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About Karen Cantwell
Thank you for visiting my author page.
Since you're already here, you probably know that my name is Karen Cantwell. If you've seen my picture, you know I have silver hair. Hopefully you also know that I write the Barbara Marr Murder Mystery series, but if you didn't know that before... well, now you do!
Probably the most important thing you need to know about me is that I love to laugh and I love to make others laugh. When I set out to write the first Barbara Marr book back in 2009, my goal was to create a fun story with lovable characters--the kind of book that I'd like to read. Because I think we need a little more fun in the world and whole lot more laughter, right?
Besides the Barbara Marr books, I have two books in the Sophie Rhodes Ghostly Romance series, which features the endearing British ghost, Marmaduke Dodsworth. More than a few readers have told me he is quite the funny fellow. Try, KEEP ME GHOSTED first.
I also have many short stories - my. newest favorite, "The Dame and Thaddeus Birdwhistle," can be found in the mystery anthology, CHESAPEAKE CRIMES: INVITATION TO MURDER.
Public service announcement: the Barbara Marr books in order are, TAKE THE MONKEYS AND RUN (#1), CITIZEN INSANE (#2), SILENCED BY THE YAMS (#3), SATURDAY NIGHT CLEAVER (#4), DEAD MAN STALKING (#5), and DIAL MARR FOR MURDER (#6) The seventh book, RISKY FITNESS, will be released May of 2021.
I love hearing from readers and connecting with them on Facebook. Feel free to drop me a line at the email address below and/or like my Facebook page @karencantwellauthor
Again, thank you for stopping by and have a lovely day!
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Semi-Finalist, 2009 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest
"Barbara Marr is...perhaps the most hilarious amateur sleuth in literature....Cantwell handles her characters with flair and pizazz...blending page-turning action with those little tender moments that get you right in the gut..."
Book 1 in the bestselling Barbara Marr Murder Mystery Series
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 some seemingly innocent Charlie’s Angels-like sleuthing, they stumble upon way more than they bargained for and uncover a piece of neighborhood history that certain people would kill to keep on the cutting room floor.
237 pages of laugh-out-loud fun.
“The story is fast-paced, fun and with quite a few twists all rolled into one cute adventure.” – Socrate’s Book Reviews
“It was just plain fun to read.” Red Adept Reviews
"Take the Monkeys and Run by Karen Cantwell could easily become one of my favorite books of all time." -- Syria Says
“If you like a good mystery but want a refreshing new take with a bit of light fare, enough to make you laugh out loud, then Karen Cantwell's Take the Monkeys and Run will take you there.” Reviewed by Lee Libro at Literary Magic
Books in the series: Take the Monkeys and Run (#1), Citizen Insane (#2), Silenced by the Yams (#3), Saturday Night Cleaver (#4)
These light, often funny stories of mystery and intrigue, will transport you to a variety of shores, from the rocky coastlines of New England, to the white stretches of sand on the Atlantic, to the teal and emerald waters of the Gulf Coast, the surfing havens on the Pacific, and even beaches in between.
Praise for Murder on the Beach, A Destination Murders Book 1
"Each story features great characters and a story that kept me engaged the entire way through. All these stories can be read as stand-alones whether they are part of a series or not. That's a good thing since I was only familiar with the characters in one of the stories before I picked up this book. And the two authors I hadn't read before? I definitely need to check them out in the future.
This is the first in a series of Destination Mysteries short story collections. Based on this book, I'm already packing my bags for the next vacation."--Carstairs Considers
"All of these stories, no matter where they are set, dead body or no, provide two wonderful things: a great location, and an array of characters who would be great friends or who may remind you (and cause you to appreciate more) friends and family you already have. That's certainly the gift to readers on the part of the cozy mystery. Do yourself a favor and spend your lunch break at the beach."--Aunt Agatha's Mysteries
"I'm not a short story or anthology reader, but I did enjoy MURDER ON THE BEACH...This light and fresh, fast-paced cozy whodunit kept me entertained from the first story to the last. Bravo authors."--Dru's Book Musing
"Entertaining short stories about vacation mishaps, murder and mayhem. Perfect for a summer beach read. Very enjoyable collection of stories."--Christine Gentes, Book Reviewer and Mystery Critic
A TALE OF TWO SISTERS, Barb Goffman. When Robin's sister gets married at Lake Michigan, Robin will do whatever it takes to protect Emma's special day.
FOOTPRINTS IN THE SAND, Shari Randall, a new short story in the Lobster Shack series. A jewelry theft and attempted murder upset the tranquility of Allie's quaint New England town.
COAST BUSTERS, Karen Cantwell, another short story in the Barbara Marr series. Barb and her friends figure Florida and a quirky chic resort would be the perfect Mom vacation...until it's not.
BEACH PARTY BODY, Lucy Carol, a new story from the world of Madison Cruz Mysteries. A photo shoot on the beach should be fun, but when someone's wild behavior turns deadly, the party's over!
FROG DAYS OF SUMMER, Cathy Wiley. Former celebrity chef Jackie Norwood's attempt to revive her career goes badly when murder interrupts a food festival on the Gulf Coast of Louisiana.
FRUGAL LISSA NEEDS A BREAK, Ritter Ames, the newest short story in the Frugal Lissa series. Lissa and her friend, Abby, head to Galveston for a girls' weekend. All is perfect until Lissa's dog, Honey, digs up a dead body.
