Author: Denise Swanson
Original language: English
Tales and Treats, a new independent bookstore in the small town of Scumble River, Ill., arouses passions even before it opens in Swanson’s lackluster 13th mystery featuring school psychologist Skye Denison (after 2010’s Murder of a Wedding Belle). Conservative protesters as well as local business owners like Skye’s used-car dealer cousin, Hugo Leofanti, view Tales and Treats as a threat. Soon after the bookstore’s controversial opening, Skye discovers a woman crushed under a bookcase of rare books. Improbably even for a cozy, Skye’s fianc?, police chief Wally Boyd, allows her to take the lead in interviewing suspects, many of whom are related to her. The efforts of Skye’s former boyfriend, Simon Reid, to win her back add some romantic tension, but weak humor and plotting make this a forgettable entry in the series.