Cover Image: Lenny Marks Gets Away with Murder

Lenny Marks Gets Away with Murder

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Thirty nine year old Lenny Marks loves her routine. She rides her bike to work everyday where she teaches elementary school, she visits the grocery store the same days and prepares the same meals each day of the weak. She seems to enjoy her own company and gets out of any social invitations by telling people she has plans with her roommate Monica, who is really her imaginary roommate, Monica from friends. She even plays scrabble with Monica, making sure she doesn't cheat.

She has a close relationship with Fay, her foster mother, who encourages her to make friends, and so she tries to make friends with 2 of the teachers, but unfortunately she picks two of the mean girls as she does not seem to pick up on their cues, while it takes her a while to realize that one of the other teachers wants to be a genuine friend. I was never quite sure if Lenny was neurodiverse, or if her issues were from her childhood trauma that is gradually revealed throughout alternating chapters, but either way I was rooting for her. Her life really starts to change when she finds out that her abusive stepfather is being released from prison.

I enjoyed this mystery novel and liked watching Lenny grow and build her confidence with the help of her eventual found family, Although not a page turning who done it, it is an interesting novel with characters I enjoyed getting to know.

Thank you to net galley and the publisher for this e galley in return for an unbiased review.

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I'm not the first, and I certainly won't be the last to say that Lenny Marks and her story reminds me of other books like Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine or Strange Sally Diamond. A quirky, neurodivergent or neurodiverse woman with a very definite way of looking at the world, a traumatic past, and people who want to help her become a "better" version of herself.
That's not to say that I didn't enjoy this book, because I did. Kerryn Mayne has written a character that I personally can relate to, with great writing that made it a quick read, and a plot that gets only slightly bogged down in length. The peripheral characters were also fleshed out just enough through Lenny's eyes, and there's humor and there's heartache and sadness.

The final push threw me, though, as I think it came a little late in the story. We get an unfolding of Lenny's childhood that went slight too slowly for me. I don't know if it bothers me more that the title doesn't come true until the very last few pages or that Lenny gets "saved" in a neat little package.And I get it: we want to believe that we can make a different version of ourselves. But it's a lifelong process, not a few months work and one big morally ambiguous act.

I liked it more than I didn't, and I would recommend it for readers who like their quirky main characters and a little revenge served cold.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for providing an ARC of this book.

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This one was a different choice for me - I thought it was a thriller but not really. Lenny is an autistic character that readers will find themselves cheering for. Lenny has blocked out childhood memories and live in a world where habit and rituals help her survive. But when a letter from the patrol board upend her perfectly arranged existence - everthing just falls to the ground.

This book was different from most books I have read lately and I think many would enjoy it even if it is not a thriller.

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“Lenny Marks Gets Away with Murder” by Kerryn Mayne tells the story of Lenny Marks, a thirty-seven-year-old elementary school teacher who lives alone, is obsessed with the television show Friends, and has even invented an imaginary roommate named Monica from the series. She avoids contact with most adults and sticks to a strict routine. But all that begins to change when she gets a letter that brings up her traumatic past that is buried deep inside her. As her trauma resurfaces, she begins to learn that she is not entirely alone in the world—that she does have friends.

This is such an interesting book and I found myself rooting for Lenny from the very beginning. I do think the book might be a little difficult for people who have suffered from childhood trauma, domestic violence, and so on. I am really looking forward to reading more from this author. Many thanks to Net Galley and the publisher for an ARC of this book. My opinions are my own.

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3.5 rounded up for a debut.

What a quirky and interesting little story. It’s not in any way a thriller, it’s a slow burn that pays off. The writing is solid and the characters are fully fleshed out. This was different and satisfying. I will look forward to more from this author.

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Thank you NetGalley for allowing me to receive this book for an honest review.

This is a quirky little story about a woman named Lenny Marks It had you wondering if she got away with murder.

I enjoyed this book and I am surprised because I was on the fence.

