Book Review: DEAD BETWEEN THE LINES by Denise Swanson

Series: A Devereaux’s Dime Store Mystery, #3
Publisher: Signet
Released: March 4, 2014
Source: Review copy from the publisher

Opening an old-fashioned five-and-dime shop in her small Missouri hometown has been a great change for Devereaux “Dev” Sinclair. But when she hosts a reading group there, she learns that bad writing can mean life or death.

To keep her new business in the black, Dev opens up her shop to local clubs. But in the first meeting of the Stepping Out Book Club, the speaker storms out after members attack his poetry’s sexism and scorn for small towns. Later that night, the poet’s body is found outside Dev’s store.

Dev can’t afford for the murder to close her down, so she does a little stepping out of her own to investigate, with help from her two sexy suitors, Dr. Noah Underwood and Deputy U.S. Marshal Jake Del Vecchio. But when the killer threatens Dev, they will have to use every trick in the book to solve the case before she becomes the final chapter in this murder mystery.…


A small town book club meeting gone awry, dark secrets meant to stay buried, and murder! DEAD BETWEEN THE LINES is a juicy cozy mystery that had me hooked from the beginning.

Dev Sinclair runs Shadow Bend’s dime store, and to help make ends meet, she rents out space for local club events. On the evening the Stepping Out Book Club held its meeting, things go terribly wrong. The guest speaker, a local poet, turns out to be a misogynistic jerk who manages to offend everyone. He storms out in a huff and is later found dead in Dev’s trash behind her store. Mr. Unpleasant was harboring some big secrets, ones that made him even more unlikable, if that’s possible.

With an ear to the gossip grapevine of Shadow Bend and an eye on possible suspects, clever Dev becomes an invaluable resource to the police’s murder investigation. I like Dev. She’s a down to earth gal who takes a sensible approach to amateur sleuthing. She also gets some help from the two men in her life – U.S. Marshal Jake and Dr. Noah. Both guys have a thing for Dev, and she kind of has a thing for both of them, which complicates things.

DEAD BETWEEN THE LINES was an enjoyable read. It was a fast-paced and exciting mystery, and I was rather surprised to learn who the killer was. This is the third book in the series, though it could be read stand alone. Recommended to fans of cozy mysteries who like a healthy dose of romance mixed in.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.