Monday, February 19, 2018

Review: Tips for Living by Renee Shafransky (audio)


Title: Tips for Living
Author: Renee Shafransky
Narrator: Susan Bennett
Published: February 2018, Brilliance Audio
Length: 10 hours 53 minutes
Source: Publisher

Summary: 
On the day Nora discovered that her husband, Hugh, had gotten another woman pregnant, she made a vow: I will come back to life no matter how long it takes…

It’s taken Nora three years. With the help of her best friend, she fled New York City for a small resort town, snagged a job as the advice columnist for the local paper, and is cautiously letting a new man into her life. But when Hugh and his perfect new family move into a house nearby, Nora backslides. Coping with jealousy, humiliation, and resentment again is as hard as she feared. It’s harder still when Hugh and his wife are shot to death in their home.

If only Nora could account for the night of the murders. Unfortunately, her memories have gone as dark as her fantasies of revenge. But Nora’s not the only one with a reason to kill—and as prime suspect in the crime, she’d better be able to prove it.




My thoughts: This is a debut novel for author Renee Shafransky and it caught me by surprise! I think the title leads you to think one thing, but don't let that throw you - this is a story full of mystery and intrigue, murder and a fun little romance that kept me hooked from start to finish.

I think what I enjoyed most is that the character of Nora is one that we can all relate to on some level. To me, that is a sign that no matter what she is up against, I know I am going to be rooting for her and wanting to follow her through her travails. Nora has been betrayed by her now ex-husband - not only did he have an affair, but he managed to get his mistress pregnant, something Nora and Hugh were struggling with. Now here's where the humor of the book comes in...Hugh actually wanted Nora to take part in raising the baby! As if!!!  I could so appreciate Nora's anger and just had to laugh at the stupidity of Hugh's ridiculous suggestion.

Can you tell just how this book will draw you in? And that's just the beginning. The characters, though there are many, are quirky and intriguing, and though not all are as richly drawn and complex as Nora is made out to be, they will keep you engaged and captivated by this story, especially once the murder happens. Just who did it? And why?

I enjoyed this book, with all the twists and turns it took, and loved the small-town life that we got to glimpse along the way. I hope this is just the start of good things to come for Renee Shafransky as this debut novel certainly shows she has what it takes to create a fun, intriguing mystery that entertains as much as it mesmerizes you.


Audio thoughts: I adore Susan Bennett's narrations so I was pretty happy when I saw she was narrating this debut novel. Not knowing anything about the author, I definitely took a chance with it, at least knowing I had a seasoned pro telling the story. And she did such a good job with the voices, giving each character their own unique voice. Her tone and intonation were spot on and she infused just the right amount of inflection and tension into her voice as needed. 


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