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Uncle and Ants

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Mysterious attacks. Mischievous nieces. Can a clueless uncle catch a tech-savvy killer … and be home before bedtime? When a freak accident hospitalizes Marty Golden’s sister and condemns him to babysitter duty, he thinks it’s just another case of hardwired bad luck in Silicon Valley. Until a suspicious murder suggests the mishap was no mere coincidence. Something must be do Mysterious attacks. Mischievous nieces. Can a clueless uncle catch a tech-savvy killer … and be home before bedtime? When a freak accident hospitalizes Marty Golden’s sister and condemns him to babysitter duty, he thinks it’s just another case of hardwired bad luck in Silicon Valley. Until a suspicious murder suggests the mishap was no mere coincidence. Something must be done. Too bad this quirky, fashion-backward uncle isn’t exactly hero material. Convinced his sister is in mortal danger, this amateur sleuth follows clues to an oddball array of suspects. Armed with nothing but an eye for detail and powers of self-delusion, Marty tangles with gangsters, a cantankerous school secretary, and a perplexing woman he can’t help but fall for. Glitches in his investigation seem like a piece of cake compared to dinner-prep and bedtime stories with his two precocious, pre-teen nieces. Can Marty catch the culprit, save his sister, and get his life back in order before he gets unplugged?


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Mysterious attacks. Mischievous nieces. Can a clueless uncle catch a tech-savvy killer … and be home before bedtime? When a freak accident hospitalizes Marty Golden’s sister and condemns him to babysitter duty, he thinks it’s just another case of hardwired bad luck in Silicon Valley. Until a suspicious murder suggests the mishap was no mere coincidence. Something must be do Mysterious attacks. Mischievous nieces. Can a clueless uncle catch a tech-savvy killer … and be home before bedtime? When a freak accident hospitalizes Marty Golden’s sister and condemns him to babysitter duty, he thinks it’s just another case of hardwired bad luck in Silicon Valley. Until a suspicious murder suggests the mishap was no mere coincidence. Something must be done. Too bad this quirky, fashion-backward uncle isn’t exactly hero material. Convinced his sister is in mortal danger, this amateur sleuth follows clues to an oddball array of suspects. Armed with nothing but an eye for detail and powers of self-delusion, Marty tangles with gangsters, a cantankerous school secretary, and a perplexing woman he can’t help but fall for. Glitches in his investigation seem like a piece of cake compared to dinner-prep and bedtime stories with his two precocious, pre-teen nieces. Can Marty catch the culprit, save his sister, and get his life back in order before he gets unplugged?

30 review for Uncle and Ants

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sabine

    Uncle and Ants is a great start to the humorous Silicon Valley mystery series. It is different to most other cozy mysteries in several things. We have with Marc Jedel a male author and with Marty Golden a male protagonist who is a software engineer in Silicon Valley. He is quite the nerd and while he considers himself pretty smart his investigation style resembles an elephant in the china cabinet. It is a very good paced mystery that didn’t give the culprit away until the end. Lots of twists and t Uncle and Ants is a great start to the humorous Silicon Valley mystery series. It is different to most other cozy mysteries in several things. We have with Marc Jedel a male author and with Marty Golden a male protagonist who is a software engineer in Silicon Valley. He is quite the nerd and while he considers himself pretty smart his investigation style resembles an elephant in the china cabinet. It is a very good paced mystery that didn’t give the culprit away until the end. Lots of twists and turns and a long list of suspects mixed with some nerdy humour made this a very engaging read. Oh….and could I please sign up with Rover too? I would love to have access to an unmanned car service. I already have the second book in the series on my kindle and will read it soon.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

    Great Mystery Marty Golden is a software engineer working in Silicon Valley, when his sister is involved in an accident, and an attempt is made on her life (involving a nearby patient being murdered). he adds dectective to his job, as he tries to figure out what happened. That and taking care of his nieces. It's an interesting and entertaining take on a light hearted/cozy murder mystery, and I like having another male amateur sleuth too follow that is both relatable and likeable.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tonya

    A decent, often oblivious but very nice guy who wants to solve the mystery so bad and is overwhelmed with taking care of his nieces. Enjoyed the read!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Carla Johnson-Hicks

