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Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes

(Rose Gardner Mystery #1)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  28,794 ratings  ·  2,440 reviews
For Rose Gardner, working at the DMV on a Friday afternoon is bad even before she sees a vision of herself dead. She’s had plenty of visions, usually boring ones like someone’s toilet’s overflowed, but she’s never seen one of herself before. When her overbearing momma winds up murdered on her sofa instead, two things are certain: There isn't enough hydrogen peroxide in the ...more
Kindle Edition, 374 pages
Published December 19th 2013 by Bramagioia Enterprises (first published July 1st 2011)
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Average rating 3.91  · 
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 ·  28,794 ratings  ·  2,440 reviews

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This book didn't really work for me. I found the story itself to be unbelievable and, at times, ridiculous. The "country bumpkin" heroine was unappealing to me. I listened to the Audible version and it was nearly unbearable for me. I'm sure it was the story, but I felt like I was trapped in some sort of redneck nightmare. If that is what the narrator was aiming for, they succeeded. If it weren't for my compulsive need to finish every book that I start, this would've been a DNF for me. Maybe it's ...more
Jul 20, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: meh
It seems, again, I am the only one in the world who thinks this book is pretty unextraordinary.


It was a simple enough little story. Southern states gurl who has always been controlled by her mother, mother dies, she is the main suspect, puts together a really tame bucket list to achieve before she gets arrested. Or dies. Because she keeps on having weird death visions.

Apparently weird visions are totally normal for Rose. And I have absolutely no problem with weird vision things in books -
Carol [Goodreads Addict]
This was a super fun book to read. Rose Gardner has visions, usually just silly ones of other people like where they put their keys, until one day she has one of herself, dead! That's the day everything in her life changes. I loved watching her turn from a meek, naive woman into a strong, courageous, self assured woman. When she thinks she is going to die, she makes a list of 28 things she wants to do in the days she has left. She is helped by the very handsome new next door neighbor, Joe, to ac ...more
Fabian {Councillor}
Available as Kindle e-book for free!

One week ago, I more or less accidentally discovered this book as well as its free availability on Amazon, and I couldn't resist to download and start reading it immediately because of all the hundreds of raving reviews and four- and five-star-ratings here on Goodreads. The blurb sounded interesting and it's available for free, so what could have gone wrong?

Well, just about everything.

At least, I am relieved I didn't actually pay money for this, but sad that I
Sep 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: b-favorites
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
Sarah Elizabeth
Downloaded for free from

This was an interesting mystery story, although I found it a little unbelievable at times.

Rose was an interesting character, although she did come across as quite naïve. I did like her though, and I felt quite sorry for her with everything that was going on.

The storyline in this was about Rose having a vision of her own murder, followed by discovering her mother’s body and knowing that it was supposed to be her. We then had a neighbour who helped Rose, more
Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
This book is hugely popular by most reviews I've read but sadly I found the book whilst light hearted also impossible to believe, it was a bit too much on the sickly sweet side, I think when the words "crappy doodle" were spoken before my eyes, printed in text I knew then it was time to cut my losses and go. It does have some humour and I can imagine fans of slightly offbeat southern romantic chick lit would love this, I decided not to finish with half a book to go, each to their own.

Gag me with
Eisley Jacobs
Jun 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was one of the few folks who had the opportunity to review this book as an ARC. Not being familiar with Sookie Sackhouse or any of the southern mystery genre I knew it might be a stretch for me to get into this novel and character. However, Denise Grover Swank hooked me right into the story from the first sentence! I think the first time I read it I read the whole thing in one sitting.

The quirky southern heroin has just the right mixture of everything! Seriously, she is funny, heartwarming, a
Jacob Proffitt
Apr 21, 2018 rated it liked it
This was a really tough read for me. Rose is 24, but she has been sheltered more than a first edition Star Wars action figure still in the original packaging. The story starts when the wrapping comes off and we get to see her make lots of poor choices. Only not the ones you'd expect for someone so sheltered first exploring the world. She doesn't go on a wild bender, trashing hotels and scaring small children. Instead, she makes lots of naïve decisions about who to trust and what to do in dangero ...more
Erica Chapman
Sep 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love a great mystery!! And Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes was just that.

