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Monkeewrench Mass Market Paperback – April 6, 2004


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Product Details

  • Series: Monkeewrench (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Signet; Reprint edition (April 6, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 045121157X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451211576
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 1.2 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (185 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #444,516 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A mother-daughter writing team pens a soundly plotted thriller that fires on all cylinders. Tracy (the authors' pseudonym) seamlessly weaves together three distinct subplots converging on a Minneapolis software company, Monkeewrench, run by eclectic misfits and founded by the beautiful, bitchy, haunted Grace MacBride, an enigmatic recluse. The slaying of an elderly couple in a Wisconsin church draws Sheriff Michael Halloran and his amorous deputy, Sharon Mueller, into an investigation that brings unprecedented scrutiny to their conservative rural town. At the same time, a string of baffling murders in Minneapolis are driving homicide detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth bonkers. Then the folks at Monkeewrench figure out what's going on: a killer is staging a series of exotic murders that duplicate those in their grisly new video game, Serial Killer Detective. Desperate to prevent additional murders (the game has 20), the programmers study the victims to figure out who might be next. Meanwhile, Magozzi's investigation reveals that MacBride and her colleagues created entirely new identities for themselves years earlier, for reasons the FBI won't reveal, but which, Magozzi slowly finds, are connected to another series of murders a decade earlier in Atlanta. Tracy covers all the bases in this debut thriller: an accelerating, unpredictable plot that combines police procedural with techno-geek-speak, an array of well-drawn characters and, most importantly, witty repartee.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

When people start dying in strange ways in Minneapolis, everyone wonders what the murderer will do next--everyone except the employees of Monkeewrench Software, who are all too aware that their new serial-killer computer game is the model for the crimes. They go to the police with the what, where, and when of the next murders and quickly become suspects themselves as the killer strikes again exactly as they predict. Does the closely knit group of coworkers know something they're not telling about the all-important who and why? The missing pieces come eventually from an unlikely source as a rural Wisconsin sheriff links his own chilling case to the Minneapolis murders. The two teams of detectives--one from the big city and one from the small town but both with their own quirks, love interests, and insights--provide the sparkle in this engaging debut thriller by a mother-daughter writing team who lace their suspense with humor a la Harlan Coben. Carrie Bissey
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

It is well written with interesting characters and a great plot.
"weecats"
The clues unravel efficiently and the twists and turns of the plot kept me turning the pages as fast as I could read them.
Colleen McMahon
Once you start the book, you'll want to keep reading until you finish the book - I read it in one evening!
Scott D Gauss

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Peggy Vincent on April 30, 2003
Format: Hardcover
When a debut mystery gets as much press and hooplah as Monkeewrench has received, I've just got to read it, but I read with some healthy skepticism. This book, however, deserves all the praise. A writing team of mother/daughter wrote it (how do they DO that??), basing the dense and riviting plot on a computer game that suddenly seems to be imitated in real life as people, based on characters in the game, keep turning up dead. The plot thickens (dum-de-dum-dum...) when we learn that one of the protagonists lives as a near recluse, surrounded by protective devices, due to having been threatened with murder years earlier - and the perp was never nabbed. And when it's discovered that the employees of the software company (the game's inventors) all have been given new IDs by the tight-lipped FBI, well, things get dicey. With 3-4 sub-plots unwinding, the book is a testament to the skill of the authors' ability to keep everything moving along with the skill and precision of a teenager with a joystick.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By TundraVision on July 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Start up with two dead Roman Catholic bodies in a RC pew in rural Northern Wisconsin. The deceased couple were worth over $7 million, but left it all to THE LUTHERANS! Flash over to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where people are dying, well, like, victims in a video game.
What do these dastardly deeds have in common? You will want to read this fast-paced debut mystery/thriller by the mother/daughter team of P.J. and Tracy Lambert (pseudonym P.J. Tracy - get it?) to find out. It's a taut, well-characterized, rapid ride that makes my SLEEP? Who needs SLEEP? Page turners- all night long List. It is also often humorous and astute: Gino stared at the group with the dull disbelief of a World War II Vet suddenly transported to Woodstock. Reviewed by TundraVision, Azon Reviewer
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Scott D Gauss on June 2, 2003
Format: Hardcover
A double murder in Wisconsin and a series of murders in Minneapolis are somehow related to the mysterious employees of Monkeewrench software. Telling any more would spoil the fun of letting this book reveal the story!
The authors put a lot of life into the various characters: two Minneapolis detectives, a Wisconsin sheriff and two deputies, the five partners of Monkeewrench software, plus one wife, the victims of a double-murder, and a whole cast of supporting characters. That's probably what made this book so much fun to read, along with the fact that the book has a lot more humor than the typical murder mystery.
The book isn't perfect though; there are one or two details in the mystery I was still wondering about after I finished reading the book. There's also a slight bit of misdirection going on in the plot, which is common enough in mysteries, but it always leaves me feeling a little cheated.
So, it's a fun, fast read that draws you in and makes you want to finish. The great characters are part of what makes the books so engaging. Once you start the book, you'll want to keep reading until you finish the book - I read it in one evening!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Colleen McMahon VINE VOICE on July 22, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I finally got around to reading this book in my massive to-be-read pile (I'd already piled up the next two books by this mother-daughter writing team based on the great reviews). Wow! Hard to believe they are first-timers.

First, the mystery aspect of the novel is intriguing. What do a dead elderly couple in Wisconsin, a series of serial killings in Minneapolis staged to look like those in a video game, and the mysterious pasts of a bunch of computer programmers have in common? The clues unravel efficiently and the twists and turns of the plot kept me turning the pages as fast as I could read them. The clever double twist of the plot really entertained me as I had the satisfaction of mostly figuring out one aspect of the mystery but still be surprised by the ending.

But what really hooked me was the cast of intriguing characters. There are the Monkeewrench folks, especially the heroine Grace, who is so scarred by something in her past that she is always heavily armed, lives in a veritable fortress of a home, and will only wear long heavy riding boots for shoes. Surrounding her protectively are a bunch of other misfits with lots of personality quirks. And working to solve the mystery are two sets of likeable cops, the Minneapolis detective team of Maggozzi and Rolseth, and the Wisconsin sheriff and his department. They all interact delightfully and several potential relationships begin in this book. It's the likeable characters that hooked me on the series, and made me immediately dive into the next two books to spend more time with them and see how they develop.

I highly recommend this novel, and highly recommend that you read P.J. Tracy's books in order to avoid spoilers!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Karen Kirsch on April 24, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Set aside your Michael Connelly, drop the Jeffrey Deaver, lend out your Stuart Woods, and then please...please pick up this book! I have found a new favorite author (actually plural,
a mother and daughter team no less.) This book was an incredibly interesting first attempt in the serial killer genre. I honestly was hooked by the end of chapter 1. As the story shifts from Wisconsin to Minnesota, with similar characters in each locale, a computer game dealing with a serial killer has been designed by 5 computer geeks. Their history goes back to college 10 years before. As their game is played out in reality, we cannot guess the perpetrator or the motive. I loved this book...a 2 day read.
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More About the Author

P.J. Tracy is the pseudonym of the mother-daughter writing team of Patricia Lambrecht and Traci Lambrecht. They each live in rural Minnesota, just outside of Minneapolis.

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