A trip to the mall gives Shelby the shock of her life when she finds an extra five million dollars in the bank account Uncle Joey set up for her. She thought he was out of her life for good, but with this fast money, she's not so sure. Now she must decide if she will tell her husband the truth that she can still read people's minds. Including his. How will he feel when he finds out she lied to him?
When the Mexican Police tell her that Uncle Joey's been kidnapped and look to her for the ransom, she knows she's in big trouble. As if that isn't enough the police detective she worked with needs her help to solve a case, and she unwittingly becomes a witness to murder. In her fight to stay alive, she finds that everyone wants a piece of the money, and just how far they will go to get it can be a matter of life and death. She just hopes it's not hers.
©2011 Colleen Helme (P)2013 Colleen Helme
I travel nationally and internationally 2 weeks or more a month, and I am always looking for new books to listen to that will absorb me!
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!
My name is Kira and I work as a librarian in utah. I love all kinds of books, but especially like fantasy and mystery.
humorous, action-packed, entertaining
My favorite part was when Shelby caught the hitman trying to kill the prisoner in the courthouse.
Shelby Nichols was probably my favorite, because of her spunky personality and resolve.
Lots of times. Too hard to pinpoint one
Ever since getting hit by a bullet by a gunman, Shelby has been able to read people’s thoughts and it’s caused her a fair amount of trouble. After her last encounter with Uncle Joey, a local mob boss who’s not her uncle, Shelby Nichols thought she was done. She was wrong. When $5 million dollars makes its way into her account that Joey set up for her, she knew trouble was sure to follow, she just didn’t realize how much. While waiting for her husband, Chris, to get out of her trial, Shelby witnesses a hired hitman come in and kill a defendant in the adjacent courtroom. The only witness to seeing the man at the scene of the crime, Shelby is now the next target. To make matters worse, a lot of people are coming around wanting the money Uncle Joey left in her account. With Uncle Joey nowhere to be found and Ramos, the bodyguard/hitman for the man injured in action, Shelby is left with her and her husband’s own devices to get out of it. Even worse than that, the hitman is somehow connected to it all. Can Shelby get out of this predicament or are her days numbered?
Narrator, Wendy Tremont King does a great job of bringing to life Shelby’s world. Her unique intonations do a great job of bringing out the mannerisms and unique personalities of the characters, male and female. The humor and narrative devices are amusing and draw the reader in. The plot itself is well-developed and engaging with lots of plot twists and turns. Although it’s better to have read the first in the series, Carrots, first, it isn’t necessary to have read the first one to enjoy this one. Despite the fact that this book is missing a Ranger or Morelli like Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich, Ramos and Chris sure come close. Perfect for mystery fans who like a little paranormal and humor mixed in their novels.
It's definitely at or near the top. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book!
Yes! I didn't want to stop listening! I even drove in the wrong direction to get somewhere and didn't care when I realized I had to turn around because I was listening to the book! I wanted to find out what would happen next!
That's tough! There were so many fun things in this story! But I really liked the scene with Shelby and her Mexican kidnappers and how she made her escape! Shelby is pretty gutsy!
There were several parts that moved me to laugh out loud, and several that had me on the edge of my seat, but nothing that moved me to tears, and that is great with me! Shelby keeps getting herself into so many sticky situations! I love that she got a stun flashlight! I love all her thoughts about the $5 million in her bank account. I also love how her relationships with everyone in the book are growing. I just love these books!
I love the Shelby Nichols adventures! I can't wait for the next one to come to audible! It's a fantastic series! Both Colleen and Wendy have done a tremendous job!
I would say that they stand on their own very well, I find that the audio book really brings the story and characters to life, I love being able to listen while I work (on thoughtless tasks only, otherwise I slowly zone in to the book and out of everything else)!
Probably when Shelby is talking to the Mexican police, she's so funny, she thinks it's a scam and totally blows them off without even a blink.
I LOVE the way she portrays Shelby, you really get a feeling for who she is by the inflection that Wendy gives her.
I laughed out loud a couple of times, and my husband who was just in the room with me while I was listening, kept chuckling at certain points, even though he wasn't listening to the whole book with me.
I love these books, I read all of them and can't wait to listen as they come out!
Gret this you will enjoy it!
Even though main character is a mind reader you can still relate to her.
