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Murder of a Sweet Old Lady

(A Scumble River Mystery #2)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  1,455 ratings  ·  83 reviews
When she left Scumble River years ago, school psychologist Skye Denison thought she’d never be back. But after a run of bad luck in the big city, she has a new appreciation for the down-home charm of small-town life--and decides to start over in the town where she started out…When Skye’s beloved grandmother is found dead in her bed, the family consensus is natural causes. ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 251 pages
Published April 1st 2001 by Signet
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3.90  · 
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 ·  1,455 ratings  ·  83 reviews

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Jan 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Murder of a Sweet Old Lady (Denise Swanson)
Murder/Mystery. Skye Denison is a school psychologist. Not so perfect, she can't seem to lose those few extra pounds she gained after the break up with her boyfriend. After recently being fired from her job in New Orleans, and her break up, she returns home (reluctantly) to Scumble River, Illinois. She has been back for about a year, trying to adjust to her new job and her hometown.

Her grandmother dies, and Skye is not to sure it was of natural causes.
Colleen Earle
This was really dark for a cozy mystery.
There was a lot going on plot wise so although I had my suspicions about who the murderer was I didn’t quite have it down until the reveal.
I really like Skye. I find her to be really relatable because we are the same person only she has a career and a masters degree.
Love this series. Can’t wait to read the next book.
If I'm being honest, this is probably only a two and a half. I like the main character and her parents, but I really don't like most of her aunts and uncles. Plus, it's got the whole love triangle thing. I probably won't read any more of them.
Apr 17, 2013 rated it it was ok
I read this installment of the Scumble River series because I liked the first book enough to want more. Although this book was okay, I probably won't be reading more of the series. Skye Denison is the main character; she's a school psychologist and a snarky daughter. She doesn't have many friends which is probably because she doesn't put herself out much to get to know others. Two men are interested in her, and she says she has feelings for both of them, but she seems to have the emotional matur ...more
Aug 29, 2009 rated it it was ok
The chapter titles are ridiculous. Skye is not much of a heroine. For a psychologist, she certtainly has no handle on her family and co-workers. She lets other people tell her what do which creates a very weak character. Skye is very immature. And to be "afraid" in this day and age to have an intimate relationship with a man she is dating for 9 months is unrealistic. I managed to get through the story as I did with the first one. I will now begin the 3rd installment with the hope that the author ...more
Nov 06, 2011 rated it it was ok
This is just an okay book for me. The plot was a bit thin and the murderer's reason for killing the sweet old lady felt shallow. Even the supposed love triangle between the main character and the two guys after her didn't have much spark as, say, The Vintage Magic Mystery series by Annette Blair. It's cozy and easy enough to read during the cold season, but there's a lack of urgency from making me want to grab the next book in the series.
Feb 08, 2014 rated it it was ok
I read quite a few books in this series about 5 years go, but hadn't read this one. Really. I couldn't stand Skye. I can understand why she is so aggressive given her extremely difficult family. But I don't understand her aversion to her parents hoping her out occasionally. And she dislikes it when she has to wait when she makes an appointment with someone, but is continually late for appointments she has.
Georgiann Hennelly
Sep 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
When Skye finds her beloved Grandmother dead in her bed. The family believes it was natural causes. But Skye insists on an autopsy- an the examination proves the sweet old lady was murdered! But by who? Skye is determinedto find out, though her family resents her snooping Skye persists. Even after a series of hooligan attacks on her property and an out right physical assault, Skye begins to wonder if by exposing the rotten roots of her family tree , is she one step closer to exposing a killer.
May 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As a fan of Denise Swanson's Dime Store series, I decided to tackle the 2nd Scumble River Mystery after having read Skye's first brush with death last fall. I will say at the end of "Small-Town Honey," I wasn't too keen on continuing with this particular series. I hadn't really warmed to Skye or any of her family, so I figured "Sweet Old Lady" would help me decide whether or not I would continue with this series.

Boy, I'm so glad I read it because I am finally HOOKED.

This mystery. Wow. So diffe
Jul 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
I don't know how I feel about this series. The main character is alright...but the description of her community just seems so absurd. Not to mention, the author took what could have been a decent enough "romance" and now seemingly has created a love...square? Idk if I can get on board. One more book and then I'll decide.
anonymae anonymae
Jul 03, 2017 rated it liked it
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.
Wendy Wilson
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Funny and full of surprises! I was able to read it in a day. It would make a great beach or Saturday read.
Enjoyable yet somewhat predictable mystery.
Sara Smith
Jun 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
I've read some other books by this author, but not in this series. I found this book to keep my interest, have quite a bit of mystery and some romantic interest.
Darcy Palmer
Mar 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Main character: Skye Denison, a school psychologist.
Cindy Miller
Oct 21, 2018 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book. I think I like some of the later ones better, but this one was enjoyable.
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Denise Swanson writes a good mystery! There were lots of changes in the family and for Skye as well.
Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*
Despite finding the first book slightly lackluster, I wanted to give the series a continued chance. To my delight I enjoyed this one much better than the original, bumping it up a star, as Skye encounters a richer plot and more tension in her personal life. Despite the mystery and plot of the first, I didn't think there was enough basic tension to play off; here it's more impressive as Simon surprised me with some colors I never expected to see, Wally wooed me, and Skye's family was shown in a g ...more
Katie Fitzgerald
Feb 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
I loved this book. I liked the way the murder of Skye's grandmother highlighted all the problems in her family, and that in the story, Skye even goes to confession! The secret revealed at the end of the book was a bit hard for my Catholic soul to swallow, but I felt it was handled tastefully considering the circumstances, and I didn't get the impression the author was advocating for others to make the same decision that Skye's aunt was forced to make as a young woman. I just really like the worl ...more
Randa D'aoust
Sep 10, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
This series is a light palate cleanser between different types of books or to give my mind a totally different set of characters. The people in Scumble River are a diverse and eccentric lot. It's actually hard to imagine there could be that many eccentric or weird people in such a small town.

The main character, Skye, is a school psychologist who has returned to her home town to work with all the baggage that entails. She is also involved romantically in town. She has a tendency to get into place
Dec 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
In the second book in this series, school psychologist Skye Denison is shocked when her sweet grandmother is found dead. She was in excellent health and Skye doesn't think she died a natural death, so she encourages the police to investigate her death. It turns out that she was poisoned and Skye starts pointing the finger at family members, uncovering secrets and trying to solve the murder.

I really, really liked the first book in this series (Murder of a Small Town Honey) and given how big this
Lelia Taylor
Aug 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: full-reviews
Murder of a Sweet Old Lady
Denise Swanson
Signet, 2001
ISBN 0451202724
Mass Market Paperback

Poor Skye Denison. Her life just keeps getting more and more entangled in the little hometown she’d like to escape for a second time and now she’s involved in another murder, this one of someone very dear to her. Some of Skye’s family resents her snooping and the rest of her family can’t keep their noses out of her business. Her job as school psychologist has all kinds of students, parents and school official
Sep 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
When school psychologist Skye Denison discovers her beloved grandmother dead in her bed with the covers pulled her head she knows something is amiss. First Grandma Leofanti claustrophobic, second her Grandma’s cat Bingo is out on the front porch pacing back and forth upon, and third were is Mrs.Jankowski the housekeeper?

With all these facts in front of her Skye knows this is murder and much to the dismay of her relatives she decides that an autopsy is in order to determine who murdered this swee
Apr 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Murder Of A Sweet Old Lady is book 2 in the Scumble River Mystery Series By Denise Swanson. I recently read the first book in the series and really enjoyed that so I had to pick up the next book straight away. This book surprised me. Why? Well it normally takes a little while before I warm to characters and the plot but by page 12 there I was sitting down holding back the tears from dropping into my cup of tea as I hoped beyond hope that what I thought had happened had not.
Awww Denise you real
Apr 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I have not left Scumble River yet I really like these books and all the people in them. Especially, Skye Denison!

This time Skye is trying to find out who killed a Sweet Old Lady, who is Skye's Grandma! Everyday after school, Skye visits Grandma LeoFanti, her Mom's Mother. They are talking about the family history. Skye wants to get all the information from Grandma before she dies.

Only today something is wrong, no one answers when she gets to the house. Her Grandma has had a housekeeper helping
✨ Gramy ✨
Dec 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a cozy, quick-paced mystery about a woman sleuth, school pyschiatrist, that is fun to read. Each time you pick up a book in this series, you feel like you are meeting up with old friends.

Even though there is a murder involved, it is a clean and wholesome book. In this book, Skye is working with her grandmother on their family history and her grandmother is killed. Just when you got to know her, she is grabbed from the series.

This mystery takes a lot of patience, to determine what real
Sep 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Skye Denison is back. She left the her small hometown of Scumble River years ago and came back to try and start over. Skye finds her grandmother dead and the family thinks it is natural causes, but Skye has a feeling something is not right. This stirs up trouble with the family. Uncovering family secrets can get Skye in a lot of trouble.

I loved this book. It was very emotional for me as although my grandmother wasn't murdered, it stirred up a lot of memories too. And it is so easy to connect wi
Nov 16, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-cozy
This is the second in the Scumble River Mystery series involving school psychologist Skye Dennison. This one involves the mysterious death of her grandmother and brings out some long buried family secrets. There is also a subplot regarding her work with a few children at the school, one an abuse case. I did read this before, but apparently that was long enough ago that I could not remember the story.

Skye seems to be settling into her new life in her home town, but unfortunately runs into an eth
I was sick in bed last night and I couldn't get to sleep, so I pulled out this book and was pleasantly surprised, I rated rated the first book 4 stars also, but honestly I liked this book a lot better.

The characters were great. I found Simon annoying and there was a love triangle forming, but by the end of the book the love triangle was resolved. Also, Skye's mother was extremely overbearing and seemed to have mood swings throughout this book.

The setting was once again relatable to be and I real
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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

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 Sleeping Beauty (A Scumble River Mystery, #3)
  • Murder of a Snake in the Grass (A Scumble River Mystery, #4)
  • 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)
“Vince went over to Skye. "I shouldn't have pressed her so hard," she admitted, whispering. "This could be the thing that pushes Aunt Minnie around the bend."

He put his arm around her shoulder. "Don't blame yourself. She's had that turn signal on for twenty years.”
More quotes…