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Marvelry's Curiosity Shop

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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.

156 pages, Kindle Edition

Published July 26, 2016

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About the author

John Brhel

19 books69 followers
I'm the co-author of Tales From Valleyview Cemetery, Marvelry's Curiosity Shop, At The Cemetery Gates: Year One and Carol for a Haunted Man, Corpse Cold: New American Folklore, Her Mourning Portrait and Other Paranormal Oddities, Resurrection High , At The Cemetery Gates: Volume 2 and The Thrumming Stone with my long-time friend Joe Sullivan.

I work full-time as a marketing/PR professional at Binghamton University. I enjoy writing, reading, watching movies, playing music, and spending time with my family.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 49 reviews
Profile Image for Frank Errington.
738 reviews57 followers
September 9, 2016
Review copy

I love the concept behind Brhel & Sullivan's newest book. If you're waiting for the "but," it's coming.

With nearly every story, I'm reading along, enjoying the writing and the imagination that went into the tale, and then...BANG...the reveal or twist and...that's it...over. It was almost as it the writers would get to a certain word count and then go into hurry up mode to wrap up that particular tale. I don't know, maybe it's me, but I like a little time to savor and enjoy what just happened in the individual stories. A mini epilogue of sorts for each episode would have been nice.

The curiosity shop is set in the fictional town of Binghampton, NY. Think Binghamton, NY, pretty much the same place.

Marvelry's Curiosity Shop is told in a series of anecdotal stories, each one dealing with an item purchased from or given away by Dr. Marvelry, the shop's proprietor. Marvelry himself was once a world-renowned illusionist, now retired.

The Victor Talking Machine - The story of Brent and Kevin Buckley, a young couple who purchase a Victor Victrola that came with an old Frank Sinatra record and a little something extra.

Echo's Reflection - Echo Dollinger and her fiancé, Robert Simmons were looking for the perfect bathroom mirror for their Neo-Victorian furnished home. They find the mirror they purchase at Marvelry's Curiosity Shop shows more than their reflections.

Magician's Complex - One of my favorite stories in the collection, about Peter Myers, a magician looking for a new illusion to give his act a boost. He purchases a special bureau from Dr. Marvelry and gets more than he bargained for.

The Painter's Premonition - Justin Loza is an artist who walks away from the shop with an antique easel and some squirrel hair brushes. When he uses them to paint a landscape, what he sees on the canvas is another scene entirely.

A Gift Ungiven - Tom Kopp's son, Chad, buys his father an Iroquois bone breastplate. Tom is an anthropologist, so the gift is perfect...or is it.

A Made Match - African fertility dolls. Need I say more. Nothing good ever comes of these things and this story is no exception. Meant to be sold as a set, the two are sold to two different couples. Oh, no.

The Letterbox - When Josh Hart manages to purchase his grandparent's home, he wants to restore it to the way it was during his childhood when he spent his Summers on the property. He finds the original letterbox at Marvelry's and soon starts receiving letters from his mother mailed to his grandparents more than forty years ago.

Seams of Consequence - What a great title for a sewing machine story. When Emma Cowden's old sewing machine breaks down she can't really afford a new one. Dr. Marvelry has one that one belonged to a very successful local seamstress and sells it at a bargain price. Soon, Emma discovers if she make garments for events she or her husband would like to be a part of, they come to pass. But there's a twist.

Martinus' Mannequin - The story of a possessed mannequin, but it's not who they believe is doing the possessing.

Siren Song - An organ, sold to Dr. Marvelry, finds it's way back to the apartment complex where the seller resides.

The New Assistant - A tale about what happens when the shop's new assistant, Drew, and the trouble he gets into when left alone to watch over the emporium.

Grand Illusions - A sold story about the second greatest magician in the world.

An Article On Dr. Marvelry From the Sun Press - Much too long for a newspaper article. It is a pet peeve of mine when this trope is used and then the story fails to read like a newspaper article.

There is also a bonus story from the forthcoming Anthology At the Cemetery Gates: Year One called...

A Dark and Desolate Occurrence - A clever tale of a couple who's car gets stuck in a snowbank.

Overall, I did enjoy this collection of stories and can recommend readers check it out for themselves. After all, your mileage may vary.

Published by Cemetery Gates Media, Marvelry's Curiosity Shop is available in both paperback and e-book formats. If you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited you can read it at no additional charge and if you are an Amazon Prime member you can read it for FREE through the Kindle Owners Lending Library.

From the bios of the authors...

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.

Joseph Sullivan is a writer of horror, including Tales From Valleyview Cemetery, Marvelry's Curiosity Shop. and the upcoming Route 12: The Legend Trip. He is also a hiker, songwriter, and co-founder of Cemetery Gates Media. His long-term writing goal is to combine his love of poetry, the American novel, and Upstate New York into one cohesive work of fiction.
Profile Image for Stephanie.
113 reviews38 followers
September 15, 2016
The book contains by 12 horror stories that related to the things bought or get by the Marverly’s Curiousity Shop. Marverly is a magician that now retired and open the shop. Marverly's curiosity shop full of weird and bizarre things that he collected from all around the world. Marverly is a good person and nice character that somehow all weird and scary things happened without his knowledge. He is not purposely sell things that harm people. But the spirit do different things.

Long time I don’t read the kind of story like this. I like the concept of things that have supernatural power cause its been cursed or possessed by the previous owner. Sometimes things that we use connect to us until we die. Overall I enjoyed this book, all stories was great. I recommend this book to all horror fiction lover.

I got a chance to read the book for free in exchange for the honest review, thanks to group For Love of a Book.
Profile Image for ☕️Kimberly  (Caffeinated Reviewer).
3,098 reviews666 followers
October 19, 2016
The Victor Talking Machine- Kevin and Brent are out purchasing unique items for their countryside home. They stumble upon Marvelry's Curiosity Shop and meet the odd curator, who shows them a Victor Victrola player. It is in good working order and even has a Frank Sinatra album. Ecstatic they take it home and place it on an antique table in their bedroom. When Kevin is home alone, he plays it and discovers there is more hears more than just Frank. This tale was creepy with a curious twist and one you'll want to share around the fire.

Echo's Reflection- In this tale we meet Echo Dollinger and her fiance Robert Simmons. The two go out searching for a mirror for their master bathroom and discover the perfect mirror in Marvelry's shop. The tale that unfolds had an Alfred Hitchcock vibe and lesson to be learned.

Magician's Complex- We learn about our curator as he helps Peter Meyers, a thirty-five-year-old magician who longs to be in the spotlight. A magician's chest of drawers made hold the key or maybe not. Another twisted tale, and I am beginning to see that some of these tales give a warning or teach lessons. This story was a tad freaky folks, leave the lights on.

The Painter's Premonition- A set of paint brushes and an easel bring back memories for an alcoholic painter. Eerie and twisted Mr. Marverley and his knack for pairing items with people gave me chills.

A Gift Ungiven- This chilling tale shares events that happen when an anthropologist is gifted an Indian artifact. The twist at the end was freaky.

A Made Match- What happens when African fertility dolls get separated. In A Made Match, two couples find out when they each by one of the set. An interesting tale and the twist at the end was amusing. Oh, my!

The Letterbox- Josh loved spending time at his grandparent's Victorian home and at forty he is finally able to buy the home and goes about restoring it. When he discovers their original letterbox at the curiosity shop he is beyond pleased...that is until the letters start arriving. A creepy tale that will have you turning on the lights.

Seams of Consequence- A young woman disgruntled by hardship things she finds the answers in an old Singer. Beware of the things you wish. Seriously..be very careful.

Martinus' Mannequin- Necromancy anyone? A friend of Dr. Marvelry shows up with a strange mannequin. I liked how a previous object made an appearance here.

