Take the Monkeys and Run

Take the Monkeys and Run

by Karen Cantwell

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USA Today Bestselling Series!
Film lover Barbara Marr is a typical suburban mom living the typical suburban life in her sleepy little town of Rustic Woods, Virginia. Typical, that is until she sets out to find the missing link between a bizarre monkey sighting in her yard and the bone chilling middle-of-the-night fright fest at the strangely vacant house next door. When Barb talks her two friends into some seemingly innocent Charlie's Angels-like sleuthing, they stumble upon way more than they bargained for and uncover a piece of neighborhood history that certain people would kill to keep on the cutting room floor.

Enter sexy PI Colt Baron, Barb's ex-boyfriend who would love to be cast as new leading man, filling the role just vacated by her recently estranged husband, Howard. When Colt flies in from out of town to help Barb, events careen out of control and suddenly this mini-van driving mother of three becomes a major player in a treacherous and potentially deadly FBI undercover operation. It's up to her now. With little time to spare, she and she alone, must summon the inner strength necessary to become a true action heroine and save the lives of those she loves. The question is can she get them out alive before the credits roll?

From Publishers Weekly
This fun if light novel's quippy, hilarious narrator, Barbara Marr, has so much warmth and genuine gumption, you'd certainly want her on your criminal investigative team. The spunky Virginia housewife and mother of three is almost at the end of her rope -- her hunky husband, Howard, has left her; it's her 45th birthday; and she's just discovered three monkeys living in the trees in front of her house. "Life was pretty sucky" as she puts it. But while investigating the curious case of these monkeys, a bit of unexpected adventure shakes things up just the right amount. In a warm-hearted, deftly observed comic-farce-meets-mobster mystery, Barbara and her friends from her quiet suburban neighborhood, Peggy and Roz, stick their noses into the business of a deserted house down the street and find themselves caught up in some off-the-wall FBI business that hits way closer to home than they could have imagined. Perhaps a bit goofy at times, this is nevertheless an outright treat: diverting, funny and fast-moving. -- This text refers to the manuscript reviewed as a part of the 2009 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940011802881
Publisher: Karen Cantwell
Publication date: 10/01/2010
Series: Barbara Marr Series , #1
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 196
Sales rank: 5,940
File size: 399 KB

About the Author

Karen lives and writes in Northern Virginia. She enjoys entertaining readers with her USA Today bestselling Barbara Marr Murder Mystery Series. Karen also writes several Barbara Marr short stories as well as the new popular Sophie Rhodes Ghostly romance series. Karen loves to make people laugh and also loves to hear from readers. You can learn more about her and contact info at www.KarenCantwell.com.

