Customer Reviews


178 Reviews
5 star:
 (114)
4 star:
 (41)
3 star:
 (13)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:
 (8)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I understand all the hype
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,...
Published on April 30, 2003 by Peggy Vincent

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's not bad, but I had some problems with it. It's interesting enough to pass the time if you like murder mysteries.
MONKEEWRENCH by P. J. Tracy.

STORY BRIEF:
Monkeewrench is the name of a software company that creates computer games. There are five partners. Ten years ago something happened that caused all of them to change their names, move to Minnesota, live in secured homes, and carry guns. Their new game, just released, is about a serial killer with twenty crime...
Published on February 11, 2012 by Jane


‹ Previous | 1 218 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I understand all the hype, April 30, 2003
This review is from: Monkeewrench (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Murder & Mayhem in Minneapolis (and St. Paul), July 22, 2003
By 
TundraVision (o/~ from the Land of Sky Blue Waters o/~) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Monkeewrench (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
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Pageburner with Great Characters, June 2, 2003
By 
Scott D Gauss (Winfield, IL United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Monkeewrench (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!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Debut!, July 22, 2005
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!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars May I please give 10 stars!, April 25, 2003
By 
This review is from: Monkeewrench (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For once, a book that lives up to the hype!, May 23, 2003
By 
This review is from: Monkeewrench (Hardcover)
I was curious about this book after reading a glowing review in, I think, People magazine. I've been disappointed by reviews before, but this book was everything the review promised, and more. I love the characters, and especially the interplay between the characters. There are plot twists and enough kinkiness and gore to satisfy those with a blood lust; unlike another reviewer, I didn't find the language particularly obscene. True mystery buffs will have a good idea "whodunit" so the ending is not a total shock, but it is satisfying, nonetheless. It was a one-day read -- I couldn't put it down -- and I look forward to reading more by this/these author(s). I also enjoyed the Minnesota locale, though I can't vouch for its accuracy since I've never been there. If you liked this book, you might also enjoy "AKA Jane" and "Run Jane Run" by Maureen Tan.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More More More!!!!, September 18, 2005
The best mystery I've read this year! This mother/daughter team is one to keep an eye on. The software company Monkeewrench is developing a new game, but this one won't be in the schools like their others. This one is about a serial murderer. The user examines the crime scenes, as presented, and when all the clues have been logged, the next crime scene is presented. When bodies start appearing in identical poses to the crime scenes in the 'unpublished' game, the Monkeewrench crew contacts the police to prevent more deaths. But when eyes turn to the software company, their shrouded history raises some eyebrows. Uncovering the past and the present brings answers, but will they be in time? Grace is an awesome protagonist - you feel like part of the team from the start. I was totally surprised by the ending.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really Good & Totally Freaky, August 2, 2005
By 
This review is from: Monkeewrench (Hardcover)
It took me a few chapters to get into this book, but once I was hooked, I couldn't put it down. And it totally freaked me out. I didn't want to go to the Mall of America for a long time after I read it.

The novel starts with an execution type murder in small county, Wisconsin that opens up a world of questions. And somehow the trails runs all over the country and ends up next door, in Minnesota, where someone is killing people in the same exact manner as Crime Scene Investigators type video game. The object of the game, created by a computer software company called Monkeewrench, isn't to kill people, but it's to find clues from each of the killer's crime scenes and ultimately catch the killer. So who is the killer? Is it someone who's been playing the prototype game that Monkeewrench has offered on their website? Is it someone from the Monkeewrench's past? Or is it one of Monkeewrench's five owners?

Normally when I read whodunits, I pretty much have no idea whodunit. This time, I totally thought I had the killer tagged. But I was wrong! Which was cool.

This mystery will keep you guessing and the characters - Grace, Annie, Harley, Mitch, Roadrunner, Leo, Gino, Mike, Bonar, Sharon, and a few more of a rag tag and colorful bunch - will make sure that you have a good time while you're trying to figure it all out.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Stunning Debut, December 19, 2003
By 
Untouchable (Sydney, NSW Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Monkeewrench (Hardcover)
The premise to this debut novel is instantly fascinating, the kind of start that has you licking your lips in anticipation of a great story. The good news is, the rest of the book lives up to the early promise and provides a thrilling story that had me frantically turning pages.
A small company of computer whizzes who operate under the company name of Monkeewrench Inc are on the verge of releasing a sure fire hit of a computer game. It's called Serial Killer Detective and judging by the number of web-site hits, pre-release orders and prototype downloads, it's going to be a mega seller. The game itself displays murder scene photos and the player plays detective, gathering evidence in order to solve the case. The photos that make up the game are very distinctive, not to mention lifelike and seem to be one of the big attractions to the game. The Monkeewrench partners can almost see their wealth grow before their eyes.
But then the murders begin and when the murder scenes look almost exactly like the photos in the game all thoughts of future happiness and wealth for Mnkeewrench evaporates. Enter Minneapolis homicide detective Leo Magozzi, an instantly likable character and another of the strong points of the book. He leads the investigation into the murders, which number 2 before the comparison with the game is made. The big problem is there are a total of 20 murders in the game, which leaves a lot to go and a huge headache for Magozzi. Meanwhile, sheriff Michael Halloran is in the middle of investigating a double homicide in the small town of Calumet, Wisconsin. How on earth is this related to what's going on in Minneapolis?
A tremendously suspenseful story is the result as the police seem powerless to stop the murders from taking place, even though they seem to have enough information to stop them. And when we find out that the Monkeewrench people have been through this sort of thing before, well, it gets even more intriguing.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kept me turning the pages!, June 3, 2003
By 
Debra F. Gilbert (Alton Bay, NH United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Monkeewrench (Hardcover)
Everywhere I turned, someone was throwing a "Monkeewrench" into the mix! I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and all the characters.
The writing was wonderful, the dialogue amusing and fun to read. What can I say...read the book, you'll love it.
Enjoy,
Debbi
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 218 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Monkeewrench
Monkeewrench by P. J. Tracy (Hardcover - April 14, 2003)
Used & New from: $0.01
Add to wishlist See buying options
Search these reviews only
Rate and Discover Movies
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.