Saturday, November 26, 2016

Take the Monkeys and Run! ??? Seriously??? Welll, No...But it's Fun!

With the jaunty book trailer and the title, I was intrigued enough to read this book... As I was at Amazon copying the book cover, I read some of the negative comments. If you are a animal lover who disapproves of the whole animal research issue, I caution you to also read those comments. There are also some comments about the book not being humorous and not liking the main character... You know... none of those negative comments came to my mind as I read it... 

For me, this book was a happy escape from tense drama, horror, or chasing serial killers... So why am I writing this as part of my article? Well, maybe because, as I have said many times, I do not write opinion reviews--unless I specifically introduce issues and state it is totally my personal opinion. It seems to me that if a book is disturbing to you, then you should return the book... and forget about reviewing it. I believe that a writer has the prerogative of writing what they want. If I'm asked to review it, I treat it as an independent analysis of the book...

Take the Monkeys
  and Run:
A Barbara Marr Murder Mystery

By Karen Cantwell

In this case, the book accomplished what it was intended to be by the get inexperienced and somewhat nosy females butting into the business of solving crimes... Some are meant to be also humorous as was this one. Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed it... It's light, fun, and ridiculously unbelievable...which took me away from the reality of today's world... Yet the mystery was solid enough that I was not able to foresee what was actually happening... Great!

And let's face it, strange noises at a long-abandoned house right next to you would make anybody curious, especially since it was known in the community as the "House of Many Bones." Then, too, if the monkeys had not come climbing into the trees surrounding her home, the main character probably would never have even gotten involved...

The sky was black, my toes were numb and I was a lunatic. Forgetting that our recent October nights had turned colder, I had set out on my mission barefoot. I had no idea what the thermometer said, but the ice-cold brick beneath my unprotected feet told me plenty. And my worn-thin-through-the-years knit jammies were certainly no match against the biting air. Evidently I had left my brains in the house along with my shoes and down-filled parka. Indiana Jones, our orange Tabby, followed me and purred while he rubbed against my legs, offering a tinge of warmth at best. I squinted into the darkness. “Three thirty in the morning. Am I totally insane, Indy?” “Mew.”
 “Thanks for the vote of confidence.” Yes, I’m a grown woman and I talk to my cat. What’s the big deal? My cousin Samson the psychiatrist tells the family I’m delusional and should be medicated. Pshaw I say. Samson has a psychiatrist of his own as well as a far more disturbing obsession with large farm animals, so I severely doubt his legitimacy. As long as Indiana Jones talks to me, I’ll keep talking to him.

So Barbara did go out when she heard somebody next door, hearing a door slam and somebody calling out to another individual who was somewhere out in the yard. And later...
“I didn’t see anybody. Maybe the house has been rented or sold and someone’s moving in.” “At three thirty in the morning?” “Actually, it’s after four now. You should go back inside and try to get some sleep.” My ears detected a faint noise from next door. “Wait!” I stopped bouncing. “Did you hear that?”
 “That.” I turned my ear. “You don’t hear it? It sounds like . . . hmm.”
“It kind of sounds like a monkey.”
 “It’s your cat.” 
“No. No it’s not.” Reaching down, I picked up Indiana Jones and held him under one arm. The noise was still there. Almost a vibration. Barely audible, but definitely from House of Many Bones. “I’m going in a little closer. I’m sure I hear something.”
 “Well, you’re on your own. Peter made me promise to come out just long enough to give you the flashlight and find out what you were up to...”
Reason trumped wild imagination. I took two steps backward onto the driveway and put the cat back down. “Let’s go, Indy. We’re not cut out for adventure, after all.” I hadn’t even turned back toward my own house when out of the blue, piercing the dead still of the night, a high-pitched howl stopped me in my tracks and sent my heart rate racing at breakneck speed. This was no vague sound drifting through the crisp night air. This was loud, sharp and painful to the ears. Sort of a man-beast howl. Hard to describe, but every decibel was chilling to the bone. 
Seconds later, I heard a door at the rear of the house swoosh open followed by a flurry of activity on the ground behind House of Many Bones. Leaves rustled wildly and there was a pounding of footsteps. I couldn’t see what was happening, but it didn’t sound good. It seemed that something very violent was going down. I looked back for Roz, but she was long gone. Forgetting my feet altogether, I flew up the driveway, across the walk and up to my front door. Indiana had beat me there and was clawing to get in. As my hand landed on the doorknob and turned, I heard a man yell from the backyard. “Toes!” he screamed. Wow, that was one mad bartender. Indiana and I leapt across the threshold. We were inside, but not yet safe in my mind. Just before the door slammed shut, I heard the man yell again. “Toes!”

Soooo, Barbara got her friends interested enough after finding the monkeys still in her trees, that she convinced them to go with her to try to see inside the vacant building. Finding a cellar window open, they were able to hold Barbara back, while she stuck her head into the window...where she saw the skull...

Ok, we've got a murder mystery... Plainly Barbara is worried, but she's already upset because her husband announced he was leaving, without discussion or reason... Barbara is near her birthday and is obviously thinking her husband has found another woman. By design, or not, she calls an "ex" and before long he shows up and pushes her enough that he moves in, while he's helping finding out what is happening... Barbara's husband, Howard, is NOT happy to find him there...

Seriously, I don't know what drives some women to want to know everything, and sometimes it leads to further misunderstanding, especially when she sees her husband and her ex talking and then driving away together...

But about that time, I was totally in support of Barbara. Don't you just hate it when somebody says something like you don't need to know--it's for your own good? Hey, I'm right there, Barb...let's get this mystery solved! Sometimes a woman's got to do what a woman's got to do...💔 If I'm going to get a broken heart out of this...I want to know allll the details! LOL Hey, it's really fun and if you're not an animal rights individual, do check it out... You know, though, me? I'd be more concerned about the dead human myself... but that's just my personal opinion...


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.


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