CABO SAN LOCO, Eleanor Cawood Jones. Lorrie George wants to enjoy a celebratory trip with her friends to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. But the all-expenses-paid, exclusive trip keeps getting ruined by attempts on her friends' lives.
BAY OF RECKONING, Shawn Reilly Simmons.
Ain’t no mountain high enough to contain this collection of nine fun, cozy stories filled with peaks and valleys.
Whether you love spring, summer, fall, or winter in the mountains, you’ll be elevated by cozy mystery authors Gretchen Archer, Leslie Budewitz, Karen Cantwell, Barb Goffman, Eleanor Cawood Jones, Tina Kashian, Shari Randall, Shawn Reilly Simmons, and Cathy Wiley.
Our altitudes are rife with attitude.
Second in the DESTINATION MURDERS series, Murder in the Mountains follows the well-reviewed Murder at the Beach.
SPECIAL PRE-SALE PRICE of .99 cents
A flu epidemic seems to have wiped out the volunteer force at the Rustic Woods Nature Center. Never fear, Barbara Marr to the rescue! When Nature Center activities director, Bunny Bergen finds herself without a crew to decorate for the annual Halloween Nature Walk, she dials Barb for assistance. Always the helpful friend, Barb rises to the occasion. Of course, this is Barbara Marr we are talking about. Five minutes into her task, and she discovers a dead body by the frog pond. Five hours later, she’s a trending hash tag. How does Barb do it? Read this sixth book in the Barbara Marr Murder Mystery series, and find out! #ThatBarbaraMarr
INTRODUCTION, by Dana Cameron
THE DAME AND THADDEUS BIRDWHISTLE, by Karen Cantwell
SECRETS TO THE GRAVE, by K.M. Rockwood
THE MYSTERIOUS AFFAIR AT THE ESCAPE ROOM, by Leone Ciporin
THE DOGOODER, by Adam Meyer
THE PROBLEM WITH OPENENDED INVITATIONS, by Cathy Wiley
MUGGINS, by Josh Pachter
THE KILLING WINDS, by Mary Stojak
MAKE NEW FRIENDS, BUT KEEP THE OLD, by Jane Limprecht
GOOD MORNING, GREEN LEAF CLASS, by Sarah Cotter
THE GREAT BEDBUG INCIDENT AND THE INVITATION OF DOOM, by Eleanor Cawood Jones
GUNS AND YOGA, by Maureen Klovers
RFP/RIP, by Britt Alan
AUMAKUA, by Maddi Davidson
THE COLOR OF ENVY, by Joanna Campbell Slan
TRUE COLORS, by Robin Templeton
ALL TOMORROW’S PARTIES, by Art Taylor
SUNNYSIDE, by Stacy Woodson
When Howard and the girls leave town, Barb thinks she'll have some quiet, peaceful alone time. Of course, this is calamity-prone Barbara Marr. Her life doesn't know quiet or peaceful. And forget alone. With her air conditioning on the fritz, Barb accepts an invitation from a famous thriller writer to spend a few days in a cool and comfortable lakeside house. There is just one problem: the house has a few odd characters lurking about. They aren't after Barb, but that doesn't stop her from becoming outrageously tangled in the lunacy and danger than ensues.
In this fifth installment of the Barbara Marr Murder Mystery Series, Barb finds herself fumbling through another laugh-out-loud caper while making some new and interesting friends along the way
Marmaduke Dodsworth is just about the most lovable British ghost you'll ever meet. But Sophie Rhodes and her new boyfriend, Cal, are becoming frustrated with his untimely appearances and intrusions. Marmaduke isn't the only force complicating Sophie and Cal's love life, though. Cal's nefarious ex-wife is suddenly and suspiciously present in their lives. And Sophie's old boyfriend, Shane Daniels, causes problems when he shows up desperate for help after he picks up a clingy ghost from a local haunted house. Throw in a cold case missing person investigation and a lust spell that affects both mortals and ghosts, and things get downright batty. Will Sophie and Cal's two-month relationship weather the storm of obstacles thrown their way? Will they pass the many tests of their devotion? Will Marmaduke ever stop talking? These questions and more answered in Some Like it Haunted.
Book 2 in the bestselling Barbara Marr Murder Mystery Series. Book 1, Take the Monkeys and Run is Free in the Kindle Store.
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 more 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.
Books in the series: Take the Monkeys and Run (#1), Citizen Insane (#2), Silenced by the Yams (#3), and Saturday Night Cleaver (#4)
Sophie Rhodes doesn't have a choice. She's surrounded by them.
Desperate to pay the bills, 29-year-old Sophie ignores the advice of her stuffy spirit-friend, Marmaduke Dodsworth, and takes a job with the handsome Dr. Callahan, an optometrist with a desperate situation of his own. The good doctor's problem? He has a spirit-friend as well: one with a fiery crush and a vicious jealous streak. When chemistry starts to brew between Sophie and Dr. Callahan, his green-eyed ghost wreaks some bad-tempered havoc, scaring away his patients and putting Sophie on edge. Will Sophie give up the ghost and quit the new job, or buck up and find a way to rid Dr. Callahan of his pesky specter, freeing their romance to find a life of its own?
A 6000-word short story for Barbara Marr fans and readers who love to laugh.