Saturday, August 11, 2012

{Blog Tour} Reviews: Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes + Twenty-Nine and a Half Reasons by Denise Grover Swank

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A Rose Gardner Mystery #1
by Denise Grover Swank
Publication Date: June 29, 2011
Publisher: Bramagioia Enterprises
Pages/Format: 376; Paperback & e-book
Source: Blog Tour/Author
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | Powell's

For Rose Gardner, working at the DMV on a Friday afternoon is bad even before she sees a vision of herself dead. She's had plenty of visions, usually boring ones like someone's toilet's overflowed, but she's never seen one of herself before. When her overbearing momma winds up murdered on her sofa instead, two things are certain: There isn't enough hydrogen peroxide in the state of Arkansas to get that stain out, and Rose is the prime suspect.

Rose realizes she's wasted twenty-four years of living and makes a list on the back of a Wal-Mart receipt: twenty-eight things she wants to accomplish before her vision comes true. She's well on her way with the help of her next door neighbor Joe, who has no trouble teaching Rose the rules of drinking, but won't help with number fifteen-- do more with a man. Joe's new to town, but it doesn't take a vision for Rose to realize he's got plenty secrets of his own.

Somebody thinks Rose has something they want and they'll do anything to get it. Her house is broken into, someone else she knows is murdered, and suddenly, dying a virgin in the Fenton County jail isn't her biggest worry after all.


A Rose Gardner Mystery #2
Publication Date: June 26, 2012
Publisher: Bramagioia Enterprises
Pages/Format: 27; Paperback & e-book
Source: Blog Tour/Author

When Rose reports for Fenton County jury duty she figures she’s lucky to get out of a morning working at the DMV. Instead, despite a disastrous encounter with the new assistant district attorney, Mason Deveraux, she’s picked as a juror on a murder case. As the trial progresses, she realizes an ominous vision she had in the men’s restroom proves the defendant is innocent. And there’s not a cotton picking thing she can do about it.

Or is there?

As if things weren’t bad enough, Rose’s older sister Violet is going through a mid-life crisis. Violet insists that Rose stop seeing her sexy new boyfriend, Arkansas state detective Joe Simmons and date other men. Rose is done letting people boss her around, but she can’t commit to Joe either. Still, Rose isn’t about to let the best thing in her life slip away.
Purchase: Amazon | B&N

**Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes**

Denise Grover Swank's humorous, cozy mystery is an enjoyable read. With a little touch of paranormal, Rose Gardner worms her way into readers' hearts. From the southern dialect to Rose's knack for getting herself into big trouble, there isn't much to stop readers from speeding through Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes.

This mystery is more contemporary romance than thrilling suspense at certain points in the novel.  The plot has murder and crime, and Rose is the prime suspect, but there just seems to be more waiting around for the answers to just fall into her lap. She went about bettering herself and her life, as evidenced by the list of twenty-eight wishes to complete before she is arrested, or worse, killed. Rose waits for trouble to find her and it isn't until near the end of the story that Rose takes charge of bringing the crime investigations to an end.

Though a few ends could have been tied up more clearly, Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes was consistently entertaining and a sweet opening to The Rose Gardner Mystery series!

Add Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes to Goodreads

**Twenty-Nine and a Half Reasons**

The Rose Gardner Mystery continues in Twenty-Nine and a Half Reasons. This time around, Rose is on the other side of the crime, as a juror, instead of the victim. Her new situation is normal enough, until a vision tells her the man on trial is innocent and she decides to bring the truth to light.

Rose is liberated from her strict mother, but still seems to have a hard time adjusting to the real world. She constantly puts herself in danger while investigating, but thankfully her beau, Joe Simmons, protects her when he's in town and she captures the loyalty of assistant DA Mason Devereaux. Amateur sleuths putting themselves in danger is to be expected, but Rose wouldn't know danger until she's right in the middle of it. Rose's naivety was at first, cute and subject to reader sympathy, but at this point it seems as though indecision about her future and relationship with Joe is clouding her judgement in other areas of her life.

There are so many layers to this story that sometimes makes it feel drawn out. There's tension between Rose and her older sister, Violet, Joe's secret past and family is slinking its way into his relationship with Rose, and Rose can't decide whether she wants to shake things up in her life or not. All of these other issues mixed in with the main mystery makes it hard to focus on the central mystery.

Twenty-Nine and a Half Reasons still has all the southern charm and humor of Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes, but it just doesn't quite surpass it overall.

Add Twenty-Nine and a Half Reasons to Goodreads
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  1. Great review. I've never heard of this book.

    1. Thank you, I hope you get a chance to check it out :)

  2. Thank you for taking part in my blog tour!

    1. You're so welcome Denise! Thanks for stopping by :P


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