Book Review: Family Jewels by Denise Grover Swank

I received a review copy


The first book in the Rose Gardner Investigation series, a spinoff of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today best selling Rose Gardner Mystery series.

Trouble always comes to those who court it. Rose Gardner’s ability to see glimpses of the future has gotten her into hot water time and again, but so have her curiosity and her sense of daring. Those very qualities helped her defeat the most powerful man in Arkansas—a man so adept at hiding his crimes there was no way to defeat him inside of the law—but her success came at a steep personal price. Now she’s throwing herself into her landscaping business, trying to live a life that’s as orderly as one of her gardens.

Rose’s best friend, Neely Kate, is struggling with her own losses, so when she suggests they help a local man find a missing necklace, Rose agrees. It’ll give both of them a welcome distraction, and besides, it’s a simple investigation. What harm could befall them? But things that should be simple rarely are. In seeking out the necklace, Rose and Neely Kate find themselves in the thick of a power struggle in the Fenton County underworld, one that could dethrone Rose’s friend James Malcolm, the surprisingly moral king.

The last thing Rose should do is court more trouble, but she’s not the type to step away from a friend in need—and she’s also not so sure she wants an orderly life.


I read Denise Grover Swank back in the day when she first started out, and thought she was an amazing writer. I was very excited to get asked to read Family Jewels, and eagerly agreed. I was familiar with Rose Gardner from what I’ve read in the past, but it had been awhile so it took me a few chapters to get back in the swing of things. I love a good mystery book, and this one is filled with plot twists, deception, and a missing necklace that every criminal wants to get their hands on. It was interesting to see Rose has another personality as The Lady in Black, and the ending where she came out was so much fun to read! I enjoyed the romance in this book and the sub plot with Neely Kate and her ex – and the cliff hanger, jeez! – and overall I was really happy to get back into Rose’s world and hope to read more!

4 stars

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