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Monday, November 16, 2015

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

The Blurb :

Rose Gardner hates seeing her normally flamboyant best friend Neely Kate struggle with depression. So when Rose stumbles onto a piece of evidence indicating her birth mother might have been involved in a crime, she does the one thing guaranteed to cheer Neely Kate. She convinces her friend to help her solve a mystery. Though their penchant for investigating has gotten them into plenty of pickles in the past, what can go wrong if they’re looking into a case that went cold a quarter of a century ago? But the deeper they dig, the more dirt they unearth.

While she’s busy unraveling the past, Rose must also reprise her role as the Lady in Black as part of her ongoing agreement with the king of the Fenton County underworld. In so doing, she discovers a mysterious enemy is intent on attacking her friends, and her assistant DA boyfriend might be next on the list.

As both situations reach a boiling point, Rose must face the possibility that certain secrets were meant to remain buried and not even her special talent can get her out of every predicament.

My Thoughts :

I have been looking forward to listening to this seventh installment in the Rose Gardner Mysteries for a few weeks now.  I am practically all caught up with the series with the eight book already out this month but not yet available on Audio.  I have to admit that I had completely forgotten the majority of what happened at the end of the previous book and it shocked me to find Neely Kate in such a bad place.  She has always been a joy to spend time with and it made the book a little dull without her usual mouthy attitude.

Despite the duller tone to this installment there was a lot of action, revelations and twists.  If you haven't read the previous books then you really don't want to start here.  You also need to make sure you read the novellas in between to get the full picture.  There are some little bits and pieces you learn in those short stories that make the full length novels even more interesting than they already are.

I find myself not liking Rose as much as I used to.  I don't know what has made me find her slightly annoying but it may have something to do with her friendship with Skeeter Malcolm.   Things have been very interesting between them and it was thrilling to see what unfolded as far as the Lady in Black was concerned.   However in this book Rose had a chance to get out of her dealings with him and she didn't take it.  I couldn't totally agree with her reasoning and thinking and it left me feeling disappointed with her.

There are so many secrets in this series that it is getting a little confusing.  However in this installment we finally find out more about Rose's real mother and why she got killed.  This however opens up even more questions and problems, something that keeps the series alive but it is also making things a little heavy.  There isn't any fun and laughter and things are getting bleaker and bleaker.  I miss that little touch of lightness the series had at the beginning.

Don't be put off by my ramblings.  I am totally and utterly addicted to this series and can't wait for the next installment to come out on Audio.  The author has already done some nasty cliffhanger endings during this series but this one was a worrying one.  A confusing one.  A wow! one.  I am actually contemplating getting the Kindle version of the next book but I just love listening to the series and it wouldn't be the same.

The paranormal aspect of this series, Rose's visions, are in full force again in this book and she is starting to use them to help her on many levels.  I only wish she would use them more in other situations and more often.  I am sure they would have helped her see what was happening around her and stopped her from making so many mistakes.

This is a series you really need to check out if you enjoy cozies and don't mind getting tangled up in a web of so many stories and mysteries that you can't see the next twist coming.  Everything is somehow related and the deeper the series go the more incredible the story gets.

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