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Take the Monkeys and Run (Barbara Marr Murder Mystery #1)

3.6 of 5 stars 3.60  ·  rating details  ·  1,200 ratings  ·  219 reviews
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...more
Paperback, 198 pages
Published August 26th 2010 by Createspace (first published June 15th 2010)
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Community Reviews

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Barbara Marr would have to qualify as the most inept sleuth in the world, but that’s half the charm. As she noses into the goings-on at the house next door, she finds herself involved in stuff that any sane person would avoid. Nice and light – over the top and not to be taken seriously.

A fun silly romp that is very well edited. A perfect way to spend an afternoon.
First of all, I believe I am required to state that I won this book in a goodreads giveaway contest. I also want to say that I was seriously impressed with how fast this book arrived in the mail. I had expected to wait at least a month for the book, especially since I'm outside the US, but a signed copy was on my doorstep in one week flat! Thanks Ms Cantwell and goodreads!

Now on to our feature presentation, Take the Monkeys and Run. I don't want to mindlessly parrot other reviewers, but truly th...more
Barbara Marr is a fairly normal middle aged woman, living in a fairly normal suburban community in Northern Virginia, but when she witnesses some not so normal activity at the house next door, she can’t help her curiosity. The peculiar, abandoned house she has nicknamed “The House of Many Bones” has always been a mystery to her so when on a late night walk around her house she sees and hears bizarre activity she dives head first into her own personal investigation for some answers.

Warnings from...more
Grace Krispy
The first in the Barbara Marr Murder Mystery series, this book by Karen Cantwell is a hoot. Barb is zany, outlandish, and doesn't always make the best choices, so she's a lot of fun to follow. She says and does things we all think about sometimes. She's a typical mom with three girls and a bit -ok, more than a bit- of a movie fetish. Barb sees things in terms of how characters in a movie would react, which adds some nice color commentary. I found this tact to be a clever way to tie the storyline...more
Debra Martin
I won a copy of this book in a contest.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Ms. Cantwell has a distinctive voice that I absolutely loved. Without giving away any spoilers, I found this story to be reminiscent of a humorous, action-adventure movie made back in the nineties especially the circumstances involving the husband and his job.

Take the Monkeys and Run follows the antics of 45 year-old suburban soccer Mom, Barbara Marr. Her life is falling apart. Her husband has decided that he needs some space...more
Amy Siggelow
I won this book from Library Thing's Member Giveaways.

This book was so funny and quirky and I loved it! It was also a very good mystery as well. What more could you ask from a book!

This is the story of a housewife who was outside with her cat in the wee hours of the morning and saw something going on at the house next door. This wouldn't have been odd, except that the house next door had been empty for almost 30 years. She decides to go take a look and ends up getting herself and a friend who co...more
*I received a copy of this book for review through the firstreads program*

What a fun book! Barbara Marr is a suburban mom living in Northern Virginia, whose husband has just decided they need to take a "break," when she finds a bunch of monkeys in her backyard. Everything goes downhill for her from there. Marr is a relatable and funny character, and her hijinks are laugh-out-loud funny (without a lot of those cringeworthy "why on earth did you think that was a good idea" scenes you sometimes see...more
Kellie Reaney
I liked the title of this book, and settled down eager to read.

An hour or so later, not impressed. It started out fairly well, introduced believable, relatable characters and a plausible mystery. It all goes downhill from there. Characters do not seem fully developed and the storyline plunges from believable to a tad unrealistic to downright implausible. The novel reaches further and further to explain events, and not in a 'I-didn't-see-that-coming' way, but in a 'that-would-never-happen-in-a-mi...more
LB Gschwandtner
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. An...more
The title of this book caught my interest right away. I would not of readout though if I was not looking for a book with a weapon on it.

It did grab my interest right away though.

Barb, who's husband just left her, stumbles across some strange happens at the house next door.

Yes it has to do with monkeys.

She calls her ex boyfriend, also her husbands ex best friend.

Barb and her friends , Roz and Peggy become the current day Charlie's Angels as they work together to solve this mystery.

I love how Ba...more
D.B. Henson
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 flawle...more
Barbara Brink
Karen Cantwell's "Take the Monkeys and Run" is a fast paced mystery with trigger happy dialogue that has a little to do with monkeys and a lot to do with the laugh-out-loud antics of one suburbanite soccer mom/obsessed movie buff, who finds her imagination running wild when monkeys and a human head are discovered at the house next door. With the help of some neighborhood friends and an old flame from college, she unravels layers of hilarity and insanity, as well as secrets her husband has been k...more
Candace Davidson
Wow, this book was really cozytastic! First time I have read her. This book was a free download.
Randee Baty
This was fun. It won't change your world or give you new insights on life but it's fun. The storyline revolves around a suburban mom who is very curious about strange happenings at what is supposed to be an empty house next door. When she goes to investigate in the middle of the night, she finds monkeys all over her yard. Interesting premise.

Her husband has just left her and she's struggling to deal with that. When the mob starts threatening her and she has to call an old boyfriend for help, th...more
AudioBook Review:
Stars Overall: 5 Narration: 5 Story 4

This is my second encounter with both this author and narrator, and I was utterly delighted with this pairing again.

Take the Monkeys and Run is the first in the Barbara Marr mystery series, and while it has a clever murder mystery at its heart, the hijinks and humor add to the story and present Barbara as a character with a singular ability to function when all around her is chaos.

Recently divorced with no real explanation for the dissolution...more
"Mommy has to poop!"

This is pretty funny, which is probably the only reason that I liked it.

