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THE ONLY WITNESS (The Neema Mystery Series) [Kindle Edition]

Pamela Beason
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $13.95
Kindle Price: $3.99
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Book Description

Join more than 25,000 readers who downloaded this prizewinning book!
~GRAND PRIZE WINNER - "Neema knows how to negotiate for a banana and steal your heart while doing it......a marvel of story-telling--Chanticleer Book Reviews Blue Ribbon Contest
Mystery and suspense from Daphne Award Winning Author Pamela Beason


Seventeen-year-old Brittany Morgan dashed into the store for just a minute, leaving her sleeping baby in the car. Now Ivy’s gone and half the town believes Brittany murdered her daughter.

Detective Matthew Finn, a big-city fish out of water in small-town Evansburg, Washington, struggles with his wife’s betrayal as he investigates Ivy Morgan's disappearance. The clock is ticking and he can't find any witnesses.

Imaginative, manipulative, and volatile, with the intelligence of a five-year-old child, Neema cannot speak, but she knows enough sign language to invent jokes and insults. She can also hurl a grown man across the room. Neema is a gorilla.

After a psycho murdered one of her “talking” gorillas in Seattle, Dr. Grace McKenna relocated to the Evansburg area. Now with the economy on the rocks and her funding cut, her beloved gorillas Neema and Gumu are in jeopardy. When Neema repeats a story of a crying baby, a cucumber car, and a snake, Grace realizes her gorilla is the only witness to whatever happened to baby Ivy.

Does Grace dare go public with Neema’s sketchy clues? Can she afford not to?

Editorial Reviews


"Wading into controversial themes, this rollicking thriller touches on human trafficking, teen pregnancy, and the role of animals in the lives of people." - Publishers Weekly

"Neema knows how to negotiate for a banana and steal your heart while doing it...a marvel of story-telling" - GRAND PRIZE WINNER - Chanticleer Book Reviews Blue Ribbon Contest

What readers are saying:
   "Great read for book clubs!"
    "This story grabbed me from the first chapter..."
    "The premise of this book is genius..."
    "...Even with a gorilla in the mix, it seemed much more realistic than most books these days..."
    "What an amazing plot, and it could really happen..."
    "Is there a sequel?...I want to go back to Evansburg."
   "A great story filled with great characters"

From the Author

As a private investigator, I have been involved in a few cases in which very young children provided crucial testimony.  I am also a lifelong animal lover and read everything there is relating to animal intelligence.  So when I learned that a gorilla has the IQ of a 5-year-old human child, I got to thinking...what if a gorilla that communicated in sign language was the only witness to a major crime? The communication skills and behavior of Neema and her mate Gumu are based on research studies I have read about the capabilities and behavior of Koko (a signing gorilla) and various chimpanzees who have been taught sign language.

I did not originally intend THE ONLY WITNESS to be part of a series, but because readers have expressed a lot of enthusiasm for Neema, I have now published a sequel, THE ONLY CLUE, and have a third book (and three gorillas) romping around inside my brain.

Product Details

  • File Size: 586 KB
  • Print Length: 314 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0979876869
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: WildWing Press (January 19, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004WOX12O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #176,861 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story - wonderful heros June 26, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
This story grabbed me from the first chapter where the perspective is from the gorilla witnessing the crime. I love stories that include the animals and wildlife but this story goes beyond to not only bridge the gap by including gorilla sign language but also shows how the gorilla is still a very large, mostly wild animal. I know the 16 year girl isn't the best mom but I liked her humanity, drive, and reality of the situation. My heart ached for her.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The anguish feels real! June 10, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
Engaging story!
Can you imagine your infant daughter vanishing into thin air and half the town believing you'd murdered her? That's what the teen mom in this story has to go through. The stakes are high, the characters are believable, and you'll race through the pages to find that moment when the players will put the odd clues together to find baby Ivy.
Hard to put down, loved it!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Murder or kidnapping? June 14, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
That's the question in Detective Finn's mind when an infant disappears from a car. He can't find any real clues and everyone is hounding him to solve the case when an anonymous tip finally comes in. After he tracks down the tipster, he's more frazzled than ever. Can a tip from a gorilla about a cucumber car and a snake really help to solve the case? Very unusual story, well told from multiple points of view.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A hip and socially relevant who-done-it November 1, 2012
Seventeen -year-old Brittany Morgan's infant daughter was taken from her car--an apparent kidnapping. Brittany's young mind is quaking in attacks of hope, fear, guilt and desperation. Why would anyone take little Ivy from her? Where can Ivy be by now? Is she being held for ransom? Is she still alive?

Detective Matt Finn hopes so. As a recent transplant from the mean streets of Chicago, where experience taught him to expect the worst, to the relative innocence of a small town in the Pacific Northwest, where everyone already has an Ivy-fate theory, he knows that this investigation is not going to go smoothly. His clue file is empty and the clock is his enemy. If only he could find a witness to the crime! Well, Dr. Grace McKenna over at the "Talking Hands Ranch" just left what she hopes was an anonymous tip that might be able to help the investigation. It seems that one of her charges witnessed the snatching of baby Ivy.

