I just spent way too much time binge reading a nine book series because the first one hooked me. Denise Grover Swank is a self-published author who created the Rose Gardner Mysteries. The first book, Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes follows Rose as she sees a vision of herself dead and then becomes the prime suspect in her momma’s murder. She realizes the importance of living life and makes a list of twenty-eight wishes she hopes to fulfill before she dies. Luckily her new, secretive neighbor, Joe, is there to help her out with her list. Rose is funny, although naïve to the point of painful, almost unbearably so, but she grows a lot during the book. The plot moves fast and sucks you in. There are twists and turns that I didn’t expect throughout and the hilarity of Rose was enough to make me pick up Twenty-Nine and a Half Reasons and Thirty and a Half Excuses.
Both of these books were fast paced with lots of plot twists and the same character development. Of course, by now I’m hooked, the characters are interesting, Denise Grover Swank’s plots have more depth with greater background. Thirty-One and a Half Regrets and Thirty-Two and a Half Complications show similar growth for Rose, she is no longer the shy scared girl from the first book. The girl who first fell in love with Joe because she needed someone to protect her is gone, she can protect herself now. Joe hasn’t quite caught up with this, so they aren’t really working out and Mason is introduced, along with Neely Kate, who is an awesome friend. Thirty-Three and a Half Shenanigans is a lot more like book one and even two, way more hilarity, way less angsty stuff, way more fun. The Lady in Black is probably one of my favorite characters, next to Skeeter and both of them have huge roles here. As Denise Grover Swanks starts to draw the series to an end the books, Thirty-Four and a Half Predicaments and Thirty-Five and a Half Conspiracies, raise more questions then they answer. JR is a villian in every sense of the word, with far reaching power. One thing, I really like, is that even though, many of the books had cliff hanger endings, Thirty-Six and a Half Motives puts it all in perspective and wraps it all up nicely. Rose blossomed from the first book to the last, a woman who was so timid that she was not really living at all became a woman willing to live by her own rules. These books are fast paced and exciting to read, with plot twists and mysteries piled on mysteries.
Published by Sarah BooksBeforeBandaids