Review: Family Jewels

Family Jewels
Family Jewels by Denise Grover Swank
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Back in Black

Holy moly! If you’ve read the Rose Gardner Mysteries all the way through Sins of the Father, you might wonder what else there is to tell in the world of Denise Grover Swank’s fictitious Fenton County, Arkansas universe. The answer: a whole heck of a lot.

Gone is the saga of JR Simmons that loomed over everyone’s life like a heavy, black shroud. He’s little more than a memory as Rose, Joe, Neely Kate, and so many others move on with their lives and begin their path to recovery. JR might be gone, but that doesn’t mean trouble won’t stop finding Rose Gardner. At the urging of Neely Kate, her best friend, they set out on an investigative journey to find a lost necklace. What happens instead is equal parts funny and infuriating (some character actions!) A transition well worth the new moniker. The Rose Gardner Mysteries is now the Rose Gardner Investigations!

The line “friendships will be tested” never applies more than it does to this story. It seems that almost everyone has a secret or agenda they intend to keep hidden. James “Skeeter” Malcom is no exception. He’s no longer an underling of JR Simmons, but he’s still got a battle on his hands. Being the self-appointed “king” of Fenton County’s criminal world comes with a heavy crown. The question of Ronnie’s whereabouts comes with its own heartbreaking reality. Finally, a tough as nails heroine persona even comes back as a force to be reckoned with.

Family Jewels is the perfect continuation as its own series: Rose Gardner Investigations. There’s tons more to learn about Neely Kate, James Malcolm, and so many others. A hint of love is even in the air between multiple characters. For nearly three years now these characters have become my friends (heh, and enemies!) I am so excited about the prospects for this series as it evolves. *****FIVE STARS*****

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