Thirty-Six and a Half Motives (by Denise Grover Swank)

Mystery / Suspense

Rose Gardner should be celebrating the arrest of her fiercest enemy, J.R. Simmons. But problems are like weeds—pluck one and five more spring up. Rose’s boyfriend is on the verge of leaving her for good, her best friend, Neely Kate, is grappling with marriage problems, and her sister has a devastating secret. To make matters worse, she discovers J.R. Simmons has not been neutralized. His network of allies and henchman extends further than she suspected, and J.R.’s so intent on revenge, his lackeys might just destroy Fenton County to get it for him.

But the girl who once spent her days alone and afraid is now a strong, independent woman with a network of her own, including Neely Kate, Skeeter Malcolm—the reigning king of the Fenton County underworld—and other loyal friends on both sides of the law. Racing against time, they must dig up J.R.’s empire by the roots, unmasking his allies and unearthing his secrets, both the behind-the-scenes manipulation he’s been orchestrating in Fenton County for decades and the dark stains of his personal life.

If Rose succeeds, she tells herself the quiet and peaceful life she once dreamed of will be at the end of the tunnel. But her quest to destroy J.R. will require her to explore the person she has become.


Thirty-Six and a Half Motives is book nine of the Rose Gardner Mystery series and in some ways it’s also the last book. What started out as very cute and fluffy has progressively gotten darker over the series until this final confrontation between the forces of good and evil.

As a series it’s great. It’s not like so many other mystery series’ which are basically the same book with a different cover and title –– the Rose Gardner series develops and evolves right along with the reader and that’s really what sets it apart. Denise Grover Swank might be one more Southern Woman writing about a female sleuth but there is no forgetting her, she shines a little brighter, stands a little taller. When I’m looking for a book to read hers is one of the names I type into a search engine in the hope that she has something new.

Position in Series: Book 9

roseg1 –– Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes
2 –– Twenty-Nine and a Half Reasons
3 –– Thirty and a Half Excuses
4 –– Thirty-One and a Half Regrets
5 –– Thirty-Two and a Half Complications
6 –– Thirty-Three and a Half Shenanigans
7 –– Thirty-Four and a Half Predicaments
8 –– Thirty-Five and a Half Conspiracies
9 –– Thirty-Six and a Half Motives

Screen Shot 2015-11-28 at 6.44.49 PMOrange, Red, Yellow. What it means: YOR-Guide

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