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Between a Book and a Hard Place

(Devereaux's Dime Store #5)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  436 ratings  ·  82 reviews
The New York Times bestselling author of Dying for a Cupcake returns with a new mystery filled with lost family, hidden treasure, and long-buried secrets...

Five-and-dime store owner Devereaux “Dev” Sinclair moved to Shadow Bend for her family. But when her long-lost mother shows up in town, she realizes too much kin can be killer...

Shadow Bend’s library closed years ago be
Mass Market Paperback, 272 pages
Published March 1st 2016 by NAL
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3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  436 ratings  ·  82 reviews

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Feb 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Between a Book and a Hard Place by Denise Swanson is the 5th book in the Devereaux's Dime Store Mystery series. Dime store owner Devereaux Sinclair's mother Yvette turns up in Shadoe Bend with her latest husband promising a large donation to the town library. When he is found murdered in the library the next day, Yvette becomes prime suspect. A nice, captivating mystery involving the town's history tat I enjoyed very much. The main drawback was the love triangle and Dev's inability to resolve th ...more
Feb 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2016
Dollycas’s Thoughts

A tangled web, Dev’s mom returns to Shadow Bend and it is a complete surprise to Dev but not a surprise to everyone. Her mother, Yvette, moved on years ago leaving Dev behind. Why come back now? and with another new husband? Dev is on high alert, her mother is up to something. Her husband Jett has offered a huge amount of money to reopen and refurbish the town’s library. He says he is a history buff and all he asks is that he be able to do a little research in the library’s ar
Oct 12, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: cozies-mysteries
*Sigh* 5 books in and the love triangle is still going strong with Dev no closer to deciding which man she wants (And why the heck are they putting up with that crap??) As a result, I have to honestly say, I did not like this book. It might have pulled off a 2 or 3 star rating had the triangle been wrapped up. Instead it's actually kind of a love square now, with Jake's ex-wife living with him and all, which makes the entire thing even more absurd.

Plus, we have aliens, ghosts and a hypercritical
Lisa Ks Book Reviews
Feb 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Another great installment to the Devereaux’s Dime Store Mystery series!

Author Denise Swanson once again pens a mystery that will delight her fans. She knows exactly they want, and she delivers.

My favorite part of this series is time spent with Dev in her store. I really enjoy reading about the gift baskets she puts together.

Skilled writing, and a love of her craft are very apparent in Ms. Swanson’s books. BETWEEN A BOOK AND A HARD PLACE was a wonderfully paced story with just the right amount
Colleen Earle
Definitely didn't like this book as much as the books that I've read from Scumble River

Swanson also writes romance novels and it shows more in the book.

The beginning was a bit slow but it picked up after the murder.

Will probably check out the other books in the series to see if I like the characters more when their lives aren't as complicated
Julia David
Oct 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
I like Dev, her friends and family. Just when things seem to be getting better, she is thrown for a loop when her mother shows up after 13 years. Everything goes down hill from there. Her mother and father are getting cozy, her mother's husband is murdered, her mother is a suspect and her father could be if Dev doesn't do something. So, Dev and her friends try to figure out who murdered Dev's step-father.
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars. The conclusion felt like too much a reach, and the love triangle is getting old.
Feb 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
In this fifth book of “A Devereaux’s Dime Store Mystery” series, Devereaux “Dev” Sinclair has her hands full. She has two sexy men fighting for her attention and now her long-lost mother, Yvette, has returned to Shadow Bend. Dev is determined to ignore her mother, the same way her mother has ignored her all these years but nothing is ever that simple.

When Shadow Bend’s library receives a monetary donation so that it can re-open its doors, Dev is stunned to learn that Yvette and her new husband,
Jun 19, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: cozy-mysteries, 2016
Between a Book and Hard Place by Denise Swanson is the fifth book in A Devereaux's Dime Store Mystery series. Devereaux Sinclair owns Devereaux's Dime Store and Gift Baskets in Shadow Bend, Missouri. Devereaux is getting used to having her father back in her life. Kern Sinclair was recently paroled (even though he was innocent). Things are going well until Devereaux's mother returns to town with her latest husband, Jett Benedict. Jett has offered money (financing for three years) to the town for ...more
Mar 12, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: cozy, mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 13, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-missouri
I feel that I read this book under false pretenses: Dev's long-lost mother returns to their small town with her new, rich husband who is going to bankroll reopening the library. I thought it was another library book. Actually, the library--though the scene of the crime--has little to do with things; it's never reopened; nobody works there. Okay, just my personal preference. At any rate, when a body is found, Dev and her two suitors, plus her long-time buddies, work at finding the murderer to cle ...more
Jul 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
I didn't like this book as well as the others. It was a little slow getting started. Aliens, the murder of Dev's stepfather felt like there were several different things going on but I enjoyed the ending when everything came together. I love that her mother made an appearance in this book. I'm really getting bored with Dev's love life. It feels like this has gone on forever. I am ready for her to choose and move on. Her life feel like its in neutral and not going anywhere. I plan to read the nex ...more
Mar 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Now that Dev's dad is working at her Dime Store, the cast of characters in this series is even more interesting to read! One of the things I especially enjoyed reading about were the Civil War stories, since I do not live anywhere near Missouri and only know about my state. Those tidbits were easily part of the whole story. Throw in some UFOs and ETs with Dev and her friends and time is enjoyably spent reading! I am looking forward to Book 6--what did happen to the gold?
Mar 04, 2016 rated it liked it
A great cozy mystery series that I have enjoyed so far. This one was a little different - there seemed to be more focus on the romance aspect than the mystery aspect, which is fine as I usually like a little romance with my cozies. What I didn't like about this book was the love triangle - I don't personally get much out of a love triangle, so this aspect didn't appeal to me. Overall, however, a cozy that I would recommend to fans of the genre.
Novel received courtesy of First Reads Give Away

