ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Murder of a Royal Pain, by Denise Swanson ~ A Scumble River Cozy Murder Mystery. Review

Updated on May 24, 2015
Murder of a Royal Pain, by Denise Swanson. A Scumble River Cozy Murder Mystery
Murder of a Royal Pain, by Denise Swanson. A Scumble River Cozy Murder Mystery

Two Moms Fight About Who Gets to Chair High School Promfest

Skye --- the school psychologist at Scumble River High --- doesn't really want to be at this meetiing. She has so many better, more important things to do.

But, Homer Knapick -- the principal of Scumble River High --- says she must.

One of the two feuding moms --- Annette Paine, the dentist's wife --- gets the other, Evie, to give up the fight.

How did that happen?

Skye notices Annette whispering something in Evie's ear. It seems that perhaps Annette knows a secret about Evie, something Evie doesn't want anyone to know about. Otherwise, why would Evie suddenly step aside so graciously?

Annoying New School Social Worker

And, to think --- it was Skye herself who had been trying so hard to encourage the school district to hire a social worker.

It seems that everybody just loves the new social worker. She's the all-around wonderful gal, who can do everything.

Or, at least, claim to be able to do everything.

Skye's not convinced, but she chalks it up to envy or professional jealousy. Even Skye's own mom thinks Jackie's wonderful. She invited Jackie over for dinner.

Later, Skye tells her brother, Vince, the hairdresser, that their mom almost buttered Jackie's rolls for her.


There's more about Vince in the other reviews, including the general introduction to the entire series. Vince also features prominently in the first Scumble River Mystery, Murder of a Small Town Honey.

Murder of a Royal Pain

Murder of a Royal Pain: A Scumble River Mystery
Murder of a Royal Pain: A Scumble River Mystery
Do yourself a favor, and skip this one. I don't recommend it, even though I still love the other Scumble River Murder Mysteries I've read so far. (Haven't read them all yet, though.) This book perpetuates stereotypes about people with disabilities. And, it also has a character making a lewd remark about her own family member. Yuck!

A Trio of Admirers

Wally, Skye's boyfriend --- and chief of the Scumble River Police Department --- has to go out of state because of a family crisis. Meanwhile, her former guy, Simon Reid, the coroner, hopes Skye will take him back.

Then, there's a handsome newcomer, who is also smitten with her. He is posing as a journalist with the local paper, but Skye is suspicious about that.

However, her misgivings don't stop her from succumbing to a little flirtation.

Wally is a little upset when he gets back, to find out these other two gentlemen have been working closely with Skye to figure out who murdered Annette Paine.

Which Witch is Which?

Skye and Annette were both dressed as witches for the Halloween Haunted House at the time of Annnette's murder.

So, Skye is also worried that the killer mistook Annette for her.

And, would be coming back to do the job right next time.

In addition to uncovering Annette's killer, she had to worry about her own life.

I Do Not Recommend This Book For Several Reasons

The first reason I don't like this book, and don't recommend it is that the murderer turns out to be a psychopath. If you've read my Hub, "Mystery Log" you'll know I disapprove of and dislike "mysteries" where the murderer is deranged, unbalanced or psychopathic.

A murderer needs to have means, motive and opportunity. Part of the logic and skill of the detective is puzzling those out. Without the logic and skill, I don't think there's much reason to read a murder mystery.

But, a psychopath doesn't need a motive.

That removes one third of the story. I'd like to have a full story, which means I'd like a murderer with a motive.

The Second Reason I Don't Recommend It

My other reason for disliking the psychopathic killer story is really much more serious.

Many --- especially pundits in the media --- don't understand the difference between a person with a diagnosis of psychosis, and a person with a diagnosis of psychopathy.

  • A person with a psychosis has a break with reality.
  • A person with psychopathy has no conscience.

There is no "treatment" that can bring back one's conscience.

Society needs to be protected from people with psychpathy.

However, people with psychosis need to be protected from society.

But, people with psychoses are already scapegoated and victimized. And, they are frequently unjustly accused of violence. In fact, they are more likely to be the victim of violence than to ever commit violence against another human being.

Most people who are accused of mental "illness" --- a term which I do not use, ever (see my Hub entitled, "Why I Never Call Anyone Mentally Ill") --- are much too disorganized and lacking in focus to execute an elaborate plot like the one in this story. They can barely figure out how to get through the day.

I think Denise Swanson should know better, since she is a psychologist herself.

A Third Reason

In this book, Skye also makes a sort of dirty remark about her own brother. I don't appreciate that, either. It's not the Scumble River I love to visit.

Scumble River has heretofore felt like a safe place for me. (Although I do have to skip over some of the activities between Skye and Wally, also, I must admit.)

Therefore --- sadly ---- this is one Scumble River Mystery I do not recommend.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)