Siren Song- A pretty tenant has moved into the apartment building who plays her organ day and night. A twisted tale that reminds us to trust our instinct.

The New Assistant- When Dr. Marvelry goes on a day trip to retrieve an item, he places his new assistant Drew in charge reminding him that some objects in the store are best left untouched. Does Dave listen? Find out what happens as learn some of Drew's extracurricular activities may complicate things. The build up was fantastic, and the tale gave me chills.

Grand Illusions-A weekend house party to celebrate a retirement has deadly consequences. I liked the clever twist at the end.

Marvelry's Curiosity Shop reminded me of childhood shows that gave me the shivers such as The Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock. For younger readers, these stories will remind you of Are You Afraid of the Dark and Goosebump episodes that aired on Saturday mornings. My favorite stories from the collection were Seams of Consequence, Siren Song, and The Victor Talking Machine. I liked The New Assistant but wanted to know more.

Copy provided by the author. This review was originally posted on Caffeinated Book Reviewer
Profile Image for Sammi.
131 reviews83 followers
October 5, 2016
This book contains 12 short-stories; each story is based around Marvelry’s Curiosity Shop and the odd and sometimes cursed artefacts that are sold in the shop. Whilst the stories are intriguing and somewhat spooky, I didn’t find them to be scary at all.


Dr. Marvelry is an odd character, through the parts of the book he comes across as not knowing that he selling cursed or haunted objects, however there are other stories where he knows what some of the objects in his shop are capable of. Despite him knowing what some objects were capable of, he never issued a warning to the customers, and yet he was portrayed as a decent, caring gentleman.


Overall this book was a well written, fun and easy read. The characters were likable enough and it was great to see how some of the short stories in the book overlapped into other stories.

Profile Image for Cobwebby Eldritch SpookyReads Reindeer .
5,262 reviews297 followers
August 21, 2016
Review: MARVELRY'S CURIOSITY SHOP by John Brhel and Joseph Sullivan

A delightfully entertaining paranormal, supernatural, magical set of vignettes, tied inextricably to the illustrious Dr. Marvelry, and his gently eccentric boutique, Marvelry's Curiosity Shop, a bastion of antiques and occult marvels in New York State, owned by an acclaimed former magician.

The vignettes are delightful, suspenseful, occasionally scary. There's a firm moral caution contained here as well: "Don't mess with something if you don't know know the provenance--and if you do know the provenance, still don't mess with it." Or: "Be careful what you wish for."
Profile Image for Latasha.
1,297 reviews384 followers
August 7, 2016
I received this book in exchange for a honest review.

oh Dr. Marvelry! this book was lots of fun. it's a collection of short stories all tied together by Dr. Marvelry or purchases made at his shop. The stories are fun, not really scary, and interesting. I pictured Dr. Marvelry as Vincent Price and this as a tv show in the early 90's. it's definitely worth a read! :)
Profile Image for Dez Nemec.
759 reviews25 followers
February 18, 2018
I bought this book because it was on sale, and because it sounded like an 80s tv show - like Friday the 13th: The Series or Tales from the Darkside. And this shop sounds just like the place I would love to go. They have skeleton keys made out of real skeleton, a toy guillotine, a Charlie McCarthy ventriloquist doll, vintage Weird Tales magazines, postcards of classic freak shows, and animal skulls. I'd totally buy any of those - and have bought some of them!

The book includes stories like: two men that by a Victrola with Sinatra record that includes random screams; a mirror that shows potential futures of the onlooker; a magic prop that makes things disappear and appear; and an easel that compels you to paint what it wants you to.