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Take the Monkeys and Run 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 148 reviews.
BearMountainBooks-Maria More than 1 year ago
I read this book a few months ago and liked it so well I immediately sent fan mail. :>) It's a fun, fast-paced cozy mystery with a little side of romance--the old-fashioned kind. Okay, so not *every* one of the wild action scenes was...entirely plausible, but who cares? It's zany, funny and well-written. The characters jump off the page; they are lovable, a little crazy and a lot of fun.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Karen Cantwell's "Take the Monkeys and Run" is a fast paced mystery with trigger happy dialogue that has a little to do with monkeys and a lot to do with the laugh-out-loud antics of one suburbanite soccer mom/obsessed movie buff, who finds her imagination running wild when monkeys and a human head are discovered at the house next door. With the help of some neighborhood friends and an old flame from college, she unravels layers of hilarity and insanity, as well as secrets her husband has been keeping for their entire marriage. If you're in the dumps, this book will certainly brighten your day!
Sally_Bennett_Author More than 1 year ago
The author caught my attention as soon as the monkeys showed up, and she never let me go. The tongue-in-cheek stereotypes (New Jersey wiseguys nicknamed "Frankie" [after Frank Sinatra], "Elvis" [a look-alike], and "No Toes") and crazy plot twists make for a great page turner. The implausibility of Barbara Marr's life going off the rails like this just adds to the charm. It's more of a cozy than an action-thriller for most of the way, but I had to reset my expectations toward the end, where the comedy diminished and the action ratcheted up. Overall a good combination, with the writing style so enjoyable that I was able to overlook the typos, which tend to bog me down in a less interesting book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Who doesn't like a murder mystery that includes the mob, monkeys, and a heroine who is housewive with a husband and a couple of kids. There's lots of humor and having an ex boyfried show up adds some interest to the story. I will be reading her next book.
YvonneReviews More than 1 year ago
Suburban housewife Barbara Marr is not having a good day. In fact, it's something straight out of the movies she so loves to watch. Her husband suddenly walks out on her and their three daughters, she's turning 45 and now there are monkeys running wild around her backyard. After hearing strange noises coming from the vacant house next to hers, Barbara does some snooping and finds a rotting dead head. She wonders just what is going on in the small town of Rustic Woods, Virginia. With the help of her friends, Barbara starts to do some investigating. She's determined to get an explanation for the monkeys and the dead head, but when her neighbors decide not to talk, she knows something very big and very bad is going on in Rustic Woods. When she starts to receive death threats, Barbara fights back and refuses to back down until she gets some answers. This is a rip-roaring, laugh out loud, cozy mystery. I couldn't put my ereader down. The characters are off beat with a wide range of different personalities - loveable ones to not quite so loveable. From bumbling mobsters to a cop who bares a striking resemblance to Brad Pitt. The story is fast-paced, fun and with quite a few twists all rolled into one cute adventure. There was one scene in the book that scared this animal lover, but I kept reading and I'm glad I did. I do hope there will be more Barbara Marr stories in the future. I already miss Barbara and her wacky friends and family.
GrannyDoodle More than 1 year ago
Loved the book. I find Karen Cantwell's sense of humor tickles my funny bone.
totton More than 1 year ago
Meet Barbara Marr-- mother, wife, and snoop. After her husband leaves her, Barb needs to find something that will distract her from her woes. That something arrives in the form of monkeys in her trees early one morning. Barb has always felt there was something wrong about the empty house next door, and after hearing what sounded like monkeys, she decided she had to investigate closer. Barb's snooping not only puts herself in danger, but also a few of her closest friends. And Barb will learn very soon, that the house next door isn't the only one that's been keeping a secret.
bunny190 More than 1 year ago
this is an easy, laugh out loud book
GraceKrispy More than 1 year ago
The first in the Barbara Marr Murder Mystery series, this book by Karen Cantwell is a hoot. Barb is zany, outlandish, and doesn't always make the best choices, so she's a lot of fun to follow. She says and does things we all think about sometimes. She's a typical mom with three girls and a bit -ok, more than a bit- of a movie fetish. Barb sees things in terms of how characters in a movie would react, which adds some nice color commentary. I found this tact to be a clever way to tie the storyline in with Barb's character, and it really helps you get a more developed picture of what Barb is like. It also leaves a lot of potential for future storylines. The wacky premise and kooky cast of characters is reminiscent of those found in books written by Jennifer Crusie and Jane Heller. If you prefer realistic mysteries, then this may not be your best choice. This book is pure fun and silliness, and what I consider to be complete "brain candy." I know, for me, indulging in brain candy is a really relaxing and entertaining way to spend some free time. Along the line of these types of stories, the writing style is a bit quirky, with some interesting grammar constructs. In a story of this genre, this informal and offbeat writing doesn't seem out of place. The storyline gets a little more outlandish on each new page turned. The sometimes eccentric secondary characters add color to the story, and the descriptions of each character allow you to really picture them. There is some predictability to the plot, and some of the male characters, in particular, seem cliche, but it's all in line with the genre of the story. The ending is satisfying in the way that is typical of this type of book, and it prepares you to read the next story in the series. Overall, a zany and fun adventure in which to immerse yourself! @ MotherLode blog
