goings on.I have come to love this series and the town and enjoy finding out more of the characters and history. An enjoyable read and I am glad that Skyes romantic liasons ...more
Adrienne Testa
Oct 20, 2011 Adrienne Testa rated it really liked it
Ms. Swanson has written a series that is light hearted, quirky and fun to read. the fourth in the series... another dead visitor found. Skye Denison having her hands full with her ex fiance, the police chief and the funeral director. He ex fiance out to scam her again, by wining and dining her for her signature on a deed. The blue blue snobby ex fiance fallen on hard times and owes money to the New Orleans mob. The police chief getting over the fact his wife divorced him and left town. While the ...more
Oct 02, 2015 Wanda rated it really liked it
While attending a bicentennial celebration Skye gets reluctantly dragged into investigating a murder. She starts out by just helping the kids who find the dead body but then keeps getting pulled in deeper. Her ex-fiancé shows up and is trying to woe her and she is torn between feelings for him and wanting to get rid of him. She is also trying to make up her mind how much to get involved with Simon. When the dead guy turns out to not to be who everyone thought he was she helps figure out his true ...more
Sally Lindsay-briggs
If you enjoy light mystery, and a plot that stumbles along at Scumble River, you might enjoy this. It seemed to have a lot of useless information and a very anti-climatic end but all the strands of this rather badly written book were sewn up tightly. I did like the heroine, Skye, who is a high school Guidance counselor. She is smart and helps everyone: teens, relatives, town residents and the town cop. There are other books in this series but I will not be reading them.
Aug 03, 2012 Jenn rated it really liked it
Maybe it's good that I've read these out of order? Or maybe I've read so many that Skye's finally REALLY annoying me? How old is she supposed to be? Late 20s? Because some of the things she says and does makes it seem like she's in her 50s, at the least. This book was written in 2003 and we finally get the first character getting a mobile phone. I'm sorry to spoil you when I say that Skye FINALLY gets one in a later book. I don't care how rural you are, get with the times!

The ex was smarmy and
Aug 11, 2016 Jeanne rated it really liked it
As a special ed teacher, I enjoy many of the spot-on interactions and comments that Skye makes with students, parents, and administrators.
Jun 20, 2015 Grace rated it really liked it
Fun read! I always enjoy getting to know the characters again. Looks like Skye is finding love! I'll be reading the next book soon.
Debra McEathron
May 27, 2016 Debra McEathron rated it really liked it
This series is okay, it is about a school psychologist and her crime solving in a small town called Scrumble River.
Rebecca Talkie
Aug 18, 2015 Rebecca Talkie rated it it was amazing
Excellent series. Find the first book and start losing yourself in Scumble River.
Doward Wilson
Apr 29, 2015 Doward Wilson rated it it was amazing
Keeps getting better and better. Don't miss this series.
Belva Shelor
Oct 08, 2015 Belva Shelor rated it really liked it
Shelves: finished
Being a school psycologist myself, this series just makes me giggle.
Mar 11, 2014 Dina rated it liked it
Shelves: cozy-mystery, ebook, 2014
The only thing that drives me crazy about this series is how wishy washy Skye seems to be about the men in her life. I want a mystery, not a romance. I will continue on with the series, but I want the focus to be on a mystery, not her boyfriends. Maybe I feel so strongly in this book because I couldn't stand her ex, Luc. Anyway, rant/review over. :)
Diana Gotsch
Oct 02, 2013 Diana Gotsch rated it really liked it
Nice cozy. Nothing deep but solid mystery with a few plot twists. The characters are fairly well developed and interesting. best one in this series that I've read so far which has me looking forward to the next ones in the series.
May 07, 2013 Barbara rated it it was ok
Cant make up my mind whether i liked it or not. I will read another one in the series. The setting in this one is not well developed and the character seems a tad too immature. The townspeople are actually more fascinating.
Oct 21, 2011 Trish rated it liked it
Cute mystery and cozy for sure, but not a compelling read where I was anxious to get back to the book and read and find out "whodunit". Denise Swanson may be just a little to light and cozy for my taste.
Sep 03, 2014 Lesley rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
want more mystery and less romance otherwise to be expected if those cozy mysteries. will probably read more as they are fast.. my mom sent me this one. shs met the author in illinios!
Jul 14, 2013 Michele rated it really liked it
I liked this book, and enjoy the series, but this one was probably my least favorite so far (figures, the library didn't have it so I had to buy it) but I will continue with the series.
Ruth Turner
Aug 25, 2015 Ruth Turner rated it it was amazing
Skye Denison is a good investigator. She has to many men in her life and can't make up her mind who she wants. Looks like it just might be Simon, the man owns the funeral home.
Jan 01, 2010 Shannon rated it really liked it
It is about time...this book FINALLY has explained a ton from the other books!!! I am going to keep reading because I think I just need to know what happens...
May 17, 2008 Rebecca rated it liked it
Oh man, is Luc annoying!!!

Lying loser that he is. Liked the end w/Simon and Skye, even though he's a little stiff.

Overall, interesting read.
Dec 12, 2010 Jen rated it liked it
I liked this one. Interesting story and explained a lot about Skye and her relationship to money and men.
Nov 21, 2008 Maurean rated it liked it
Recommended to Maurean by: bookring
This was a fun read. I haven't read a good, cozy mystery in awhile, so this was a good change of pace
Pat Trezza
Jun 29, 2013 Pat Trezza rated it really liked it
This is a new author for me and I enjoyed this book very much, I will be reading the rest of the series.
Mar 09, 2011 Amy rated it really liked it
These Scumble River mysteries are light reading, but always entertaining.
Jul 02, 2008 Sue rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery
Very boring, could only get about halve read.
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Denise Swanson lives in Illinois with her husband, classical composer David Stybr and their cool black cat Boomerang.
More about Denise Swanson...

Other Books in the Series

A Scumble River Mystery (1 - 10 of 18 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 Barbie and Ken (A Scumble River Mystery, #5)
  • 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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