I received this book for free from Cemetery Gates Media in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by CEmetery Gates Media on July 26th 2016
Genres: Anthology, Horror, Paranormal, Short Story
Source: Cemetery Gates Media
Retired stage magician Dr. Marvelry prefers to stock his antique store with strange and occult items. He has always enjoyed meeting odd people and hearing their stories, the legends attached to mysterious objects. A phonograph that seemingly replays a tragedy. Fertility dolls that are more than decoration. A bedeviled mannequin. These are just some of the relics this eccentric shopkeeper has collected over the years.Amazon •
No two customers will have the same experience in his curiosity shop -- some walk away satisfied, others are never heard from again. But one thing is certain – when you purchase an item at this store, you often get more than what you paid for.
Follow Marvelry and his hexed objects through twelve tales of suspense, magic, terror, and transformation. Meet his new assistant, fellow illusionists, and some irregular characters along the way. Whatever macabre artifact of the human psyche you’re seeking – you’ll find something special in Marvelry’s Curiosity Shop.
Mature-Content Rating: Violence, Language, Mild Sexual Content
“So, you must be Dr. Marvel-ree?” asked Brent.
Marvelry spen around. “Why, yes. But it’s pronounced ‘Marvel-rye,’ no need for ‘doctor,’ and the accent’s on the ‘eye.’”
Marvelry’s Curiosity Shop in an anthology of short stories focused around a small shop that belongs to a retired magician, Marvelry. As a former world traveler, and a man with many connections, Marvelry has obtained quite a few strange and mystical objects that he sells in his shop.
Each story is about a different item in the shop (with the exception of the final two stories) and how those items affect the buyers. I wouldn’t necessarily call all the stories horror, some could be rather sweet, but other buyers would have benefited from listening to Marvelry when explaining the history of the piece or giving friendly advice.
Marvelry himself is the main character of the book, so I have to take time on him. I do like his character, but he’s also hard to figure out. He seems like a nice, grandfatherly character, but he also knows that some of the items he sells are dangerous and sells them anyway. I would have to say having a more sinister shopkeeper would probably been a better way to go, or at least having a shop assistant selling items behind his back. I just can’t see the kind old man selling something he knew would probably cause harm to the buyers.
The endings to the stories vary; not all end happily but not all end in violent, gory death either. That does shake up the entirety of the book a bit, but the stories themselves are a bit predictable in their outcomes, and often the endings are harshly abrupt. It didn’t put me off from diving into the next story though.
Overall, Marvelry’s Curiosity Shop is an anthology of quick read little stories of interesting little trinkets and a charming main character. It’s good for an afternoon of reading, or just a story a day to let the mind wonder for a bit. I wouldn’t mind reading more from his little shop with a few adjustments.