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Desperate Houswives goes NCIS. Definitely belongs on your just for fun list to read in between the heavier books.
Barbara-Silkstone More than 1 year ago
This review is from: Take the Monkeys and Run (A Barbara Marr Murder Mystery) Who hasn't had monkeys in their backyard? Or FBI agents under foot? But it's the way Barbara Marr takes it all in stride, slinging side splitting one-liners that makes me proud to be a "Barbara." It's easy to see why this novel was a semi-finalist in the 2009 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest. Karen Cantwell's writing is an acquired taste... as soon as you acquire one Barbara Marr mystery, you'll want them all. I can't wait for Citizen Insane. I read for pleasure - Take the Monkeys and Run is pure pleasure. Barbara Silkstone The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland, Age 42 and Three-Quarters
LCEvans More than 1 year ago
Heroine Barbara Marr is an amateur sleuth with a family, a bossy mother, and an ex boyfriend who would like to get back into her life now that Barbara's husband is suddenly sending mixed signals. It isn't as if Barbara deliberately sets out to delve into her neighborhood's mysterious past, but who can blame her for getting a little involved--okay, a lot involved--when the trees near her house are suddenly filled with monkeys. Funny situations, quirky characters, and a lot of twists and turns make for a very amusing story. Take the Monkeys and Run is an over-the-top suburban adventure that made me laugh out loud in places. My favorite scene was the one where Barbara was driving her daughters and her mom home from a trip to Washington, D.C. and she was stopped for speeding. To say more, would be a spoiler. Let me just say, as a mom, I can certainly relate and it was pretty funny
Anonymous 4 months ago
I don't know why, the first time I began this story, it didn't appeal to me. Very glad I gave it another try because it was a really good book!
Anonymous 10 months ago
JJMM on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I am writing this review in exchange for the book from the author.I really want to like this book. There are some parts that are really good but yet there are so many frustrating things for me. The story starts out strong and captures your attention. It seems that it's going to be witty and fast moving. But then it starts to drag and drag. By the end I just wanted it to end.Barbara really bothers me in parts. I find her funny but I hate the damsel in distress that she sometimes takes on. I was frustrated by the presence of and moments she has with Colt, especially in front of her daughters.But what REALLY bothers me is all the swearing. I can take a word here or there. But the "F" word was used more liberally then the word "the" sometimes.I have read other works by this author and have really liked her books. So I am off to read another one and see if it is just this one that is a slow and full of trash talk.
Scoshie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ok this book had me from the first sentence and I literally laughed all the way through. I could not put this book down. I actually was reading it at work on break and had to put it away until I finished work because I couldn't stop laughing. Great job and am really looking forward to reading more Babara Marr mysteries. Well Done!! What a lovely way to spend an afternoon in the sun.
igjoe on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Take the Monkeys and Run is a fun romp with some good laughs. I found this book to be light-hearted and fun. There is no way you could guess how the story will turn out, which is great. I love Barbara's stay-at-home mom meets action hero character. A character all of us mothers can get a chuckle from. The short story that follows was also a nice touch. If you need a break from stoic, serious books this is a nice one to try.
quirkygurl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book's colorful cover and clever title drew me in. And the book itself did not let me down. Take the Monkeys and Run is a witty, clever book and I just fell in love with the main character Barb. She tries to be a perfect mom (but she's not, like most of us) and her husband has moved out without explanation. Then she hears strange noises in the night, followed by a gaggle of monkies in her backyard the next morning. Could her life get any worse? Um, yes, and it does. Throughout this novel I found myself giggling one minute and reading furiously the next, so seemless is the writing. If you enjoy flawed characters (real and likealbe) and you take a little cozy with your mysteries, then I reccomend this novel. It's a quirky, fun read and you won't be sorry!
