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 stain out, and Rose is the prime suspect.
Rose realizes she’s wasted twenty-four years of living and makes a list on the back of a Wal-Mart receipt: twenty-eight things she wants to accomplish before her vision comes true. She’s well on her way with the help of her next door neighbor Joe, who has no trouble teaching Rose the rules of drinking, but won’t help with number fifteen-- do more with a man. Joe’s new to town, but it doesn’t take a vision for Rose to realize he’s got plenty secrets of his own.
Somebody thinks Rose has something they want and they’ll do anything to get it. Her house is broken into, someone else she knows is murdered, and suddenly, dying a virgin in the Fenton County jail isn’t her biggest worry after all.
My Thoughts :
After reading a Christmas novella featuring Denis Grover Swank's character Rose Gardner, I decided I had to try the series as soon as possible. The novella was a story that saw Rose meet up with a character from the Mudbug series and seeing as I have been following that series via Audible I decided that if this one was also available as an audio I would try it that way. So I was delighted to see it on Audible and snapped it up when my new credits arrived.
I loved this book straight away. Rose's demeanor and naive character made her likable but not annoying or frustrating. Within the first few chapters you start to see her evolving and finally coming out of the shell she has been kept in. Rose basically starts living her life and her decisions, actions and funny ideas are inspiring. Getting mixed up in all the action makes the story even more interesting and the slight paranormal angle of Rose's visions make this even more fun to read.
Don't judge a book by its cover is a term well used for this one. What looks like a young adult girly romance read is actually a cozy mystery southern enough to rival Sookie Stackhouse and have you giggling on more than one occasion. I found myself mentally cheering for the leading lady and hoping that she would get through her list of wishes. Some may find Rose a silly and naive woman but I liked her ability to finally stand up for herself and taking no nonsense from anyone after the huge hurdle that was her momma was out of the way.
The narrator on the audio version was great and I enjoyed listening to the book a lot. I already had the second book downloaded before I was halfway done with this first installment. I think that shows how much I was enjoying it Unfortunately I have noticed that while this series is at least six books long there are only three of the books available on Audible. I hoping this will change soon. It would be very annoying to switch over to reading the series after listening to it. Especially when the narrator is so good.
Well worth checking out if you liked the Sookie Stackhouse series, every enjoyed Stephanie Plum or are just a cozy mystery lover. There is a little bit of something for everyone including some romance, comedy and action. The plot is well thought out and the characters are unforgettable. I am looking forward to starting the second book tomorrow and if it is as good as this debut then I am sure it won't take long to finish. I found myself listening to this one whenever I had the chance!