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Citizen Insane

(Barbara Marr Murder Mystery #2)

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  999 ratings  ·  91 reviews
If you think PTA meetings are boring, then you haven't attended one in Barbara Marr's neighborhood, where MURDER is on the agenda. Always one to stumble into trouble, Barb learns the hard way that a seemingly innocent yearbook scandal is actually part of a seriously sinister and deadly plot. Join soccer mom and movie lover Barbara Marr in this second laugh-out-loud, chaoti ...more
Paperback, 168 pages
Published September 16th 2011 by Books on the Green (first published June 14th 2011)
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3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  999 ratings  ·  91 reviews

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Apr 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In Citizen Insane by Karen Cantwell, in the community of Rustic Woods, Barbara Marr and her friends Roz and Peggy are heading for a pedicure when they spot heir neighbor, Bunny Burgen, wandering around completely in a daze. They deliver Bunny back to her house, where Barb sees Howard, her own husband who works for the FBI. He is waiting on duty without the women’s being told what the FBI are there for.

Read the rest of this review and other fun, geeky articles at Fangirl Nation
Jul 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: modern-fiction
This is hilarious suburban fiction. Karen Cantwell kept me laughing out loud through the whole thing.

This is book two in the Barbara Marr series, and just when things had calmed down after Take the Monkeys and Run, life goes crazy again for Barbara and her friends Roz and Peggy. Life for these suburban housewives is always anything but normal. Sure, there's the usual PTA and yearbook committee stuff, getting the kids off the bus, but for Barbara and her neighbors, there's also Mafia hit men, bul
Debra Martin
Aug 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
CITIZEN INSANE is another delightfully funny story of soccer mom, Barbara Marr. All Barb wants is a Sweet Tangerine Spice Ultra-Ultimate Pedicure at her favorite spa, La Voila Day Spa. She just wants to relax a bit. Things have been rough since we last met Barbara in "Take the Monkeys and Run." Her handsome FBI husband, Howard, still hasn't moved back into their house and now Barb sees him with a blonde floozy (her words) at a local Italian eatery, Fiorenza's. Has she made another terrible mista ...more
Nancy Fulda
Jun 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I came to this book cold, without having read the beginning of the series, and I LOVED it.

Barbara Marr is the wife of a movie-style FBI officer. She's also a dedicated soccer mom and perhaps the most hilarious amateur sleuth in literature. When her annoyingly beautiful neighbor shows up turning in demented circles on her front lawn, Barbara knows she's in for trouble -- and she's right. Within pages, Barbara is entangled in a top secret FBI investigation; a local yearbook scandal; a ruthless ban
Feb 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Another hilarious, rollicking read from Karen Cantwell! I do so love suspending belief for a brief time & diving into the world of Barbara Marr.
Sheena BZA
Jan 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Funny, irreverent and quite insane! A good book to have for a quick, light read. It is a stand alone story and not a sequel to the first book but the characters are the same and are developed more as we are introduced to bits of history and learn more about each persons life. If I met Barbara Marr in real life, I would run as she is a magnet for trouble. This trouble is handled in a comedic way by the author and results in a fun read.
Feb 11, 2019 rated it liked it
I read this on a trip--nice diversion but not exceptional.
Mary Pyefinch
Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Now, I understand why my mom never went to PTA meetings. Love Barbara Marr - wish she was my neighbor as long as I wasn't the next victim.
Captivated Books
Oct 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! It was funny and clever! A joy from start to finish!
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Second book in the series that I have read and it was as good as the first. I’m looking forward to reading the next one.
PJ Lea
Mar 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Solid 4

I like Barb and her neighborhood is definitely not boring.
A funny story, even the dangerous parts are more calamitous than scary.
Angela Holtz
Aug 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From Lilac Wolf and Stuff:

The cover, just like her previous novel, is colorful and quirky. If I saw this as a paperback it would catch my attention. Looks like it is just an e-book right now. But on the bright side it's only $2.99 and worth every penny!

