Lenny Marks Gets Away With Murder

Kerryn Mayne

Lenny Marks Gets Away With Murder
Penguin Random House Australia
28 November 2023

Lenny Marks Gets Away With Murder

Kerryn Mayne

Kerryn Mayne's stunning debut is an irresistible novel that's both chilling and charming, suspenseful and uplifting. And, of course, simply unforgettable...

Lenny Marks is good at not remembering.

She has spent the last twenty years not thinking about the day her mother left her when she was still a child. Her stepfather's parting words, however, remain annoyingly unforgettable- 'You did this.'

Now thirty-seven, Lenny prefers contentment and order over the unreliability of happiness and the messiness of relationships. She fills her days teaching at the local primary school, and her nights playing Scrabble with her pretend housemate, watching reruns of Friends and rearranging her thirty-six copies of The Hobbit.

Recently though, if only to appease her beloved foster-mum, Lenny has set herself the goal of 'getting a life'. Then, out of the blue, a letter arrives from the Adult Parole Board. And when her desperate attempts to ignore it fail, Lenny starts to unravel.

Worse, she starts to remember . . .


Lenny Marks doesn’t want happiness: it is too unreliable and fleeting. Instead, she prefers contentment, order, and isolation over the company of others. Ever since her mother left her as a child, and her stepfather blamed it all on her, Lenny just wants to stay away from trouble. But trouble doesn’t want to leave Lenny alone.

The teachers she works with at the local primary school consistently invite her to social outings, cracking the shell she’s safely tucked herself in. The boy at the supermarket whom she’s falling for is already dating one of the teachers who wants to be her friend. She spontaneously kidnaps a dog, rescuing him from his abusive owner – but they know it was Lenny who took him, and want him back. Then a letter arrives from the Adult Parole Board, informing her that her stepfather is being released from prison after over 20 years.

But Lenny doesn’t want trouble. She just wants the peace and comfort of watching reruns of Friends and playing Scrabble by herself. So, surely, if she ignores everything threatening to overturn her life, then everything will go away – right?

As the events of the novel lead up to a jaw-dropping crescendo, Lenny questions everything she’s ever known. How does the perception of our childhood shape who we become as adults? What happens when we cannot trust our own memories – then who do we become? Lies have been told, blood has been spilt. But whose blood, and by whose hands?

Kerryn Mayne’s debut stuns you with its nuanced complexity, its light and darkness and everything in between. In her odyssey of self-discovery, Lenny experiences new worlds of friendship and romance, navigates fears and confronts her past. Despite her efforts to keep her days uneventful, the life of Lenny Marks is thrilling, gut-wrenching, suspenseful, and promising. She is unforgettable.

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