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Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes (Rose Gardner Mystery #1) ~ Denise Grover Swank

August 1, 2019

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Genre: Young Adult/Mystery

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

ISBN: 9781629533759

288 pages

Source: Amazon

Twenty four, working at the local DMV, and locked into taking care of her ailing mother, Rose Gardener’s life is hardly picture perfect.

She has lived in the same small town her whole life, watching everyone and everything pass her by. She hasn’t even had a first (or any) kiss.

Her mother is perfectly awful and her pretty, perfect older sister, while very sweet, is hardly making her life any easier. Violet, said sister, sort of clucks about, both pushing Rose to be “more” but also keeping her in the stuck place she’s always been.

Rose has one bit of excitement, however unwanted. So, she gets these visions that often come true. She’s demonized by her mother and the town, though it’s hardly something she can help. That kind of thing just doesn’t go over very well in small, religious southern towns.

This dreary little life gets turned on its head on random Friday when Rose fields a vision of her own death. Somehow, that ends in the untimely (but somewhat relieving) murder of her mother, unlocking a wild chain of events that snaps Rose out of her quarter life slump.

In the middle of the chaos, Rose decides she’s done watching life pass her by and makes a hasty list on the back of a receipt, listing everything she wants to do but has never had the courage to do.

And of course, there’s a boy. A boy who the neighbors have cast into the same demonic category as Rose. His crime? Being a “yankee” (even though he’s from Missouri). Hijinks ensue.

Filled with murder, mystery, and family dynamics fit for a professional’s office (and trust me, I should know both personally and professionally), this first book in the Rose Gardner mystery series is definitely a thrilling home run.

I’m new to Denise Grover Swank (I’ve only read one of her other books and it was completely unrelated to this series) but she’s growing on me and quickly. Off to find the rest of this series!

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