Lenny Marks Gets Away with Murder

A Novel

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Pub Date Jul 09 2024 | Archive Date Jul 23 2024


Lenny Marks is excellent at not having a life.

She bikes home from work at exactly 4pm each day, buys the same groceries for the same meals every week, and owns thirty-six copies of The Hobbit (currently arranged by height). The closest thing she has to a friendship is playing Scrabble against an imaginary Monica Gellar while watching Friends reruns.

And Lenny Marks is very, very good at not remembering what happened the day her mother and stepfather disappeared when she was still a child. The day a voice in the back of her mind started whispering, You did this.

Until a letter from the parole board arrives in the mail--and when her desperate attempts to ignore it fail, Lenny starts to unravel. As long-buried memories come to the surface, Lenny’s careful routines fall apart. For the first time, she finds herself forced to connect with the community around her, and unexpected new relationships begin to bloom. Lenny Marks may finally get a life–but what if her past catches up to her first?

Equal parts heartbreaking and heartwarming, Kerryn Mayne’s stunning debut is an irresistible novel about truth, secrets, vengeance, and family lost and found, with a heroine who's simply unforgettable.

Lenny Marks is excellent at not having a life.

She bikes home from work at exactly 4pm each day, buys the same groceries for the same meals every week, and owns thirty-six copies of The Hobbit...

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ISBN 9781250340108
PRICE $28.00 (USD)

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Average rating from 319 members

Featured Reviews

Thank you @netgalley for the ARC of Lenny Marks Gets Away with Murder by Kerryn Mayne.

This was an amazing debut. Don’t let the bright cover fool you. It seems like a light hearted beach read, but it has depth and tackles a lot of tough topics including animal and child abuse and focuses on childhood trauma. The author did an amazing job of really making Lenny come alive. She incorporated her personality into the story and you felt you really knew her. I liked how the author described Lenny as neurodivergent, but it wasn’t explicitly said and was just a part of who she is. This was an emotional book and I highly recommended it.

Lenny Marks has a predictable life as a primary school teacher. She finds comfort in her routine and solace. Her life gets turned upside down when a letter comes from her stepfather’s parole board. Lenny must confront some tough truths. Throughout the book Lenny’s story unfolds as well as her growth as a character.

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Lenny Marks is one of those sweet characters like Eleanor Oliphant, Molly the Maid, or Ove whose existence is “many things: simple, predictable and uneventful.” She might initially be described as neuro-divergent, but as the narrative continues, she’s mainly been shaped by past trauma that she’s mostly forgotten and buried. She’s 37 years old, a primary school teacher who bicycles to work, has a schedule of meals for every night (except for Thai takeout on Saturdays), streams “Friends” all the time, plays Scrabble with an imaginary Monica, and owns her own adorable secluded house. But she’s mostly friendless and is still being encouraged by her foster mom to step out of her self-imposed boundaries. Lenny has been this way since childhood, but even more so since the day her mother and her stepfather suddenly disappeared from her life when she was eleven. She’s managed to keep control with rearranging words mentally. Is she…

Unperturbable: trueblue, ultrapure, reputable, upbeat, rebel
Disintegrating: danger, rigid, straining, stagger, insane, rant

However, at this particular moment in time something arrives that starts a chain of changes in Lenny: a letter from the Parole Board. First, she steals a Rottweiler named “Beast…”

Lenny is such a wonderful, complicated character who you can’t help rooting for as her regulated life undergoes a metamorphosis. Author Mayne has created a truly memorable personality and plot that keeps you engrossed until the last chapter . 5 stars!

Literary Pet Peeve Checklist:
Green Eyes (only 2% of the real world, yet it seems like 90% of all fictional females): YES Lenny’s eyes have tones of olive and eucalyptus.
Horticultural Faux Pas (plants out of season or growing zones, like daffodils in autumn or bougainvillea in Alaska): NO Lenny might not like them, but she knows that it’s necessary to deadhead the agapanthus.

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for a free advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review!

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This book was fascinating and engaging - a different thriller/mystery take, dealing with Anxiety Fear, and Anxious Behavior, That pause we sometimes don't recognize is our * deflect/reflect/isolate/response* is more pronounced in some people, those who are insecure in what is expected. Whether by nature or nurture (due to trauma) this aspect added a real twist. The word game was hard for me because I have my own ritual but it gives insight into this coping mechanism ( I just skipped that part and did my own when I recognized it) Loved his book and was cheering for Lenny the whole way. no matter the outcome

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—Thank you so much to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the chance to review an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Like it says, this was both heartwarming and heartwarming. It slaps you in the face with unfortunate realities and unexpected fates. Life moves on it’s on accord. Lenny was so cozy and relatable but also a human who makes mistakes. It’s best to get into it blind in my opinion.

