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Authors: Denise Swanson

Murder of a Royal Pain

BOOK: Murder of a Royal Pain
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Table of Contents
 
 
“When writers as sharp as Margaret Maron, Earlene Fowler, and Jerrilyn Farmer all rave about a colleague as convincingly as they have about Denise Swanson . . . take notice.��

Chicago Tribune
 
Murder of a Chocolate-Covered Cherry
“Denise Swanson neatly seasons the cleverly crafted plot . . . with a generous dash of romance as Skye’s relationship with Scumble River’s police chief, Wally Boyd, continues to simmer neatly along.”

Chicago Tribune
 
“The Scumble River mysteries are great fun. . . . Denise Swanson makes humorous writing appear effortless.”

Mystery News
 
“Top-notch storytelling with truly unique and wonderful characters.”

Crimespree Magazine
 
“[A] hilarious mystery.”

The Pilot
(North Carolina)
 
Murder of a Botoxed Blonde
“With its endearing hero, terrific cast of realistically quirky secondary characters, and generous soupçon of humor,
Murder of a Botoxed Blonde
. . . is a delight.”

Chicago Tribune
 
“Tight plotting and plenty of surprises keep this series on my must-read list.”

Crimespree Magazine
 
“This fast-paced cozy has it all.”

Romantic Times
 
Murder of a Real Bad Boy
“Swanson is a born storyteller.”

Crimespree Magazine
 
“Another knee-slapping adventure in Scumble River.”

The Amplifier
(KY)
 
“It’s no mystery why the first Scumble River novel was nominated for the prestigious Agatha Award. Denise Swanson knows small-town America, and she writes as if she might have been hiding behind a tree when some of the bodies were being buried. A delightful new series.”
—Margaret Maron
 
Murder of a Smart Cookie
“[Swanson] smartly spins on a solid plot and likable characters.”

South Florida Sun-Sentinel
 
“[A] hilarious amateur sleuth mystery. . . . [Swanson] has a lot of surprises in store for the reader.”

Midwest Book Review
 
Murder of a Pink Elephant
“The must-read book of the summer.”

Butler County Post
(KY)
 
“One of my favorite series. I look forward to all my visits to Scumble River.”

Crimespree Magazine
 
Murder of a Barbie and Ken
“Swanson continues her lively, light, and quite insightful look at small-town life . . . a solid plot [and] likable characters who never slide into caricature.”

The Hartford Courant
 
“Another sidesplitting visit to Scumble River . . . filled with some of the quirkiest and most eccentric characters we ever have met, with a sharp, witty protagonist.”

Butler County Post
(KY)
 
Murder of a Snake in the Grass
“An endearing and realistic character . . . a fast-paced, enjoyable read.”

The Herald News
 
“This book is delightful. . . . The characters are human and generous and worth following through the series.”

Mysterious Women
 
“Swanson’s Scumble River mysteries are marvelous.”
—Jerrilyn Farmer
 
Murder of a Sleeping Beauty
“A smooth, pleasant, and ultimately satisfying book.”

Chicago Tribune
 
“Another delightful and intriguing escapade.”

Mystery News
 
Murder of a Sweet Old Lady
“More fun than the whirligig at the county fair and tastier than a corn dog.”
—The Charlotte Austin Review
 
“Swanson is on her way to the top of the genre . . . a magnificent tale written by a wonderful author.”

Midwest Book Review
 
Murder of a Small-Town Honey
“Bounces along with gently wry humor and jaunty twists and turns. The quintessential amateur sleuth: bright, curious, and more than a little nervy.”
—Earlene Fowler, Edgar
®
Award–winning author
 
“A lighthearted, entertaining mystery.”

South Florida Sun-Sentinel
 
“A likable new heroine reminiscent of some of our favorite childhood detectives—with a little bit of an edge. . . . A fresh, delightful, and enjoyable first mystery.”
—The Charlotte Austin Review
 
“A charming, insightful debut.”
—Carolyn Hart
Other Scumble River Mysteries
Murder of a Chocolate-Covered Cherry
Murder of a Botoxed Blonde
Murder of a Real Bad Boy
Murder of a Smart Cookie
Murder of a Pink Elephant
Murder of a Barbie and Ken
Murder of a Snake in the Grass
Murder of a Sleeping Beauty
Murder of a Sweet Old Lady
Murder of a Small-Town Honey
OBSIDIAN
Published by New American Library, a division of
Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street,
New York, New York 10014, USA
Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto,
Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)
Penguin Books Ltd., 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
Penguin Ireland, 25 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2,
Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd.)
Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124,
Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty. Ltd.)
Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd., 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park,
New Delhi - 110 017, India
Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, North Shore 0632,
New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.)
Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty.) Ltd., 24 Sturdee Avenue,
Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa
 
Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices:
80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
 
First published by Obsidian, an imprint of New American Library,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
 
First Printing, April 2009
Copyright © Denise Swanson Stybr, 2009
All rights reserved
 
OBSIDIAN and logo are trademarks of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
 
 
Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.
 
PUBLISHER’S NOTE
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party Web sites or their content.
 
 
The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.
ISBN : 978-1-101-56498-1

http://us.penguingroup.com

In memory of Caroline Babcock
an inspiration to us all.
Acknowledgments
Thank you to Paula Washow for the dentist idea—sorry I couldn’t use your great title suggestion—and to Lois Hirt, who has been encouraging me to use a dentist office scene for years. Which brings me to my own dentist, Dr. Dan Streitz, who is nothing like Dr. Paine—except, of course, for the good characteristics. Mandy Korst—thanks for sharing your crazy prom adventure with me. And a special thanks to Luci Hansson Zahray, aka the Poison Lady. Hugs to my new niece, Rachel Dosier.
Author’s Note
In July of 2000, when the first book,
Murder of a Small-Town Honey,
was published in my Scumble River series, it was written in “real time.” It was the year 2000 in Skye’s life as well as mine, but after several books in a series, time becomes a problem. It takes me from seven months to a year to write a book, and then it is usually another year from the time I turn that book in to my editor until the reader sees it on a bookstore shelf. This can make the time line confusing. Different authors handle this matter in different ways. After a great deal of deliberation, I decided that Skye and her friends and family will age more slowly than those of us who don’t live in Scumble River. While I made this decision as I wrote the fourth book in the series,
Murder of a Snake in the Grass,
I didn’t realize until recently that I needed to share this information with my readers. So, to catch everyone up, the following is when the books take place.
 
Murder of a Small-Town Honey—
August 2000
Murder of a Sweet Old Lady—
March 2001
Murder of a Sleeping Beauty—
April 2002
Murder of a Snake in the Grass—
August 2002
Murder of a Barbie and Ken—
November 2002
Murder of a Pink Elephant—
February 2003
Murder of a Smart Cookie—
June 2003
Murder of a Real Bad Boy—
September 2003
Murder of a Botoxed Blonde—
November 2003
Murder of a Chocolate-Covered Cherry—
April 2004
Murder of a Royal Pain—
October 2004
 
The Scumble River short story and novella take place:
BOOK: Murder of a Royal Pain
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