Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review
They call him Dr. Marvelry and he was a legend among his fellow magicians until he retired two decades ago. Now Marvelry owns his curiosity shop which he fills with antiques, oddities, macabre books, and strange objects from people with even stranger stories. Every customer finds more than they are looking for in Marvelry’s Curiosity Shop. Each story in this collection is a short tale about a customer who is visiting the curiosity shop or has made a recent purchase. Some customers are in search of a unique item, others find them without knowing they were looking for them. A few of the stories are connected in a small way, a call back to a previous character or item from the shop. John Brhel and J. Sullivan fill Marvelry’s Curiosity Shop with intriguing and entertaining stories, many containing twists that sneak up on you. The story telling is clever and the characters are always full of surprises.
A few of my favorite stories were The Victor Talking Machine, it’s a bit of the outer limits mixed with the twilight zone. An old Victrola record player has a link to the past. It holds a message that was captured and hidden within a song. This was the first story and a great start to the book. It does a great job setting the tone for things to come. Echo’s Reflection was the next story I really enjoyed. It’s about a mirror that shows mysterious reflections of those who look in the mirror. It also shows the viewer visions, maybe one of many possible futures yet to come. This was a fun story to read and see how fast things can go wrong for anyone taking a vision too seriously. The Magician’s Complex was straight up a magic show playing out on the pages. A struggling magician buys a bureau hoping to find the perfect magic trick and soon finds the illusions are beyond his control. The Painter’s Premonition was another very cool story. An easel and paint brushes hold a bit of magic that allows a painter to remember a scene he had long ago forgotten. The Letterbox and Seams of Consequence where also on my list of favorites. I loved the twists of magic and the paranormal elements of the stories making this a fun and quick read. Brhel and Sullivan have certainly given us an excellent follow-up to their debut book Tales From Valleyview Cemetery. These two are a pair to keep an eye on and Marvelry’s Curiosity Shop is well worth reading.
Length: 156 Pages
Publisher: Cemetery Gates Media
Release date: July 16, 2016
A thrilling paranormal fantasy novel revolving around a mysterious shop owner and his shop full of hexed antiques.
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.
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.
John Brhel, biography
John Brhel is a writer of fiction from Binghamton, NY. He is the co-author of two books (“Tales From Valleyview Cemetery” and “Marvelry’s Curiosity Shop”), a vampire hunter serial titled “Rita’s Midnight Rides” and numerous short stories.
Follow John on Twitter at @JohnBrhel. Visit his website at https://johnbrhel.com.