Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Thirty and a Half Excuses (Rose Gardner Mystery, #3)” as Want to Read:
Thirty and a Half Excuses (Rose Gardner Mystery, #3)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Thirty and a Half Excuses

(Rose Gardner Mystery #3)

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  6,858 ratings  ·  388 reviews
Life in Henryetta, Arkansas is turned upside down with the arrival of a televangelist, but it’s the death of a little old lady on Rose’s street that catches her attention. The Henryetta police deem her death natural causes, but Rose suspects foul play and so does an unlikely supporter — the president of the Busy Body Club, her eighty-two year old neighbor Mildred.

But Rose
Paperback, 352 pages
Published September 10th 2013 by Createspace
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Thirty and a Half Excuses, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Thirty and a Half Excuses

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.34  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,858 ratings  ·  388 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Carol [Goodreads Addict]
The first two books in this series were hilarious. They centered on the chaos that seemed to be Rose Gardner's life. But this book is entirely different. While Rose still can't seem to keep out of trouble, we are allowed a much deeper view into the emotions of the characters. We knew that before Rose's Mother died, she treated Rose horribly. Rose's self esteem has suffered from her Mother's constant ridicule and from her sister's smothering. Rose has come so far in becoming an independent woman ...more
Cyndy Andren
Aug 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
If I had to pick just one word to describe this book it would be WOW!! Thirty and a Half Excuses is the third book in the Rose Gardner series and I have to say it's my favorite. It's filled with characters that I've come to know and love and also some new ones that I loved to hate.
Rose and her sister Violet have opened a floral shop together and things seem to be calming down for Rose. But in her usual fashion, things don't stay calm for long. Elderly women are dying but that's to be expected.
Rose is evolving into the woman she was always meant to be...this addition was yet another intriguing mystery that kept me invested, guessing, and laughing to the very end, but I think this book also showed the growth of Rose and how she navigates relationships and circumstances around her...whether it is her complicated relationship with Joe, her passive aggressive relationship with Violet, or her new found connection to Mason, Rose is experimenting with confidence and self assertion which is m ...more
Emily Pearson
Feb 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Do you know what it's like to literally ride an emotion rollercoaster? You will after you read Denise's third installment of the Rose Gardner mystery series. My word, the emotions I went through were more than I could count. I love Rose so much and I just love watching her grow. She has grown into herself since book number 1 and I am so proud to be a part of that development. I absolutely, 100% am in love with her beau, Joe. I am his biggest fan and the journey of his true colors in this story i ...more
Stormy Udell
Aug 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Oh Rose, How I love to watch you grow! Thirty and a half excuses was perfect. The depth and variety of emotion got me. Laugh out loud funny at times, book thumping irritating at others and then there were the tears. Oh the tears. But, hey…. They don’t call them growing pains without reason. Once again Denise has nailed it – no shocker there. Get it, read it and I’m sure you’ll love it!
Aug 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I was very fortunate and very lucky to have been given a copy of this book to beta read for Denise. I really and truly LOVE this series so much and I cannot believe that I got to be a part of the process for it!! Anyway, if you haven’t read this series, then READ NO FURTHER!! You will need to read the others first before you read this one. There may be spoilers here and I can’t help if I reveal something to you that you don’t know from reading the other books.

Rose Gardner has survived the last 2
Anna's Herding Cats
I think I could read this whole series back to back. I really like Rose. She gets into so much trouble but she always means well.

The Gist: Old ladies are randomly dying and Rose...doesn't think it's an accident. When the police start eyeing her she finds herself in yet another mystery and trying to find the real culprit.

Rose is one who is easy for me to like. She's naive and sheltered. Trying to break out of her own doubts and abuse. While she gets herself in dangerous situations she's not tst
Elizabeth Collins
Feb 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Rose is back and better than ever! In Thirty Rose has really started being her amazing self. She's learned to stand up for herself, and has a whole lot of confidence that makes her even more lovable (if that's possible). But she's still that sweet, fun Rose who can't not help people and it gets her in trouble again. She tries to stay out of it, but that's easier said than done, especially when a vision reveals someone's life is on the line. Joe's off on assignment and Rose finds herself turning ...more
Sep 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
For a small town in Arkansas there are secrets, televangalist, and murders galore. Denise shows Joe and Masons secrets as well as Roses growing maturity with great compassion. She writes of there heartbreak and joy showing there are 2 and even sometimes more sides to everyone.
This is a must read for anyone. Her characters have depth, romance and realisiam without the graphic sex you find in so many books.
Trisha Leigh
Jan 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Rose is still my favorite. Some of the more real characters you'll read in fiction. Full review to come.
Chris Torretta
Sep 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I've had such a reading slump! I was so sad but hoping that Denise Grover Swank would work her magic and get me out of this dismal reading depression.


