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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 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.