Deadly Summer (by Denise Grover Swank)

Mystery

As a teenaged star in Hollywood Summer had a squeaky clean image.  But after a scandal she lost her job, was all but unemployable, and to top things off her mother emptied her bank accounts and ran off to live the high life on her money. Without a dollar to her name and debts due she has little choice but to accept a role in a reality TV show where she is a private investigator in her home town of Sweet Briar.  But she quickly discovers she’s been set up to fail. The director and the crew all hate her and the cases are all contrived to make her look like a washed up failure.

Determined to save herself, protect her family and save the farm, she starts investigating the disappearance of the town drunk. And as she investigates she discovers plots and intrigue and murder.


Denise Grover Swank can be a little hit and miss.  I honestly struggle with her short stories, I’d be surprised if I’ve rated any of them more than 3 Stars. I gave up on the Chosen series and found The Curse Keepers tough going. But when she gets it right she hits that ball right out of the park.  And Deadly Summer is that book. It’s Denise Grover Swank being as great as she can be.  I loved this book.  

Many thanks to Montlake Romance and Netgalley for providing me with this Review Copy.

For the Birds (by Denise Grover Swank)

Mystery 

When Skeeter Malcolm’s brother disappears, he is convinced it is the work of his main rival in Fenton County’s criminal underworld. But Rose is not convinced. With help from her partner Nelly Kate they set about finding Scooter and hunting down the real kidnappers.


Denise Grover Swank is a favorite author but I’m the first to admit that not all of her books are winners.  When she hits, she hits that ball right out of the park, but she’s also written one or two books that haven’t really worked.

For the Birds is well and truly out of the park. It’s over the freeway and in the river on the other side. I’ve read pretty much everything Denise Grover Swank has written and I think this book has taken the top spot.  I loved it. 5 Stars.

Position in Series: Book 3
Note: Rose Gardner Investigations and Neely Kate Mysteries should be read together.

Book 1 –– Family Jewels (Rose Gardner Investigations #1)
Book 2 –– Trailer Trash (Neely Kate Mystery #1)
Book 3 –– For the Birds (Rose Gardner Investigations #2)

 

Thirty-Four and a Half Predicaments (by Denise Grover Swank)

Mystery 

(part of a series)

Two decades earlier, Rose’s mother died in a car crash. The police at the time decided it was an accident and the case was closed, but Rose has good reason to believe her mother was murdered. As she investigates she uncovers a web of lies and corruption that stretch all the way to the present day and the people who are closest to her.

 

 


 

Thirty-Four and a Half Predicaments is a stand out as one of the best in the series. I’ve enjoyed them all, they’re entertaining fun reads but apart from book 1, Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes I wouldn’t say any of them are brilliant. Until now. This book is breathtakingly good right up to the conclusion which left me speechless.

Screen Shot 2014-02-27 at 9.12.41 pmOrange, Red. What it means:  red-orange-yellow-guide

Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes (by Denise Grover Swank)

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I didn’t know anything about saving anybody. I didn’t even know where to go, let alone have a car to get there. But I did have a gun, even if I’d never shot one before. I unwrapped it, careful to point it away from me. I couldn’t find the round spinny thing for the bullets. Then I remembered, those were the kind of guns they used in prehistoric times. That covered most of the television shows I’d watched pre-cable. I was looking for the thing at the bottom of the gun. After a lot of fumbling and, I hate to admit it a little bit of cussing, I got it opened. 

 

Rose has a mundane job at the Department of Motor Vehicles. She lives with her mom and dresses like a nanna. The most interesting thing about her is she has the “second sight”, but even her visions are pretty unremarkable. She sees visions of toilets overflowing or dogs getting out of yards. Then one Friday afternoon while at work, she has a vision of herself dead in her home. Later when her mother turns up dead, suspicion immediately falls on her.

With dead bodies turning up, gangsters gunning for her, the police suspecting her and pretty much the entire town convinced she’s a murderer, things aren’t going so well for her. The one bright spot is her sexy neighbor, Joe who seems to be the only person in her corner. But he has his own secrets and at a time when she needs him most pulls away.

Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes is a seriously good fun murder mystery set in Arkansas. It’s a laugh out loud funny story with a quirky heroine. Most of the books I read have interesting heroines. Look at the books I read an you’ll see it time and time again. For me Rose stands out in that long list of interesting heroines as something a little more. I put her in the same league as Lisbeth (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Nora (The Siren), Angel (My Life as a White Trash Zombie) and Justine (Mind Games).  I’ll be eagerly awaiting the next story about Rose Gardner.