Friday, August 10, 2012

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

***This book was given to me by the author as part of a book tour in exchange for an honest review.****

I love a good murder mystery, especially if it has a dash of humor in it, and I have to admit that being a southern writer myself, I tend to be drawn to tales set in the South. Perhaps that's why Twenty-Nine and a Half Reasons by Denise Grover Swank entertained me as much as it did. I had put off reading it for some reason, and now that I've gotten to review it, I really can't wait to read more from this author!

Here's the synopsis of Twenty-Nine and a Half Reasons from the book blurb:

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.

First things first, this book is actually the second in the Rose Gardner series. I typically don't like to read sequels if I haven't read the first book, but one of the great things about Twenty-Nine and a Half Reasons, is that I didn't need to read the first one. The author did a fabulous job of integrating in the back story without making me feel like I'd missed anything. That's actually quite an accomplishment! If anything, it made me want to go back and read the first book.

Rose is a nice, if somewhat naïve, girl who is just finding her place in the world. All her life she's had psychic visions which have been a plague to her, though they sometimes get her into entertaining situations. She comes across as a very relatable woman who manages to stumble into trouble, which drives her police detective boyfriend, Joe, crazy. I really liked Joe! He was that right mix of protective, jealous, sweet and endearing. Think about a snack that is both salty and sweet and you've got his character.

There were some fun situations and characters that helped drive this tale along. I love the "poisoned" casserole brought in by a jury member and the fact that the Judge is outraged because Rose doesn't know about Angela Lansbury and Murder She Wrote. Some of the character names cracked me up too, like Bruce Wayne Decker. Lots of Batman references there. I also thought that Violet, Rose's sister who is suffering from a mid-life crisis, was a strong character representing what many people go through when unwanted change comes along.

The story is fast paced and with so much humor, it was easy to read and enjoy. I did figure out who the murderer was, but it wasn't until close to the end. It didn't take away from my enjoyment of the book.

All in all, I could probably list twenty-nine and a half reasons why you should read this book! I look forward to checking out the first book in the series and reading the follow up to this one.

Here are the links to the book on Amazon, as well as, links to learn more about Denise Grover Swank:

Amazon code Kindle:

Amazon Code Print Book:

Denise Grover Swank Online:


  1. Thank you so much for taking part in my blog tour! And I'm so happy you enjoyed Twenty-Nine and a Half Reasons!

  2. Denise, it was so much fun to read! Totally made me laugh out loud!