Live Bait (Monkeewrench #2)
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Live Bait (Monkeewrench #2)

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  3,160 ratings  ·  184 reviews
Minneapolis detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth are bored - ever since they solved the Monkeewrench case, the Twin Cities have been in a murder-free dry spell, as people no longer seem interested in killing one another. But with two brutal homicides taking place in one awful night, the crime drought ends - not with a trickle, but with an eventual torrent. Who would kil...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published April 5th 2005 by Signet (first published January 1st 2004)
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One For The Money by Janet EvanovichMurder on the Orient Express by Agatha ChristieA is for Alibi by Sue GraftonMonkeewrench by P.J. TracyA Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle
Favorite Mystery Series
39th out of 215 books — 74 voters
Esme Dooley by Jane  DonovanShiver by Maggie StiefvaterLake Wobegon Days by Garrison KeillorSlave by Sherri HayesWolves by Cary Griffith
Books Set in Minnesota
20th out of 105 books — 61 voters

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Community Reviews

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Just re-read this one.
P.J. Tracy has a new huge fan in me. I couldn't wait to read this one after the wonderful "WANT TO PLAY". I thought the first few chapters were dull compared to their previous novel, but as "Live Bait" progresses and as the case unfolds dramatically, the pace quickens.

The dialogues are still top-notch. Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth are the starts of this book -I love them. I have to say that again all the characters in this story are authentic and human and that's why I giv...more
Dec 06, 2013 Katy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of mysteries, thrillers, suspense
Book Info: Genre: Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: Fans of the genre and series
Trigger Warnings: Violence, murder, hate crimes

My Thoughts: This is the second book in the Monkeewrench series, following Monkeewrench (review here where formatting allowed). I first read this second book in the series soon after it came out in 2005, but didn’t review it at the time. Since I have acquired books 5 and 6 (after having read the first four), I decided to re-read the whole seri...more
What an awesome read! If you are fan of mystery suspense then this series may be for you. We met Leo and Gino, homicide detectives, in the first book of Monkeewrench. Now Milwaukee is in the middle of a mini heatwave (for them) in April and wonder of wonders they haven't had any murders in awhile. What is up with that? Just when Leo and Gino decide that it is safe to relax, BOOM! They get a call of a murder at a landscaping business and all bets are off as the murder incidents of geriatrics star...more
Lynn Spencer
I liked this book quite a bit, though not so much as Monkeewrench. This book focuses much more on Magozzi and the police, and the Monkeewrench crew doesn't appear very often. The case they work to solve(murders of several elderly people) was intriguing and the momentum of the case carried me along through the book for most of it. Even though I didn't expect it, I found myself enjoying the ways in which the relationship dynamics between the various detectives played out. The whole squad seemed to...more
**4.5 stars**

Awesome, awesome book. As usual with this series, I laughed a lot (the characters are so damned funny) but I also cried my ass off. There were some very moving parts in this book.

The mystery was really good but the overall theme of of the story had a deeper message: the nature of right and wrong, and how good people can do terrible things for what they think are the right reasons.

I loved the progression of the relationship between Magozzi and Grace. With her past, it's obvious that...more
Mary JL
Dec 18, 2009 Mary JL rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: any mystery fans
Recommended to Mary JL by: No one--am fan of the series
Shelves: mystery-horror
This is book 2 in the Monkeewrench series. You could read it first; but if you read Monkeewrench aka Want to Play first, then some parts of the book make a bit more sense. And book #2 does have a few more spoilers.

That said, the Monkeewrench books are going top speed and top notch for me. The dialogie is outstanding, as usual, and the mystery is very well done. The ending was a suprise.

