Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Fast Money by Colleen Helme-5 stars

Helme, Colleen, Fast Money. AUDIBLE, 2013. AUDIOBOOK. $17.46

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.

 5 stars, ADULT

Lowcountry Boil by Susan M. Boyer-5 stars

Boyer, Susan M., Lowcounty Boil. Henery Press, 2013. prod. by Audible, Inc. Narrated by Loretta Rawlins. BOOK: $14.36. EAUDIOBOOK: $21.95.

After her grandmother’s death, Liz Talbot returns to Stella Maris to take over her grandmother’s house. Her return to her hometown, however, is tainted. Discovering her grandma was murdered, Liz puts her private investigator skills to the test to find out whodunit. Things are a lot more complicated than she thought, though. Not only is her ex-husband, Scott, involved, but also her sister, her scheming cousin, a friend’s husband, and a hitman who dated her sister all for the sake of an Oceanside resort most townspeople would do anything to stop if they knew the truth. With time running out and  more lives on the line, can Liz find out the truth before she or someone she loves winds  up dead?

Narrator, Loretta Rawlins does a great job of bringing to life Liz’s world. Her southern accent is realistic and her intonations do a great job of bringing out the mannerisms and unique personalities of the characters.  Although some of the voices are a little hard to tell apart, the humor and narrative devices make up the difference. The plot itself is well-developed and engaging with lots of plot twists and turns. Although this is not the first one in the series, it isn’t necessary to have read the first one to enjoy this one. Readers who like mystery, a little paranormal mixed in (main character sees and talks to her dead friend, Colleen), and a little bit of Southern charm will enjoy listening to this book.
5 stars, ADULT.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Carrots by Colleen Helme-5 stars

Helme, Colleen, Carrots. Amazon Digital Services, 2013. Pgs. 183.

When Shelby Nichols walks into a grocery store to get some carrots, she never expected her life to change so drastically. As the cashier rings up her purchases, a gunman tries to rob the bank inside the store. When a customer pulls off the guys mask, he is shot and so is Shelby. Soon, the other customer dies and the masked robber comes to find her, so no one can tell his secret. To make matters worse, when Shelby awakens after being shot, she finds herself able to read minds. Her dangerous new ability leads her to finding out a nasty secret about a mob boss known as Uncle Joey and somehow her husband,  Chris’ coworker, Kate is somehow involved . To top it all off, the mob boss has a murderer after him too. Are the two situations related? Who is the robber after her head? Will Shelby survive to find the murderer or murderers or will she be another victim?
A humorous, action-packed mystery for fans of books like Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum or other paranormal mysteries. The characters are likable and entertaining, even the bad guys. The plot is well-developed and engaging. With lots of twists and turns along the way, readers will have a hard time putting this book down.
5 stars, Adult