Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Denise Swanson  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: In Illinois

-- Website --
-- Denise Swanson on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Denise is from Plainfield, Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

In addition to her writing Dense Swanson is a school psychologist and has lived the life she writes about. She is a national bestselling mystery author,and a nationally-known presenter and keynote speaker. She has been invited all over the country to present her workshops and speak to audiences ranging from school psychologists to teachers to romance and mystery writer authors.Denise Swanson lives in Illinois with her husband, classical composer David Stybr.

Published Works

  • Murder of a Small-Town Honey, Signet, 2000
  • Murder of a Sweet Old Lady, Signet, 2001
  • Murder of a Sleeping Beauty, Signet, 2002
  • Murder of a Snake in the Grass, Signet, 2003
  • Murder of a Barbie and Ken, Signet, 2003
  • Murder of a Pink Elephant, Signet, 2004
  • Murder of a Smart Cookie, Signet, 2005
  • Murder of a Real Bad Boy, Signet, 2006
  • Murder of a Botoxed Blonde , Signet, 2007
  • Murder of a Chocolate-Covered Cherry, Signet, 2008
  • Murder of a Royal Pain: A Scumble River Mystery, Signet, 2009
  • Murder of a Wedding Belle: A Scumble River Mystery , Signet, 2010
  • Murder of a Bookstore Babe: A Scumble River Mystery, Signet, 2011
  • Murder of a Creped Suzette: A Scumble River Mystery, Signet, 2011

Selected Titles At Your Library

Murder of a small-town honey :
ISBN: 0451200551. OCLC Number:

Signet :. New York, N.Y. :. 2000.

Fired from her job, jilted by her boyfriend, and rejected by her credit cards, school psychologist Skye Denison reluctantly returns to herhometown of Scumble River, where she finds plenty of mystery and romantic intrigue.

Murder of a sweet old lady :
ISBN: 0451202724. OCLC Number:

Signet :. New York, N.Y. :. ©2001.

When her beloved grandmother is found dead, the victim of foul play, school psychologist Skye Denison sets out to uncover the truth about the murder and unwittingly stirs up a hotbed of family tensions, old secrets, violence, and death.

Murder of a sleeping beauty /
ISBN: 0451205480. OCLC Number:

Signet :. New York, N.Y. :. 2002.

School psychologist Skye Denison of Scumble River, Illinois investigates when cheerleader and beauty queen Lorelei Ingles is murdered.

Murder of a snake in the grass :
ISBN: 045120834X. OCLC Number:

Signet,. New York, N.Y. :. 2003.

Skye Denison and the rest of Scumble River are celebrating the town's bicentennial. When the guest of honor--a descendant of the town's founder--is murdered, Skye wonders if her former fianc's arrival in town has something to do with the man's death. Original.

Murder of a Barbie and Ken :
ISBN: 0451210727. OCLC Number:

Signet,. New York :. 2003.

After joining Scumble River's social club, school psychologist Skye Denison and her boyfriend, Simon Reid, the town coroner, find themselves faced with the double homicide of Barbie and Ken Addison--a wealthy couple who seemed to have it all. Original.

Murder of a pink elephant :
ISBN: 045121210X. OCLC Number:

Signet,. New York :. 2004.

Skye Denison, a school psychologist in Scumble River, Illinois, tries to clear her brother's name when he becomes the prime suspect in the murder of the lead singer of his band, the Pink Elephants, while elsewhere in town students are behaving very strangely, and a developer is trying to buy up farmland to build an amusement park.

Murder of a smart cookie :
ISBN: 0451215842. OCLC Number:

Signet,. New York :. ©2005.

Yard sales bring out the worst in people. Nobody knows this better than Scumble River school psychologist Skye Denison, organizer of the First Annual Route 66 Yard Sale. Neighborly folk get downright nasty, fighting over plastic knickknacks--even pulling rocking chairs right out from under little old ladies.s.

Murder of a real bad boy :
ISBN: 0451218280. OCLC Number:

Signet,. New York :. 2006.

When a hunky contractor, who has a reputation for conning the ladies, turns up dead, Skye Denison, deciding that even bad boys deserve justice, sets out to find the killer while dealing with an overly amorous police chief, a dodgy brother, and a haunted house. Original.

Murder of a botoxed blonde /
ISBN: 0451221419. OCLC Number:

New American Library,. New York :. 2007.

A health spa is the last place school psychologist Skye Denison wants to spend Thanksgiving. But when her best friend Trixie Frayne convinces her to take a complimentary weekend at the new Scumble River Spa, Skye prepares to be slathered, wrapped, and roasted--until a murder ruins the good time. Original.

Murder of a chocolate-covered cherry /
ISBN: 0451223683. OCLC Number:

Penguin Group Inc.. New York :. 2008.

When her mother forces her to enter Grandma Sal's Soup-to-Nuts Cooking Challenge despite her lack of culinary skills, Sky Denison must decipher a complex recipe for murder when a cocky contestant meets her fate in a chocolate fountain.

Murder of a royal pain /
ISBN: 0451226585. OCLC Number:

Obsidian,. New York :. ©2009.

When school psychologist Skye Denison stumbles over the body of pushy "Promfest" chairperson Annette Paine during a Halloween fundraiser, it looks like a clear-cut case of promicide. Annette was not the only prom mom desperate to see her daughter crowned queen. But she was also wearing the same witch costume as Skye, so which witch was the intended victim?

Murder of a wedding belle :
ISBN: 0451229614. OCLC Number:

Obsidian,. New York, NY :. ©2010.

School psychologist Skye Denison reluctantly agrees to act as maid of honor in her California cousin's over-the-top platinum-style wedding- and is also expected to assist the control-freak wedding planner. But when Skye discovers the planner dead, just one week before the big event, Skye is suddenly working double-duty. While overseeing every nuptial detail, she's also helping the police find out who hated the bridal consultant enough to kill her. Can Skye get her cousin to the church on time-and save herself from a killer who may actually be on the guest list?

Murder of a bookstore babe /
ISBN: 0451232801. OCLC Number:

Obsidian,. New York :. ©2011.

Who could be driven to kill by books and sweets? While school psychologist Skye Dennison eagerly anticipates the grand opening of a new bookstore called Tales and Treats, many of Scumble River's most outspoken citizens want to shut down the owners before they even open- and one is angry enough to commit murder ...

Murder of a creped Suzette :
ISBN: 0451235002. OCLC Number:

Signet,. New York :. 2011.

"When megamillionaire and imitation cowboy Rex Taylor proposes building a country music theater in Scumble River, everyone's ready to do the boot-scootin' boogie except school psychologist Skye Denison. She's been asked by Suzette Neal, Rex's assistant and a rising country star, to investigate her mother's suspicious death twenty-seven years earlier. No sooner does Skye agree to help than she finds Suzette literally flattened--and very dead."--Page 4 of cover.


  • Best Dbut Mystery of 2000,
  • Small-Town Honey

  • Best Mainstream Mystery,
  • Pink Elephant

  • Best Amateur Sleuth Mystery of 2000,
  • Small-Town Honey

    Speaking Engagements

    Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

    Email to set up speaking engagements.