    3.5 Stars rounded up. Uncle and Ants is a good start to the humorous Silicon Valley mystery series. The protagonist, Marty Golden is a software engineer who works in Silicon Valley. His sister Laney, recently widowed with two young children, has recently moved to live near him. When she is involved in a suspicious accident, and then another patient in the hospital who has been accidentally identified as Laney Tran down the hall form her is killed, Marty decides that he needs to keep his younger 3.5 Stars rounded up. Uncle and Ants is a good start to the humorous Silicon Valley mystery series. The protagonist, Marty Golden is a software engineer who works in Silicon Valley. His sister Laney, recently widowed with two young children, has recently moved to live near him. When she is involved in a suspicious accident, and then another patient in the hospital who has been accidentally identified as Laney Tran down the hall form her is killed, Marty decides that he needs to keep his younger sister safe. Marty is no James Bond, he stumbles around, gets himself in trouble, is a bit klutzy, yet is still able to solve the case. Of course, with his sister in the hospital, he also has to take care of his nieces. As he begins to suspect one person, he finds information to incriminate someone else. Will he be able to find the person who wants Laney out of the picture before they are successful? I will be honest and say that I almost gave up on this book about a third of the way in, but stuck to it and am glad I did. It got much better and Marty became more likeable as the story went on. He is quite the nerd and while he considers himself pretty smart his investigation style resembles a bull in a china shop, stumbling upon clues, driving the detective crazy and scaring himself silly. Seeing him interact with his nieces was a great part of the story. They are rather precocious young ladies, but are still young and need support and supervision. The Science Fair projects actually play an important role in this story, and give the title to the book. I enjoyed his co-worker Raj who was constantly covering for his absences from work. The secondary characters of the barista and Mrs. Kim also added some humor and gave us more insight into Marty. I have to say that it is nice to have a male protagonist. I have been reading more cozies with male main characters and it is refreshing. There were a few slow spots in the story, but overall, it is a well paced mystery that didn’t give the culprit away until the end. Several twists and turns, a long list of suspects and some nerdy humour make this a fun story. I have to say, unmanned cars, this one named Rover, are actually happening and will be available in the near future, but I don't think it will be for me, at least for a while. If you like cozy mysteries with a bit of a new twist and different setting, then check out Uncle and Ants.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Susan Swanson

    It wasn't my favorite. I found the plot to be thin. Most of the positive reviews put it in the "cosy mystery" category. But for me that would require a more likeable main character and I just didn't connect with Marty. But the lowest point for me was the writing. The author just used too many words and described EVERYTHING in much too much detail. Example - "We sat on a bench at the top of the oval-shaped park. In front of us, several young kids ran back and forth on the grass in the afternoon s It wasn't my favorite. I found the plot to be thin. Most of the positive reviews put it in the "cosy mystery" category. But for me that would require a more likeable main character and I just didn't connect with Marty. But the lowest point for me was the writing. The author just used too many words and described EVERYTHING in much too much detail. Example - "We sat on a bench at the top of the oval-shaped park. In front of us, several young kids ran back and forth on the grass in the afternoon sun while their parents watched and talked nearby. The burnt orange Tech Museum building and palm trees lining the roadway created an interesting backdrop for the kids. Pedestrians walked along the sidewalk while cars drove around the curving roads alongside the small city park. No one bothered us." I found these descriptions to be lengthy and tedious and of little to no value. It's just a park. What a surprise that kids played there while their parents watched. And pedestrians walking on the sidewalk! And cars driving on the road! Wow. And the book was full of them. When I put this beside some of the other mysteries I've read, it doesn't come close.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Krystyna

    James Bond he isn't - more like Bob Lewis meets Austin Powers I must admit that when I first started reading this I nearly gave up (unusual for me) but bear with it - it grows on you and by the end I loved not only the plot but also the characters. From the smart aleck children to the nerdy, out of his depth (but determined to keep his sister safe) programmer. When he gets a call that his sister was in an accident, a delivery drone caused the accident, he rushes to the hospital. Now he is faced w James Bond he isn't - more like Bob Lewis meets Austin Powers I must admit that when I first started reading this I nearly gave up (unusual for me) but bear with it - it grows on you and by the end I loved not only the plot but also the characters. From the smart aleck children to the nerdy, out of his depth (but determined to keep his sister safe) programmer. When he gets a call that his sister was in an accident, a delivery drone caused the accident, he rushes to the hospital. Now he is faced with looking after her two young daughters. How could a delivery drone loose control. The more he ponders this the more he thinks that there is something strange going on. This is confirmed when he finds out that the occupant of the room she should have been is had been murdered. Okay so he is a computer need but she is his sister - so he decides to retrace her steps. Juggling a full time job, two young children and being completely without people skills proves a challenge. Will he get to the truth that led to the attack and the consecutive break-in.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Laura Thomas

