Author: Jeannie Wycherley
Narrator: Kim Bretton
Length: 4 hours and 20 minutes
Series: Wonky Inn, Book 1
Publisher: Jeannie Wycherley
Released: May 3, 2019
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Alfhild Daemonne has inherited an inn.
And a dead body.
Estranged from her witch mother, and having committed to little in her 30 years, Alf surprises herself when she decides to start a new life.
She heads deep into the English countryside, intent on making a success of the once popular inn. However, discovering the murder throws her a curve ball. Especially when she suspects dark magick.
Additionally, a less than warm welcome from several locals persuades her that a variety of folk – of both the mortal and magickal persuasions – have it in for her.
The dilapidated inn presents a huge challenge for Alf. Uncertain who to trust, she considers calling time on the venture.
Should she pack her bags and head back to London?
Don’t be daft.
Alf’s magickal powers may be as wonky as the inn, but she’s dead set on finding the murderer.
Once a witch, always a witch – and this one is fighting back.
A clean and cozy witch mystery.
Take the opportunity to immerse yourself in this fantastic new witch mystery series, from the author of the award-winning novel, Crone.
Genre-hopping introvert and word witch living somewhere between the forest and the sea in East Devon, UK.
Jeannie finds inspiration everywhere: in myths, stories and songs, while people watching, a word here, a look there. However, her main inspiration comes from the landscape. Devon has it all – a rocky coastline, pebble and sandy beaches, narrow winding lanes and picture perfect cottages, steep cliffs and an abundance of forest.
A good day for Jeannie means a blustery wind, racing waves and salty rain. She lives with her husband and two dogs, makes a lot of soup, plays too many computer games and loves watching movies.
An accomplished and award winning actress with West End and Broadway theatre credits Kim has been doing voice over work for 15 years. She has voiced cartoon characters for the BBC and been a regular vocal impersonator on a popular London radio show. Kim has narrated and produced 15 audiobooks since she joined ACX this year! Her voice over clients include Carnival Cruises, Gucci, Sennheiser, American Express, HRH UK Prisons systems, Doubletree Hotels, Victorian Trading Company and so many more. Quick, reliable and always professional.Kim has a reassuring, kind and expressive style.
It must have been beautiful once. Who knew how old it was? Maybe fifteenth or sixteenth century? Perhaps older. Certainly it had been added to over the years. An Elizabethan veneer here, a Georgian building here, a Victorian extension there, and the adaptation of the stable block to create further accommodation at some time in the last century. The first two storeys were black and white, appearing typically Elizabethan. The upper stories looked to me like something out of a Disney fairy tale, with turrets and arched windows. The first two floors of the building appeared to have buckled, listing dangerously to one side, but the upper floors pulled the whole building the other way.
If you were entrusted with an inn or even a house in a will, what would you do with it? Would you keep it and try to fix it up? Would you sell it and use the money for something else? Alfhild Daemonne and her adventures begin in this first installment. Readers are sure to enjoy Wycherley’s fun banter amongst characters and the witchy mystery running a muck in the town, making it clear that someone doesn’t want Alf there.
Alf is a witch, much like her estranged mother but she holds her magic back from the world because of the loss of her father. Upon inheriting an inn from her father, she packs her bags and heads straight for her new life. Arriving at the wonky and quite charming inn, she is ecstatic to get started on the renovations, but where does she start? The locals aren’t too friendly and don’t seem to take well to her being there, but one of the women recommends a handy man who is perfect for the job. With little money to start the work of getting the inn back to its glory days, the handy man works out perfectly and he is handsome to boot! Of course, there is no shortage of bumps in the road and the biggest one happens to be a dead body which clearly appears to have been caused by dark magic. Alf is determined to not let that stop her and her new life, but others may be plotting to destroy her newly found dreams whether she likes it or not. Being the newbie to the town, she may not have any choice other than to turn to her magic to help her through this pickle.
Wycherley’s story is light, but fun with a charge of mystery to liven the pages. The characters are energetic and well developed; however, the plot is a bit predictable. Since this review is complimenting the audiobook, Bretton did a fantastic job with her narration. The characters all had a sense of personality and pace was enjoyable. The story appears to be written well; however, this opinion is based on the clear and effortless vocal relay by the narrator. If you are a reader of cozy mysteries and paranormal or supernatural fiction, you may enjoy this read. Since this is the first installment within the Wonky Inn Series, readers are able to jump right in.
A copy of this audiobook was provided to Turning Another Page by Audiobookworm Promotions and in no way affects the honesty of this review. We provide a five-star rating to The Wonkiest Witch by Jeannie Wycherley.
Character Profile for Alfhild Yasmin Daemonne
- Age: Recently turned 30.
- Birthday: 20th March (Spring Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere)
- Star sign: On the cusp of Pisces into Aries
- Place of birth: Near Glastonbury in Somerset in the UK.
- Parents: Yasmin and Erik Daemonne.
