Monkeewrench - P.J. Tracy The first in a series about Grace, two Mpls cops, her software gang, and assorted other characters, like Sheriff Michael Halloran, or “Mickey” as Father Newberry calls him, and Deputy Bonar Carlson whose belt hung so low it would never see his belly button and who “ would have to kneel to reach his gun.”

It begins quite humorously, with Father Newberry trying to keep down the last creation of the well-meaning Sister Ignatius attempting to serve him with a “proper meal” which in that part of Wisconsin usually meant some mixture of hamburger and multiple canned soups, although on one occasion some kind of “rolled tubes that looked disturbingly like a casserole of severed penises.” Now that line truly brought a chuckle. Off to a good start.

He discovers John and Mary Kleinfeldt in the sanctuary, kneeling in a pew, and he wonders if they are there to yet again, to complain about some imagined homosexual in the congregation. Not this time. Each has a bullet hole in the base of the skull, and Mary has a cross carved in her chest.

Minneapolis detectives are faced with their own crime wave. It would seem that a killer is emulating scenes from a brand new online game designed by the Monkeewrench crew, a team of nerdy misfits who have managed to erase any trace of their former lives and also have the ability to retrieve just about any piece of information one might want about someone. Soon, despite being suspects, they are in league with the cops to track down the bad guy. And there are links to the Monkeewrench gang who seem to have no identify-able backgrounds.

The ending was a bit over the top, but this is the second of the Monkeewrench books I have listened to and will listen to more.

The characters are memorable, some of the lines LOL funny, and they all hate Minnesota winters. I suggest reading this one first as it adds a lot of backstory.