Tips for Living by Renee Shafransky

Tips for Living by Renee Shafransky
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full length (328 pgs)
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Cholla

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.

Betrayal isn’t an easy thing to put behind you. However, it’s the one thing Nora knows she needs to do. Move on and get over her cheating ex-husband’s treachery. Which, she was doing quite well with for the last three years until he – and his new wife and child – arrive in the quiet little town Nora had settled into. Now what was she going to do? Live and let live or take the bull by the horns?

Nora is a fabulous, complex character. She has her ups and downs and it’s all so relatable. Her anger, jealousy, and bitterness all come from an honest place and not just an outlet for revenge. When you add in the murder of her ex-husband and his new wife, things only get more confused for her. It doesn’t help that she’s been suspected of the double murder and, when she realizes she’s started sleepwalking again, can’t honestly rule herself out either.

Tips for Living is a wild, rollercoaster ride of a story. There are infinite twists and turns that I never saw coming. The author’s relaxed voice only makes it that much easier to devour the novel. I loved the little bits from the paper that were included between chapters, gave the book a homier sort of feel. The large case of characters makes you want to visit this little town for the summer and get to know them all. They also all have their secrets, giving you a wide pool of suspects for the murders. I must say, I never once suspected the actual culprit either. If this debut novel is any indication, the author’s next book out to be even more amazing.


  1. “Infinite twists and turns”–Yes! I want that. Sounds like a good one.

  2. Poinsettia says:

    Great review. I’m definitely interested in reading this one.

  3. Nothing better than a story with twists that keep coming.

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