All the stories were quick and fun. I did feel that it ended a bit abruptly with no real conclusion. Otherwise, I enjoyed it so much that I am reading another book of stories by John Brhel that I have on my Kindle next.
Profile Image for Reading Bifrost.
189 reviews26 followers
August 17, 2016
“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.
Profile Image for Bandit.
4,609 reviews469 followers
October 15, 2019
I’ve downloaded this after reading the authors’ Tales from The Valleyview Cemetery. Which is to say I quite liked Tales from The Valleyview Cemetery. It was a very nice conceptual anthology with a creepy epicenter. Much like this one. Only here the authors take the action from the cemetery to a sort of magic/antique shop, owned and operated by a former magician with a name almost no one seems to be able to pronounce right. In each story someone walks in to make a purchase and finds their life transformed by the newly acquired object, quite often in fairly terrible ways. To be honest the book had me at magic and magicians alone and there’s a good amount of that in here from triumphs of prestidigitation to magician rivalry, but it isn’t all that’s on offer. By now I’m used to the general tone of these books and they are very easy to enjoy, despite maintaining a thoroughly mild PGsomething rating throughout. Not in a dumbed down YA way, but more along the lines of suitable for general public. If you were to adapt these for tv, they wouldn’t need to be on any of the premium stations due to overt violence, sexual content or language. Very, very inoffensive. And though normally I do prefer my entertainment somewhat more…spicy, this actually works nicely. Maybe because I don’t really think of these stories as something meant to terrify or thrill profoundly, these are more like fun somewhat dark fables, morals included. The writing itself actually might have improved from the last book, it’s more along the lines of traditional storytelling instead of very matter of factly almost reporting style. So yeah, fun, very quick read, one sitting, maybe 120 minutes and well worth it. Tried to make this review be as inviting as the cover, but it’s tough, because the cover is pretty awesome. Check out this shop for yourself, see what unusual peculiar and downright bizarre oddity speaks to you, window browsing simply won’t do. Recommended.
Profile Image for Kally.
319 reviews
August 18, 2016
I really loved the premise of this book; it reminded me of a childhood series "Magic Shop Books" by Bruce Coville, but an updated adult version. I was not disappointed in that; these tales were all a bit creepy at heart and I read through them very quickly.

I did have two issues with the book. The first is in the character of Dr. Marvelry; he was not very consistent. In some stories, he was empathetic towards people, merely a stage magician, and completely naive of the power in the items in his shop. In others, he is fully aware of the dangers of "the occult" and of the items he sold. The inconsistency was distracting. Perhaps if the character of Dr. Marvelry was a stronger tie between stories, the book would have flowed without a hitch. Unfortunately, some stories seemed to allude to others and some were told in isolation, which confused my brain as to whether to think of this book as having very choppy chapters or as separate tales.

Overall, though, I would still recommend this book to friends. The tales are interesting and have the right amount of eeriness and, most importantly, I enjoyed it.

I received a copy of this book from the group For Love of a Book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Madelon.
803 reviews10 followers
July 31, 2017
As I read the first several chapters of MARVELRY'S CURIOSITY SHOP, it seemed more like I was reading a collection of vignettes built around a single, singular character binding the disparate tales together. There never actually seems to be a timeline or continuity from one chapter to the next; however, subtle clues are sprinkled throughout. It is, no doubt, an interesting way of getting the story told. Dr. Marvelry, our protagonist, does finally get his story told in an appendix-like newspaper article at the end of the chapters.

My first impression, as I read the first chapters, was that the curiosity shop was much like the one in the television program "Friday the 13th - The Series" that aired between 1987 and 1990. You might recall that the 'curiosities' there all carried a curse. There is no explicit reference to curses in this book, but the antiques do seem to wreak havoc on those who purchase them.

MARVELRY'S CURIOSITY SHOP is well written and offers a somewhat unique method of storytelling. I was hooked by the variety of characters and the weaving of their individual tales with the items drawn to them by need or desire.

This eBook is well edited and well written from a grammatical point of view. John Brhel & Joseph Sullivan show a great deal of potential and a lot of creativity; however, the polish and pizzazz aren't quite there yet. I like to follow up and coming writers, so I am definitely not writing them off. If you enjoy the-demon-is-in-the-artifact stories, this one is for you!
Profile Image for Shari Sakurai.
Author 7 books67 followers
February 19, 2017
*I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review *

This novel is a collection of 12 short stories which centre around Marvelry’s Curiosity Shop which is a second hand store unlike no other – in that your purchase could kill you! The short stories are either unsuspecting customers dealing with the consequences of their purchases, being connected to a customer in some way or Marvelry’s own experiences.