It got a 4 star rating instead of a 5, because I wanted to see much more of the Monkeewrench crew; thought the...more
I'd actually forgotten about P.J. Tracy's first book, Monkeewrench, until I was browsing in the bookstore and came upon this sequel. While Monkeewrench focused more on computer genius Grace MacBride and her team, Live Bait features homicide detective Leo Magozzi and his co-workers. A homicide lull is broken by several deceased senior citizens who appear to be pillars of the community, or at least nice people. The detectives are at a loss so they feed information to Grace who is helping police ac...more
LIVE BAIT (Police Procedural) – VG
P.J. Tracy – 2nd in series
G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2004 – Hardcover
When elderly, well-loved Morey Gilbert is murdered, Milwaukee Dets. Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth are called to investigate a sad, but basic murder. However, when other elderly people in the same neighborhood and with a common history are also murdered, it’s clear there more going on than first seemed.
***The Tracy’s have a wonderful voice with interesting characters. Grace and the gang from the first b...more
I liked it, but i started to lose interest about 3/4's of the way through, i then sort of struggled to finish it. Not sure why, it was an okay plot and storyline, i like most of the main characters. although sometimes the "cutesyness" gets to be a bit thick in places and seems stale. i just felt like parts of it could have been shortened up a bit, and I would have liked to see a bit more of Grace in this book with Magozzi, the ending was a nice touch. It gave me some hope for Grace to have some...more
Michele Harrod
Loved this novel, one of those books that make you question your own morals - asks "What would you do" then pretty much throws you on your ear and makes you think again. A mother and daughter writing team, this pair are great!
The Monkeewrench series is awesome. The narrative is quirky as are the characters and each story is an interesting commentary on American culture. I can't wait for the next one to come out.
I am beginning to enjoy the Monkeywrench series because I can see beyond the lighthearted bantering of the characters--besides humor there is compassion, sense of justice, complex crimes to solve, serious interaction amongst characters, underlying personal development, and more. The murders in this book have to do with holocaust survivors. I figured out the underlying motives, which didn't take away from how the detectives solved the murders. I will likely read the next in the series but not rig...more
I have to say that I really liked this book, possibly even more than I liked the first one in the series. I feel that by the time we get to this second book we know the characters, we know who they are, we know their backstories etc. which means that the focus can lie on the actual plot and Magozzi and Gino’s case.

The plot is great as well. I found the case interesting right from the start, but then it takes some twists and turns I really wasn’t expecting, and that drew me in even more.

The Monke...more
Magozzi hefted a suspicious-looking dark orange brick of cheese. "Twelve-year cheddar? Is that legal?"

Gino grinned. "That stuff'll make you weep with joy, I promise. Got it at a great little cheese house in Door County. Somebody forgot about a wheel in the cellar and found it twelve years later, covered in about a foot of mold. Nirvana, my friend. Pure nirvana. It's amazing what a cow and some bacteria can do."

Magozzi sniffed it and cringed. "Oh yeah. Every time I see a cow, I think, Hey, wouldn
Kara Jorges
The story here takes place during an April heat wave in Minneapolis; annoying since I read it during the coldest May in years. We are plunged immediately back into the lives of the Monkeewrench characters: Monkeewrench—Grace, Roadrunner, Harley, and Annie; the cops—Magozzi and Rolseth and too many others to keep straight. The book also assumes we remember these people from the first installment because there isn’t much back story on anyone, which gets really confusing with the litany of cops. Ad...more
It is not too often that I finish book one in a series and immediately start book two. I did here...

Premise of the book: Seven months have passed between the horrific murders based off a computer game by the company Monkeewrench and Minneapolis homicide has been in a lull up until now. Old people in Uptown are being shot to death, the body count is up to four and they all seem to revolve around one man, now dead. Suspect number one is the man's son, who also appears to be the next target and he...more
The ladies are back and ready to hit you over the head with another Monkeewrench. The two ladies that have combined forces to write this series are truly a force to be reckoned with. A solid five stars on the second book in a series is something that is truly not as common as houseflies on a warm sunny window in the chill of fall. And do not think that for one minute that you are done with this until you are truly done. If you turn your back on this one thinking all has been solved before you re...more
Anna Janelle
I received P.J. Tracy's second installment in the Monkeewrench series as part of the Good Reads First Reads program; thanks to the author and G.P. Putnam's Sons for the opportunity to both read and review this novel.

Minneapolis Dectectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth are brought in to investigate a string of violent murders with octogenarian victims. Morey Gilbert, the first of these victims, has a seemingly spotless record with no loss of persons willing to speak to his good reputation. He, li...more
After solving the Monkeewrench case, Detective Magozzi and Rolseth are bored as the twin cities have been murder free. However this changes when 2 murders take place in the same night. Morey Gilbert being one who was beloved by the community often referred to as 'a saint'. But who want to kill Morey Gilbert? Whilst Grace McBride uses her hacking skills to find out the connection between the 2 victims, more murders follow, all from the same area and all elderly.

This is the second book of the Monk...more
Won as part of the Goodreads first reads program.

