A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

What Rose Forgot by Nevada Barr- Feature and Review

Rose Dennis wakes up in a hospital gown, her brain in a fog, only to discover that she's been committed to an Alzheimer's Unit in a nursing home. With no memory of how she ended up in this position, Rose is sure that something is very wrong. When she overhears one of the administrators saying about her that she's "not making it through the week," Rose is convinced that if she's to survive, she has to get out of the nursing home. She avoids taking her medication, putting on a show for the aides, then stages her escape.
The only problem is—how does she convince anyone that she's not actually demented? Her relatives were the ones to commit her, all the legal papers were drawn up, the authorities are on the side of the nursing home, and even she isn't sure she sounds completely sane. But any lingering doubt Rose herself might have had is erased when a would-be killer shows up in her house in the middle of the night. Now Rose knows that someone is determined to get rid of her.
With the help of her computer hacker/recluse sister Marion, thirteen-year old granddaughter Mel, and Mel's friend Royal, Rose begins to gather her strength and fight back—to find out who is after her and take back control of her own life. But someone out there is still determined to kill Rose, and they're holding all the cards.



What Rose ForgotWhat Rose Forgot by Nevada Barr
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What Rose Forgot by Nevada Barr is a 2019 Minotaur Books publication.

Wildly entertaining, darkly humorous, with the best unreliable narrator ever!

Rose Dennis, a widow in her sixties, awakens in a hospital gown unsure of what has happened to her. Her memory is murky, to say the least. Yet, she soon discovers she has been admitted to a nursing home and is being housed in the Alzheimer’s ward. Overhearing an ominous conversation suggesting she might not make it through the week, Rose realizes her life is in danger and not because she has dementia! She begins planning her escape, although she has a few lingering doubts about the sharpness of her mind. However, her suspicions that someone is out to get her are confirmed when she catches someone breaking into her home.

With the help of her reclusive sister and her granddaughter, Mel, Rose sets out to discover who wants her dead and why…

I have been meaning to check out Nevada Barr's long running Anna Pigeon mystery series for a long time. I still intend to do that, but when I saw this was a stand-alone novel, my interest was instantly piqued.

I had no idea what to expect, but the story grabbed me right away- and Rose!! OMG! She’s a real hoot! The plot is a unique one because the reader has no idea how stable Rose really is. Her memory may not be reliable, but it does begin to return in fits and starts as the story progresses. The reader has no more of a clue than Rose what is going on, but her investigative methods are unconventional to say the least, and her inner dialogue is hysterical. She has the uncanny ability to think fast and lie hard, which is also really funny, and adds another quirky element to the story. The secondary characters complement the atmosphere and play off of Rose’s antics perfectly.

This story is, at the end of the day, a standard whodunit, but the presentation is certainly outside of the box, which sets it apart from the standard traditional mystery. The author’s execution is pitch perfect, making this one of the most entertaining mysteries I’ve read in a long time. I loved the dark humor, the witty dialogue, and the occasional moment of poignancy in the midst of the screwball action and suspense.

Overall, it’s nice to have stumbled across a pure mystery that is fresh and inventive, and keeps the reader off guard, and thoroughly entertained, at the same time!






Nevada Barr is a mystery fiction author, known for her "Anna Pigeon" series of mysteries, set in National Parks in the United States. Barr has won an Agatha Award for best first novel for Track of the Cat.

Barr was named after the state of her birth. She grew up in Johnstonville, California. She finished college at the University of California, Irvine. Originally, Barr started to pursue a career in theatre, but decided to be a park ranger. In 1984 she published her first novel, Bittersweet, a bleak lesbian historical novel set in the days of the Western frontier.

While working in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Barr created the Anna Pigeon series. Pigeon is a law enforcement officer with the United States National Park Service. Each book in the series takes place in a different National Park, where Pigeon solves a murder mystery, often related to natural resource issues. She is a satirical, witty woman whose icy exterior is broken down in each book by a hunky male to whom she is attracted (such as Rogelio).

Currently, Ms. Barr lives in New Orleans, LA.

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