Tips For Living: A Gripping and Soulful Novel of Suspense
By Renee Shafransky
Lake Union Publishing; Feburary 1 2018; hardcover + e-book
Tips for Living is the debut novel for Renee Shafransky, and it centers around a woman who has been wronged and is determined to “come back to life” following a very public, devastating divorce.
Nora Glasser fled New York City to recover from the humiliation and heartbreak of her then-husband, acclaimed painter Hugh Walker’s, infidelity.
Not only did he have an affair, but his mistress became pregnant and he expected Nora to work out an “arrangement” so they could all live and love together.
Nora vowed that this would not destroy her and that she would reclaim her life and identity. Three years later, she has made a new life for herself in Pequod, an idyllic seaside town. There she works as an advice columnist for the local paper, The Pequod Courier, and is cautiously letting a new man into her life.
Just as Nora was back to being herself, Hugh and his perfect family purchase a summer home in Pequod and Nora regresses. Suddenly, all the hurt, anger, jealousy, and resentment resurface and it’s all she can think about.
Nora’s comeback is definitely over when she finds herself at the center of a double-murder investigation. The victims are her ex-husband and his new wife.
They were shot to death at their new home and Nora can’t recall where she was the night of the murders. Her memories have gone as dark as her fantasies of revenge and everyone, including herself, questions her innocence.
Pequod is a complicated little town and Nora isn’t the only person who has a reason to kill. The growing presence of “summer people,” including Hugh Wilson, buying fancy homes, crowding downtown and raising the cost of living for the locals has created real animosity.
As the prime suspect, Nora must play the role of amateur sleuth in order to prove her innocence, and is racing against the clock to do so.
Nora doesn’t trust her own mind, yet she has to trust her gut in order to save her life.
This complex murder-mystery is the perfect tableau for Shafransky, an accomplished writer and psychotherapist, to prove herself in the novel genre, and she delivers.