Center Stage - Denise Grover Swank

Center Stage

By Denise Grover Swank

  • Release Date: 2016-03-15
  • Genre: Women Sleuths
4.5 Score: 4.5 (From 482 Ratings)


The first book the USA Today bestselling Magnolia Steele Mystery series by New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author Denise Grover Swank. 

Ten years ago, Magnolia Steele fled Franklin, Tennessee after an incident that left her with hazy memories and a horror of the place where she had been born and bred. Though her abrupt departure destroyed most of her treasured relationships, she vowed never to return . . . until she has no choice. When Magnolia’s breakout acting role in a Broadway musical ends in disgrace, there’s only one place she can go. She finds herself on her momma’s porch, suitcase in hand.
Drama follows Magnolia around like a long lost friend. She reluctantly agrees to help her momma’s catering company at a party for a country music star, only to find herself face-to-face with a sleazy music agent from her past. After a very public spat, Magnolia not only finds him dead but herself center stage in the police’s investigation. Now she must scramble to prove her innocence, relying on the help of acquaintances old and new.
But the longer Magnolia stays in Franklin, the more she remembers about the big bad incident that chased her away. The past might not be finished with her yet, and what she doesn’t remember could be her biggest danger.


  • Disappointing

    By momomo17777
    Stay away from this book. I bought this book because center stage did not say what happened to her father; who is it that committed the murder when she was 18 before she ran away, etc. This book told me nothing. It was poorly written, and did not tell me anything I wanted to know. I still don’t know what happened to her father. I still don’t know who is it that did that to her when she was 18. In fact, she added more questions. This was my third and last book I would read by Denise swank
  • Entertaining

    By J Trout
    Original plot and interesting characters kept me reading till the end. Now I’m hooked and need to find out what happens next.
  • Center Stage

    By Ebenerrwc
    A fun read that zips right along. Magnolia is quite a character and I am curious to find what comes next in her complicated life. However, I only gave it 4 stars because I really want an ending to a story and this left me hanging with the intent that, if truly interested, I would buy the next book. I'm still mulling that over trying to decide if I want to. Does book two end the same way? Hmmm.
  • I love a good secret....

    By KatieM215
    I thought that I was going to be let down after reading the Rose Gardener books because they were so good... but Holy Moly- Denise Swank knocked this one out of the park! I love Maggie and and looking forward to figuring out all these secrets we have just found out about! On to the next....
  • Good but no final resolution

    By susancapmom
    I liked the book, but didn’t realize it was basically one fourth of a book, in that you have to buy the other three books to get any answers about the main mystery of the story. I hate cliffhangers.
  • Center Stage

    By Susal55
    Fast paced, well written, with characters I would like to know in person!
  • Not for me

    By as close
    I thought this story slow to develop and to find answers. Even at the end of the book there weren’t answers. You have to read the other books. I had a hard time that she was so negative and everything and everyone was against her. Narcissistic for sure as someone called her. Not sure I’ll read more. I loved the Rose Gardner series.
  • Addictive mystery

    By Jjjack1
    This book has amazing characters, mystery, and heart. Can't wait to read the next one.
  • Wow! Where have I been?! Needs 10 stars

    By Billysangel 71
    I can’t believe I’m just now coming across this book! I’m not typically into these type of murder/mystery books but something about the way readers reviewed it caught my eye and sparked my interest. I literally felt like I was actually there in the book as a character. I thoroughly enjoyed this book—allowing me every emotional twist it could offer. I laughed, cried, felt the anxiety and anger and got on several personal levels with Magnolia. I am starting the next book and can’t wait for the third!! Excellent!

    By Bun Brrabbid Lop
    I really liked the book. All of what others have said in their reviews helped me choose to get this book. BUT, IT IS NOT A STAND ALONE BOOK! The ending leaves unanswered questions, on purpose, so that the reader is required to purchase books: 2,3, & 4. That is why I only gave a 4 Star rating. I had read another of this author/writer's book: THE SUBSTITUTE. It was great and had a happy ending. And, did not require any further books to complete the story!