Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Book Review: Twenty-Nine and a Half Reasons by Denise Grover Swank

Twenty-Nine and a Half Reasons
Author: Denise Grover Swank
Series: A Rose Gardner Mystery (Book 2)
Publication: Crooked Lane Books (September 15, 2015)

Description: When Rose Gardner reports for jury duty in Denise Grover Swank's New York Times and USA Today bestselling series, she figures she's lucky to get out of a morning working at the DMV. Then, in spite of 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 and with the help of one of her visions, she realizes that there's more to the story, but 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 in the second in this charming series from bestseller Denise Grover Swank.

My Thoughts: Rose Gardner's second adventure is filled with as much madcap action as her first. The story centers around Rose being called for jury duty but, through a series of accidents, finds herself in the mens' room where she has a vision of someone saying that he is going to get away with murder.

The next thing Rose knows she is chosen to be on the jury where Bruce Wayne Decker is on trial for the murder of Frank Mitchell. This is somewhat surprising because Rose had a couple of run-ins with the new District Attorney Mason Devereaux. The trial also goes along just the way you'd expect from anything Rose is involved in: first, the air conditioner in the court house breaks, and, second, one of the jurors brings an egg dish that gives all the other jurors who eat it food poisoning. These delays just give Rose a chance to investigate to find the real murderer getting herself into all sorts of trouble.

Rose is also facing some boyfriend issues. She has been dating Joe Simmons for a month but he has been commuting from Little Rock and wants her to quit her job at the DMV and move to Little Rock to be with him. Rose is just finding her feet after years of abuse by her mother. She wants to take things slow and learn who she is before making big changes in her life.

To add to the confusion, Rose's older sister Violet is having trouble with her husband Mike. They married young and now they might be growing apart. Violet is dealing with the uncertainty in her life by trying to micromanage Rose's life including finding her a more acceptable boyfriend than Joe. This leads to a couple of awkward dinners at Violet and Mike's. One when Violet tries to set Rose up with a blind date and one where Rose and Joe are treated really rudely by Violet.

An interesting new character makes an appearance in this one too. While hanging around the court house, Rose meets Neely Kate who is a smart-talking, connected young woman who has all sorts of information and a psychic grandmother. The two become fast friends.

This was a great second episode in this series. I can't wait to see what adventures Rose has next.

Favorite Quote:
Thankfully, Neely Kate didn't notice and she filled me in on the latest wedding news. Her bridesmaids' dresses had arrived the day before, and instead of teh soft peach color she had ordered, they were tangerine.

"That won't be so bad," I suggested. "Tangerine's a pretty color."

"Brenda, my second cousin twice removed, is a plus-sized girl and loves to go to the tanning salon and is orange." She's gonna look like a Skittle."
I got this book for review from the publisher. You can buy your copy here.

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