This is very well thought-out and put together collection of tales. Short story telling is an art that the two authors have clearly mastered. Each tale was wonderfully imaginative and a fun read, with an unexpected twist at each end.

Marvelry himself was…well as curious as his shop! I couldn’t decide whether he knew just what the object he was selling could do or whether he really didn’t know at all. Either way, I found him to be rather likeable and endearing in a quaint old-fashioned way. I also liked that some of the stories were about Marvelry himself so I gained some more insight into the character.

Overall Marvelry’s Curiosity Shop is an excellent read and one that I recommend to lovers of short stories and spooky tales.
Profile Image for Mandilynn.
94 reviews7 followers
September 2, 2018
Submitted for your approval of the now adult Midnight Society....

This book reminded me so much of a more adult version of the classic 90's kid's show Are You Afraid of the Dark. Marvelry is much like Sardo in that he was an antique collector with a shop full of curiosities. Each item had a back story and a little bit of weirdness that come with it. There's even a fun exchange at the beginning of the first story:

"It's Marvel-RYE, not Marvel-REE. No Doctor. Accent on the RYE."
Ahem, Sardo, anyone? No Mister. Accent on the DOE. ;) At one point there is even a coffee shop called Sardo Cafe. If the authors weren't trying to channel AYAotD in some way, I would be surprised.

There are quite a few stories in here. Most of the beginning is stories of folks who come into the shop and purchase something that eventually goes bad for them. There are a few stories which deal with Marvelry himself and his colleagues. And one or two stories that focus more on the person than the object and it's just a coincidence that there's a Marvelry object in the story.

Overall, I really enjoyed this.
Profile Image for Seregil of Rhiminee.
591 reviews42 followers
July 29, 2016
Originally published at Risingshadow.

John Brhel and J. Sullivan's Marvelry's Curiosity Shop is a delightful combination of fantasy, dark fantasy and horror elements. It's a book that consists of twelve episodes featuring different strange and occult items. Each of the episodes can be read separately, but together they form a highly entertaining and enjoyable narrative and you can see how they interlink with each other.

Marvelry's Curiosity Shop was a very pleasant surprise for me. When I began to read it, I found myself being intrigued by the episodes and enjoyed the vivid prose. It was evident to me that the authors had clearly written this book out of love for storytelling and old-fashioned horror fiction, because it was excellent entertainment.

Marvelry's Curiosity Shop is a welcome addition to the horror fiction genre, because it's a charmingly old-fashioned yet modern horror book. There's something about it that has a bit of a 1980s feel to it.

This book contains these episodes:

- The Victor Talking Machine
- Echo’s Reflection
- Magician’s Complex
- The Painter’s Premonition
- A Gift Ungiven
- A Made Match
- The Letterbox
- Seams of Consequence
- Martinus’ Mannequin
- Siren Song
- The New Assistant
- Grand Illusions

Each of these episodes tells about a different item from Dr. Marvelry's shop and how it affects the customers who try to use them. What happens to the customers is both chilling and entertaining, because their fates vary a lot depending on what they do and how they react to what is happening.

This book starts with the story 'The Victor Talking Machine', which introduces Dr. Marvelry and his curiosity shop to readers. It's a story about a newly married couple, Brent and Kevin Buckley, who are beginning to decorate their home. They visit Dr. Marvelry's shop and become fascinated by an old phonograph. They decide to buy it and take it home. When Kevin begins to listen to the record, he hears something strange and is surprised and frightened by it... I won't go into more details about the happenings, but I can mention that what is revealed about the phonograph is intriguing.

'Echo’s Reflection' is a fascinating story about Echo Dollinger whose relationship with Robert Simmons is put to test when they buy a bathroom mirror. The ending of this story is memorable.