And of course, she did!

Rose Gardner is up to all of her old tricks, spying on people, asking questions, seeing murders where there aren't any... Or are there? I love this girl! She totally wins my heart in each of her stories. And what's great about this is that Denise has managed to add in just enough that if you haven't read the first two, alt


I was going to write a lengthy review, but have decided against it as so much has already been written about it; and trust me, all those 5 star reviews - they all hit the nail on the head. This is an amazing novel that's part of a brilliant series. In fact, it's even better than books 1 and 2, and I thought they were terrific. I'm a huge fan of Rose. She comes across so real that I just want to reach out and give her a great big hug that she truly
Mar 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Honestly, this may be the best book in the series so far. Poor, poor Rose! She is developing tremendously as a character but still has some growing to do. I've become attached to her --and the rest of the characters in this charming story -- and I find myself sort of protective of her.

Where Twenty-Eight and Twenty-Nine were more fun and quirky, I found Thirty to be more of an emotional read. My heart went through the wringer watching Mason and Rose's friendship blossom into something special, wh
May 03, 2013 rated it it was ok
I loved this series, till the last few pages of this book and now it is ruined for me. I'm not even sure that I want to read the next book. I thought the last book in the Southern Vampire Mysteries series ticked me off, this one made me want to toss my kindle through the wall.
(view spoiler)
Crazy good story. A nice romance to go with the drama, suspense, comedy, action packed craziness. Must read series in order for the characters. This is a fun series to read, makes me laugh out loud and can't wait to read the next book. .

If you are looking for other great suspense/action/Comedy/romance books check out my other reviews. Also Recommend this series and the following:
> Rose Gardner Mystery Series by Denise Grover Swank
> Body Movers Series by Stephanie Bond
> Rock Chi
Heather Pennington
Jan 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The first two books in this series made me fall in love with Rose. This book cemented my relationship with her. Denise does an amazing job of having Rose mature beyond the naive, simple girl she was in the first two books. Rose is now a woman, and the transformation is done beautifully. This is the perfect book if you are looking for a little romance and a little comedy all packaged into a great Southern story.
Kathy Rice
Aug 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Denise Grover Swank just keeps getting better and better!! She out did herself with Her newest book, Thirty and a Half Excuses. You won't want to miss Rose's newest escapades and the twists and turns in her life. AWESOME!!
Mahoghani 23
This romantic yet mysterious book ended on a very sad note. However it took forever for the truth to come to the light. I enjoyed the book but found myself falling asleep close to the end of the book. It just didn't touch me like the other books.
Becky Martin
Feb 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I have loved every book that Denise has written!! I have read them all!! This book is by far the best one yet!! I laughed and cried and almost threw my iPad across the room!! Rose is an amazing person!! I can't wait till the next book to see what other kind of mess Rose finds herself in
Jul 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Probably my favorite in the series so far! It was a quick, enjoyable, and easy read!! I enjoyed the love triangle going on between Rose, Joe, and Mason and am totally team Mason!! I also enjoyed learning more about Joe and Mason's past ...and while learning of their past broke my heart, it also made me understand them more. As for Joe's family.... ugh.... I don't even know, clearly a very powerful family. I'm sure we will learn more about them in the upcoming books.
Lauren R.
Another interesting installment that was better than the last! I think the mystery threading through all the stories is getting deeper and is well-thought out (compared to what I expected). The characters and their backstories are getting interesting too. Definitely on Team Mason right now also.
Annette M Guerriero Nishimoto
Today's review is on Thirty and a Half Excuses by Denise Grover Swank

I have read just about all of Swank's books and I can't praise her work much more than I already have. She writes beautifully and with such intensity and grace that if you're not immediately drawn in, or you don't fall helplessly in love with her characters you're not doing it right. But when all is said and done I do have but one complaint.

Ms. Swank is so talented that she seems to pop out book after book after book. I can't
Ashley Maude-Lecholat
Jun 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Jonah... I swear that I know that guy! The question DGS will need to answer is whether Jonah is a good guy or a wolf in sheeps clothing? I love the characters of Henryetta and Fenton County! A continuation of a great story with characters that are easy to love. A fun read that will soon sink you into the trials and tribulations of Fenton County! Keep 'em coming DGS!
Kathy Martin
Sep 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This third Rose Gardner mystery has Rose opening a nursery with her sister Violet and reluctantly investigating the deaths of a couple of elderly women. Joe is off on an an undercover assignment leaving Rose to depend on her friend Mason for support. Because of past actions, Joe and Mason do not get along which makes Joe jealous of Rose's relationship with Mason.