In "The Only Witness" author Pamela Beason employs knowing doses of drama, humor, adventure and romance to polish her clever premise into a sparkling jewel; a friendly persuasion of plot and character development that maintains a high level of reader interest and fascination.

Beason's linguistic skills are evident in the often endearing scenes in which Dr. McKenna is patiently trying to coax some useful testimony from the agitated Neema who has a story to tell. Neema is the endearing gorilla that Dr. McKenna is teaching sign language to at Talking Hands Ranch. She is a dangerously strong and potentially aggressive "witness" with the IQ and attention span of a human five-year-old. Nevertheless, Neema knows how to negotiate for a banana and steal your heart while doing it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Animals make this story special June 15, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
The plot of this book is the investigation of case of a missing baby, but the real theme is all about animal intelligence and interspecies communication. Dr. McKenna's gorillas have the smarts of a five-year-old child and can 'talk' with their humans in sign language. Detective Finn learns that the dog and two cats he originally found annoying have plenty to teach him as well. Everyone's world is a little broader by the end of the book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended Read June 7, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
There's nothing like trying to do a difficult job when everyone's watching you. I sympathized with Detective Matthew Finn, an outsider and the subject of much gossip in a small town, as he struggled first to sort out whether he was investigating a murder or a kidnapping, and then was faced with the dilemma of a lone eyewitness who was not human. The scenes where he meets and interviews the gorilla are priceless!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hooked me from the start May 15, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
From page one of Pamela Beason's The Only Witness, I was hooked. So inside the head of a sixteen-year-old mom, Beason starts out with a loving but immature girl who leaves her baby in a carseat while she runs in to get diapers. Next to the girl's car is a van with dark windows, and inside a signing gorilla who witnesses what comes next.

I look forward to reading more from this author. She's a storyteller with unique and twisting plots.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read April 26, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The premise of this book is genius - a signing gorilla as the only witness to a kidnapping. It's intriguing to explore the capabilities and emotions of a signing ape. And the other characters in this book are equally interesting, genuine, and fun to get to know. This book was hard to put down. The story woven by Ms. Beason is spellbinding and brilliant. I highly recommend this book and any others written by this author.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Page-turner!
I picked up this book at Chanticleer's booth at the AWP convention in Seattle this year. Started reading it when I took a lie-down that afternoon. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Gotta pay yer dues if ya wanna sing the blues**
3.0 out of 5 stars The Only witness
I could not get into this book, sorry Pamela. I will try again later, it was not the fault of the writer it is just not the genre I am into right now as I am still in the stars... Read more
Published 2 months ago by The Mama
5.0 out of 5 stars Covers can be decieving!
I was skeptical when seening the cover of this book but knew Pamela Beason was a great author so I took a chance. I am so glad that I took that chance. This was a great book! Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mossymoma
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
This was a very interesting book, love the gorilla and the sign language is fascinating. Glad she is doing a sequel.
Published 3 months ago by astrid
4.0 out of 5 stars just a touch of fantasy
Many sub plots made this book special love the interaction with the cats and his dog as he comes to like his pets. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Miff
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
I enjoyed reading this novel. It was well written and kept you in suspense right to the end, I recommend this book.
Published 8 months ago by Daisy A. Gmitter
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it
Loved this one. Some of the characters could have been more developed and believable but all in all a fun read
Published 8 months ago by alan e spidle
5.0 out of 5 stars A great story filled with great characters!
This story had me from page one. I don't usually read mysteries, but the question of who stole baby Ivy hooked me right away. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Jomama
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read
I had no preconceived notions about this book, didn't know the author or anything. Started the book and could not put it down, which is a pretty good indication of how much I... Read more
Published 10 months ago by B. Adams
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful mystery
The Only Witness is a gorilla who is part of a language study. Neema witnesses the kidnapping of of 2 month old Ivy. Matt Finn is the detective who must solve the case. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Ulonda Rogers
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More About the Author

Pamela Beason lives in the Pacific Northwest, where she writes novels and screenplays and works as a private investigator. When she's not on the job, she explores the natural world on foot, in cross-country skis, in her kayak, or underwater scuba diving.

Beason is the author of seven full-length fiction works: THE ONLY WITNESS (1st of the Neema mystery series and Grand Prize winner in the Chanticleer Book Reviews Contest), THE ONLY CLUE (2nd of the Neema mystery series), ENDANGERED (1st in Summer Westin eco-mystery series), BEAR BAIT (2nd in Summer Westin series and winner of the Daphne du Maurier Award), and UNDERCURRENTS (3rd in the Summer Westin series), SHAKEN (1st of the Langston Green romantic series), and CALL OF THE JAGUAR. She also wrote the nonfiction titles SAVE YOUR MONEY, YOUR SANITY, AND OUR PLANET and SO YOU WANT TO BE A PI?. She is currently finishing a new YA adventure novel and a sequel to SHAKEN.

As an avid outdoorswoman and animal lover, Beason challenges the human assumption that we are the superior species. Engaging and touching, each of Beason's titles takes readers on an adventure while reminding us that drifting through life is not enough; you have to live it.

Pamela Beason blogs and tweets about writing, outdoor adventures, and the value of being present in the moment. She looks forward to connecting with readers on her Twitter, Goodreads Page or Blog.

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