I found it interesting that the authors wrote about a Marvelry devotee and a magician called Peter Myers in 'Magician’s Complex'. The meeting between the two magicians was handled well, because it was fun to read what Dr. Marvelry thought about Peter's abilities. 'Grand Illusions' also features another magician (an illusionist called Nick Nickleby) and the authors write well about him, but I won't reveal what happens in this story, because I don't want to write spoilers. I'll only mention that it's a fantastic final episode.

The authors have come up with a diverse cast of characters ranging from an anthropology student and a struggling professional musician to a magician and a newly married gay couple. This diversity allows the authors to explore various themes and issues in an exciting way. It was fascinating for me to read about the characters, because they had different motives for buying the items.

Dr. Julian Marvelry is an interesting character, because he's a retired stage magician who likes to collect curious objects from strange, storied people and locations. Collecting items used to be his hobby, but he decided to turn it into business, because the increase in competition forced him to adapt to changes. He has many strange items in his shop. His assistant, Drew Hysell, is also an interesting character, because he's a student who has purchased magic books and tricks from Dr. Marvelry prior to becoming his assistant.

One of the best things about this book is that the authors write vivid and descriptive prose. Because I've always like fluently written descriptive prose, I instantly liked the authors' writing style. I like the way they write about the characters and their lives, because each of the characters has a different fate.

There have been a few books about strange and occult items, but this book stands out among other novels of its kind by being a highly entertaining and well written collection of interlinking episodes. This book has faint echoes of Stephen King's Needful Things and the TV series called Friday the 13th: The Series (1987-1990), but it's different from them.

The cover illustration by Ben Baldwin looks great. He has painted an atmospheric and inviting cover image that awakens the reader's interest towards the book.

I give Marvelry's Curiosity Shop full five stars on the scale from one to five stars. I can wholeheartedly recommend it to fans of dark fantasy and horror fiction, because it's been a while since I've read anything as good and entertaining as it. Please, invest a bit of time into reading this book and let it cast its spell upon you, because a marvellous feast of fantastic storytelling awaits you when you open its covers.

My final words are:

This book is excellent and thrilling entertainment!
Profile Image for Pete.
3 reviews
July 26, 2016
Marvelry's Curiosity Shop is a collection of spooky short stories that I found very entertaining and well written. Much like "Tales From Valleyview Cemetery," the authors' first collection, each story here is thrilling enough as a stand alone tale, but the entire collection comes together when read as a whole. Many of the stories contain repeating characters, intertwined plot lines, and recurring locations or supernatural elements. Each tale is about a different item from a mysterious pawn shop that deals in objects of the occult, and the (mis)adventures of the store's customers upon trying to use the items and unleashing their horrific powers. Each story contains an underlying commentary on themes such as secret desires or abuse of power, making the book more than just a series of frightening tales. Sometimes the protagonists learn their lessons, and other times they meet a gruesome demise. In each story, the reader is often left guessing their fate until the final paragraph.

Without giving anything away, I thought it was great how the book's titular character, Dr. Marvelry, seemed to be patterned after one of my all-time favorite literary heroes - Sherlock Holmes. From one story to the next, the reader gradually learns more about the shop proprietor's background, and meets many of his colleagues, friends and foes alike. As in "Tales From Valleyview," this book is also peppered with elements of Upstate New York history, where the authors are from, and even contains a few references to the people, places, and events from "Valleyview."

Overall, I thought the stories flowed well from one to the next, like a properly sequenced LP record. Upon finishing a story, I was always eager to read the next and see where it would take me. The stories are descriptive and vivid, with an occasional dose of dark humor or 90's style witty banter. I think both adult and teenage readers would enjoy Marvelry's Curiosity Shop, whether they are fans of tales of the macabre and occult or simply curious about the genre.
Profile Image for Jeff Raymond.
3,092 reviews182 followers
August 9, 2016
Growing up, like many kids, I had an affinity for the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark series, complete with their creepy illustrations and stuff teachers hated. I know they rebooted them a few years back, and I don't know if they're still as crazy popular as they were in my classes, but they occupy a very firm spot in my memories.