Rose also gets a job doing the landscaping around the new church in town. Jonah is a televangelist who is gaining parishioners at the e
Dec 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-books
Ready to start anew, Rose and her sister Violet have decided to open up an landscaping/Nursery shop in hope for a brand new start and new recognition.

There's a new Reverend in town and with a big media/community followers and being a potential new clinet could that boost up the nursery/landscaping business? Jonah Pruitt believes by bring the Gardner sisters into the fold, the church and the business will be a double threat.

But is a double Threat too literal?

Now someone is killing old wo
Dec 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Denise is a mad genius! She shocked and surprised me so many times in this book! I love that about her writing and it keeps me going back for more!
This is by far the best in the series and was an awesome page turner for me! I could not decide who I wanted to side with through much of the story…I love the Rose and Joe side…however I do think Mason is becoming a quick favorite for me.
This book did not disappoint in keeping me guessing and even cussing over some of the twists in this book…Love th
Jul 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
I am officially addicted to this series. And this book is the best so far. Though I'm not sure how one person (Rose) can survive everything she's been through up to this point. Holy cow. Lots of action and plenty of drama, this one does not disappoint. Except for the ending. ****Spoiler**** But I guess that depends if you're pro Joe or not. I like the guy, and my heart was breaking for he and Rose at the end. I've glanced at a few other reviews and I think people are judging him a little too har ...more
May 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-100-times
This series is amazing, it is great to see how far Rose has come since the first book. She is now becoming an opinionated and independent woman. In this book, I found myself disliking Violet as the book went on.

I never thought I would ever say this because I have always been team Joe but, I saw a new side to Mason that I really liked.

(view spoiler)
After a new preacher arrives in town, the bodies start piling up, and when Rose learns that the latest victim changed her will just the week before she died, all fingers are pointing to the preacher. But things are never that simple and before too long Rose is investigating a tangled mess that includes gangsters, preachers and old ladies...all of whom seem to be out to get her...all the while trying to dodge the incompetent local police officers.

I have a lot of love for this series. It's pretty
Nov 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Rose Gardner is an amazing woman and a really outstanding character. Her loves, her life, her work, and her universe are all so real and yet so much fun. That the writing is outstanding and the story so engrossing and well-told is an added bonus.

Rose spends an awful lot of time avoiding injury and death, yet she does nothing to bring these horrible events upon herself. She's just so often at the wrong place at the wrong time. She's got people who fret over her, and who want to protect her, yet s
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Shock and Awesome (Lexi Graves Mysteries, #4)
  • Not Quite True  (Lowcountry Mysteries, #3)
  • No One Lives Twice (Lexi Carmichael Mystery, #1)
  • Perfectly Matched (Lucy Valentine, #4)
  • Whiskey for Breakfast (An Addison Holmes Mystery, #3)
  • Refine (House of Oak, #4)
  • Checked Again (Checked, #2)
  • Deception (Southern Comfort #3)
  • Unscrewed (A Chrissy McMullen Mystery, #3)
  • Bodies in Space
  • Dog Gone Ghost (Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries, #4.5)
  • Shadow Blood: Kallen's Tale (Witch Fairy 4.5)
  • Alibi in High Heels (High Heels, #4)
  • Murder is a Beach (Maggie, P.I. Mysteries, #2)
See similar books…

Other books in the series

Rose Gardner Mystery (9 books)
  • Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes (Rose Gardner Mystery, #1)
  • Twenty-Nine and a Half Reasons (Rose Gardner Mystery, #2)
  • Thirty-One and a Half Regrets (Rose Gardner Mystery, #4)
  • Thirty-Two and a Half Complications (Rose Gardner Mystery, #5)
  • Thirty-Three and a Half Shenanigans (Rose Gardner Mystery, #6)
  • Thirty-Four and a Half Predicaments (Rose Gardner Mystery, #7)
  • Thirty-Five and a Half Conspiracies (Rose Gardner Mystery, #8)
  • Thirty-Six and a Half Motives (Rose Gardner Mystery, #9)
“Half the world’s awake by ten, and the other half is sleeping in China.” 3 likes
“Girls can drive trucks if they want to. They can do pretty much anything a boy can do.” “They can’t pee standing up. I tried it, and Mommy got really mad because I made a huge mess.” 2 likes
More quotes…