    I’m always excited when I start a new cozy series and Uncle And Ants tickled my fancy on so many levels. Picture it. A man kind of full of himself and sure he’s the be all of investigations takes it upon himself to solve the mystery of who tried to kill his sister. She’s a widowed mother of two teenage girls and doesn’t seem likely to be on someone’s hit list. Marty was determined to solve the mystery and protect his family. If only he had the slightest clue what he was doing. Good thing he didn’ I’m always excited when I start a new cozy series and Uncle And Ants tickled my fancy on so many levels. Picture it. A man kind of full of himself and sure he’s the be all of investigations takes it upon himself to solve the mystery of who tried to kill his sister. She’s a widowed mother of two teenage girls and doesn’t seem likely to be on someone’s hit list. Marty was determined to solve the mystery and protect his family. If only he had the slightest clue what he was doing. Good thing he didn’t take himself too seriously. I can’t count on two hands how many times I laughed out loud at his fun incompetence. And don’t even get me started on him coping with two teenage girls. The horror. LOL Fun at every turn, a convoluted mystery with quite the list of suspects and characters you can’t get enough of. You can bet I’ll be following this series.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jeannine

    It started a little choppy but smoothed out and turned into a humorous and enjoyable read. The main character, Marty Golden, is a Silicon Valley divorced software engineer, consummate nerd and father of two grown kids. He writes programs for a driverless car service called Rover, which comes with lots of dog related programming gliches. Marty's sister is injured in a car accident caused by a delivery drone and is recovering in the hospital so Uncle Marty must babysit her two young and precocious It started a little choppy but smoothed out and turned into a humorous and enjoyable read. The main character, Marty Golden, is a Silicon Valley divorced software engineer, consummate nerd and father of two grown kids. He writes programs for a driverless car service called Rover, which comes with lots of dog related programming gliches. Marty's sister is injured in a car accident caused by a delivery drone and is recovering in the hospital so Uncle Marty must babysit her two young and precocious daughters while trying to solve the mystery of her "accident". The characters are all a little wacky and Marty is totally out of his element but it works. Definate 3.5 stars.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Dorothy Timm

    Actually, three and a half stars. It puzzled me that the sister was recovering, yet she "slept" and didn't speak until the last few pages of the book. As seems to be common in cozy mysteries, the vast majority of the book was useless to the true reason for the attempted murder. However, the nieces were cute and funny, the book was enjoyable, even if the plot had lots of holes and went in meaningless directions.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Marg Siegler

    This book helped me sleep. I surely didn't have a hard time sleeping while reading this book. I fell asleep often and had to go Bach to find out where the storyline was. Lots of nods and snoring happened while reading.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sheila

    Great fun mystery! Good to visualize make a funny movie!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Rekha

    Read my review here: Uncle and Ants Link takes you to my book review blog. Read my review here: Uncle and Ants Link takes you to my book review blog.

  13. 4 out of 5

    boltonl

    Funny and funnier! This is so much fun to read! The characters and story are intriguing and yet the humor is magnificent! Read it to laugh and enjoy a mystery!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Missi Martin (Stockwell)

