Who would believe that a family vacation and a simple favor could end up in a life or death battle and a murder? With Shelby Nichols involved? I would!
This, the next installment in the Shelby Nichols adventures from acclaimed author Colleen Helme is another non-stop action roller coaster ride that will keep you coming back for more. I would recommend this book to anyone without hesitation, it is not to be missed. I think Colleen Helme has the potential of being another modern day Agatha Christie.
Usually, I am in real trouble with a Shelby Nichols book (for exceeding my reading budget, and losing sleep!) and this audio book is no exception. As I have been travelling for a living for over four years, normally I need good books to keep me company on long airplane flights. With Secrets That Kill, I was looking for some more long flights, just so I could spend more time listening to the book!
Wendy Tremont King has now established herself as the quintessential Shelby Nichols. In fact, Wendy's voice is SO Shelby at this point that if I heard another actor I would say, "That's not Shelby!" The power and finesse of Ms. King is her understated realism. When she does Ramos's voice, or Uncle Joey's voice, you get the downplayed shift to a deeper more masculine voice, but more importantly you get the menace, the coldness, and the intonations that come with the different personalities. In a narrated audio book, I believe that there must be a symphony between the writer and the narrator. If the voices are not real and believable, the listener's attention could wander. With Wendy King and the Shelby Nichols Adventures, Wendy IS Shelby, and the depth and breadth of Wendy's capabilities makes this audio book incredibly real to the listener. I classify this as "not to be missed".
There is a new element in this 4th book in the Shelby Nichols Adventure series: Romance. When a favor to drop off a letter for Uncle Joey goes murderously wrong, Shelby is stuck in Orlando with Ramos. Well, not exactly stuck, but wanting to help him. The temperature climbs to the boiling point between these two. Can Shelby's love and loyalty for husband Chris win out?
This story delves deep into Ramos's past, and we get a lot of back story for him, but the sizzle between Shelby and Ramos goes off the scale. Yes, the book is still PG rated and this audio story is suitable for tweens and teens as well as mature audiences. You really don't want to miss this one.
In the way that Helme brings out the nuances and details of her characters, in her wonderful chain of consciousness style, in the interaction between Ramos and Shelby, this book is a knock it out of the park slam dunk home run of a novel, without doubt Helme's best to date.
So the good news is, this is a fabulous 5 star addition to the collection, and the bad news is like the chicken and the pig scenario, I find myself committed. Which means that like the ham and eggs, I am very definitely not the involved hen, I am the committed pig - to the series. If Helme pens it, if King narrates it, I'm all in. I'll buy it.
Want something great to listen to on your summer holidays? need a distraction? Need that great new book while driving to keep you focused? Secrets That Kill is the audio book you need.
This is the 3rd book in the Shelby Nichols Adventures. There are 6 books in the series now, and they do not have to be read in order, but I do suggest doing so for maximum continuity. If you jump in a few books further on, you are just going to want to start at the beginning anyway, so you might as well start there to begin with.
As I have been listening to the fabulous narrations of Wendy Tremont King, a very interesting phenomenon has occurred: Now when I read a new book by Colleen Helme the voice I hear in my head as I'm reading is Wendy's! If Colleen does a TV series or a movie, will Wendy star in it? Otherwise, I'm going to have one of those "That's not Shelby!" moments.
Wendy's narration of this mystery adventure novel with our heroine and psychic soccer mom Shelby Nichols is flawless as ever. Wendy has a unique and very high quality flair of dropping her voice an octave or so for male renditions. She goes beyond that though by her intonation, her inflection, and her affect. Yes, affect. You can clearly tell Shelby's husband Chris from Mob Boss Uncle Joey from Ramos the hit-man and for that matter from Detective Andrew "Dimples" Harris. That is part of what makes this audio book so engaging and so believable. Wendy is equally as attentive to the female characters. She nails it.
I maintain that as the series progresses, it gets better, the writing gets better, the characters get better, and so forth. But listening to Lie or Die again, I was struck by how well written it is. Everything is in there. Shelby and what happens to her is so believable that it is incredibly absorbing and addicting.
Some of what I really enjoyed the most about this particular adventure was the twists and turns that the plot takes. How recognizable some of the characters are. Like Private Eye Rob Felt, and how annoying he is! I found myself saying, "I know that guy!"
Poor Shelby throughout the complications of this book finds herself numerous times having to lie. It's a real Hobbs choice; she can lie or she might die if she doesn't! This causes a lot of angst for Shelby, who is basically a good and honest person. But sometimes she just has no choice. Hence the title of this adventure.
There is a lot of closure in this book. There is a lot of getting to know people better. Is Joey really that bad of a guy? Could a Mob Boss be other than that bad of a guy? Will Ramos learn her secret? What if he does? And what of her old nemesis, Kate? Can Chris win his case without getting beat up or killed? There is so much going on in this book, it literally keeps you on the edge of your seat for a non-stop thrill ride. This adventure has several main plots and sub plots interweaving and co-mingling throughout it that really add to the listening enjoyment.
I said closure, and one of the things that I like the most about this third Shelby adventure is that I came to find it almost natural that Shelby can read minds. I also liked the interactions and the developing relationships between the characters, there is such realism there and I really found that I could relate to them. Lie or Die has a lot of relationship evolution and resolution in it.
I listened to this book during a time of stress and angst in my own life, and I really was impressed by how much I could relate to what happened to the characters in Lie or Die. I believe that the interplay between the author and the narrator must be as finely tuned as a full symphony orchestra to really work, and I found this book incredibly satisfying. Oh My! Does it work!
I would recommend this book without hesitation or reservation of any kind for any readers that crave adventure and mystery in a very enjoyable edge-of-your-seat-cannot-put-it-down ride.