smik on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I can't count the number of times that I felt like abandoning this book. For me there were just too many characters, even a neighbour of 25 years, who could not be taken at face value. By that I mean they were not who they were originally presented as. And you know the concept of painting yourself into a corner? Well, this author did that several times, and the solution was yet another plot change, another rabbit plucked out of the hat. The result is a plot that leaks like a sieve.It may simply be that I was meant to find the plot much more comic than I did. I really have a limited sense of humour and comic crime fiction rarely cuts it for me. That I am among a minority of Amazon readers is patently obvious from the average rating of 4 and a bit stars given by 42 reviewers. So TAKE THE MONKEYS AND RUN, a semi-finalist in the 2009 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest, may well be your cup of tea. It just wasn't mine.
NCRainstorm on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Take the Monkeys and Run is a quirky and fun murder mystery. Barbara Marr is not your typical young, beautiful murder mystery heroine. This is a good thing! She's in her forties with two daughters and a husband who has just left her. She's broken, but not destroyed. Investigating the strange happenings next door is just what she needs to keep going.The story has monkeys, a human skull, mobsters, and an ex-boyfriend. What more does a mystery need? Humor! There's lots of it! Barbara is sarcastic, with a self-deprecating wit. The mobsters are so dumb, they are hysterical! The author, Karen Cantwell, even managed to make the ending full of suspense, terror, and mirth. I laughed my way to the end. Read it and you will, too!
elbakerone on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Barbara Marr is just an average wife, mother, and movie aficionado, but when her husband moves out her solid foundation is shaken. A sleepless night leads to observing the abandoned house in her neighborhood, and when a moving truck arrives at the suspicious house in the middle of the night - followed by monkeys populating her backyard the next day - Barb is determined to figure out what's going on. Her amateur sleuthing soon turns up a grisly scene, and talk of the mafia is buzzing around her block. Barb could be suffering from an overactive imagination, but she's not ready to give up easily. Add in a police officer who looks like Brad Pitt, Barb's private investigator ex-boyfriend, and her walk-out husband who keeps walking back in and the mysteries pile up as high as the laughter.Take the Monkeys and Run is a smart and witty book that is as charming as it is suspenseful. The plot twists and turns are delightfully unpredictable and layered with a great blend of intrigue and comedy. Barbara Marr was a freshly unique protagonist, too. She is an everyday woman yet there is nothing vanilla about her character or her life. Facing extraordinary circumstances, she summons both courage and brain power while demonstrating the strength of her heart as well as her sense of humor.Karen Cantwell excels at creating a fun and engaging novel with this work. The characters were well-developed, the story well-told, and even though the plot wraps up nicely, I left the book eager for more. Cantwell is definitely an author to keep an eye on and if her future works are as entertaining as Take the Monkeys and Run, a long and successful writing career is surely in her future!
asigg44 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I won this book from Library Thing's Member Giveaways.This book was so funny and quirky and I loved it! It was also a very good mystery as well. What more could you ask from a book!This is the story of a housewife who was outside with her cat in the wee hours of the morning and saw something going on at the house next door. This wouldn't have been odd, except that the house next door had been empty for almost 30 years. She decides to go take a look and ends up getting herself and a friend who comes out to help into heaps of trouble by some pretty shady people. This happens the week after her husband of almost 20 years leaves her out of the blue, claiming that he needed space and leaves her to deal with their 3 children by herself. She calls in a friend from California who jumps onto the next flight to help her with her mystery.This is a very quick, interesting and funny book, that I immensely enjoyed in 2 days. I liked how Ms Cantwell tied the beginning to the ending in a very smooth, methodical way. I would recommend this book to anybody...very cute book!
debbideb70 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What a great, light-hearted fun read. It was such a believable mess that Barbara Marr got herself into that I could see myself in the same type of messes! Thanks Karen for bringing our heroine Barb to life and sharing her with us! From the very first page, the antics of Barb and friends was something that had me asking What next?'It was a fun ride and some good, clean fun for a change. I enjoyed reading about this adventure and hope that Barbara Marr will be back with more adventures in the near future!
Jess1rph on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I won this book through LibraryThing's early reviewer program. This was an okay story. I am not usually a fan of books that portray mobsters as bumbling idiots. This is a story about mobsters harassing a housewife after she witnesses one of their misdeeds and tries to figure out what exactly she saw. For those people who like fluffy murder mystery books, this is a great one. For those of us who like a little more intensity to our books, this one falls short.
madamediotte on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A hilarious novel that is sure to keep you interested! It was quite an enjoyable read, and I look forward to reading more from this author. Barbara Marr is a rather unique character!