    You cannot help but get lost in Uncle and Ants by Marc Jedel. Uncle and Ants is the first book in his Silicon Valley Mystery series and it is a hit from the first chapter !!! Main character Marty Golden is a software engineer working for Rover, a company that provides rides for people. It's like a taxi service except that the car is programmed to drive and doesn't have an actual person driving the car. His life is kinda simple and boring until he gets a call that his sister was in a car accident. You cannot help but get lost in Uncle and Ants by Marc Jedel. Uncle and Ants is the first book in his Silicon Valley Mystery series and it is a hit from the first chapter !!! Main character Marty Golden is a software engineer working for Rover, a company that provides rides for people. It's like a taxi service except that the car is programmed to drive and doesn't have an actual person driving the car. His life is kinda simple and boring until he gets a call that his sister was in a car accident. A drone crashed into an ice cream truck and his sister's car was involved. Marty goes to the hospital to check on his sister but there is some confusion when he goes to the wrong room (wrong name on the door?). When he finally locates his sister, he is introduced to a cop but before he can find out much about his sister, the accident and her condition, the school where his two nieces goes calls him to pick them up. Marty thinks something isn't right with his sister's accident and when he goes back to the hospital to find out more concerning her condition, he finds out that the woman in the room that has his sister's name on the door was found murdered. This makes Marty even more concerned and believes that someone wants his sister dead. Unfortunately he has NO idea why. His sister and nieces have only been in town a few months and his sister works in human resources so he cannot understand why someone would want to harm her. Marty takes it upon himself to look into her accident and goes through her computer and phone and starts by talking to everyone that she met with recently. Things get worse when his sister's apartment is broken into and one of the people that she met with had their apartment broken into also. Marty will do whatever it takes to keep his sister and nieces save....even if it means he may have to lie, cheat and break the law..... Readers will love getting lost in Uncle and Ants. You will love the way Marty mishandles every situation he gets into while keeping his nieces safe. You will be on the edge of your seat at times, laughing at times, and maybe holding your breath also. I "betcha" you will love it and want to jump right into the second book in this series, Chutes and Ladders. I KNOW I am !!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Tari

    This was so enjoyable and funny! Just when I'd think that Marty Golden couldn't possibly get into more predicaments, something else happened. It all started when he thought that someone was trying to kill his sister with a falling delivery drone. The fact that she was in the hospital and either unconscious or asleep didn't help his investigation much, and the cop in San Jose probably thought he was certifiably crazy. Marty was kind of an unconventional uncle, but he definitely loved his little n This was so enjoyable and funny! Just when I'd think that Marty Golden couldn't possibly get into more predicaments, something else happened. It all started when he thought that someone was trying to kill his sister with a falling delivery drone. The fact that she was in the hospital and either unconscious or asleep didn't help his investigation much, and the cop in San Jose probably thought he was certifiably crazy. Marty was kind of an unconventional uncle, but he definitely loved his little nieces that he had to care for while their mom was in the hospital. I loved his co-worker Raj and of course thought of Raj on TV. Marty's software engineer job was pretty cool too, although I'm not really sure about a driverless car. It seems a little creepy, but it came in handy a lot for Marty. The girls cracked me up how they could get him to do stuff for them. He finally did some sleuthing with a woman that his sister had met as an HR client. I hope she shows up in another book. This book would make a great comedy mystery movie!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Tod A.

    What a fantastic and humorous mystery story! Every once in a while I like to take a break from tense action-packed page-turning thriller and sit back with a cozy or a book like this. As a native of what was the Valley of Heart's Delight in the 40s and 50s, and a business telephone installer in Sunnyvale - Palo Alto, I lived on the edges of the high-flying tech outfits from H-P to Lockheed to Control Data to Rolm. This story combined a well-written story with some truly funny puns and the excitemen What a fantastic and humorous mystery story! Every once in a while I like to take a break from tense action-packed page-turning thriller and sit back with a cozy or a book like this. As a native of what was the Valley of Heart's Delight in the 40s and 50s, and a business telephone installer in Sunnyvale - Palo Alto, I lived on the edges of the high-flying tech outfits from H-P to Lockheed to Control Data to Rolm. This story combined a well-written story with some truly funny puns and the excitement of a couple of preteen girls (I can relate to that!). I intend to buy Chutes & Ladders soon to keep up with this comedy. As a psychiatrist once observed of Basil Fawly, there's enough material there for a whole conference. Keep up the wonderful work, Marc!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Marshall

