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Take the Monkeys and Run (A Barbara Marr Murder Mystery Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Karen Cantwell
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (252 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $11.25
Kindle Price: $2.99
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Book Description

“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.” – Publishers Weekly

Semi-Finalist, 2009 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest
"Barbara Marr is...perhaps the most hilarious amateur sleuth in literature....Cantwell handles her characters with flair and pizazz...blending page-turning action with those little tender moments that get you right in the gut..."

Book 1 in the bestselling Barbara Marr Murder Mystery 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.

237 pages of laugh-out-loud fun.

“The story is fast-paced, fun and with quite a few twists all rolled into one cute adventure.” – Socrate’s Book Reviews

“It was just plain fun to read.” Red Adept Reviews

"Take the Monkeys and Run by Karen Cantwell could easily become one of my favorite books of all time." -- Syria Says

“If you like a good mystery but want a refreshing new take with a bit of light fare, enough to make you laugh out loud, then Karen Cantwell's Take the Monkeys and Run will take you there.” Reviewed by Lee Libro at Literary Magic
Books in the series: Take the Monkeys and Run (#1), Citizen Insane (#2), Silenced by the Yams (#3), Saturday Night Cleaver (#4)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Karen Cantwell lives in the wild and crazy suburbs of Northern Virginia. She has no hobbies, she can't cook or sew, she's terrible at crossword puzzles, and she can kill a houseplant in a week without breaking a sweat. Luckily, Karen can string a few words together and has a knack for making people laugh, so she chose to write humorous mysteries for a living. The Barbara Marr Murder Mystery, Take the Monkeys and Run, is her first novel, and she's thankful that people enjoyed it enough to warrant writing a second. Karen loves to hear from readers. Visit for her email address and to learn about all of her books and stories.

Product Details

  • File Size: 496 KB
  • Print Length: 198 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1453721096
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003SE7O40
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #100,173 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
79 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, implausible, but believable - with monkeys August 17, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A soccer mom with three children and a just-moved-out spouse discovers monkeys in her yard, a head in unpleasant condition in the house next door, and more excitement that a soccer mom in a pleasant neighborhood should expect. There's an ex-boyfriend PI, a policeman who looks like Brad Pitt, and a really obnoxious mother. Oh, and the mafia might be involved. And somehow, it kind of makes sense.

This was very entertaining and a quick read. I really liked Barb, and I hope to read more about her and her adventures.
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52 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Soccer Mom Goes Sleuthing June 23, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition
In this funny, touching, improbable escapade in the burbs, heroine and movie buff Barbara Marr faces life's mishaps and mysteries with pluck and wit. She's not a gal to be undone by a few setbacks -- her husband has just walked out of their marriage, her mother keeps popping in unannounced, and oh yes, there's a severed head in the abandoned house next door, not to mention monkeys on the loose in the trees. It's enough to make the ordinary soccer mom want to run and hide but not this heroine. And that's what makes this first book by Karen Cantwell such a treat. She's given readers a story that shows how any woman can rise to any occasion and overcome just about any challenge. Bravo! I enjoyed every minute & recommend it with enthusiasm.
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45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FUN, and funny June 22, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a great little mystery with high hilarity. Yes, there are a number of improbable scenes, a couple that are Impossible-Over-The-Top, but it's all in good fun and keeps the pages turning. It was nice to read about a 45 year-old-heroine who had a lot of life and love left in her, with perhaps too great a sense of adventure and not enough sense to stay out of trouble. Karen Cantwell takes soccer mom to a whole new level. I really enjoyed the romantic aspects of this novel; they fit in seamlessly and were as much a mystery as the mystery! If you need an escape or a great beach read, this might very well be it. Highly recommended!
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Comedic Mystery September 27, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I absolutely loved Take the Monkeys and Run (A Barbara Marr Murder Mystery). Barbara Marr is an average suburban soccer mom with three kids and a husband who has decided he "needs space". When five monkeys show up in the trees in Barbara's back yard, she decides to find out how they got there. When she makes a gruesome discovery in the basement of the vacant house next door, things really get interesting.

