Signet, April 2003, 5.99, 272 pp.
When she turned eighteen, Sky Denison couldn't wait to leave her hometown of Scrumble River, a small town an hour and a half outside of Chicago. After doing two terms in the Peace Corps, she went to New Orleans where she earned a psychology degree and was engaged to a wealthy Creole aristocrat. When he dumped her, she returned to Scrumble River, broke, disillusioned and homeless. Her uncle Charlie used his influence to get her a position as psychologist for the school system and in the time she has been home, she has made a place for herself in the community.
She is therefore very unhappy when her ex-fiancÚ Luc St. Amant turns up wanting to reconcile and needing her to sign some papers that would put her on the board of the foundation that would help abused children. She is so upset that Luc is in town that she doesn't even want to get involved in the latest homicide case, but circumstances conspire to get her to investigate the mystery because that is the only way her ex-fiancee will be able to leave town.
Denise Swanson is one of the better new writers of amateur sleuth mysteries, a writer who shows the problems of the big city are just as prevalent in a small town. The heroine has gone from a shallow depressed person to a woman who is making a difference to the students who are under her care. Readers are going to love MURDER OF A SNAKE IN THE GRASS.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner