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Murder of a Sweet Old Lady

(A Scumble River Mystery #2)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  1,567 ratings  ·  107 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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Average rating 3.90  · 
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 ·  1,567 ratings  ·  107 reviews

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3 stars
This book was just as good as the first book in the series if not better. I really had no idea how Skye was going to find out who killed her grandmother.
(view spoiler)
Skye Denison, a school psychologist looks
forward to her after school visits with her
grandmother, Antonia Leofanti. Skye is
learning about her family history from her
grandmother now that she is back living in
Scumble River, Illinois.
When she arrives at her grandmother’s farm
after school no one answers the door. This
is very unusual as their is always a caregiver
there with her grandmother.
Entering the house, Skye discovers that her
grandmother is dead and the caretaker missing.
Something is not rig
Families can be deadly

Skye Dennison finds her beloved grandmother dead. Her caregiver gone.
So begins a book that I read in one day.

The slight humor in the book is by way of sayings such as 2 cokes short of a picnic.
The story line brings out the family dynamics and Skye's own determination to do things her way. Usually causing her to be in trouble with everyone.
The ending was a surprise. Not so much who the murderer was but the way it concluded.

I found this to be better than the first book of the
Feb 08, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: scumble-river
Enjoyed the second book as much as the first. Skye is growing more down-to-earth as her character progresses. Her family is definitely a mess, and her love life is worse. But I do sympathize with her in her schools, and the craziness that she gets called on to do (been there, done that). The mystery itself was fairly entertaining, but I had the solution worked out a little over half way through. It was still a good story. Looking forward to book 3.
Skye Denison warily studied the hostile faces of Gus Yoder's parents.

In addition to the murder in this book, Skye is presented with stressful situations at school. I was very sad when Skye discovered the body of her grandmother, Antonia Leofanti. Skye immediately knew that something was amiss and did not accept natural causes for the cause of death.

I'm really starting to like Skye in this series. She has a job that I would not want for any amount of money. I cannot imagine dealing with obnoxious
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.
Angela (Kentuckybooklover) Brocato-Skaggs
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 24, 2020 rated it liked it
Book 2 in the Scumble River Mystery series.

Skye's grandmother has died, and Skye pushes until the police check and discover she was murdered. Could one of the family have killed the grandmother?

It's good to read the series in order; I read book 3 before book 2 and needed to know why Wally was so upset with Skye. It feels like Wally, whose wife just left him, was pushing way to hard for a relationship with Skye. It also felt like he is a control freak (and his tantrums in book 3 are way out of li
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
Sep 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozies
This is the second book in the scumble river series. On top of dealing with stressful issues at her job, Skye goes to visit her grandmother and finds her dead. Everyone assumes she died of natural causes but Skye isn't so sure. Her grandmother was in perfect health so Skye knows something is wrong. I am really enjoying this series. Skye is a very well rounded character that is easy to relate to. Simon annoyed me slightly in this book and it changed my opinion of him. I am excited to continue rea ...more
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.
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.
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
Mar 04, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Narrator: Christine Leto

The first book wasn't available at my library but the second was so I decided to start with that. I know, from this book that Skye has been in a relationship with Simon for the past nine months but the heat has fizzled out for her and she's got the hots for police chief, Wally. There are reasons in her past as to why she is commitment shy (something to do with her ex-fiance) and I guess she's going to be the same with Chief Wally - if his
Jul 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Book 2 in A Scumble River Mystery. Our cozy mystery group is reading one book a month as we work our way through this series. Fun seeing everyone’s thoughts and reactions. This is an older series, originally published in 2001 so it’s interesting to see the different writing style back then. I also liked the quirky chapter titles.

I really like the main character. I saw that the author is a former school psychologist herself and her experience definitely shows through the scenes when Skye is at w
Bonnie Drummond
Jun 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I can't get enough of this series. I didn't think I would love this series so much but I really can say I LOVE IT. I just finished book #2 Murder of a Sweet Old Lady and I can relate with Skye Dennison and her family. Skye just wants to live in piece but with family the way they are and Two Handsome Guys wanting to be with her she has a fight on her hands to get control of her life and her emotions about her love life all the while trying to figure out why someone wanted to kill her be loved Gra ...more
Jul 20, 2020 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm just starting to read this series because I have been reading her Chef-to-Go series and characters from this series were mentioned in it. It's been interesting to read as Skye is a school psychologist and that is not a usual career choice for cozy mysteries. The characters are fairly well developed, although her twin cousins are extremely annoying. I hope they get better as time goes on. I want to see how her relationship with Wally develops.
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.
Allison Ann
Feb 08, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: loaner, reviewed, uno-2020
Well, those of you who said May wasn't so bad, were right. At least compared to the rest of Skye's horrible family. Wow! I didn't like this mystery as much as the first book. And I'm really rooting against a love triangle. And I hope Skye can have a real friend in Trixie. But my basic opinion of this book was okay, nothing terrible, nothing fantastic. Sophomore slump hopefully. :D
Carol Ann
Feb 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Scumble River is where you want to go live, with people you want to be friends with. Denise Swanson is able to bring you into the books, into the story lines and you can't help but become invested with her characters. Be sure to read the series in order though...
Vicki Gooding
Apr 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Scumble River mystery series is so dynamite. A book you never need to consider jumping ahead two or three pages to get on with the story. However; I do hate it that in this one it was Grandma who died. Easy flow in story line, great characters, and fun mysteries.
Jun 05, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
There were several references to things that happened in the first book which I have not read. It didn't hurt the flow though. The best part of the book, in my opinion, was the main character's friend; Trixie Frayne. I am guessing the author read Trixie Belden mysteries as a girl.
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.
Enjoyable yet somewhat predictable 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

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)

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“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.”
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