    This light mystery story features a slightly awkward and inept software engineer who attempts to solve what he believes to be the attempted murder of his sister, aided by a friend and the police. The book starts out reasonably strong, with good writing, a decent mystery and a sympathetic protagonist, it declines in quality and interest as the story progresses. Their is way too much time spent on Marty's nieces and his neighbor, and on trying to be cute. The kids were cute, the dialogue was cute, This light mystery story features a slightly awkward and inept software engineer who attempts to solve what he believes to be the attempted murder of his sister, aided by a friend and the police. The book starts out reasonably strong, with good writing, a decent mystery and a sympathetic protagonist, it declines in quality and interest as the story progresses. Their is way too much time spent on Marty's nieces and his neighbor, and on trying to be cute. The kids were cute, the dialogue was cute, and so was the resolution of the mystery. Also, I found it irritating that every time a word in italics showed up, the line spacing got fouled up. I will not read the sequel.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Marji Morris

    Entertaining I enjoyed this light mystery with off scene deaths so no blood or gore. Software engineer and divorced silicon valley dweller Marty has to care for his young nieces when his sister is badly injured in a freakish accident involving a drone and an ice cream truck. Soon he realizes. Someone's out to kill his sister so he becomes a very amateur detective. He bumbles through some hair raising but funny encounters. And the ants in the title are real. African crazy ants are apparently a thi Entertaining I enjoyed this light mystery with off scene deaths so no blood or gore. Software engineer and divorced silicon valley dweller Marty has to care for his young nieces when his sister is badly injured in a freakish accident involving a drone and an ice cream truck. Soon he realizes. Someone's out to kill his sister so he becomes a very amateur detective. He bumbles through some hair raising but funny encounters. And the ants in the title are real. African crazy ants are apparently a thing.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Diane Wachter

    A Silicon Valley Mystery, Bk 1, EBk-M, Kindle, @ 2018, read 7/4/20. Fiction, Mystery, Humor. A somewhat humorous story about an uncle who has to temporarily care for his two young nieces while their mother, his sister, is hospitalized because of a freak accident, or was it? The uncle is quite dorky. Even his 12 year old niece said "geez, Uncle Marty, it's no wonder your single!" I was a bit frustrated with his character, but the plot was interesting. 2☆'s = Okay.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Jane

    Cure and quirky Marty is your typical, nerdy, 40s something, divorced dad...until his sister is in a questionable accident... Then he becomes a super sleuth! Not really though 😂 I enjoyed this book as a quick read in between all the other activities that are keeping me sane during this quarantine.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rhonda Buhler

    Loved this book! Marty Golden is a bumbling well-meaning uncle who tries to do his best but often ends up in hilarious scrapes. Reminds me of Wodehouse in some ways. B. J. Harrison is the perfect narrator for the audiobook, and captures the characters perfectly. Enjoyed it so much I bought the second audiobook in the series.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Patricia Gulley

    Skimmed my way through this book because too many of the scenes seemed set-ups for slap stick. Didn't care for any of the characters except poor Raj who seemed to have to do all the work. Couldn't Marty just once tell somebody something specific?

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lori Byrd

    A very sweet book about an amateur sleuth trying to get to the bottom of why his sister was in an accident that should have never happened. He is also juggling watching his 2 nieces and working in between. I thought this was a super fun book to read. I loved it.

  24. 4 out of 5

    CHRISTINE FORRESTER

    Humorous and great book to read Kept you going to want to read more and not so predictable. Was humorous on things we would say ourselves

  25. 5 out of 5

    Atreya Das

    Exceptional storytelling. Funny lines and vivid descriptions. Marc has very quickly rose to the ranks of one of my favourites. Surely gonna read his second of this series. 😊

  26. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Oops Apparently I failed to make notes on this when I read it. I believe it was pretty average. Nothing special stuck with me.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ralph Piscopo

    Keeping creepers Really a cute amusing story. Children can really keep you hopping. Schemes always abound and mischief are everyday occurences. Entertaining and funny.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Edie Gromacki

    Read just for a fun and entertainment. Plot was not believable at times, but moved well enough to keep your interest.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Merry D Hale

    Fun book to read This book is full of funny characters, has a good plot, and an entertaining story. I will definitely read the next book.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Carol A. Ewing

    Loved it Disfunctional family meets reluctant detective. I loved this tongue in cheek story that took a mystery burglary and murder and turned it into a fun romp. Fast moving, entertaining. Megan and her sister Skye are well portrayed as competitive siblings. All is well in the end. I should try book two!

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