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Thank you to Saint Martin’s press and NetGalley for an arc of this book. First 50% of this book I give three stars; the second half I give five stars. Definitely a slow burn, as we got to know Lenny, her coworkers, and the way she thinks. Most of what happens in the second half of the book we are not aware of in the first. I get the sense that the author wanted Lenny to be Neurodiverse, possibly Asperger syndrome. She does not come across that way, like the narrator in Cassandra in reverse, Eleanor Olyphant is completely fine, or Emily Austin‘s novels. Instead, Lenny comes across as an old person. A boomer. Even though she’s only 37. I did enjoy her voice, but she’s not quite as endearing and likable as I would expect. There are memories that Lenny has Tucked away inside of her brain. She has dissociative disorder, and I will not spoil the second half of the book.

Then again, the biggest spoiler? Well, it’s right there in the title.

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Thoroughly enjoyed this book! ! Didn’t know what to think when it first started but boy was this a good read! Captivating characters, real life situations, a few twists and turns, a really fun read!!

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Wow, this book was just so good. It filled up my cold heart. It's always nice to be reminded that your life doesn't need to be big to be important or full of love. Also puts my hobbit book collection into perspective.

Like a balm for the soul! Thank you to the publishers and netgalley for the copy.

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Thank you NetGalley, St. Martins Press, and Kerry’s Mayne for this advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Lenny Marks Gets Away With Murder is not the type of book I often read, but I ended up enjoying it. I felt the beginning was a bit slow, but you really get some great character development in the first half of the book. You get to see how severe trauma at a young age may impact a person. Lenny is super quirky and awkward, but kind. She comes to the right conclusions, but sometimes it takes a while to get there. The second half of the book moved faster for me. I cried when Lenny’s past is finally revealed and was really happy with the ending. This book is endearing and funny with a lot of heart. 3.5 stars rounded up to 4.

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Lenny Marks is an unusual character. She copes with life by relying on her routines, whether watching endless Friends episodes, reorganizing her collection of 36 Hobbit books, or eating the same meal rotation weekly. We learn pretty early that Lenny had a traumatic and abusive childhood with a major incident which is slowly revealed over the course of the book.

She isn't much for social activity but does have a very caring foster mother and some work colleagues who range from warm and friendly to downright unpleasant (Lenny is an elementary school teacher).

We get to know Lenny better and watch her struggle with allowing people into her world -- she hasn't had good luck with that and we see clearly she is a PTSD victim who has shut herself off. It's obvious she can't go on like this forever, and sure enough, her past increasingly hijacks her daily life and she begins to melt down.

The resolution and the kindness and concern of some of those around her is lovely as her story unfolds. While the story is ugly, the telling of it and watching Lenny heal is reassuring. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

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I was holding my breath all through this fantastic book. I felt that Lenny was autistic like me, and I really identified with a lot of the ways in which she sees the world and the people around her. I don't want to spoil the plot for everyone. Suffice it to say that Lenny is a school teacher with a very small life who ends up bravely making her life bigger with the help of some lovely people.

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Such a good book! I could not put the book down once I began reading it. Cannot wait for it to be released. I will recommend it to everyone I know!

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Lenny Marks is another anxious / quirky / neuro-divergent main character. A primary school teacher with no social life and a long list of quirks.

The author does a great job at building her character with her overthinking, inner dialogue and eccentricities but I would have liked more plot, and it was slow going for most of the book. It kept me entertained but I had to be in the mood.

Coming after many others including Strange Sally Diamond, The Undiscovered Deaths Of Grace McGill, The Coworker and The Good Sister neuro-divergent main character books have to be great to stand out, and sorry to say for me this wasn’t.

Thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press

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Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC of Lenny Marks Gets Away with Murder.

This is the current literary trend; a main character is on the spectrum, lonely and awkward, who makes friends and gets a boyfriend by being her quirky self and learns she never has to change her ways.

Oh, and something traumatic happened to her and she has to learn to deal with it.

Meet Lenny Marks. She's a teacher, lives by herself, and has got a very specific routine.