Marvelry's Curiosity Shop bills itself as a collection of strange tales all centered around supernatural items sold from his shop. By the third story in, I couldn't help but think how much it reminded me of Scary Stories in that the self-contained tales had a similar, classic structure to them and they weren't scary as much as strangely comforting from a nostalgic standpoint to somewhat unsettling in some other places.

The pacing and length of the individual stories are a strength, and, truly, the best story is the last one in the collection, but if there's a flaw to the overall collection, it's that it doesn't feel as if the book knows what it wants to be. If it went all-in on a nod to its inspirations, that would be one thing, but some tales are kind of silly and others maybe a little too far from a tonal perspective in terms of horror/macabre tropes. This imbalance keeps the book from being everything it could be.

Overall, though, this was a fun collection on a whole. If you put on your nostalgia glasses and put yourself back in fourth grade for a bit, you'll definitely find some enjoyment in it even if you tend to like things a little darker these days.
Profile Image for Yamna.
357 reviews117 followers
September 29, 2016
Thank you to the author for an ebook of this novel in exchange for an honest review

I have been lucky enough this year; most of the books that I have read have turned out well. It's even better that a lot of the books that I received from the authors were so good and some of them have even become my favorites. I am glad that I gave this book a chance. As my rating indicates, Marvelry's Curiosity Shop was a very fun read. Magic has always been a favorite topic of books for me and the fact that the shop in the book sells unique, magical objects helped enhance my reading experience.
What was the most enjoyable in the book is that it's a series of stories so you have so many people frequenting the same shop but buying different things. Some of my favorite stories were the one with the sewing machine and the one with the paint brushes. They were both what you can call more focused on the darker side of magic and what it can do to people.
I am impressed enough by the authors to consider reading more books from them in the future as well as recommend them to other people.
Profile Image for Aila Stephens.
Author 3 books28 followers
July 25, 2016
I had high hopes for Marvelry's Curiosity Shop, and was not disappointed. The character--and I do mean character--at the center of it all, Dr. Marvelry, earned a place high on my list of favorite literary characters from the moment he first spoke. I wasn't sure whether I should love him so much so quickly because the jury was still out on just how sinister he might be. However, it soon didn't matter. I was hooked on him, his shop, and couldn't wait to find out what happened next.

The journeys his patrons find themselves on after succumbing to a taste for the unusual and the odd are well-constructed and terrifically terrible. Each one woven into an overall brilliant piece. If you're looking for a page-turner that will keep you guessing and wincing, then step into Marvelry's Curiosity Shop and have a look around. I guarantee you'll be a satisfied customer.
Profile Image for Mandy Walkden-Brown.
554 reviews29 followers
August 9, 2016
A very well written and enjoyable read.
An intriguing mix of intertwined stories centering on Dr. Marvelry's shop and its supernaturally endowed objects.
Following the diverse group of customers as they encountered the, mostly unwelcome, gifts bestowed upon them by the items procured from the shop made for a suspenseful read.
The characters are full of life and both they and each of their experiences with the cursed objects are vividly described.
The authors have managed a pleasing balance of fantasy and humour with an underlying modicum of horror in this well written tale.
Highly recommended.
I was given a copy by the generous authors in return for an honest, impartial review and I thank them for allowing me the thoroughly enjoyable visit to Marvelry's Curiosity Shop. A delightfully different place to explore!
Profile Image for Joelle.
211 reviews64 followers
September 7, 2016
*I received this ebook free from the For Love of a Book group and from the author in exchange for an honest review.*

This was a quick, quirky read comprised of several short stories. It reminded me of Tales From The Crypt or the 80's tv show Friday the 13th. Each story was centered on a conflict in the life of the characters which was only exacerbated by the introduction of an object purchased at Mr. Marvelry's Curiosity Shop. I would recommend this book for fans of the aforementioned tv shows and fans of dark comedy and short stories.
175 reviews14 followers
June 21, 2020
Average rating: 2.7 stars
The Victor Talking Machine
2 stars
Two newlyweds buy a phonograph that sometimes plays more than music. A few typos, and amateur writing. Lots of telling, no showing. Nice to know the locations though, as I’m a local!