Can you read this if you haven't read Take the Monkeys and Run? Yes! There isn't really much that happened in the first one that she doesn't cover in this one. Like her husband isn't living at home and she explains that with finding out he's an FB
Debbi Mack
Oct 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-reads
In this sequel to TAKE THE MONKEYS AND RUN, suburban soccer mom and wanna-be online film reviewer Barbara Marr is merely seeking a nice relaxing foot massage at a day spa. She and her good friend and neighbor, Roz, are supposed to go to one together and be pampered. However, a slightly crazy dizzy weird woman named Bunny (yes, really!) shows up in her yard. And she's turning around in circles, muttering to herself.

Now, on top of throwing a kink into Barbara's plans to hit the spa, it doesn't hel
Jan 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It’s never a dull moment for movie blogger and mom Barbara Marr. Just as she’s ready to enjoy a pedicure with her friends…not just any pedicure, but a Sweet Tangerine Spice Ultra-Ultimate Pedicure, one of her neighbors is acting crazy on her front lawn screaming about killing rabbits. Not to mention that Barbara is sure this nut is having an affair with her George Clooney look-alike FBI agent husband.

When another neighbor is nearly killed, Barbara knows there’s something ominous going on and she
Joyce Strand
Dec 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Citizen Insane fulfills the promise of its clever name -- it is fun and unique. Barbara Marr is the mother of three girls who encounters all kinds of trouble -- at PTA meetings, while driving to a friend's house, and dining at a restaurant. We get to help solve the source of her trouble as we read the fast-paced chapters.

As a mystery buff, I appreciated the puzzle and enjoyed detecting the bad guys. However, the real strength of this book is the humor. Karen Cantwell uses moderate sarcasm, movi
Apr 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Barbara Marr, everyone’s favorite mystery solving soccer mom, returns in this humorous sequel and Karen Cantwell did not disappoint. I always get so nervous getting into series. What if the next don’t live up to the first? What if I am disappointed or disillusioned with a character I’ve come to identify with? I loved quirky Barbara with her colorful friends and movie references. I loved that the often unbelievable circumstances were handled with sarcastic humor and self-deprecation. I didn’t wan ...more
May 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just an average night at the PTA meeting, right? Wrong, for Barbara Marr that is... the suburban soccer mom who seems to attract interesting predicaments with every move she makes. After accompanying her best friend (and PTA president) Roz to a PTA meeting to help quel some yearbook drama, Barbara and her friends are witness to their neighbor Bunny threatening to kill her former best friend, Michelle. What at first appeared to just be an expression of speech turns into possible reality after Bar ...more
Dec 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
It's almost a four star! There should really be some more distinction between stars because for me, 5 is amazing and few books get this, 4 is really really good and most books I like fall here, 3 is decent and readable, 2 is eh, and 1 is horrible. While I may not recommend this cute middle-aged-mom-kicks-butt-and-makes-actually-funny-jokes mystery to my friends, I think my mom would secretly like it. Not that I'll ever get her to stop reading her serious books and memoirs and dog memoirs to read ...more
Kim D
Apr 17, 2012 rated it liked it
Ah, part two in this wacky series is out and I am loving it.

Barbara is back with her band of cohorts, or shall we say neighbors and of course the hijinks begin and nobody quite knows how they got involved. Barbara is a housewife, separated from her hot FBI hubby and she hangs with her neighbors. On the way out for a pedicure, neighbor Bunny is on her lawn, talking to herself and walking in circles. So the story begins. No spoilers here - just a quick review of my thoughts.

In all honesty, the plo
Apr 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"It's like one of those towns in those ridiculous mystery books - murders every week and the same person has to solve all of the crimes" she ranted once after three glasses of wine "We've become characters in a silly mystery book"

This sums up all Cozy Mystery series really, but it was a fantastic quote from this fantastic book! They are a quick read, but funny, packed with action movie quotes/scenes and a tad of romance on the side. I had lots of laughs during this book. The characters are still
Dec 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, humor, romance
I was mostly amused and at times confused when reading the book about the wife of a George Clooney look alike who is an FBI agent. I did not read the first book of the series but that wasn't the reason I was confused while reading it. The story was taking so many twists...from the PTA and school yearbooks to a hidden murder weapon and an Italian cook that I had trouble keeping everything straight. Glad I kept reading because everything did get connected by the end of the book and there is even a ...more
Oct 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Dove right into this without realizing it was actually #2 in a series. I was doing an exploration into random books on my kindle as I couldn't decide what to read next. This book sucked me right in. Fun and simple writing style much like Janet E. There's nothing like shutting off the brain and letting yourself get immersed into this type of novel!

