Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Take the Monkeys and Run: A Barbara Marr Murder Mystery

Take the Monkeys and Run: A Barbara Marr Murder Mystery

4.0 105
by Karen Cantwell

See All Formats & Editions

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


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?

Product Details

CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Karen has been writing plays and short stories for many years, some of which were published in various college literary magazines. More recently, her short story "The Recollections of Rosabelle Raines," was published in the mystery anthology Chesapeake Crimes: They Had it Comin' (Wildside Press, 2010).

A few years ago she became inspired to write her first novel, Take the Monkeys and Run, a comedy-mystery, inspired, to some degree by a true monkey sighting in her own neighborhood. Because she loves to laugh as well as make other people laugh, she has the most fun imagineable writing the character Barbara Marr as well as her friends and adversaries.

These days, Karen can be found pecking away at her laptop, conjuring a collection of Barbara Marr short stories and a second Barbara Marr novel, Citizen Insane. Otherwise, she's spending time hanging with her kids before they hit those years where they pretend they don't know her.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Take the Monkeys and Run 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 105 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 11 days ago
Anonymous 13 days ago
A funny mystery...enjoyable.
Anonymous 14 days ago
A great quick read.
Anonymous 5 months ago
Anonymous 7 months ago
Funny good crazy LL
Anonymous 9 months ago
Anonymous 11 months ago
Pleasant read but plot a little far out there.
Anonymous 11 months ago
Fun and interesting read.
InspirationalAngel531 More than 1 year ago
Title: Presumed Puzzled Author: Parnell Hall Published: 1-19-2015 Publisher: St Martin's Press Pages: 288 Genre: Women's Fiction Sub Genre: Women Sleuths, Mystery & Thrillers ISBN: 9781250061236 ASIN: B010M4T7BG Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley . Cora Feldon is back and feistier than ever. This time around she is looking for clients for her friend, lawyer Becky Baldwin. While trying to drum up business for her, Police Chief Dale Harper finagles Cora into making a special puzzle for the upcoming police charity event. A sort or quid pro quo. Since we know Cora could not make a crossword puzzle if her life depended on it she goes to her niece Sherry Carter, the real woman behind the Puzzle Lady facade who makes up one for her. When Cora goes to deliver the puzzle Harper talks her into going a talking to Paula Martindale, whose husband is missing. When Roger Martindale returns home Cora and Chief Harper go to speak with him. They find Roger dead and Paula holding a knife dripping with the blood of her husband. Well at least Becky now has a client. Cora believes Paula to be innocent, but if she is right then who killed Roger and why? What or who was he doing at that run down hotel he regularly rented a room from? As always, Parnell Hall gives an entertaining and complex story that will keep you hopping from one conclusion to the next. The Crossword and Sudoku Puzzles scattered throughout the book for you to solve are and added bonus to the great plot that keeps you guessing as to who the murderer might be, wife, business associate or perhaps Cora herself. It is time to stop in and visit your old friends at Bakerhaven and catch up on the local gossip.
RandeeBaty More than 1 year ago
This was fun. It won't change your world or give you new insights on life but it's fun. The storyline revolves around a suburban mom who is very curious about strange happenings at what is supposed to be an empty house next door. When she goes to investigate in the middle of the night, she finds monkeys all over her yard. Interesting premise. Her husband has just left her and she's struggling to deal with that. When the mob starts threatening her and she has to call an old boyfriend for help, the story takes some strange turns that are not quite what I was expecting. I will some that some parts were exactly what I was suspecting like why her husband left but it did have a few twists. The heroine isn't a particularly smart investigator. She's a bit of a bumbler but I could relate to her on some levels. "Next to chocolate and peace on Earth, warm pajamas is what I wish for every birthday and Christmas. Soft and warm matching fleece socks are another favorite". Now this is a lady after my own heart. I hesitated to call it a cozy because some of the elements of the traditional cozy are missing. There's no hobby or store or club that everything centers around. There's no central theme, it's more of just a straight mystery in some ways but the feel is cozy. Plenty of humor, plenty of amateur sleuths. They do some pretty amateurish things at times. It almost has the feel of a wacky hi-jinks mystery but not quite. Anyway, enough analysis. It was fun, I liked it and I wouldn't hesitate to go back for more. I received a copy of this from netgalley for review. So there, all the proper disclaimers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago