July 30, 2012

book review: twenty-nine and a half reasons

Trouble finds a southern sweetheart -- again -- in Denise Grover Swank's Twenty-Nine and a Half Reasons, book two in the Rose Gardner series.

Rose is called in to jury duty, which she assumes will cause her little headache beyond having to ask off time from her power-tripping temporary supervisor. Those thoughts quickly change when she is selected to serve on the jury of a murder case.

Thanks to her gift of visions telling her the potential future, Rose realizes the defendant is innocent, and finds herself pulled into the case more deeply.

At the same time, Rose is still trying to become more independent after years of answering to her mother and sister, Violet. She is also trying to figure out the next step for her relationship with Joe, the hunky detective from Little Rock, Ark., who she met in book one. Could there be competition for her affection from a new source, too?

In short, the increasingly complicated life of Rose Gardner makes for good reading. The story moves fast and the character's voice is likeable and appealing, making it fun to follow.

The supporting cast is just as entertaining -- from Rose's nosey, God-fearing neighbor to her pesky sister to the super adorable men who find their way into her life. By the end of the book, I had a big enough crush on Rose's boyfriend and the district attorney involved that I could see how the girl might end up torn in book three. (Though I'm going to go ahead and go on record as Team Joe... for the moment, at least.)

Swank captures the spirit of the Deep South, making it a character of its own. Anyone who has been to Arkansas can imagine these people and stories unfolding in their midst.

As far as the story itself goes, the mystery kept me guessing and the naturally progressing tension kept me interested.

Though told well enough that a reader can jump right into the story without having read the first book, I enjoyed it so much I want to go back and read it regardless, and I am anxiously looking forward to the next installment. I highly recommend this for mystery lovers looking for a quirky and fun series to follow.

Rating: 4.5 of 5

Read an excerpt of Twenty-Nine and a Half Reasons here. Return tomorrow for a guest post from author Denise Grover Swank.

About the Author
Denise Grover Swank lives in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. She has six children, three dogs, and an overactive imagination. She can be found dancing in her kitchen with her children, reading or writing her next book. You will rarely find her cleaning.

You can find out more about Denise and her other books at www.denisegroverswank.com or email her at denisegroverswank@gmail.com.

Contact the Author

Buy the Book
Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Twenty-Nine-Reasons-Gardner-Mystery-ebook/dp/B008FBXF4E/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1341974412&sr=1-1&keywords=twenty+nine+and+a+half+reasons
Barnes & Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/twenty-nine-and-a-half-reasons-denise-grover-swank/1111829183?ean=2940014641968

Receive Change the Word's latest updates in your Inbox. Subscribe by entering your information under "Follow by email" in the sidebar. Follow me on Twitter @lmchap or "Like" Change the Word on Facebook.


  1. Thanks for a great interview and thank you for participating in my blog tour!