But when a letter from the parole board arrives, disturbing memories from her childhood resurface, leaving Lenny with two choices; face her fears and get a life, or burrow deeper into her ordered life that has now been shattered.

I'm not a fan of these genre books, mainly because the main character is hard to like or understand.

It always feels like authors craft their characters in this way because society has us believing this is how on the spectrum individuals act.

This is not the first (or last) book I've read in the last couple years where the main character is on the spectrum but the tropes are all there:

1. The main character says what she is thinking with no filter
2. The main character tries to be friends with the popular crowd or a particular individual but makes a fool out of herself
3. A nice guy pays attention to her and either she mistakes his kindness for love or he really does like her and she's confused by it
4. A colleague or neighbor becomes a new friend but the main character isn't sure this person is genuine until the end
5. Something bad happens and the main character has to sort it out
6. The main character learns something about herself, gets therapy, and gets a life
7. The main character finds a boyfriend or couples up

Even with a quirky, not typical main character, the narrative is very cliche filled with typical chick lit tropes.

Why does the main character have to couple up?

You don't have to have a partner to have a fulfilling and content life. There is love and happiness with platonic friendships and family.

I didn't like Lenny but I didn't dislike her. The narrative isn't suspenseful or thrilling since the murder doesn't happen until the last 20 pages.

The majority of the novel is about Lenny going about her day; her awkwardness, her quirks, trying to fit in, her very ordered and strict routine, her tendency to play Scrabble and word jumbles in her head when she's anxious.

It's dull, repetitive, and typical of books with characters like this.

I did like the ending, the murder-revenge was satisfying, but it took too long to get to get there.

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3.5 stars for this novel

Just a word of thanks to both St. Martin’s Publishing Group, as well as for an advanced reading copy I’m exchange for my honest opinion on the novel.

When I did a quick look at the description of this novel, I figured this would be right up my alley for a twist-and-turn murder mystery that I typically enjoy. However, “Lenny Marks Gets Away With Murder” is not that. It is an overall, enjoyable read that allows you to peer into a character’s life and understand why she is the way she is. The main character, Lenny Marks, is an elementary school teacher who is set in her ways. Her day to day life is mundane, but that’s the way she likes it. As the novel continues, we find out why Lenny acts like she does - a horrific set of events with her stepfather, Fergus Sullivan. We find that Fergus has committed a crime and has been incarcerated for over 20-years, only to find that he will soon be paroled. We gather from Lenny what actually happened that caused her trauma and caused Fergus to be jailed.

A little humorous at times, but a good read about family secrets. Like I stated, this was not an “edge of your seat thriller”, but a thought-provoking read.

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I didn't realize this was just a new edition of an old book. We have a copy already in circulation, so do not need another.

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This is a quirky little story about Lenny Marks - Did she get away with murder? It is written in a story format with some flashbacks to things that happened in Lenny's life. The main character is quirky and without coming out and saying it within the book, obviously on the spectrum. The book did start a bit slow for me, but did pick up as more and more of her backstory was reveled. Fans of books like Lessons in Chemistry would probably really enjoy reading it.

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Really enjoyed this one.

As a Friends obsessed homebody myself, I fully related and connected to Lenny right away. This was fresh story and I think we can all see pieces of ourselves in the flawed main character.

I did find it a bit of a stretch that she had repressed so much but went along for the ride and journey with Lenny as she discovers her past and opens up to what the future could be.

Highly recommend for a fun, fresh, and enjoyable read.

Will say there was brief discussion of DV and child abuse. So if either of those are triggers you may want to stir clear of this book. But do note it was brief and was not graphic detail more of a you know that was occuring in the background.

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I'm not quite sure how to categorize this genre-bending novel; it's equal parts coming-of-age (though our protagonist, Lenny, is nearly 40), murder mystery (though the titular murder doesn't occur until the last 50 pages), and endearingly dorky love story. Lenny's heartbreaking past is revealed slowly throughout the novel, and there were multiple times where I wanted to hug a fictional character and tell her everything was going to be fine.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.

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