Fast Money is the second installment in the Shelby Nichols adventures series.
I am not a "psychic soccer mom" kind of guy. I like action, engaging, lost in the story real life nitty-gritty characters that can keep me absorbed for 9-11 hour flights. I like books I can listen to whilst driving that keep my mind focused instead of just another mindless song.
I started reading Colleen Helme's books when I stumbled upon Carrots, the first Shelby Nichols adventure, whilst stuck in my car in a downpour at a supermarket. The parallel got me involved, but the story got me committed. Since then I have read and enjoyed ALL of the Shelby Nichols adventures that up and coming author Ms. Helme has penned.
I started listening to them from Audible when they became available, and I have been pleasantly surprised and delighted that I did.
These stories and the entertainment I derive from them will remain long after the price is forgotten.
An audio performer can make or break a book. The voice we hear MUST be recognisable as the character we imagine, or all is lost, including interest, which will fast fade away and die. Fortunately, Wendy Tremont King IS Shelby Nichols incarnate, or at least her voice is, and that makes all the difference. Wendy does a 5 star job of performing in Fast Money. Her depictions of the other characters in the story, including the male mob boss Uncle Joey, the NOT love interest and hit man Ramos, and the Detective "Dimples". Her voice characterisations are understated, and that suits the performance admirably. It adds believability to the story. Colleen's writing and portrayal of the different personalities and mannerisms of the characters already make them utterly believable, and Wendy's portrayals only add to that panache.
It had been more than two years since I had read Fast Money, and I had actually forgotten a lot of the story, including the surprise and dramatic ending at the banquet by the time I got the Audible version and listened to it. I found myself laughing out loud, gasping at times, and generally so absorbed in the story that I actually at one point turned to the person in 6D next to me and asked, "Oh no! How is she going to get out of that?!" Fortunately, Ms. 6D was asleep at the time, and I quickly looked around to see if my gaff had been noticed. Fortunately, most everyone was asleep or absorbed in their own entertainment.
I have pondered long and hard about why I like the Shelby Nichols adventures so much. They are part mystery, part crime drama, part fantastic story... The thing is, they are so darn real and realistic, that they remind me of my own life (minus the mind-reading, drat)!
The book (and narration) is done in such a stream of consciousness fashion by the main character, that I can really relate to them. Shelby is an accidental heroine. She really loves her husband and kids. She really wants to be a good mom and wife. But life keeps happening to her. I don't think it is just my own job, which involves 2 weeks of national and international travel a month that makes the stories resonate so much, I think it is really the path of my own life, and the power of events outside of our own control. Shelby, like me, makes commitments, tries her hardest to keep them, but stuff keeps happening, and life gets in the way. And she tries to do the right thing, not the easy thing, and that creates a non-stop roller-coaster adventure you cannot stop listening to. One of the best things about this style of writing: Shelby gets to hear in her mind how people perceive her. Which can be VASTLY different from how she perceives herself.
Fast Money cost me sleep when I could not put it down as a written book. The audio book kept me constantly listening and recharging my iPad Air battery, listening on long flights, listening in the hotel, listening in the car... All with gripping and absorbed interest. It is a great book, and if anything it is more entertaining to listen to than to read.
Would I recommend this book? Absolutely! Without any reservation, for pretty much anyone from tween to teen to AARP member. This is quality writing and performing at its best, and if I were you, I would avoid the disappointment of missing out on this fantastic book. Just plan on being hooked for the whole series!
I first bought Carrots for Kindle in 2011 on a whim. Naturally when I got the chance to listen to it as an Audible book I couldn't wait to listen to it.
As a Regional Officer with the British Diplomatic Corps, I travel bi-weekly, usually to a foreign country and usually it is a long, long long airplane trip. So I really want something that will capture my attention, and really pass the time without FEELING like 9, 10, or 11 hours is going by, steadily sucking the will to live from my body like a black hole.
I decided to start getting audible books since I have devices I can use that will enable me to listen in comfort and pass the time.
I was a little concerned about listening to Carrots, as I had read it, and I have just finished the newest book in the series, Trapped by Revenge, the 5th Shelby Nichols adventure. Boy, was I wrong.
Well, was I? There I am, sitting in my seat, and listening to Wendy King's phenomenal audio production, and now I'm gasping out loud. The first time, I knocked my drink over. Next thing I know, I'm laughing out loud, and Mr. 5E sitting next to me thinks I'm taking a nutty. Nothing daunted, I'm worse than the person at the movie theater who then starts talking to the screen: "No, no, don't go in there!" By this time on my overnight flight Mr. 5E is snoring, but I think the flight attendants began rooting about for their Valium reserves.
Fortunately, I was not incarcerated upon landing, but I just loved listening to the book. Possibly more than reading it! It was fresh, it was so well done and so consistently produced that there was nothing to complain about. I was sucked into the story completely, and 8 plus hours seem to pass in the blink of an eye.
It is hard in a way to separate the content of the book from the audio production. The book was incredibly well written, the story very enjoyable, the characters entirely believable, and the quality of the writing fantastic. Equally, Wendy's voice characterizations were right on the money. She puts just enough intonation and inflection into the recordings that you can tell when it's Shelby, you can tell when it's Uncle Joey, and you can tell when it's Ramos. It is what I think of as understated elegance.
I would recommend this Audible book to anyone. The Shelby Nichols adventures stand in and of their own right, but it is far more enjoyable listening to the professional, flawless recording in some ways than reading the book. What it really did was make me want to listen to them all, so I am now eagerly awaiting the release of the next book through Audible.
This is an absolute winner: Do yourself a favor: Get it!
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