This was my first "cozy" mystery. I had a difficult time getting into the book, not because of this book, but because the last one I read was so good! The characters were pretty well-rounded and the plot was enough to keep me interested. I understand now why they're called "cozy" mysteries and I know I'll need to have a different mindset when I start the next one.
Sep 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
I was enjoying this series but this one did not
work for me. It starts with the town suddenly worried about an alien invasion. It felt too far fetched. I may try the next one in the series hoping it gets better.
Mar 29, 2016 rated it liked it
Another romance hiding behind the cozy genre. I like romance, I really do. And I like cozy mysteries. But I like them separate and having an entire cozy series based on a love triangle is really disappointing. Swanson tells a good story when she sticks with her mysteries.
Mar 06, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: cozy-girl-reads
Review at Cozy Girl Reads
Oct 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-challenge
Devereaux “Dev” Sinclair moved to Shadow Bend to be with her family (grandma and ex-con dad) and now runs the local five-and-dime store. The local library closed down a number of years ago due to budget problems, so when a wealthy benefactor offers to reopen it, Dev is more than a little thrilled. Her happiness wanes when she realizes the benefactor is her new step-dad who brings wayward mom Yvette back into Dev’s life.

Dev doesn’t have the greatest relationship with her mom who abandoned her 13
Mar 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: jeanie

Between a Book and a Hard Place
A Devereaux’s Dime Store Mystery, Book #5
By Denise Swanson
ISBN 9780451477767
Author’s website:
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Jeanie


Five-and-dime store owner Devereaux “Dev” Sinclair moved to Shadow Bend for her family. But when her long-lost mother shows up in town, she realizes too much kin can be killer…

Shadow Bend’s library closed years ago because of budgetary problems, so when a wealthy bene
Feb 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What an interesting life Dev leads. Hmmm, who to pick. A mother, a step-father, and an ex-wife, who will cause the most trouble? What great BFF’s she has. We should all be so lucky! A great story with some great characters. Depending on your age, you may remember those times when you saw those funny lights out over a field.😊

Karen Welty
Apr 02, 2018 rated it did not like it
I normally enjoy her books but this was terrible. This book is suffering from an identity crises, the author can’t seem to decide if it is a romance, paranormal, cozy mystery, semi-erotic thriller or what. It is full of cliches that I’ve never heard, like he was hotter than a curling iron? Don’t waste your money or time.
Nov 13, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Need more Coop!
Jan 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
This book was given to me by Noella Handley - it was good.
Sep 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Good mystery. Nice character interaction. One continuity error; I don't know if I'd have noticed if it hadn't happened soon after the initial event.
Nan Hurley
Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Would have been a lot more fun without all the sex talk.
Jan 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Devereaux's Dime Store #5

Pleasant enough reading, but not as good as the Scumble River series.
Lis Carey
Devereaux Sinclair runs a dime store in the small Missouri town where she grew up. It's a town that is inordinately proud of its "heritage," and because Swanson sees fit to use, unironically, the phrase "War of Northern Aggression," I feel no hesitation in pointing out that, if we are going to be blunt about that war, it would more properly be called the War of Southern Treason.

Dev Sinclair is not thrilled when her mother, whom she last saw thirteen years ago when she dropped Dev off at her gran
Feb 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Devereaux (Dev) Sinclair owns a dime store in Shadow Bend. But, in reality it is so much more. She makes gift baskets, has a meeting place, has a soda fountain with wonderful treats, she hires teenagers to provide training and in general has made her store a warm and welcoming place for the entire town.

Her life changed when she came home to help her Grandmother with healthy issues. Since she was no longer going to be earning a huge salary and living in the fast lane, starting her own business s
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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

Devereaux's Dime Store (6 books)
  • Little Shop of Homicide (Devereaux Dime Store, #1)
  • Nickeled-and-Dimed to Death (Devereaux's Dime Store Mystery, #2)
  • Dead Between the Lines (Devereaux's Dime Store, #3)
  • Dying for a Cupcake (Devereaux's Dime Store, #4)
  • Lions and Tigers and Murder, Oh My (devereaux's dime store, #6)