Review & Giveaway: WHAT THE MONKEY SAW by Lynn Chandler Willis

I recently had the pleasure of reading an advance review copy of What the Monkey Saw, by Lynn Chandler Willis. It is the first book in a new series that features a former F.B.I agent in the role of a compassionate death doula.

About the Book

When F.B.I. agent Emily Gayle’s partner is brutally murdered, Emily forsakes her career at the bureau and returns home to the North Carolina mountains to care for her disabled father. Guilt ridden over leaving her partner alone to die, Emily takes a job as an end-of-life caregiver.

Deep in Appalachia, Jude Courtland is desperate for a fast buck to pay for his grandmother’s chemotherapy. Together with his brother Crispin and cousin, Devo, the trio takes to hijacking insulin delivery vans and selling the stolen drugs on the black market. When Emily is assigned to cancer patient Hazel Courtland, the line separating right and wrong begins to blur.

As the hijackings escalate and turn violent, Emily’s intuition hones in on startling evidence she can no longer ignore.

Struggling with the truth, Emily is torn between her conscience and her loyalty to a dying woman. With her own life in jeopardy, Emily’s forced to take a side. Right or wrong, the consequences are deadly.

Book Links: Amazon


Click here to enter a giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Tours for Lynn Chandler Willis for chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card.

My Review

Struggling with feelings of guilt related to her last case as an F.B.I agent, Emily she returns to her hometown in Appalachia, and helps terminal patients and their families. Emily is kind and compassionate, and exceedingly observant with an innate tendency to snoop. The woman she is caring for is feisty and has a sense of humor and Emily is quick to grow fond of her, making it that much harder to juggle the woman’s feelings and the need to act on her suspicions regarding the grandsons’ activities. Jude is a very well-developed, multifaceted character. He is likeable, despite his criminal behavior. After all, someone who is willing to do whatever it takes to help his grandmother can’t be all bad.

The narrative alternates between the viewpoints of the two main characters, Emily and Jude. The author does a great job giving each a distinct voice and a glimpse into their innermost thoughts. This was a well-written, thought-provoking read that highlights some of the issues related to healthcare costs. It also provides interesting insights into life in a small Appalachian community and the role of the death doula.

FTC disclosure: I received an advance review copy from the publisher. This has not affected the content of my review.

About the Author

Lynn Chandler Willis is a best-selling, multi-award-winning author who has worked in the corporate world, the television news industry, and had a thirteen-year run as the owner and publisher of a small-town newspaper. She lives in the heart of North Carolina on a mini-farm surrounded by chickens, turkeys, ducks, nine grandkids, a sassy little calico named Jingles, and Finn, a brown border collie known to be the best dog in the world. Seriously.

Catch Up With Lynn Chandler Willis:


·        Goodreads

·        BookBub – @lynn361

·        Instagram – @lynnchandlerwillis_author

·        Twitter – @LynnCWillis

·        Facebook –

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