Cover Image: A Curtain Twitcher’s Book of Murder

A Curtain Twitcher’s Book of Murder

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This book wasn't totally what I expected, but was an amazing read. Sometimes funny, sometimes throught provoking and thoroughly enjoyable.
More than a novel, it is a series of stories set on Atabara Avenue, with stories and characters interlinked, but all with one common theme - murder!
A great read, and one not to miss!

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At first glance, Atbara Avenue seems like any other suburban road - a mixture of sweet little old ladies, young families and those living a quiet life alone. But just like any other street, behind each of these doors lie secrets, these are just more shocking secrets than most.

Each chapter of the book centres on a different house on the street and the residents within, many of whom come to a grisly end one way or another. Even the vicar and his wife have dark secrets to hide. This was so well written and really unlike any book I've read before. I really enjoyed my time on Atbara Avenue even though I won't be rushing to move there!

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This is a funny, dark read with lots of drama and murder. Set in the 60's on a suburban street this is essentially lots of short stories but with links woven between them all. Im not a massive fan of short stories but this was a fun one.

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This was such a delightful book, the historical detail had me right there in the sixties, a small community if you can call the cast of characters community. Each tale separate but connected, it was cookey retro and claustrophobic by times, but all in a way that enhanced the plot - the characters were well drawn - I had expected cosy crime, but this is much more than that - I very much enjoyed it.
Thank you to Bedford Square Publishers for my advance copy.

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This well-written mystery novel is intriguingly different from all the cosy murder mysteries, police procedurals, and locked-room detective stories I have read - and there have been very many of those.

The author has expertly captured the vibe of late-1960s - and not very swinging - London in this collection of short, mostly macabre stories about residents of a typical (on the face of it) suburban street. Each story is complete in itself, but they link to each other in some very unsettling ways, with the vicar and his wife appearing in all of them, and other residents appearing in more than one. In places I laughed out loud, in other places I trembled. I am already looking forward to the author's next book.

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I LOVED everything about this book! I was so pleasently surprised as I am a huge fan of a cosy murder mystery and sometimes feel I've pretty much read it all BUT Gay Marris DELIVERS. In a Desperate Housewives meets Agatha Christie meets fly-on-the-wall satisfaction, all set in a 1960s quaint London street. I found myself instantly sucked into the plot and I really enjoyed how every chapter focused on a different resident of Atbara Avenue, giving us some unforgettable characters and deliciously tiying together the storylines. From the highly unlikable Muriel and the busy-body Deidre, we are invited to sit comfortably and enjoy the ride. I highly recommend this book, especially if you're a fan of the genre. I had to double check this is a debut, Gay Marris' writing is brilliant and extremely immersive and realistic. Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for my review copy, all opinions are my own.

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Hilarious! Just absolutely hilarious. I have been thoroughly entertained, gobsmacked, taken completely by surprise, and found myself describing what is going on to my other half all the way through this book.

I’ve honestly never laughed so much at a book I ages.

Fabulous murders, brilliantly entwined. What a street! I want to live there….or actually maybe not….

I cannot describe to you how much fun this book is. Buy it!

My thanks to Netgalley and Bedford Square Publishers for the advance copy in exchange for an honest review.

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An original collection of deliciously dark short stories, with a few recurring characters, this book is great for times when you want to see a story from start to end in one sitting, but only have 20 minutes or so. The stories are set in the late 1960s, so the reader needs to view the events through that lens, as certain things which are gotten away with then, wouldn’t be so now, and this could confuse the reader if they don’t bear this in mind. I must admit to not enjoying this book at first, as I felt it was rather disjointed, however I’d encourage you to persevere with it as once you understand that each “chapter” is a self-contained short story whilst also being part of an overarching story, you’ll soon grow to live it as I did. Not every story results in a murder, but a vast majority do, so avoid if you’re of a sensitive disposition, as they are told in a manner befitting a dark comedy, though very entertaining

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A different approach to a cosy mystery, it’s a slow burn but worth sticking with.

I would like to thank NetGalley for giving me this opportunity to read this book early.

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Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an advance copy of this book with no obligation to review.