Rose was instantly likable. She was quirky, nieve and sheltered - with a crazy mom.

So. What does one do with a character like that? Have her think she's going to die. Brilliant!

Instantly I was pulled into the world. All the characters were unique and had their own quirks. Rose's character grew through the story and was believable. She reminded me a little of Janet Evanovich's character, Stephanie Plum, the way she had c
Lisa (Two Bookish Brits)
Twenty Eight and a half wished

Book Description

It all started when I saw myself dead...

For Rose Gardner, working at the DMV on a Friday afternoon is bad even before she sees a vision of herself dead. She’s had plenty of visions, usually boring ones like someone’s toilet’s overflowed, but she’s never seen one of herself before. When her overbearing momma winds up murdered on her sofa instead, two things are certain: There isn’t enough hydrogen peroxide in the state of Arkansas to get that stai
The One Tree
Jul 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
No spoilers...

Loved it, loved it, loved it.

Okay, what did I love about it? The story was fast paced, and didn't stop until the last page. I loved the evolution of the main characters, and how the story started out nice and slowly, explaining everything in order as it went, building to a crescendo.

The writing was smooth, and you forgot you were reading a book - it sucked you in from the beginning. The only reason I stopped reading it at 4.00am in the morning was because the words were going fuzzy
Jun 02, 2016 rated it it was ok
This book was not that engaging. We follow Rose Gardner through several hundred pages and get to read how she reacts to everything around of her, instead of taking any ownership or showing any intelligence after she starts being investigated for the murder of her mother. There is a paranormal aspect to this book, but honestly it isn't treated consistently through the book, and it added nothing, so for anyone looking for a paranormal cozy read, I would skip this one.

It would be easy to become sy
Debbie "Buried in Her TBR Pile"
3.5 stars

Own in: Rose Gardner Mystery Box Set

A strange story - part romantic comedy part romantic suspense. I liked Rose who begins live and spread her wings at 24 after the brutal death of her abusive mother. I loved the relationship between Rose and her sister Violet - everyone should have a close relationship with their sister as these two do. I will read the next one to watch Rose on her journey and if the relationship with Joe evolves.
Radd Reader
”Don’t let other people tell you who you’re supposed to be. You just be you, even if you don’t do things like everybody else.”

Neighbor of Rose. He’s pretty secretive and because I never got his POV, I don’t know anything about him. ☹️

Rose (24, works the counter at the DMV):
Rose is a 24 year old “country bumpkin” who has never been kissed. Her dad died when she was a freshman in college and her mother made her drop out of school so she could take care of her. She has a siste
Jacqueline J
We had this local author in for a signing at the indy bookstore where I work and so I decided give one of her books a try. This book sucked me in from the first page. It's laugh out loud funny in parts but it has it's poignant moments too. Told in first person POV, it's narrator is a small town girl who everyone thinks is crazy so she doesn't have any friends and she has lived her whole life under her mother's thumb. When her mother is murdered she busts out of her shell. There is a romance here ...more
Apr 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Rollicking, HILARIOUS read!
I couldn't put it down - it had a bit of everything - drama, mystery, humour & a dash of romance. I laughed, I cried, then I laughed some more. I almost wet my pants with a giggling fit at the poor Muffy poop scene. Great read.
Nov 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Actual rating - 3.5

The main character in this was okay, although she could be quite irritating at points.

This was a decent enough read. It felt a bit long at times though, and my interest dipped now and again because of it, but it wasn't anything major.

Overall, A generous 3.5 stars.
Nov 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed, crime, romance
I picked this book up quite by chance, as it was free on Amazon Kindle. I read the premise and thought "Why not?" and I'm really glad I took the plunge into a genre I don't usually read (psychic stories).

I enjoyed it more than I'd anticipated. Rose is a well-written, believable (except for perhaps exclamations like "crappy doodles!" instead of swearing - does that really happen?) 24 year old woman who has spent her life being abused by an overbearing mother and is now giddy in her freedom. It's
Dee Avila
Aug 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone it is a great Mystery Romance with some Paranormal!!
Recommended to Dee by: Eisley Jacobs
I read this book a few weeks ago and wanted to do a review, only I wasn't sure how. I have wrote and re wrote this review. I still don't think what I have to say gives this book justice but, I want people, readers to know how much I loved in this book. I was warned that I would get anything done. So knowing the reader I am-I get totally lost in my books especially great ones-I cleaned, had laundry caught up, as much as one can, and dinner made early. I even gave the kids their baths and put them ...more
Dec 23, 2014 marked it as tbr-in-2020-2021  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf-for-now
Kindle freebie!! I'm going in blind on this one. No checking out reviews or blurbs.