Marr is a movie buff, so there are a lot of references to movies and actors/actresses that I had no idea about. I'm not a movie buff, so I really didn't know what she was referring to. Especially when you're talking hair styles or personalities.
Normally celebrity name drops annoy the shit out of me. I forgave the ones in this book because they were relevant to the character's personality and hobbies. I w...more
I won this book in a Goodreads First Reads giveaway. It looks like a fun read & I look forward to reading it when I receive it.

March 2011 - I did really enjoy this book. Love her writing of the main character, especially when she has a scene with her mother. Just hilarious! The plot was a bit over the top, but enjoyable if a bit far-fetched. I will definitely read more of her work.
Sarah Paul Garcia
I thought that this was a funny and clever book. It would be a great book for a flight or to read on vacation. There were times that I was very excited to see what would happen next and there were times that I was laughing outloud. I would greatly recommend this book as a fun read.
Tonya Kappes
I had a great time reading about Barb and her friend Roz. It was packed full of fun with a lot of witty banter. There were a few twists that I didn't see coming and continued to keep me in the story. I'm excited to read Citizen kane to see what Barb does with the PTA. Too fun!!
Sibel Hodge
Barbara Marr is in the midst of a marital crisis when she stumbles across an even bigger problem in the neighbourhood. This was a fun cozy mystery with light humor that added to the well written storyline. Can't wait for the next in the series.
Kelly MacIver
Funny read, just what I needed after a couple of heavy and depressing choices...not great literature but entertaining!
In enjoyed this book it kept ed me interested through most of the book, it was hard to put down some of the time.
Cherie O'Boyle
First, do not be put off by the cutesy title. The first 2/3 of this book is smart/cozy, reminiscent of Susan Isaacs. Very entertaining. Unfortunately, that's where the train goes off the tracks. The last 1/3 is barely comprehensible and not even remotely believable. 101 Dalmatians unbelievable. The impeccably-dressed guy in an Armani suit who suddenly pulls a gun from a previously unmentioned raincoat was startling. And the ending just goes on and on... I really wanted to like this one, and will...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dianne Wallace
Other reviews have already outlined the plot, so I will just give my opinion of the book.
I read the book and liked it so much that now a couple years later, I listened to the audio book. The writing is very well crafted and the plot leads you on a rollercoaster ride of hilarious escapades. Throw in a soccer mom, an estranged husband that looks like George Clooney, an ex-boyfriend and some mafia characters and you are in for an entertaining ride!
I have already read book 2 and plan to read the res...more
Very cute, lots of fun. Quick, non-serious read.
This book was fantastic!!

Barbara Marr, Barb for friends, is a suburb mom with three daughters and a husband who at the beginning of the story takes off and leaves her alone. Barb, a big fan of action movies, finds herself thinking about her house next door, the 'House of Many Bones' which has been vacant for years but now has a truck coming to visit. The next morning Barb find herself to have monkeys in her garden...! Convinced they are from 'The House of Many Bones' she decides to go all Nancy...more
This book was just fantastic. Full of fun and wit, it still had plenty of action and more than one twist to the plot.

Barb Marr is your typical suburban housewife. Things are mostly normal - great kids, neighbors (some friends, some just nosy, some downright weird). Barb's a bit too curious for her own good, though. The house next door is a strange one, and she's been keeping her eye on it. After some fishy goings-on one evening which resulted in monkeys in her yard the following morning, Barb de...more
Angie Holtz
I loved this book...the cover is colorful and quirky, the title definitely catches your attention. It really sets you up for a silly mystery.

It starts out with Barb, the main character bemoaning her lack of talents. She thinks she's a good mom and thought she was a good wife, but her husband just left. She is miserable, she really thought her marriage was fine and then he up and walked out on her and the girls. She also loves watching movies and does comparisons throughout the story. The first o...more
While Barb is still reeling from her husband's unexpectedly walking out on her and their three daughters, very strange happenings occur in the house-next-door that has stood vacant for 29 years. To keep her mind off of the state of her marriage, Barb decides to focus on the mysterious events. Will she, her family, her ex-boyfriend, and friends survive her meddling? Although this is the first book in the series, I read it after the second book. And, I'm glad I did so. I absolutely loved the secon...more
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Karen's novel, Take the Monkeys and Run was a semi-finalist in the 2009 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest (under the original title of Monkeys in My Trees)and has gone on to be a Kindle bestseller on Amazon. She has written three more books in the Barbara Marr Murder Mystery Series: Citizen Insane, Silenced by the Yams, and Saturday Night Cleaver.

When she's not writing, Karen loves gardening...more
More about Karen Cantwell...
Silenced by the Yams (Barbara Marr Murder Mystery #3) Citizen Insane (Barbara Marr Murder Mystery #2) Keep Me Ghosted (Sophie Rhodes Ghostly Romance #1) The Chronicles of Marr-nia (Short Stories Starring Barbara Marr) Saturday Night Cleaver (A Barbara Marr Murder Mystery #4)

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“Today was my forty-fifth birthday. Impending old age and a problem marriage were staring me in the face. Not a good place to be. I figured that right now, I had two choices — crawl out of the pit, or wallow and die. To wallow or not to wallow? That was the question. Look at Scarlett O’Hara. Did she cry and whine when Rhett walked out the door not giving a damn? Well, okay, she did. But not for long, I’ll bet. Not Scarlett. Same story here, baby, same story here.” 1 likes
“or dead is coincidental. Copyright 2010 by Karen Fraunfelder Cantwell Chapter” 1 likes
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