First one....she did a fantastic job.
We read to know, we are not alone ~ C.S. Lewis
Another fun adventure with the slightly goofy yet indefatigable Shelby! Picking up closely where Carrots (Book 1) left off, Shelby is far more forthcoming with Chris about her skills and the unusual appearance of $5 million in the bank account Uncle Joey set up. Again, Shelby’s ability to hear what people are thinking is a great aid, and often a hindrance to her own reactions and relationships with others: even though she did inform Chris early on that her skill had returned.
Still speaking before she speaks, and her reaction to what she ‘hears’ versus what is actually spoken lead her into several fast-thinking moments that are all blunder and bravado, with very little grace. What makes this series is Shelby’s own naiveté and inherent goofiness: she is someone who always spoke first, often to her detriment, and that hasn’t changed: only the information has improved.
This book has a fairly simple, yet incredibly involved and twisted mystery at the core: even the characters seem to have some moments of losing the thread in the twists, making it even more fun to hear and follow along. Narration in this is also by Wendy Tremont King, and her ability to give voice to Shelby that feels real and completely evocative of her emotions at the moment add significantly to the plot and flow. She’s made narrative choices in pitch and tone that present the ‘eavesdropping voices’ that Shelby hears slightly different from the verbal conversations, leaving it clear to the listener that she has heard thoughts that the owners would prefer remain unknown. Each character has a voice that is distinct and unique to them, in tone, pacing, accent and even idiomatic expressions: every element serves to enhance the plot and written words and makes this a wonderful example of an audio recording.
I enjoyed this one even more than the first, and while I want everyone to jump in and listen, you really will do yourself a disservice if you haven’t read or heard the first in the series. Key elements carry forward from the first book, and those elements are necessary for understanding what is going on, and seeing the normal from the aberrant.
I received an AudioBook copy of the title from the author via AudioBook Jukebox. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Book blogger at Gin's Book Notes. Love books in any form. (audio, eBooks, print) Love them all!
Since I quickly worked my way through the entire series and enjoyed each book would say it ranks up there with some of my favorites.
Maybe the Lexi Carmichael Series by Julie Moffett.
Shelby, her voice and pacing was perfect for this character. She made me laugh several times at the situations that Shelby got herself into.
I laughed out loud several times. Especially when Shelby was dealing with the Mexican "police".
This is a great series for lovers of cozy mysteries. It has a lot of lovable characters and exciting adventures.
Take a look it's in a book...Reading Rainbow!
The second book in the series is even better than the first, but you will need the first book to fully understand events in this book. I am very pleased to say this book turned around the things I did not like about the relationship between Shelby and Chris. I love that they worked out the key to things is keeping an open line of communication.
Shelby is a touch naive, especially for a proposed mystery/detective fan. That is one of the things that makes the series, if she were more savvy there would not be much of a story to the book. She goes back and forth between being rather clever to absolutely clueless. This is definitely a mark of a stay at home mom/housewife only just spreading her wings. The reader really gets to see her growth throughout the series, she is getting quicker on the uptake with each book. I do agree with her husband that she needs a keeper.
The romance between Shelby and Chris is genuine and engaging. I love the idea of a couple who have been married for so long and are still in love. All the potentially hot scenes are closed bedroom. There are plenty of smexy kisses but not much more. This is more about the mystery that the romance.
There are many layers to the mystery this time. It is never hard to follow but it is very involved. Heck the main characters have moments when they forget about the side stories. I do like the continued interactions with Dimples, Ramos and Uncle Joey. Even though Ramos and Uncle Joey are bad guys they are very likable. Not sure how long that will last, they are both murderers after all. As long as they find Shelby charming and useful she will be fine.
The pace of the story is steady, not a fast paced read but not a drag either. The narrator for the audiobook, Wendy Tremont King does a great job of keeping the story moving. She has a really appealing tone that instills energy into the story. Her voice makes Shelby seem real and less of a flake, she manages to make her sincere and sweet. While her male voices are not very deep, they are distinct and separate from the females. It is easy to tell the difference when she is thinking and speaking. The narrator also has an added challenge of making it clear when she is hearing thoughts rather than people speaking to her. Ms King is a real compliment to the book,I love her delivery and really hope she will read the rest of the series.
