Fun Mystery

[ FAST MONEY: A SHELBY NICHOLS ADVENTURE ] By Helme, Colleen ( Author) 2011 [ Paperback ] - Colleen Helme

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!

The Narration...
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.

The Characters...
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.

The Story...
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.

Concluding Sentiments...
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!