We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
Bitter Almonds: The True Story of Mothers, Daughters, and the Seattle Cyanide Murders | [Gregg Olsen]

Bitter Almonds: The True Story of Mothers, Daughters, and the Seattle Cyanide Murders

Stella Nickell's small-time world was one of big-time dreams. In 1986, her biggest one came true when her husband died during a seizure, making her the beneficiary of a $175,000-plus insurance payoff - until authorities discovered that Bruce Nickell's headache capsules had been laced with cyanide. In an attempt to cover her tracks, Stella did the unconscionable. She saw to it that a stranger would also become a 'random casualty' of cyanide-tainted painkillers.
Regular Price:$29.95
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

Stella Nickell's small-time world was one of big-time dreams. In 1986, her biggest one came true when her husband died during a seizure, making her the beneficiary of a $175,000-plus insurance payoff - until authorities discovered that Bruce Nickell's headache capsules had been laced with cyanide. In an attempt to cover her tracks, Stella did the unconscionable.

She saw to it that a stranger would also become a 'random casualty' of cyanide-tainted painkillers. But Stella's cunning plan came undone when her daughter Cynthia notified federal agents. And troubling questions lingered like the secret of bitter almonds...

What would turn a gregarious barfly like Stella into a cold-hearted killer overnight? Why would Cynthia, a mirror image of her mother, turn on her own flesh and blood? Did Cynthia reveal everything she knew about the crimes? The stunning answers would unfold in a case that sparked a national uproar, dug deep into a troubled family history, and exposed an American mother for the pretty poison she was.

©2012 Gregg Olsen (P)2013 Gregg Olsen

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.4 (81 )
5 star
 (17)
4 star
 (23)
3 star
 (23)
2 star
 (15)
1 star
 (3)
Overall
3.5 (76 )
5 star
 (17)
4 star
 (24)
3 star
 (17)
2 star
 (13)
1 star
 (5)
Story
3.6 (76 )
5 star
 (22)
4 star
 (22)
3 star
 (17)
2 star
 (9)
1 star
 (6)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Robyn 09-02-13
    Robyn 09-02-13

    Avid reader of history, biography, and true crime.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    60
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    81
    81
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "first class true crime"

    True crime readers will not be disappointed. Anyone wanting a quick overview of the Stella Nickell story may not be happy with all the detail which Olsen has meticulously tracked down and recounted, but if you want all the ins and outs of the plot and the characters, this book has it all. I wasn't counting, but this family must be in the race for the highest number of house moves and taking up temporary make-shift accommodation with friends or family, the most partner swaps, the most one night stands, the amount of alcohol consumed, and general bad parenting. On the other hand, they were either in work or looking for work, family (except mothers and daughters) were close-knit and stood by each other through thick and thin, and there was always a friend they could turn to in a crisis. Fascinating family, fascinating plot, intriguing outcome. Olsen's research is painstaking and he writes well, although the interweaving of the stories of the two victims' families was a bit confusing at first. Also I felt a bit of the story was missing in my version because it went straight from the jury room deliberations to after the verdict had been handed down which left me baffled about when the verdict had been reached and even more baffled about the phone call to a juror and possible re-trail which were being mentioned. I went back and listened to that section again to make sure it wasn't just me, but it still seemed that part of the book just wasn't there. It is very competently read by Kevin Pierce - a simple straight-forward emotion-free narration - just right for this type of book.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Scarborough, ON, Canada 11-15-13
    Scott Scarborough, ON, Canada 11-15-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    183
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    210
    109
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    12
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Page turner"
    Any additional comments?

    A generally well done true crime thriller. Not a lot of suspense but for those interested in police investigatory procedures it doesn't disappoint.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Georgette 06-11-15
    Georgette 06-11-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great A+performance"

    These two are dynamite together Kevin pierce as the reader and the talented Gregg Olson great book/ riveting

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Helena, AL United States 03-28-14
    Amazon Customer Helena, AL United States 03-28-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    17
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "3 hours too long"
    What did you love best about Bitter Almonds?

    It was generally good


    Would you be willing to try another book from Gregg Olsen? Why or why not?

    yes


    Any additional comments?

