What the Monkey Saw delivers a fresh approach toward crime thrillers by showcasing realistic characters caught up in difficult situations.

5-STAR REVIEW: WHAT THE MONKEY SAW by Lynn Chandler Willis

About The Book

A Death Doula Novel: Book 1
Publication Date: January 24, 2023

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.

What the Monkey Saw delivers a fresh approach toward crime thrillers by showcasing realistic characters caught up in difficult situations.



The Review

Former FBI agent Emily Gayle is stuck in a never-ending loop of guilt and grief after a case went horribly wrong. Now, she finds some sort of inner peace serving as a death doula, a companion for the dying.

Author Lynn Chandler Willis delivers a high-quality storyline in What the Monkey Saw. However, readers have to get beyond a book cover that doesn’t reflect what is inside. The cover is not only unappealing, but it looks rather rudimentary. This author deserves to have her work packaged in a professional method to draw new readers.

Emily’s next assignment, Hazel Courtland, is every bit an Appalachian. Her days are numbered, although her adult grandson, Jude, is determined to gather enough funds for chemo. Unfortunately, he has to rely on less-than-legal means to obtain the money. When Emily hears about trucks being hijacked for insulin, which is then being sold on the black market, she starts to notice clues indicating the Courtland brothers are involved in illegal activities.

Anyone who has ever dealt with a dying loved one will appreciate the deep sense of compassion Emily delivers in her care of Hazel. As a grandmother, Hazel emphasizes how good her grandsons are, which puts Emily in an awkward situation. Determined to ensure Hazel’s last moments are peaceful, Emily ignores her FBI training, which puts her in danger.

Can a person do bad things for good reasons, or is it merely an excuse used to rationalize breaking the rules? The story is rich with scenarios that make the reader ask these questions, but there’s a point where the line between black and white is crossed with devastating consequences.

What the Monkey Saw delivers a fresh approach toward crime thrillers by showcasing realistic characters caught up in difficult situations.

Buy Links

Amazon Barnes & Noble iBooks Kobo
Add to Goodreads

About The AuthorLynn 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.


Blog Tour Schedule

02/02 Review @ Novels Alive
02/03 Showcase @ Im Into Books
02/04 Review @ Review Thick And Thin
02/05 Review @ Reading Authors Network
02/06 Guest post @ Mythical Books
02/06 Showcase @ Books, Ramblings, and Tea
02/08 Review @ Cassidys Bookshelves
02/08 Showcase @ The Authors Harbor
02/09 Showcase @ The Bookwyrm
02/10 Review @ Paws. Read. Repeat
02/11 Guest post @ The Book Divas Reads
02/11 Review @ Debjanis Thoughts
02/15 Showcase @ Celticladys Reviews
02/20 Review @ Lynchburg Reads
02/21 Interview @ Hott Books
02/24 Review @ Guatemala Paula Loves to Read


Amy Wilson
Amy Wilson
My name is Amy W., and I am a book addict. I will never forget the day I came home from junior high school to find my mom waiting for me with one of the Harlequin novels from my stash. As she was gearing up for the "you shouldn't be reading this" lecture, I told her the characters get married in the end. I'm just glad she didn't find the Bertrice Small book hidden in my closet. I have diverse reading tastes, evident by the wide array of genres on my Kindle. As I made the transition to an e-reader, I found myself worrying that something could happen to it. As a result, I am now the proud owner of four Kindles -- all different kinds, but plenty of back-ups! "Fifty Shades of Grey" gets high marks on my favorites list -- not for character development or dialogue (definitely not!), but because it blazed new ground for those of us who believe provocative fiction is more than just an explicit cover. Sylvia Day, Lexie Blake, and Kristin Hannah are some of my favorite authors. Speaking of diverse tastes, I also enjoy Dean Koontz, Iris Johansen, and J.A. Konrath. I’m always ready to discover new-to-me authors, especially when I toss in a palate cleanser that is much different than what I would normally read. Give me something with a well-defined storyline, add some suspense (or spice), and I am a happy reader. Give me a happily ever after, and I am downright giddy.


  1. Thank you so much for the review! It was wonderful to wake up to. I had to laugh when I read your bio––when I was about 12 or 13, my friends and I shared a tattered copy of a bodice-ripper titled Sweet Savage Love. We kept it hid from our parents 🙂


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -
What the Monkey Saw delivers a fresh approach toward crime thrillers by showcasing realistic characters caught up in difficult situations.5-STAR REVIEW: WHAT THE MONKEY SAW by Lynn Chandler Willis