Karen Cantwell's novel is one of the best comedic mysteries I've read. Her writing is flawless and her heroine is quirky and endearing. I'm really looking forward to another Barbara Marr mystery.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very nicely done! July 4, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book, and it was well worth the price of admission. The author has created a very funny and interesting sleuth in Barbara Marr, and this was one I picked up yesterday and had to finish this afternoon. I'd recommend to anyone who enjoys a nice light mystery, with plenty of humor and charm. I hope to see more in this series from the author!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing June 3, 2011
By Peri
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book had some potential and I think the author has some writing talent (not always present in current "idiot female detectives who won't share any information" books), but the plot was very thin, obviously linked to "True Lies" with the gorgeous man, etc., and a second half of the book almost all revolving around a completely ludicrous mafia tale. Ay yi yi. I was hoping for so much more. She had a catchy and quick beginning - I would like to see her dump this unattractive, self-centered and stupid heroine, and try a newer type of character. I also join those who don't see why the obscenities were there - not needed in this book (though sometimes they fit the plot).
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read January 11, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Normally I'm not that into novels with a female protagonist. It's nothing chauvinistic or anything. I guess it's because more often than not, such books revolves around themes that just don't peak my interest. Romance. Shopping. More romance. This book, however, was more my style. Comedy, action, movie references and a bit of a mystery (as the title suggests). As soon as I started reading the book, I had a hard time putting it away. And that's always a good sign.

Karen Cantwell writes well. She's witty and her sentences are tight. The flow of the story is good, it's easy to follow without details needing review on the back burner. The characters might be somewhat stereotypical, but in a good sense. In many cases this adds both humor and feel to the story. In a sense, this also makes the characters more believable. After all, we all know stereotypes exist for a reason. When it comes to the plot, it's not that deep. I, for one, figured out where we were heading quite early on. However, it is the ride that matters, and it was quite enjoyable all the way through to the end. I'm quite certain this won't be my last adventure with Barbara Marr.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars became tedious May 19, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I bought this because the sample seemed as though it might have potential for a quick, light read, but unfortunately it became unbearably heavy, so heavy and tedious that I was unable to finish it. I rarely give up on a book but this one certainly deserved that fate. The plot is pretty dumb to start with and the writer just keeps putting her characters into more and more improbable situations and gets them using even worse devices. Watch out for this one! Save your money, even the 99c.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars fun and action-packed
This was a completely unexpected page-turner. Having just finished a thriller that I just wanted to get finished with, I got sucked into a zany plot filled with crazy characters... Read more
Published 2 days ago by Charles H. Courtney
3.0 out of 5 stars Cute
I'm glad I came across this book. The movie stuff was a little tiresome but the plot was all fun and kitch. I would definitely read more by this author.
Published 5 days ago by danemom1
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast Read
This book holds your interest and is fast paced. The plot unfold little by little. you don't know what is coming until the end.
Jeanne Zabst
Published 11 days ago by jeanne zabst
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
It's been too long ago to give a review
Published 23 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very funny!
Published 27 days ago by Cindy M. Downs
3.0 out of 5 stars Tries too hard to be funny, but fails
It's an okay book, with pros and cons. On the positive side, it's a nice entertaining mystery, and the plot is nice. There are a couple of funny lines here and there. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kamalika Chaudhuri
1.0 out of 5 stars TAKE THE MONKEYS AND RUN
Barb ( the lead character), was a nitwit and very unconvincing. Frankly, I wonder how she dressed by herself in the morning.
Published 1 month ago by suzanne
4.0 out of 5 stars Love the title!
I've had this book on Kindle for a while but never got around to reading it; nothing to do with the book...just so many books to choose from! Read more
Published 3 months ago by CherylsPearls
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun story
This is a cute and fun read. Low stress and amusing if that is what you are looking to read.
Published 3 months ago by Mary Ross
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a fun read.
I read the second book in the series first. This is even better. I ended up staying up to finish it. I'm going to be reading more of her books.
Published 3 months ago by MB231
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More About the Author


I'm so glad and honored that you have visited my author page.

I have been writing plays and short stories for many years, some of which are published in short story collections.

My first novel, TAKE THE MONKEYS AND RUN, is a comedy-mystery, inspired, to some degree by a true monkey sighting in my own neighborhood. Because I love to laugh as well as make other people laugh, I have great fun writing the characters Barbara Marr, her friends and her adversaries. When I set out to write this book, I knew I wanted to write something that readers would say, "Now that was FUN." I HOPE I have achieved that goal. And if I did, please feel free to drop me a line at and let me know! I love to hear from readers. (especially if they LIKE the book!)

Books in the Barbara Marr series are: TAKE THE MONKEYS AND RUN (#1), CITIZEN INSANE (#2), AND SILENCED BY THE YAMS (#3), and SATURDAY NIGHT CLEAVER (#4). The fifth book, DEAD MAN STALKING, will be released September of 2014. You can also enjoy a Barbara Marr short story collection, THE CHRONICLES OF MARR-NIA, as well two holiday short stories, IT'S A DUNDER-BULL WIFE and BJORN!ON THE FOURTH OF JULY. All are available on Amazon for Kindle.

Again, thank you for stopping by!


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