- Siblings: None
- Height: 5 ft 8
- Weight: Curvy, but otherwise none of your business
- Shoe size: UK 8 (US 41?)
- Eyes: Green
- Hair: Reddy brown and lots of it. Wild curls. Usually dishevelled.
- Fashion sense: Jeans and t-shirts. Lots of black. Witchy robes in plain charcoal.
- Freckles: On her nose.
- Music: Loves a bit of rock, jazz and blues. A Foo Fighters fan.
- Loves: Cake. Tea. Owls. Walking in the woods. Baths. Relaxation.
- Hates: Vampires, the cold – especially the snow, getting up early, Maths!
- Ambitions: To learn to drive, to run a successful business.
- Marital status: Single
- Current job: Innkeeper
- Previous jobs: Barmaid, landlord, manager of nightclub.
- Characteristics: A little sarcastic, great sense of fun, intelligent, feisty, scatterbrained at times, adventurous, loyal, friendly, inquisitive, has a notable sweet tooth, observant.
Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing? No! Definitely not. I wasn’t even sure The Wonkiest Witch would be finished or published. Halfway through writing it (it was an experiment because at that time I was mainly writing horror and dark fantasy) I abandoned it for a while, unsure it was working. Then I thought, ‘well I might as well try and finish it’ so I pushed on. I did a redraft and decided it wasn’t too bad, then sent it to my new at that time editor. Not only did she love it, she insisted it become a series. I had a cover designed. It was pretty poor, so my editor recommended a new designer who told me, “Well if you’re writing a series I need all the titles at once so I can design them altogether and get the branding right.” So I had to come up with five more titles there and then! That was it, the Wonky Inn series was born right there. As they began to sell the feedback I was getting from my US readers was they loved how British it was, but they struggled with some of the terms I used. It was some time while I was writing Book 5 it dawned on me that it would help if my readers could hear what Alf was saying as that would convey the meaning a little more. It was at that stage I thought, ‘Right! I need an audiobook with a proper English accent.” To be fair, I write with a strong narrative voice, so I hear what I’m writing. The Wonky Inn books should naturally translate well into a conversational tone. I hope that comes across in the audio.
Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing? I think Alf is a younger me, full of sass and sauce but still rather vulnerable and maybe quite lonely at times. In the follow up to The Wonkiest Witch, called The Ghosts of Wonky Inn, Alf is a little down to begin with, and depression is something I’ve struggled with in the past. The relationship between Alf and the ghost of her great-grandmother Gwyn is totally mine and my Nan’s! We were very close and always bickering. She passed away nine years ago. I loved her and miss her very much. It’s fun to explore that with Alf and Gwyn. The other aspect of The Wonkiest Witch that is very real is the location. Whittlecombe doesn’t exist, but it is based on a few villages near me, and the idea of a general store, a post office, a little cafe and a village hall being all that’s there is very real. In sleepy Whittlecombe we have the new inn (The Hay Loft), a village pond and a village green. That’s about as busy as most of my neighbouring villages get. Thatched cottages and lots of forest is standard. It’s all very quaint and olde-England and I love it.
If you had the power to time travel, would you use it? If yes, when and where would you go? This is such a hard question! I’ve just written The Mysterious Mr Wylie, where Alf has to some time-travelling (she gets travel sick though), and it is something I thought about a lot. I have a PhD in modern and contemporary history, so I think I’d love to go back to Victorian London and see what it was really like – the squalor and conditions, hear the sounds, smell the smells, see what kind of food they had and so on. Similarly I’d love to go to the court of Henry VIII, but maybe not stick around too long in case they tried to chop off my head. Or maybe, just go back and hold my beloved best friend Herbie, my dog who died in 2016. But letting him go again would break my heart all over, so maybe I’m better off here with my memories.
What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”? Stuff and nonsense! I think audio is a wonderful way to capture what was in the author’s mind and to breathe life into the characters, particularly where–as happens with Wonky–the characters are British and so the way they speak should add to the humour. That humour can be quite specific to the timing, so hearing the voice helps. Also – seriously – I spent 16 years teaching. I know the inequality that exists in education. At one stage I was teaching grown men how to read. Imagine that. Imagine being an adult unable to access the written word. And what about those with disabilities? Or the people who listen to audio while doing something else? Driving or crafting? Working or cooking? Why shouldn’t any of these people have words in their life? I say let’s celebrate the written word in all its formats! Vive le difference as the French say.
How did you celebrate after finishing this novel? With a massive question mark and a sigh of relief. I just didn’t know what people would make of it. It was a story that came from the heart at a time when I was really down and I needed some light and magick in my life. When it was published and people actually liked it, I was gobsmacked and extremely excited. I drink a lot of tea, so that’s what I celebrate with, but I wrote this last summer so I may have had a sneaky gin and tonic in my titchy garden in the sunshine with my husband.
➜Sign up as a host here