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 i..Show More »t.
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!
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..Show More », 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! Got Shelby?
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 m..Show More »y review.
My Initial Reaction... I continue to enjoy Shelby's adventures! Lie or Die was a bit more active detective work on Shelby's part than the others and I loved seeing her solve her cases!
The Narration... Wendy Tremont King IS Shelby for me at this point. Her voice just matches the personality perfectly. Otherwise, she's an okay narrator. I'm not blown away by her male voices - they lack a bit of masculinity as female narrators often do, but they are not bad at all. There we no accents to trip her up like in the last book, so this was a more solid read for me.
The Characters... Shelby is THE reason to read this series. In Lie or Die I got more of the spunky, honest-to-a-fault, suburban housewife turned detective. I particularly love Shelby's inner dialogue when she's thinking about what she'd LIKE to do to someone and the ways she talked herself out or into doing those things. She's up against a PI in Lie or Die and he keeps following her around - making himself a nuisance - and I laughed my ass off seeing Shelby interact with him and deal with him. She's got quite the personality.
My favorite thing about the characters in Lie or Die was the personal development on the part of Chris - Shelby's husband - and, as a consequence, their marriage. He's been struggling, as I imagine any husband would, with Shelby's ability to read his mind. But what has bothered me in the previous books were the things Shelby would hear... Chris didn't see her as the strong woman she is. But in Lie or Die I think he's finally getting it. Sure, he's still super protective of her, but he's also letting her be super protective of him. They're much more of a team, even if Shelby still has to hide things from him (I LOVE the way she rationalizes when to lie to him BTW. It felt very familiar). The result is my loving their relationship that much more!
The Story... So with Lie or Die Shelby's finally opened her own private consulting business! We've seen this coming since book 1 and I felt really giddy when I realized it was finally happening. Shelby's case is to find the missing money from the bank robbery we learned about in Fast Money and Lie or Die took on a stronger detective feel than the previous books for this reason. Shelby's having to actively find and put together clues - and she's good at it! I have to say, I worried that this would make me like the series less since I am NOT your procedural girl. But Lie or Die never felt procedural - probably because of Shelby's personality and the mix of family life.
Of course, there's always more going on in Shelby's world than just one case. As usual, she's also working with the police. This time Dimples has called her in to help with an FBI (or was it CIA? IDK, all the same to me...) case and it definitely upped the stakes. I love seeing Shelby working with the police, since this is where we get to see some truly great moments where her abilities do good for people, rather than corporations or the mob.
Speaking of Uncle Joey - he's landed in it again too - and what do you know, this time the problem's are pulling in Chris! The case he's working on involves Uncle Joey and as a result, he's facing threats and real danger. I loved this twist because now more than ever Chris is learning to work with Shelby, rather than fighting her powers.
Concluding Sentiments... All-in-all Lie or Die was another great installment in the Shelby Nichols Adventures and I can't wait to see what messes Shelby lands in next time!
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 woul..Show More »d!
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.
I don't know how she does it but she keeps topping herself, book after book. Now I have to wait for the next Shelby story. I'm a U. S. Navy Veteran, v..Show More »ery accustomed to hearing and occasionally using "salty language". What the Freak and Holy Hell? Every time I hear them, I smile. It's rare to find a PG13 mystery/romance novel and I appreciate that too!
This book really worked for me, to the point that I’ve just nipped over to Amazon to buy book 1 in the series. I haven’t read or listened to any books..Show More » in this series before now and I feel that this book could have been slightly enhanced if I knew the backstory a little better.
Shelby Nichols is a the main character of this series and I adore her – she’s the perfect blend of ordinary, the kind of woman who packs tissues and extra socks for every journey ‘just in case’ and extraordinary, she has connections to the mob and is flown out to Paris to help Special Agent Blake Beauchaine track down a terrorist. Obviously it’s better not to think too hard about how Shelby has ended up in this situation because it’s too fun to dwell on! She finds herself being kidnapped, attacked, generally shoved about a bit and then rescued by the smoking hot Ramos, the mob-hitman who suffers from a terrible case of unrequited love. The sexual tension between the two is pretty spicy, however, she does genuinely seem to love her husband so I’m not entirely sure where the author is going to go with this relationship and I’m a little frustrated on Shelby’s behalf.
I think it’s the things that make her ordinary in contrast to her abilities that really makes her work as a character, she’s likable, she loves her family and she gets scared when faced by terrorists and murderers rather than running in and saving the day on her own each time.
The one thing that I did find quite funny was that she makes a couple of references to being a mother but the children are barely mentioned throughout the entire course of the caper that is Devious Minds – she mentions her husband quite often and speaks to him on the phone while she’s away for a week in Paris but doesn’t seem to have much to do with the kids in this book at all. I assume that there’s a lot more of them in the other books otherwise I’m a little concerned for this fictional character’s maternal instinct…
Wendy Tremont King is a spectacular narrator and the audio production was of high quality, listening to her read this book was an absolute pleasure – she brought the characters and the story to life, I don’t think there would be another voice talent better suited to the character of Shelby. I would definitely listen to her work in the future, especially if it was another book in this particular series.
Audiobook was provided for review by the narrator.
Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog
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