Great characters I wouldn't mind revisiting again. Suppose I should go back to read #1, the Monkeys, but I kinda like the idea of moving on to the Yams
Oct 15, 2014 rated it liked it
This book is much like the first Barbara Marr mystery. Fortunately it focuses less on her relationship with her husband, as that was just getting a little obnoxious. However, it seems like the author reuses parts of the first book when re-introducing the characters in this one. I get that authors have to make sure that people who didn't read the first book know who the characters are, but should really come up with new ways to say the same things. Janet Evanovich is great at it when she talks ab ...more
Dec 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
If there isn't another book after this I'm going to have to hunt the author down and chain her to a chair and force her to continue writing books. She ends this book with a "The End---Or is it?" How cruel is that?

This is a funny series with well drawn, believable characters and you just know if they were real they would be among your best friends.

An amusing and briskly moving story line keeps you glued to the page and makes this a fairly quick read. The mystery was such that I just didn't see th
Feb 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All of my friends who love mysteries!
Barb’s neighbors are acting weird, and a scandal has occurred with the elementary school’s yearbook. Barb gets sucked into the mystery full-force all while trying to grapple with her failing marriage to an FBI agent. I’ve found as I get older that I no longer am easily impressed by a book. But, I loved this story! The action took place almost immediately and was fast-paced! Characters were likable and entertaining. I could barely put it down. Yes, some of it was predictable, but some of it wasn' ...more
Jeannie and Louis Rigod
May 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This series is simply one of the funniest ones out there for murders or cozy murders. Ms. Cantwell has a sense of 'style' of writing that makes me remember her titles and watch excitedly for the next edition out.

Barbara Marr, a married mother of three just does not have an average life at all. She tries, but fate is plain against her. Trying to repair her marriage, she steps right into her FBI agent-husband's case. Added to the fact that the husband looks like George Clooney and jealousy rears i
Aug 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
It was good! I was afraid it wouldn't be since I absolutely loved Take the Monkeys and Run, but I wasn't disappointed at all. After I got passed the "sleepy, safe, Rustic woods" description and realized this is fiction, I excitedly went along for the ride. Total page turner. Barb is totally likeable, unlike her husband, who completely had me annoyed. I would recommend he be written with a few more reedemable qualities and I'd like to see how his job fits in with their life in future novels. Over ...more
Jul 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
I had forgotten how much fun Karen Cantwell's books were to read! I had read Take the Monkeys and Run last year and quickly picked up more of her books. Then they got lost in my TBR pile. I needed a light quick read and came across this book I hadn't read. This is absolutely delightful read. I love the quirky humor and suspenseful plot keeps you reading. I can't wait to see what kind of trouble Barb finds next.
Jul 15, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, cozy-mystery
I've noticed that Barbara has the same eye twitch that Stephanie Plum gets when she's stressed. That came across to me as the author copying Janet Evanovich (not necessarily intentionally). But it was only a small thing and otherwise, this is a well written, highly amusing series. Don't let the fact that it's self published put you off, it really is worth reading if you like funny, cozy mysteries. Can't wait to see more from this author, whether it's the Barbara Marr series or something new.
Jan 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Another hoot from Cantwell. I loved visiting the ladies of Rustic Woods, VA once more. I do hope that next time around we will find Barbara and Howard happily together though. I realized separating them gives Cantwell more chances for Barbara to poke around and get herself into trouble, but I'm sure she can work around having him a full-time presence in their marriage once more. I'd love to see them get into trouble together for a change.
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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

Other books in the series

Barbara Marr Murder Mystery (7 books)
  • Take the Monkeys and Run (Barbara Marr Murder Mystery, #1)
  • Silenced by the Yams (Barbara Marr Murder Mystery #3)
  • Saturday Night Cleaver (A Barbara Marr Murder Mystery #4)
  • Dead Man Stalking (Barbara Marr Murder #5)
  • Dial Marr for Murder (Barbara Marr Murder Mystery Series Book 6)
  • Bjorn! on the Fourth of July