Friday 21 June 2024


Book review: A Curtain Twitcher’s Book of Murder by Gay Marris [blog tour]

Whenever a publisher puts "murder" in the title of a book, they've instantly got my attention. Cosy crime truly is the genre of the season – and for good reason. It's such delicious form of escapism. Although The Curtain Twitcher's Book of Murder is a little less cosy than your average Richard Osman. It's dark and macabre, and leaves the reader feeling unsettled and suspicious of their own neighbours.

About A Curtain Twitcher’s Book of Murder

Atbara Avenue looks like a normal, quiet street in 1960s London. Families living their ordinary lives and being amicable with their neighbours. But not everything is at it seems.

There's something not quite right in the household of the spinster who lives with her elderly mum or the one of the boy who tragically lost the ability to walk in an accident. And what about the bickering twins, who have divided their house and garden in two so they don't have to spend any time in each other's company? 

Let's take a peak behind the curtains of Atbara Avenue and discover what's really going on behind closed doors...

My review

When I picked up A Curtain Twitcher's Book of Murder I assumed it was a novel following the story of one murder taking place on Atbara Avenue and, perhaps, the neighbours who witnessed something behind twitching curtains. Instead, I soon realised that the book is actually made up of an eclectic collection of short stories that all take place on this same street in London. There are also some characters that pop up in several of the stories (most notably the vicar and his wife as dubious pillars of the community), creating a guiding thread throughout each of the individual tales. 

While some stories had a clear beginning and end, others were left open to the reader's interpretation – sometimes with a concluding reference in a later story but at other times not being referred to again. And despite the murder in the title of the book, not every single chapter ends in death, but let me tell you... they all end in despair. Because, my goodness, author Gay Marris has assembled a despicable cast of characters for her debut novel. You can't even trust the adorable old lady who serves up her tea with some freshly baked goods. The stories – and characters – range from the bizarre to the macabre and they very much had a grown-up Roald Dahl feel to them.

The dark humour underpinning these twisted tales wasn't always for me, but that is very much a personal preference as I'm more of a "cosy" crime reader than a gruesome crime one. However, each of the stories are very unique and unexpected with clever twists and outrageous characters, so if you like your books to be filled with a generous dose of darkness and despair, then this might just be the read for you! 

A Curtain Twitcher’s Book of Murder by Gay Marris is published by Bedford Square Publishers and you can now buy your copy from your favourite local book shop!

Blog tour stops for A Curtain Twitcher’s Book of Murder by Gay Marris

This review for A Curtain Twitcher’s Book of Murder is part of the blog tour for the launch of the book. Make sure to check out the other stops too!

Disclaimer: This book was gifted to me, but this has not impacted this honest review.

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