I'm going to embrace the mystery of not knowing and let myself get surprised and swept along by Ms Swank.
Jan 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: romance, mystery, series
Lo and behold, after charging my kindle up, I found this book (that I must have gotten off Amazon at some point) waiting for me. Surprisingly, for a freebie, this one started out pretty well. Too good, in fact, and at every turn, I kept expecting it to go downhill. The fact was that it didn't go downhill until 60% in, which is pretty amazing for a freebie, but go downhill it did, mostly when it came down to the romance.

Written in first person of the most Southern persuasion possible (her inner s
This book was fine, not bad but definitely not anything special in my opinion. Rose seems to fluctuate between being a complacent doormat to full on rebellious behavior and it gets annoying and you wish that she would just make up her damn mind. I did not like Joe, period. The chemistry between them was too hot and cold for my liking. It seemed like Joe thought that he had the right to walk all over Rose, barge into her life and then abruptly leave whenever he so pleased and expected her to put ...more
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Rose Gardner lives with her abusive mother in southern town and nosy neighbors. Her mother didn’t allow Rose to have a normal life, and she left college in her first year, after her father died. She’s working in a Vehicle Licensing department.
From early age Roze had visions and people considered her as strange girl and her mother declared she’s possessed by demon.

One day a strange man walks into her
work and Rose had a vision
Where she lies dead on the sofa in her living room with a hole in her
Aug 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow what a completly swoon-worthy book!! I haven't read a book that made me swoon as much as this book since Anna and and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. Both books kept me up til the wee hours of the morning, simply because I was so enthralled in the story that I couldn't put it down. The main character Rose Gardner is a completly sheltered 24 year old girl, so when her over-bearing mother is mysteriously murdered, she decides that it's time she lives her life, but not until she see's a v ...more
Mar 28, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a pretty decent story. I liked the mystery of everything. I mean, there was nothing original going on here but the book was interesting enough to keep you intrigued until the end.

Rose didn't really do it for me. Though I like that she really embraced her independence after everything that happened with her mother - I just didn't buy into her strong independent woman act. For 24 years Rose let everyone in her life walk all over her, let everyone make her decisions for her & pretty much
Sabrina Bay
Dec 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Okay, here is how I thought Rose Anne looked at first:

After a while, I realised she probably looked something like this:

That's kinda weird, but I would've liked for her to look like the first image. It would've add something to the book and make it more realistic.

She's 24, single, shy, and weird.

She doesn't have any friend or boyfriend, never had.

I loved this book. There was action and mystery. The thing I liked the most about it is the evolution of the character. I like how she thinks and how
An exciting new series that has a great mix of humor, mystery, supernatural, and a touch of romance...Rose Gardner is an outcast in the small town of Henryetta, Arkansas; gifted with visions of the future, which she has been taught are evil and thus she is evil, Rose finds herself unwillingly pulled into the middle of a murder investigation when she has a vision of herself being killed....unfortunately ( or fortunately depending on one's POV) Rose's oppressive mother is the one murdered and Rose ...more
Dec 15, 2019 rated it liked it
I liked the story, but the wording killed me in some parts. I can't even tell you how many times I rolled my eyes at 'crappy doodles' .. I guess that style of writing is a pet peeve of mine.
Sep 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes" is the first book that I have read by Denise Grover Swank. It is not the kind of book that I typically would pick up and read and I absolutely cringed when I realized it was written in first person perspective. However, I decided to stick it out and give it a chance because I absolutely adore the person who referred the book to me! I have to say…I think this is the only book I’ve ever read in first person perspective that I got through without throwing it up agai ...more
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Other books in the series

Rose Gardner Mystery (9 books)
  • Twenty-Nine and a Half Reasons (Rose Gardner Mystery, #2)
  • Thirty and a Half Excuses (Rose Gardner Mystery, #3)
  • 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)

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