Tips for Living was my January selection from the Amazon First program and I delved into this light, quick-reading book with no hefty expectations, armed only the knowledge that it is a murder-mystery by a new novelist (although Shafransky has a background in screenwriting and therapy).
The premise of the book: Nora is a divorcee who moves to a small summer town outside the city post-divorce. The end of her marriage wasn’t pretty–her ex cheated on her and got the other (younger) woman pregnant and then left her to marry the former mistress. But she’s moved on and is determined not to be “the bitter ex.” She finds work and a comfortable rhythm of life in this small waterfront community until her ex and his new wife buy the largest house in town right down the road from her. And then get themselves killed in that house in a particularly brutal and seemingly-intentional way. All signs point to Nora and even she can’t convince herself that she is 100% innocent due to her history of sleepwalking (among other indications of her guilt). Most of the book is about Nora’s self-directed journey to find the killer and clear her name (and maybe find a little new love….).