Good lord I thought this book was boring. I realize I am in the minority here, but I found this book a total slog. It was very predictable and I couldn't care less about the characters. Looking over other reviews, I believed I wouldn't have a hard time starting with the second book in the series, I was very wrong. I am under the impression that the other books revolve around the Monkeewrench crew, and they appeared that they might be interesting...more
LIVE BAIT is the second in the Monkeewrench series featuring detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth. Someone is killing senior citizens yet the only link is the concentration camp tattoos found on the victims. The death of Morey Gilbert is the most puzzling of all because everyone loved him and didn’t believe he had an enemy in the world. But he has an estranged son, a son-in-law still grieving after the death of his wife and on the verge of suicide, and a wife who not only moved the victim bef...more
Ready to head into the third book after finishing the second in the series of four that I have. Scary to think what old people could really do and be so unassuming. . . .
Love the little love story behind the murder mystery, although it makes me crazy how looonnnggg it's dragging out! Still enjoying this new author, should have jumped on these right away when I received them!
The folks from the thrilling Monkeewrench are back. Grace is slowing adjusting to a life without terror, finding it difficult to feel safe without her gun and other protections. While Magozzi continues his quiet and slow courtship of her.

Two murders of elderly men engage the detectives of St. Paul, without any seeming connection. Then two more octogenarians end up dead. The detectives begin their painstaking investigations while Grace's new computer program works to find connections buried deep...more
Bev Taylor
where do i begin?

the repartee between magozzi and grace is laugh out loud or deep groan and roll of eyes - either way u r guaranteed a sore stomach! the authors should take up a career in writing the scripts for stand up comics

add to that a crime plot and u have the perfect match

question for u - who would u cast as grace and magozzi if they filmed any of these books?


I haven’t read a good mystery in years. Recently, a friend reminded me that I should, and I’m glad I took his advice. This was a delightfully entertaining cops-n-robbers (or should I say cops-n-murderers) romp set in Minneapolis. Tracy has a wonderful sense of humour and a way with words that continually amused me. A great diversion from “real life” and a fun and easy read. I’m looking forward to reading more by this author.


“Don’t be silly, Annie. Magozzi and I don’t have that ki...more
I enjoyed this book as much as I enjoyed the first book in the series (Monkeewrench). You know how sometimes it seems like you just keep reading the same story over and over again - and the only thing that varies is the title or author? Well, Live Bait isn't that way. It's original. I haven't read anything that has a similar storyline. And I really like the writing. Once again, I'm looking forward to the next book in the series and I'm just disappointed that I have to wait to get it from the lib...more
In many ways, this sequel is a lot stronger than the opening book in the series, Monkeewrench. It flows a lot better and the cast of characters has been pared down to a much more manageable level. Despite it being a very plot-centric book, the plot itself is rather predictable. There are a few surprising turns, but for the most part nothing too shocking occurs. It would have been nice to see the series main characters develop a bit more - it seems like all of the character development is spent o...more
This was an interesting book, about Holocaust survivors. Grace and the Monkeewrench crew weren't very much in evidence, but when they were, it was great. The whole story was great. The mystery built slowly, with lots of character interaction--characters I enjoyed learning more about. This was more police procedural than the first book, but--well, it was just flat good. Murder victims very different, in that there were NO suspects at all. Usually, it's "everybody hated them" and the detective has...more
A decent follow-up to the first, but just a bit of a let down, comparably. The story was fun but very sensationalist, and it wouldn't have held up on its own as anything but a sequel. What made the story work was your familiarity with the characters and your understanding of their reasoning and capabilities.

Things I liked: the set up, the new characters, most of the writing. Cute developments in the Magozzi/MacBride relationship. Gino, Annie (not enough Annie, though), Gloria, and McLaren.

I love the way the authors, so very slowly, reveal a little more of the Monkeewrench character personalities in each new book.
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PJ Tracy is the pseudonym of mother-daughter writing duo P.J. and Traci Lambrecht, winners of the Anthony, Barry, Gumshoe, and Minnesota Book Awards. Their first three novels, MONKEEWRENCH, LIVE BAIT and DEAD RUN, have become national and international bestsellers.

P.J. Lambrecht is a college dropout with one of the largest collections of sweatpants in the world. She was raised in an upper-middle...more
More about P.J. Tracy...
Monkeewrench (Monkeewrench, #1) Dead Run (Monkeewrench #3) Snow Blind (Monkeewrench, #4) Shoot to Thrill (Monkeewrench, #5) Off the Grid (Monkeewrench, #6)

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