My fingers are crossed the rest of the series will come out on audio, I hate switching between formats. While I am eager to hear what happens next, I am willing to wait a touch and see if the other books are recorded. If it takes too long I will have to hunt them down in ebook. Ms Helme has created a really interesting read with engaging and dynamic characters, very much along the lines of Stephanie Plum or Kathleen Turner.
Disclosure - I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts, opinions and ratings are my own.
I received this book for free from Audiobook Jukebox in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
My Initial Reaction...
I beginning to understand what people like about cozy mysteries! I didn't actually know what they were before starting on this series, but I'm really enjoying my adventures with Shelby and Fast Money was another fun mystery to watch Shelby solve!
Wendy Tremont King is an okay narrator, but this was not her finest hour. I think Colleen Helme surprised her by throwing some Mexicans into the mix and she just couldn't handle it. Her Mexican accents were really really bad - I laughed pretty hard actually. Now, my BF is Mexican and I live in Texas so I may be extremely aware of this accent and thus a pretty hard judge. But that aside (which was a small part of the overall book) the narration was fine and Wendy is a good match for Shelby. Her male characters are even fairly solid.
I read this series because of Shelby quite frankly. There's several things I love about her - she's not super young. She's a middle aged mother of 2, stay at home mom, married to a lawyer. She's a bit more high middle class than I am and because of a weird accident she can read minds - but other than that, Shelby feels so normal and real. I could be friends with Shelby. I love that, despite being so incredibly ordinary (other than the mind reading thing), Shelby has spunk and some serious guts! She's going head to head with killers, mob bosses, kidnappers, FBI agents, etc and holding her own. Hell, she's making them squirm! And it's not really because of her mind reading ability - it's because of who she is. She's smart, clever, and resourceful.
I wish her husband, Chris, saw Shelby for all that she is. Don't get me wrong - I also really like Chris. I love that they're still so incredibly happily married. It's so nice to read a series about a couple who aren't just falling in love or getting divorced. They're dealing with a long term commitment and it's many bumps, while remaining 100% in love. That said- Chris can be just a bit too paternalistic for my taste. He has a protective streak, which I understand and respect, but sometimes he goes too far and forgets that Shelby is quite capable.
I continue to enjoy the characters that Shelby interacts with. However, Uncle Joey and some of the other bad guys that show up continue to be non-threats in my mind. They just seem a bit too soft for me to see them as really dangerous. Some are downright ridiculous (and I'm sure the accents didn't help with this perception). Only one bad guy really truly worried me. But that makes this fun, rather than scary, and I like that.
So in Fast Money Shelby is landing herself in all kinds of predicaments again. But first, Uncle Joey is putting her in one giant one. In the amount of 5 million dollars. 5 million dollars that Shelby discovers in her bank account when she stops at the ATM before splurging on a pair of boots. The very next day she receives a note from Uncle Joey telling her about the money and that she shouldn't tell anyone about it. That it could be a matter of life and death. And that if he dies before returning from Mexico, she gets to keep the money. Can I just say - who does that?!?! Really?!? Despite how ridiculous it is that Uncle Joey would trust Shelby with that money, it certainly landed Shelby in the middle of it. Next thing she knows, she's on the FBI & CIA's radar, not to mention the Mexican Cartel's.
But that's not the only problem Shelby has. Nope, Shelby landed herself in it too. When visiting her husband Chris at the courthouse she overhears the thoughts of several people involved with a bank robbery and when the robber on trial gets killed, she ids the killer. Of course, reading thoughts doesn't exactly stand as evidence - so things get tricky there. And then there's the art theft that she's helping the police with. It seems like a simple case, one quick mind read and she knows who did it. But in Shelby's world, it's never that simple. I enjoyed these two storylines, because while the mystery was solved easily, how Shelby could deal with it was complicated.
Fast Money was a fun, quick read. It's lighthearted mystery and action with lovable characters and I look forward to listening to the next one!
I love this series! It's very well written and has a really unique plot. The only thing I wish the author would change is I wish Shelby would dump her husband! He is a total male chauvinist who treats his wife like she is a dim-wit. And the fact that she totally agrees with him all the time just to make him happy makes her a very weak character at times.
My favorite parts of the book are when Shelby and Ramos are together in scenes. There is so much chemistry there! Lose the husband and have a romance with Ramos!! PLEASE!
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