Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes By Denise Grover Swank

Sep 5, 2015 | 2015 Articles, Mysteryrat's Maze, Sandra Murphy

by Sandra Murphy

Details at the end of this post on how to win a copy of Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes, along with a link to purchase the book.

Rose Gardner is twenty-four years old and has lived under her mother’s thumb all that time. She wears nondescript, ill-fitting clothes, has never dated, and does all the cooking, cleaning and other chores while her mother watches television. It’s better than when she was a kid—then, Mom locked her in the closet for being weird.

“Being weird” is Mom’s phrase for having visions. They’re nothing scary, usually—mostly, Rose blurts out where your lost keys are or something mild like that. Until one day, while working at the DVM, Rose sees Daniel Crocker. She has a vision, faints, and wonks herself on the head. The vision, her first really bad one, is of her own murder. book

Rose decides if she only has a short time to live—after all, her visions do come true—she might as well do a few things she’s always wanted to do. Written on the back of a Walmart receipt, twenty-eight wishes highlight all she’s missed out on so far. There’s room for number twenty-nine but she’s unable to decide what that will be just yet. The wishes range from riding in a convertible, playing in the rain, dancing and getting a dog to visiting Italy, getting a boyfriend, and doing more than just kiss.

After a fight with her mother—who doesn’t appreciate Rose’s newfound independence—Rose takes an afternoon for herself. When she returns home, she braces herself for Mom’s anger but instead finds her mother sitting on the couch, dead, having been hit on the head with a rolling pin.

Joe, the next-door neighbor, is helpful but shies away from contact with the police. Rose has got enough on her mind without wondering why. The first night is spent with her sister Violet, but then Rose insists on returning home where there are more break-ins and mayhem. The police believe that Rose killed her mother so aren’t looking too hard for anyone else.

Rose is a mix of naïve young girl and a woman on a mission. A subsequent vision shows her the date of her death, so she has to pick up the pace to complete her list. Joe is helpful on some items but not all. Muffy, the dog Rose picks out, is a sweet girl if not the prettiest dog—she also has digestive problems with unfortunate consequences (dog farts). A scene at her mother’s funeral has two old ladies confronting Rose about murdering her poor mama, a woman neither of them liked. In spite of the serious tone, the scene is hilariously funny, as is the rest of the book. Miscommunications with Joe are some of the funniest, since they never seem to be talking about the same topic at the same time.

This is part of a series—get your To Be Read Pile ready for more of Rose’s adventures!

To enter to win a copy of Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes, or one of the earlier books in the series, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Wishes,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen September 11, 2015. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & short stories in our mystery section.

You can use this link to purchase this book:

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Sandra Murphy lives in the shadow of the arch, in the land of blues, booze and shoes—St Louis, Missouri. While writing magazine articles to support her mystery book habit, she secretly polishes two mystery books of her own, hoping, someday, they will see the light of Barnes and Noble. You can also find several of Sandra’s short stories on UnTreed Reads including her new one Bananas Foster. Sandy’s latest short story “The Tater Tot Caper” is one of eleven stories in The Killer Wore Cranberry: Fourths of Mayhem. The annual Thanksgiving anthology has eleven stories and this year, includes recipes. And it’s on sale! Available in all e-versions and in print.


  1. WOW! Talk about a different kind of story!! Very interesting – and it could be any of us!!

  2. Love Rose garden story, she’s full of excitement

  3. I love this book! It’s the beginning of a fantastic series, the character development, the mystery, the comedy are just a few of my favorite things! Denise Grover Swank is a phenomenal story teller!

  4. LOVE this series!!!!

  5. I read the e-book and loved it. I’ve read each of the books in the series and all the novellas in-between. I’d love to win a print copy. This is one of the best series I’ve read and I’m a voracious reader. Denise’s books are amazing. If you haven’t read them, you need to start. You’ll enjoy each one.

  6. Love Denise’s books! Would love to win a copy! Thanks for the chance!

  7. LOVE this series! Have read each one, including the novellas…can’t wait for the next one!

  8. We have a winner
    Lorie Ham, KRL Publisher


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