    The book was good overall but it dragged the last few hours.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael 06-14-15
    Michael 06-14-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Author never disappoints!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Bitter Almonds to be better than the print version?

    Yes brings the story to life. Enjoy this author as his books are well researched.


    What other book might you compare Bitter Almonds to and why?

    N/A


    Which scene was your favorite?

    N/A


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    N/A


    Any additional comments?

    Stellar

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Douglas Auburn, WA, United States 05-08-15
    Douglas Auburn, WA, United States 05-08-15 Member Since 2008

    College English professor who loves classic literature, psychology, neurology and hates pop trash like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1828
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    430
    318
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    287
    17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Ignore The Negative Reviews Here..."

    Okay, if you want a true crime book dripping in blood and bodily fluids, this is not going to be for you--and you might find something deeper than that "boring." But if you are looking for a book that delves into a crime from all angles: forensics, psychology, methodology--then this is going to be more up your dark alley. Inspired by his mentor Jack Olsen (no relation), Gregg Olsen has written a deep and thoughtful analysis of a very interesting--and curiously complicated--set of murders. A reader truly interested in the forensics, psychology and police work involved in solving a crime will enjoy every minute of this fine book. Gore seekers stay at home.

    3 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margaret Meltzer 04-09-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Review"
    Would you try another book from Gregg Olsen and/or Kevin Pierce?

    perhaps.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Gregg Olsen? Why or why not?

    Probably not. I do like true crime stories but I have now read two by this author and both books were very long and drawn out. Almost too much detail so they became boring.


    Did Kevin Pierce do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    possibly


    Could you see Bitter Almonds being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Yes, a TV series but only if it is made more interesting


    Any additional comments?

    no

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B Rose Ivins, UT USA 02-16-15
    B Rose Ivins, UT USA 02-16-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    73
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    143
    140
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Way too many details!"

    This would be a good book if most of the complicated details were left out and got right to the point. Very disappointed since I've liked other Olson books. If you get this, skip through most of it and find out what happens.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jaye GREENWICH, CT, United States 07-03-14
    jaye GREENWICH, CT, United States 07-03-14 Member Since 2012

    AUDIBLE MAKES READING POSSIBLE AND EASY FOR ME...I AM VISUALLY IMPAIRED. I WISH THEY HAD ALL THE BOOKS I WANT I WOULD SNAP THEM UP!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    131
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    216
    211
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    7
    10
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "TOO MUCH REPETITION. BORING BORING BORING"
    Would you try another book from Gregg Olsen and/or Kevin Pierce?

    I DON'T KNOW. I HAVE READ SEVERAL. THEY WERE OK BUT THIS ONE WAS REALLY POORLY WRITTEN. I HAVE ALREADY BOUGHT ONE MORE BY HIM AND AM NOT SURE I WANT TO READ IT BUT I WILL TRY IT.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Gregg Olsen again?

    AS I SAID ABOVE IT WAS VERY REPETATIVE. JUST TELL THE STORY IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER AND STOP REPEATING WHAT I ALREADY HEARD. IT COULD HAVE BEEN AT LEAST ONE THIRD SHORTER.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I REALLY CAN'T SAY. IT WAS SO CHOPPY THAT I COULD NOT FOCUS ON ONE SCENE.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Bitter Almonds?

    WHEN SOMETHING IS TOLD FOUR AND FIVE TIEMS IT SHOULD BE EDITED OUT THREE OR FOUR TIMES.


    Any additional comments?

    THIS WAS A GOOD CASE. I REMEMBER IT AND SAW A SHOW (SNAPPED) ON IT. IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN A GREAT BOOK. BUT IT WAS NOT.

    3 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kimberly 03-22-14
    Kimberly 03-22-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    17
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Stop this bus!"
    Would you try another book from Gregg Olsen and/or Kevin Pierce?

    Maybe


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Not sure


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    Why not use multiple narrators and use women & men?


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Boredom, reinforced dislike of trailer parks.


    3 of 9 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Stephen Sharp
    9/27/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A drawn out story with a lot of pointles detail."
    What did you like most about Bitter Almonds?

    This book is simply about a woman killing people using cyanide, so was not the book I thought it was.A very long drawn out story with a lot of pointless detail.It could have been summed up in less than a third of the 20 hours with writer took.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.