This is like Tales of the Unexpected and some of the tales are very unexpected indeed. Each story/chapter could be read by itself but the various characters who live in the Avenue flit in and out of each other's stories, with only the indefatigable and wonderful Deirdre, wife of the vicar, appearing in each story.

Deirdre and Desmond are great characters and ring very true, They have a lovely relationship and and very funny together.

Some of the stories are macabre but they all have at least a touch of humour - I found the warring twins, for example, to be hilarious. The author is very clever in that an almost throwaway remark during the story which you think is just there to set the scene, turns out to be staggeringly important and sometimes chilling - the origin of Bobbo's nickname for example. There is no sugar coating here.

This is an easy and engrossing, cleverly written, original and very enjoyable read

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My thanks to Bedford Square publishers and NetGalley for a copy of “ A Curtain Twitcher’s Book Of Murder” for an honest review.
I must admit before I started to read this book I was expecting a sort of cozy crime story , but how wrong I was !
I absolutely loved it ! The chapters read as short stories , but introduce you to different characters from the neighbourhood, when everything fits together .It was quirky , humorous , and very dark and I loved Gay Marris’ style of writing .
Can’t wait for the next .Highly recommended.

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This was much different than I was expecting it to be and was really more a collection of short stories than a novel. I really enjoyed my time with this one.

The stories are tied together by the both the one street the characters live on and by the overarching theme of death.

Many of the residents of this street were truly awful and the stories dealt with some really dark ideas but the writing style, which was very enjoyable to read, gave it an almost cozy vibe.

I didn’t love all chapters equally but, overall, this was just the right level of twisted for my tastes.

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The cover made me think that this was going to be a cosy mystery. It was not. A gripping thriller I had a great time reading this book and it had me on the edge of my seat. Great.

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Don't let the twee looking cover and title fool you - this book is clever, dark and often pretty shocking. I put it down a couple of times, wondering what I had just read. Having said that - I'd definitely recommend it. Initially I wondered if it was actually short stories, but it then becomes clear that all the characters have more in common than the fact that they live in or near the same road in a leafy West London suburb. Setting the book in the 1960s added to the interest and I could absolutely envisage the houses, the shops, the church and the residents.
I don't want to give any spoilers, but rest assured you will be intrigued, shocked and amused by this quirky and different novel. I galloped through it and would happily read it again,. In fact, I think i will as we find out more about the different residents it would be good to go back and see how they were first introduced. Some of them initially seem to be stereotypical (like the vicar's wife) but my goodness, they are certainly not!
I have no hesitation in giving it five big fat stars. A very different but very worthwhile read.

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Wow! What a fantastic book! I fell in love with it on page one and, having finished it, am still in love with it. It's London in 1968. To a casual observer, Atbara Avenue looks like and ordinary street. Most of the people who live there have lived there for all or most of their lives and they think they know each other quite well. But there's some strange and sinister stuff going on behind closed doors. People are fooled or they misunderstand. Actions taken without much thought or on the spur of the moment have unintended--or intended--consequences. With a cast of quirky characters and some truly awful relationships, it's no surprise that for some of the residents of Atbara Avenue, murder seems like a reasonable idea.

Nothing about this book is ordinary. The book is extremely well-plotted. The characters are varied--some are monstrous, some are clueless, some are sympathetic. The settings are really well observed and described--the author especially excels at this. The writing is exquisite. For example, here is a description of a garden shed:
"Most of the room is stacked to the ceiling with various gardening paraphernalia all lumped together in a single impenetrable heap. Shovels lie upon hoes that lie upon rakes , like a crazy game of pick-up sticks. Strata of damp seed catalogues fester under a thicker deposit of damp newspapers. Tall, curving towers of flowerpots lean this way and that, threatening to topple at any moment. Trowels, forks, sieves, hosepipes all entombed and forgotten. Only a lawnmower stands apart from the mound, as if, in embarrassment, it has deliberately stepped to one side. oiled, clean and as close as possible to the shed door, it's the one sane inmate in an asylum of confusion." (p 133)

There were so many times that I stopped reading and just admired the writing and the descriptions of the everyday places that are the settings for so much anger, frustration, sadness, and more. This is definitely not a typical murder mystery. I love certain kinds of mysteries, and that's what I was expecting. I got much more than that. This book is a series of character studies involving people in ordinary settings during a particular time and in a particular place. Yet it is universal as well. We never know what is going on behind the polite facades of any neighbourhood. We interpret events to fit in with our own worldview. We disregard a great deal, especially things that might make us uncomfortable. In this book, we get a peek inside the net curtains on Atbara Avenue and get glimpses of the messes--literal and figurative--that are usually hidden. And sometimes those messes are very ugly, indeed.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. If I could give it more than 5 stars, I would. I loved it from start to finish and beyond.

