Murder of an Open Book (Scumble River)
by Denise Swanson
Review by Sherry Lilley
NAL Mass Market Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780451472113
Date: 01 September 2015 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Skye and Wally are back from their honeymoon and picking up life where they left off. They are trying to keep her pregnancy quiet just a little longer, but they donít have much time. Baby Boyd is starting to show.
During her swim one morning, Skye finds the body of the high school girls volleyball coach at the bottom of the pool. The coach was not well liked. In fact, Skye had a run in with the coach the day before finding her body.
But, Skye knows her job, both of them, and both of them are affected by this murder. As the school psyche counselor, she needs to be there for the students and staff. And as the psych consultant for the police department, she needs to be there to help find the killer. Of course, spending time at the police department exposes her to her mother, the person she most wants to keep in the dark about her pregnancy.
Skye pushes on, interviewing the girls' volleyball team first. There are some interesting dynamics in the group -- odd responses to questions, and hesitations. Skye is pretty sure something is going on, but she can't quite put her finger on what, or if it ties in with the murder of their coach. Skye also spends time at the police station, sitting in on interviews of those who might know something about the murder, and dodging her mother as best she can.
Running in the background, is all the fun stuff of life. The baby shower for her brother is coming up fast. Skye's best friend is planning a rubber duck race to save the local no-kill animal shelter, and she enlists (read, voluntold) Skye's help. Skye is adjusting to having someone come in to cook and clean. She is adjusting to living on a dual income, instead of struggling on her own. She would really like to find a way to gracefully relinquish the car her father and uncle restored and gifted her. And she's wondering how Bingo is going to adjust to the new addition in the family. Thankfully, the ghost seems to have left now that Skye and Wally are married. All of these little things make up an entertaining part of the book. This is one of the best books in the series. I had a hard time putting it down. The one time the victim makes a live appearance, she is sarcastic and obnoxious, but in a way that is not so overwhelming, you instantly wish her dead. In fact, she's almost likeable. So it's puzzling, at first, why anyone would kill her. And it remains puzzling until the very end.