Introducing the Rett Swinson Mysteries

About Soft Hearts

When Harriet “Rett” Swinson’s husband betrayed their twenty-year marriage, he destroyed their working relationship, too. Now Rett drinks too much wine and doesn’t see much reason to get out of bed in the morning—until one day there’s a knock on the door by the across-street-neighbor asking for a ride to quilting class. Before Rett knows it, the quirky, artistic community at Needless Necessities has roped her in as a volunteer and is making her wonder if she should pick up the painting hobby she abandoned long ago to make her husband’s real-estate venture successful. 

Rett is in the process of rebuilding her life when a group of Halloween trick-or-treaters discovers her neighbor, retired English professor and poet Wanda Hightower, an enigmatic shut-in known for her outlandish tirades, dead on her porch, stabbed in the back and through the heart. Was her killer a random psychopath in search of blood on All Hallow’s Eve—or one of the neighbors who helped with her lawn’s makeover gone wrong? Wanda claimed to have dirt on nearly everyone in the neighborhood, so the list of suspects is long.

Finding the killer will require Rett to reconstruct Wanda’s turbulent past. Meanwhile, she will have to weigh her growing attraction for Homicide Detective Darryl Schmidt against her desperate need for independence—and a growing feeling that an innocent man is being singled out by the police for the murder.

The first installment in the Rett Swinson Mystery Series, Soft Hearts explores how the fragile vulnerability of human beings can cause them to break — or to discover their greatest strengths.

      What Readers Are Saying About Soft Hearts:


What a super, super great book. The poetry that is sprinkled throughout is such a beautiful touch. It really takes the book to another level, taking a casual reader who wants to know who murdered poor Wanda on a journey with poetry that is both centuries old and modern.

– L.A.W.


A mystery with substance!

– C.E.


I really did enjoy it.  And I’m not just saying that.  It made me want to keep turning the pages to see what happened. 

– B.P.


Rett is personable, believable, and not too perfect. I really enjoyed Soft Hearts.”

– C.P.


An easy read and moves along logically to an entertaining climax. Your writing and your story are strong and engaging. It kept me turning the pages.

– E.S.


Enthralling. Ingenious. Thrilling. I look forward to reading more Rett Swinson installments.

– C.s.