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Gay Marris’s debut novel, “A Curtain Twitcher’s Book of Murder,” lures readers into the deceptively quaint heart of 1960s suburban London. Nestled on the seemingly unremarkable Atbara Avenue lies a web of secrets seething beneath the surface of neighborly pleasantries. Marris crafts a world where polished facades mask sinister motives, and charming smiles disguise the darkness within.

Marris’s prose paints a vivid portrait of Atbara Avenue. There’s a peculiar charm to the gossip exchanged over manicured lawns and polite smiles that hint at a more unsettling reality. Each chapter unravels a new layer, delving into the lives of seemingly ordinary residents who prove to be anything but. From the nosy spinster yearning for excitement to the disgruntled housewife concealing a dangerous past, the tapestry of characters is woven with both humor and chilling undertones.

The novel isn’t a traditional whodunit but rather a masterful study of the darkness that can fester in the most ordinary of settings. The tension builds with a creeping unease, as the line between normalcy and depravity slowly dissolves. Each twist reveals the depths of human desperation and the lengths people are willing to go to protect their secrets.

“A Curtain Twitcher’s Book of Murder” is a dark, humorous, and ultimately unsettling exploration of the shadowy side of suburbia. If you enjoy tales that leave you pleasantly disturbed and wondering about the secrets hidden behind your own neighbor’s curtains, this book is a must-read.

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This was so good! And so unique! Each chapter feels like a short story until characters start overlapping and the ending of each chapter had me in shock. I'll definitely re-read this at some point. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the advanced copy.

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This book defiantly intrigued my reading mind.

A dark yet cozy book kind of comedy! Absolutely enjoyed this beauty. It’s a little series of like small short stories but they all connect into one great big one. If you enjoy murder stories, dark comedy and can take books for what they are you will throughly enjoy this! I’m off to see what else this author has written!

Thank you to NetGalley/Publishing company and the author for the opportunity to read this work! I think it’s one I won’t forget for a while!

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I was intrigued by the title of this book and requested that I be permitted to read and review it. The book is in a series of short stories with murder as its theme, and is set in the London suburbs in a street named Atbara Avenue. I found the first two stories very weird and thought the subject was not convincing. The rest of the book was written with believable characters and outcomes, I struggled with this book as I read it I wanted closure in the endings by which I mean what happened in the end instead of leaving the reader thinking what comes next. However I think the author Gay Marris should be congratulated on her debut book in producing an original idea with her short stories, and I look forward to reading her next book.

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London in the 1960s in a small leafy suburb. There is no social media, no mobile phones, and to presume what others are doing involves peeking through the net curtains and indulging in some harmless gossip at the shop, butchers or the church fête. This is no different for the residents of Atbara Avenue, who delight in peeking out the window to try to catch any sign of scandal. When a young girl is found dead, an apparent suicide, it is a tragedy, which sends the gossip mill into overdrive. As the body count slowly starts to increase, is there something more sinister at play? Is it all a series of innocent accidents, or is somebody getting away with murder?

This book was not what I expected. It takes us behind a series of closed doors, dealing with them as a set of almost short stories. There are a few characters which link the village together, linking threads and elements of the story together to make it a cohesive novel, but when I started reading it, I initially felt that I had begun a book of unsatisfying shorts. As it progresses and more characters are introduced, the story broadens and makes it more enjoyable. This is particularly important, as when the story begins, there are some very unlikable main characters, and if we had been stuck with them alone for the entire book I don’t know if I could have stuck it!

As we move through the story, some of the scenarios evolve with outcomes I found deeply unsatisfying, and left many questions unanswered. Other scenarios were funny in a dark humour way. Overall, however, there was not quite enough in it for me to feel fully gripped by the story.

*I received this book from NetGalley for review.

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