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Publisher's Summary

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, chaotic mystery, where high-profile crime and suburban living collide in an unexpected fashion.

©2011 Karen Fraunfelder Cantwell (P)2014 Karen Fraunfelder Cantwell

What listeners say about Citizen Insane: A Barbara Marr Murder Mystery

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Suburban housewife finds more than she expected

Citizen Insane was billed as a funny cozy mystery. It is about Barb, a suburban housewife, mother of three and wife of an FBI agent that is a dead ringer for George Clouney. This is the second book in a series (didn’t realize that when I picked it up, but the first book, Take the Monkeys and Run is free on Kindle). The books in this series are relatively short (less than 200 pages) and funny (almost farcical) look at suburban life.

Everyone knows everyone’s business, no one seems that worried about money, there are quirky characters pretty much on every page. Barb is trying to be a good mom, and wife (although she kicked her husband out because in a previous book she found out that there is a whole history to his life that he neglected to tell her and so she wants him to date her again and win her love back again.) She is a good friend to her two quirky friends and even the neighbor that she is not so hot on, but seems to need her.

I thought I knew what was going on throughout the book almost from the beginning, but I was wrong. I did predict some of the ways things would work out, but not the main arc of the story. I have started enjoying mysteries more recently. But I am still not really all that interested in the actual mystery (I am not one that tries to figure everything out), but I am more interested in the characters and motivations and the overall development of the story.

Citizen Insane will not be mistaken for great literature, but it was a good fun (and quick) read and I did enjoy it. I picked up the first book in the series and there are several more that are all reasonably priced that I might pick up later.

1 person found this helpful

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A Wild Adventure

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.

In the middle of the night, Barb gets a frantic call from Bunny and gets in her mini van to go find Bunny, only to realize that she has hit someone. Looking at what happened, she spies Michelle, Bunny's best friend whom she was spotted arguing with at the PTA meeting. But when the police arrive, they find that Barb only lightly side-swiped Michelle. Instead, the woman ends up in the ICU because she has been shot.

I had a very fun time listening to Citizen Insane. It's rare to get to call the experience of reading a book an adventure, but this book was a wild adventure. I felt like I was getting on a rollercoaster and didn't want to get off until the very last second of the book. The plot is so unpredictable that it was exciting to wait to see what would happen next.

The characters all have lots of fun features and are highly original. We find out with surprise who the bad guys are and enjoy the details of each person's nature, whether that person is good or bad. Barb just wants to be a typical soccer mom, but events in life prevent her from doing so. So does her annoying mother, who scares away everyone from Barb's house when she comes near.

I enjoyed the narration of Nan McNamara as she performed the audio version of this book. McNamara does an effective job of making the crazy events of the book seem reasonable, despite their being so ridiculous at times. She makes the listening experience all the more delightful.

I really enjoyed Citizen Insane and appreciated the fun details of the book. I listened to this on an afternoon when my migraine was especially bad, and this book did an effective job of keeping me entertained and distracted from my pain. I give the book five stars.

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Excellent and fun story

I love it! this story is fun and wonderfully narrated. karen Cantwell is creative her misteres are fun and complicated. i highly recomend to reea and lisent this book. Nan McNamara has become one of my fevorites narrators.

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Lived Up to the Promise of the First Book

Would you listen to Citizen Insane: A Barbara Marr Murder Mystery again? Why?

I have fallen in love with this series. I would absolutely listen again. Humor can be tricky. Karen Cantwell has created a cast of engaging characters that keep things interesting while amusing us at the same time. I had an ungodly long visit in a doctor's office this week. I'd forgotten my ear buds, but I turned it on softly. Didn't realize anyone else was listening, until I heard the lady sitting 3 seats away saying, "Go, Peggy!" She asked what I was listening to and commented how much she was enjoying it!

What was one of the most memorable moments of Citizen Insane: A Barbara Marr Murder Mystery?

Frankie and the baked ziti stands out. I love when bad guys can be reformed!

What does Nan McNamara bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Nan McNamara nailed this role. She does an outstanding job as a narrator!

Any additional comments?

This takes the basic premise of True Lies and spins it into another direction. LOVE that!

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Not as good as the first

I bought this on the strength of the first book. It was a very quick read. It wasn't as entertaining as the first book. I wish I could give it two and a half stars.

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Fast Paced Entertainment!

This book was a super fun listen. Yes, the story line is a bit of a reach, but it is written so well that it doesn’t matter and in fact the craziness of the plot makes it that more enjoyable. I for one have enough of real life situations and enjoy reading something that can take me away from my ordinary life. The main character is a mom and is trying to keep her marriage together which most of us can relate to, but her situations are completely crazy and so funny that it will make you laugh. If you enjoy fun, fast paced mystery, intrigue and complete escapism then this is the book for you. BTW, the narrator is absolutely FABULOUS!!!

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  • Julie
  • 06-17-20

Guns, bombs and family

Guns, bombs and family is just a day in the life of Barabra Marr but boy does it make for a great story. I just loved it. This is book two in this fabulous series and it carries on from book one. You don't need to have read or listened to book one to enjoy this one because they are stand alone stories but a few things that happened in book one is mentioned and to be honest why wouldn't you want to start with where it all began. The mystery was good but it is the characters and Barabra's three girls that steal it for me, they are so real and I can so see a child acting like them. As for the friends they are quirky and defiantly unique and a lot of fun to listen too. I liked the plot and all the twists the book took getting to the end and I didn't see a few of them coming. This is definitely a fun book that will bring a smile to your face if not a chuckle. Can't wait to start the next book.
Bunny one of the PTA mums has been acting weird lately and has even turned up on Barb's front lawn acting confused. But that is nothing compared to what happened at the PTA meeting about the school yearbook. First only one child is featured in every photo and then the lady In charge disappears leaving Barb's best friend Roz to clean up, the Bunny and her friend get into a shouting match after the meeting. So it doesn't surprise Brab to get a frantic late night phone call from Bunny asking for help. What does surprise her is when she runs over the body of Bunny's friend. It doesn't take long for the hunky policemen to dispel any idea's that she was the cause. The gun shoots in her body are pretty big clues. But who would want to kill her? And what part does Bunny play in everything. It's a shame Howard, Barb's husband, an FBI agent isn't around to help her get to the bottom of what is going on. Can Barb and her friends save the year book, catch a killer and still get the children off to school on time?
I really like the narrator and think she is a good choice because she really brings the characters to life and does some great accents.
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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  • Jenni
  • 04-17-18

loved the plot

this is the second of these murder mysteries, the twists and turns are enjoyable but it began to feel a bit overdone on the jealousy side. However, as this was a follow on from previous book it s expected I suppose.