Murder Stacked Librarian“You need to have more than three bridesmaids.” My mother May folded her arms and glared at me. “How about your cousins Ginger and Gillian? They’re feelings will be hurt if you don’t include them.”

“No they won’t.” I turned my back on Mom, always dangerous, but I was busy getting ready for my first day back at work and wanted to finish the list of re-evaluations that I’d been making when my mother burst through my backdoor. I was a school psychologist and classes started tomorrow. “Ginger and Gillian will be relieved not to have to shell out a lot of money on a dress they’ll never wear again.” As the owner of way too many bridesmaids’ gowns, I was sure of my facts.

From the minute my fiancé and I set our wedding date, I knew my mother would drag me along the road to insanity, I just hadn’t expected it to be quite so bumpy. A serious error on my part. I also hadn’t realized how many others would be hitching down that stretch of highway. It seemed as if everyone in Scumble River had a helpful suggestion and they all were hell bent on tracking me down and sharing those ideas.

“With such a small wedding party, people will talk. They’ll think your dad and I are cheap.” May complained.

“No they won’t.” It was beginning to sound like an echo chamber in here. “They’ll think you have too much sense to spend a fortune on an event that’s over in the blink of an eye.”

I didn’t mention the fact that my fiancé was actually picking up the tab for the wedding since we’d agreed not to tell anyone that my parents weren’t paying. He had the money and my folks didn’t, but we didn’t want to hurt my father’s pride.

“Have you thought any more about the doves?” May turned her attention to the next thing on her to-nag list.

“I am not releasing live birds in the middle of winter in Illinois,” I said. “Do you really want the ceremony raided by the SPCA?”

“How about balloons?” She countered.

“Tacky.”

“A live orchestra at the reception would be classier than a DJ.” May pursued her dream of an over-the-top event. “And on my soap opera they had a harpist at the ceremony.”

“A DJ offers a better mix of music than an orchestra,” I explained, trying to not let the fact that we’d had this conversation twenty times turn me into a screaming shrew. “And Father Burns said no to any outside instruments in the church.”

“I think getting married the Saturday after Christmas is a mistake.” May changed tactics. “If you had waited until next summer we could have really did it up right. What if your special day gets lost among the holidays?”

“It’ll be fine,” I closed my notebook and smiled at my mother.

I sort of agreed with her on date issue. With a December birthday, I knew exactly how easy it was to be overwhelmed with Christmas and for everyone to forget any other events that took place during that month. But my fiancé had insisted he didn’t want to wait six additional months, and considering how long it had taken us to find each other and his age—he was several years older than me—I gave in.

“What I’m really nervous about is if you two have to work a case that week.” May wrinkled her brow. “As long as no one is murdered, the rest will probably be okay.”

“At last, something we both agree on.” I hugged Mom and shook my head. She was such a worrywart. The odds that someone would be killed the week of my wedding had to be astronomical. I frowned. Or were they? Had Mom just jinxed us?


Thanks to Penguin, I have one (1) copy of New York Times Bestseller “Murder of a Stacked Librarian” to give away. Leave a comment to be included in the giveaway. Contest ends September 14; US entries only per publisher’s request.


You can read more about Skye’s wedding in Murder of a Stacked Librarian, the 16th book in the Scumble River mystery series, which debut Sept. 3rd. The first book in the series is Murder of a Small-Town Honey.

Meet the author
Denise Swanson is the New York Times Bestselling author of fifteen (soon to be sixteen!) books in her Scumble River series and two books in her Devereaux’s Dime Store series both from Penguin. After Murder of a Stacked Librarian (Sept. 3, 2013) comes the next Dime Store book, Dead Between the Lines in March of 2014.

Visit Denise at her website or on Facebook.

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