Denise Swanson remains one of my favorite cozy writers. Now twenty-three books into her Scumble River series (now billed as “Return to Scumble River”), she’s still cooking with gas. The books are packed with humor as well as real world details of main character Skye Dennison’s work as a school psychologist, a job Swanson herself held for many years.
Cozy writers have to strike a tricky balance between addressing an issue but not being too harsh with it. In a bravura first sequence, Skye is attending a meeting with Superintendent of schools Shamus Wraige, who has unceremoniously fired the school security officer because Scumble River is a small town and “It’s not as if anyone here is going to pull a Columbine or a Sandy Hook.”