Echo’s Reflection
2 stars
A woman and her fiancé buy a mirror that shows them disturbing visions.

Magician’s Complex
2 stars
An aspiring magician tries a trick he was warned to avoid.

The Painter’s Premonition
2 stars
An alcoholic painter continuously paints the same landscape of a location he’s never seen.

A Gift Ungiven
2 stars
A college history professor receives his birthday gifts and gains a unique stalker.

A Made Match
2 stars
Two couples each buy half a set of fertility dolls.

The Letterbox
2 stars
A middle-aged man starts restoring his beloved grandparents’ home and discovers a few old letters.

Seams of Consequence
2 stars
An ambitious woman replaces her broken sewing machine.

Martinus’ Mannequin
3 stars
An old friend of Dr. Marvelry’s believes their deceased friend is communicating with him.

Siren Song
3 stars
A lonely musician gets a talented new neighbor, and several men go missing.

The New Assistant
3 stars
Dr. Marvelry leaves the shop in the hands of his new assistant for the day.

Grand Illusions
2 stars
Dr. Marvelry is invited to the retirement of an old colleague.

An Article on Dr. Marvelry from the Sun Press
2 stars

A Dark and Desolate Recurrence
3 stars
Profile Image for Natalie Rix.
Author 8 books24 followers
February 12, 2018
A fascinating book of short stories set around the premise of a shop of curiosities owned by a curious character named Dr. Marvelry. Most of the stories are tales set from the viewpoints of customers who unwittingly purchase hexed or haunted items from Dr. Marvelry’s shop, resulting in paranormal, bizarre and often disastrous occurrences. The occult objects act as an interesting device to reveal the intentions, desires and weaknesses of the customers. I think the stories are well written and I enjoyed reading them. I like how the stories are all episodic but also interconnected. I have purchased several other of your books and look forward to reading them.
Profile Image for Kay Oliver.
Author 11 books146 followers
August 7, 2017
This collection of short stories is so creative, unique and fun. Every story centers on something with Marvelry- the strange and powerful antiques sold at his store, he himself who was one the greatest magician in the world and his strange band of friends. I enjoyed each tale, but there was one thing missing from each one which is why a fifth star is missing on my rating- horror. Not a single story in this collection had even a hint of horror to it.
Profile Image for Steph.
194 reviews69 followers
April 12, 2019
Je ne considère pas ce livre comme étant "d'horreur", mais il était divertissant. Les histoires étaient suffisamment courte pour ne pas s'essouffler et Marvelry c'est avérer être un personnage et hôte, voire vendeur, tout à fait charmant. Certaines histoires étaient un peu inutile ou pas pleinement mené à terme (il aurait pu faire mieux, en somme) mais la plupart était très correct et intriguante. Une agréable petite lecture donc!
43 reviews1 follower
May 10, 2019

Great stories. Connected yet seperate. It was a very entertaining and interesting anthology. Highly recommend to anyone who likes a little supernatural in their stories.
15 reviews
April 19, 2022
Quote Enjoyable

While not all paranormal stories, I liked this anthology somewhat more that the others I have read by them. Very creative, and I also liked seeing tidbits of stories show up elsewhere in the book.
February 8, 2017
Good, Quick read

I enjoyed the short stories and how they all tied together. Believable for a retired magician! Nice for short stories.
Profile Image for Claire.
24 reviews
March 27, 2018
Very entertaining and intelligently written

I really enjoyed reading this book. The stories are unpredictable and engaging. 8 more words are required to complete this book review.
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