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This book was soo much better than I anticipated, and I anticipated a lot! We learn about our heroine in small bursts, and each one is better than the one before. She starts out with this calm, orderly life. Everything is fine. At least that's what she keeps saying.
Then one by one things begin to change. It's how she deals with the changes that make her such an amazing character. Go into this book prepared to read some disturbing stuff, but important for character development.
Awesome book!!!

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Ooo y'all this was a great read! It was definitely entertaining and I loved the main character! Great writing and Kerryn Mayne is excellent at keeping you intrigued the whole way through. Looking forward to reading more novels from Kerryn!

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This was so good. I went into this book expecting a story similar to like Eleanor Oliphant. Umm… no. Lenny Marks may have some some similar personality characteristics, but that is where the similarities end. Serious content with a very touching story.

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Lenny Marks may now be one of my favorite novel characters. Quirky and confusing, and as obsessed with ‘Friends’ as myself. A heartwarmingly tragic story, I loved every moment!

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Yes! Yes! Yes! I loved this book! It gave me Eleanor Oliphant vibes and I just loved Lenny and all her quirks. I wanted to find out what had happened to her, and how it would all turn out. I felt like I was living next door to her and wanted to be her friend. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can’t wait to read more from this author. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.

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Just the title was interesting enough to grab my attention and the book itself reminded me of Eleanor Oliphant. Lenny is a unique and lives a very structured life, trying to deal with past trauma. It was interesting to see how much she grew from the beginning of the book to the end.

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Wonderful story that touches on every human emotion. Lenny Marks is a well developed lovable person who you will stick with you long after finishing this book.

I enjoyed every bit of this book. Highly recommend to anyone who just wants a good, warm and smart story.

This is a debut book for Kerryn Mayne and I cannot wait to read what else the author creates.

Thank you NetGalley for this e-book in exchange for an honest opinion.

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Lenny Marks Gets Away with Murder is not what I expected, it was better. Lenny is unique and very structured in her daily life due to past trauma. I did not see the twists that kept coming and found myself reading it on my phone when I had a few minutes, it's that good. This is only January but it might be one of my top books of 2024. Kerryn Mayne is an author to follow.
Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for my review copy of this book.

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Ladies and gentlemen, author Kerryn Mayne is one to watch! Rarely have a read a more polished and self-assured debut novel. Lenny Marks, a quirky and thoroughly lovable character, will win her way into her heart, and soon you will be cheering for her to get away with murder and win a life!

When we meet Lenny, she is a primary school teacher at Selby South, and she is on a quest to make some friends. She is 37 years old, but a real loner, playing Scrabble with her imaginary roommate, Monica, named after the character in the Friends show, which Lenny watches incessantly. But trouble is looming on the horizon. There is something in Lenny's past that she has erased from her memory, but blurry edges are starting to appear. A letter from the parole board lets her know her former stepfather is due to be released from jail soon. Uncomfortable memories from her childhood are bubbling to the surface. Where did her mother disappear to all those years ago?

Lenny's healing and start towards a new, less solitary life, begins when she liberates a dog from an abusive owner after a drunken night out with her teaching partners. She names him Malcolm, after her imaginary childhood friend. Lenny will find she has more people rooting for her than she realized, just not necessarily the people she thought were her friends.

Can I just mention how hard it can be to name a character, especially when it features front and center as the name of the book. It's no small feat to achieve a memorable and fun name, and with Lenny Marks, the author did just that.

There is a murder in the this book, but it is not front and center. A lot of the book is about unraveling the mystery of Lenny Mark's past, and watching her grow as a functioning social being. Thus, I think this book could appeal to multiple groups of readers. And this book was championed by one of my favorite writer's, Sally Hepworth!

Thank you to NetGalley, the author, and St. Martin's Press for allowing me to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Omigahhhhhhh....I dare you to read this book and not fall completely in love with Lenny. She is so well-written and it is hard to believe Kerryn Mayne is a first time author with a husband, four kids, and a bustling career as a police officer. Please keep writing. I promise to keep reading, if you do!!

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I had so much fun reading this!!! The characters were great and I enjoyed the pacing. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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Excellent insight into a mind that is part autistic and part traumatized by her past. Lenny has created a routine that is very defined in order to protect herself from her past and from others in the present. Lenny is portrayed sympathetically but realistically. She knows her limitations and always tries to stay in the background so that she won't get ridiculed because of the constructs that she needs. She is a wonderful character - I really enjoyed her inner monologue. I also enjoyed the way the author gave us information about the past, happening as Lenny slowly separates fiction from fact. There were several happy surprises in the story. I found most of the characters to be very black or white - not racial, just that the nice people were very nice and the mean people weren't. And that leads to an almost expected conclusion. I still very much enjoyed Lenny's world and her story!

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