Signet, Nov 2003, 5.99, 272 pp.
After she graduated high school Skye Denison couldn't wait to get away from her small Illinois hometown of Scumble River. The only reason she moved back was because her fiancÚ dumped her, she lost her job and her credit cards were maxed to the limit. The townsfolk have given her a second chance and she has made a place for herself as the school district psychologist and part-time homicide solver. She is seriously involved with Simon Reid, the town coroner and funeral director who has finally realized that if he wants Skye in his life, he has to come to terms with her investigations.
His resolve is severely tested when Skye goes over to Barbie's house to back up the merchandise she ordered at a neighborhood party and finds her hostess and her husband Ken murdered. Naturally she wants to find out who the killer is and many people, including the sheriff ask her to look for clues. Her mind is not totally on the case because Simon's estranged mother comes to town and maneuvers herself into Skye's home and life.
Fans of small town cozies are going to have a good time reading MURDER OF A BARBIE AND KEN. Between dealing with her boyfriend's mother, tracking down a killer, taking care of her students and trying to find some private time to spend with Simon, the beleaguered heroine does not have time to breathe. Denise Swanson has written a clever, well thought out mystery that is almost impossible to solve, but it is the heroine that makes the novel.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner