Lenny Marks Gets Away With Murder

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Lenny Marks is an unusual heroine. At thirty-seven years old, Lenny hates to be touched, abhors noise and disorder, is socially inept, and is something of a genius when it comes to anagrams (which, along with watching old episodes of Friends, is her go-to self-soothing behavior). One could imagine Lenny perhaps on the spectrum, but as gradually becomes clear, Lenny is actually a trauma survivor, doing her best to manage a world horribly fractured since the terrible events which took place in her life around the age of eleven.

A girl who was “good at forgetting”, Lenny faced her childhood armed with Errol, her teddy, who has “seen a lot and is good at keeping secrets”, as well as Malcolm, her imaginary friend, along with a chilling propensity for hiding in the “safety” of wardrobes.

As we come to understand Lenny, now a fifth-grade teacher based in a town outside Melbourne, Australia, the reader must (as is the case with Lenny herself) come to understand, and reconcile her childhood and what came to pass. Lenny tells her story alternating between these two timeframes, revealing secrets as she raises new questions, confronting memories too terrible to be faced head-on. Throughout it all, it would be impossible not to be drawn into Lenny’s world – her grief, social awkwardness, and longing for normality, all recognized by the reader as aching vulnerabilities. But most of all, Lenny is defined by her forthrightness and her clarity, guided by an innocence of heart, which in many ways is still that of the child she was.

An engaging story, with a wonderful heroine, Lenny’s journey to reconciliation is both heartwarming and sad – laden with mystery, murder (no spoilers here), twists, humor and even romance (not to mention a gorgeously bulky Rottweiler, also named Malcom).

A great big thank you to Netgalley, the author and the publisher for an ARC of this book, all thoughts provided are my own.


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