A #WitchyWednesdays Audiobook Review during #WyrdAndWonder | “The Ghosts of Wonky Inn” (Book Two: the Wonky Inn series) by Jeannie Wycherley, narrated by Kim Bretton

Posted Wednesday, 25 May, 2022 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

#WitchyWednesdays banner created by Jorie in Canva.

#WitchyWednesdays is a curated collection of #WitchyReads this Wyrd And Wonder on Jorie Loves A Story. I have long held a fascination with Paranormally inclined stories involving witches and wizards as well as magic schools. I read either Contemporary or Historical releases as well as completely fantastical worlds featuring a Witchy premise and storyline. This year for Wyrd And Wonder, I’m focusing on specific stories I’ve been wanting to share and discuss either during our annual event in May OR our sister event #SpooktasticReads in October. Every Wednesday there will be a new Witchy story to discover as I share my readerly adventures into Witchy Fiction this month. I am considering keeping this a mainstay of focus both during May & October for our events for Wyrd And Wonder.

In regard to the name I chose for this showcase of reviews, I sort of stumbled onto the name when I was deciding which day of the week I wanted to feature Witchy Reads this year. I thought it was original until I ran a search online, I saw others use the #WitchyWednesdays tag however, I did not source an origin of the tag – only a collective recognition for it attributed to different creative projects or venues whilst I didn’t find an actual meme origin for it on a blog or website. If someone knows who started it – kindly let me know so I can add attribution.

The first #WitchyWednesdays featured: TransWitch by E. Chris Garrison

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Acquired Audiobook By: I started to listen to audiobooks in [2016] as a way to offset my readings of print books whilst noting there was a rumour about how audiobooks could help curb chronic migraines as you are switching up how you’re reading rather than allowing only one format to be your bookish choice. As I found colouring and knitting agreeable companions to listening to audiobooks, I have embarked on a new chapter of my reading life where I spend time outside of print editions of the stories I love reading and exchange them for audio versions.

Through hosting for the Audiobookworm who is now known as Audiobook Empire, I’ve expanded my knowledge of authors who are producing audio versions of their stories. Meanwhile, I am also curating my own wanderings in audio via my local library who uses Overdrive and/or CloudLibrary for their digital audiobook catalogues. Aside from my libraries, I also enjoy having Audible & Scribd memberships as my budget allows. It has been a wonderful journey and one I enjoy sharing – as I am now fully expanding how many audiobooks I listen to per year whilst enjoying being a part of the LibroFM ALC programme and an audiobook reviewer for NetGalley as well.

I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “The Ghosts of Wonky Inn” from the author Jeannie Wycherley in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I simply *adore!* the #WonkyInn series:

It is quite hard to keep your composure as your listening to this story, as despite the somberness of attending a funeral at the beginning of this tale, it doesn’t take long for the sarcasm to begin! Especially when Alfhild Daemonne begins to describe her personal style and the choices she makes with her wardrobe! Most women will readily warm to her quirky way of expressing her feelings and thoughts about everything from the colour palette of choice to the fact her clothes hug her figure a bit more than they had when she was younger. On top of which, despite this being a gathering of witches to lay to rest one of their own, it was Alfhild who brought the cheekiness to the program! Complete with casting aside the fact she no longer felt this was part of her ‘life’ per se but rather a blink of a blib on the map of where her journey once had taken her as all the witchy bits felt rather ‘put to bed’ in the past.

It was here where we find the contrast between her and her late mother’s legacies – how people viewed her mother as a giving woman who loved to help people in need. She, on the other hand, had a completely different perspective on her mother’s affairs but of course, she might be bias being her daughter rather than her coven. She was still very much defensive about loving to bake with the normality of ingredients one might expect off the Great British Bake-Off show – wherein, you had a feeling her Mum would have preferred her interests to lie more towards eye of newt! The longer she spoke on behalf of her relationship with her mother, the more you understood why there was a wedge dredged between them! Ironic or not, the way she defends her preference for wearing black (ie. by eye colour or cloth) is quite hilarious – which is only one of the passages which gives you a hearty gigglement of joy to listen too!

Rather cleverly, there is a secret combination of books in the Occult section of a bookshoppe to get you into the alleyway where the witches of this world love to roost and shop for their witchy needs! I liked how Wycherley made this sound like an alternative to the shoppes you’d find in Hogsmeade. The way Alfhild discloses this part of her life, you had a feeling she was feeling constricted by the requirements needed to put her mother to rest. Once the funeral was over, she couldn’t just resume her life from where it was put on pause – mostly because of Penelope Quidwell! She was her Mum’s solicitor who came round to talk to Alfhild about the estate she needed to settle before she could consider the account closed. You had to give her credit – she kept her truer thoughts and feelings at bay from those she interacted with directly, but when it came to listening to the those thoughts in-step with her conversations gave you a wicked good volley of humour! She didn’t mind being blunt if it gave her a way to get her points across and that was what makes her such a winning character, truly!

There are subtle bits and bobbles of magic enveloping through the background of the story – such as the way Penelope’s address claimed the card in Alfhild’s hand! A dash of smoke and a pinch of ink was all it took to give her a place to arrive. What she would find there once she did however was a bit of a alarm as she didn’t give her Mum much credit for having a complicated estate as the best she remembered she lived humbly without too many assets. Before she can get into those particulars though she had to find the solicitor’s office! Laughs. This set into motion a series of laughable moments where she thought she was destined to be coo-coo clocked to death!

What endears you to Alfhild’s journey is how sincere she is making a new life for herself in this place – even if her magical abilities are questionable at best but evenso, she does what she can whenever she can to compensate for it. She sorts out whom she can trust and who are her best allies – for she is working against forces she could not have predicted would interfere with her goodwill. There was a moment where in the height of an uprising she was bringing against these forces where she reconsidered her options before realising there was only one future she would feel comfortable owning as her own. And, that felt like the greater purpose of this installment – of taking control of not just your own destiny but of embracing who you are and the inherent gifts that come with feeling proud of where you’ve come as well.

Sometimes you’re challenged past the point you feel you can overcome what blights onto your path – but as Alfhild found, if you dig deep, stay positive and align yourself with people who give of themselves for the greater good of everyone else – you find a strength you never had. Alfhild’s parents would be wicked proud of her efforts and of the courage she encountered the moment she realised that the power to change her own destiny lay inside the power she had within herself. And, that should be something all readers takeaway from this story – aside from the advice given how to defeat one’s enemies as truly that is one of the oldest pieces of wisdom I think more people ought to be reminded of as so much truth is held within how that is one of the most powerful tools we all have to use ourselves.

If you wanted to get a good view of Wycherley’s humour, the way she paints the life of Alfhild as a witch attempting to live amongst the rest of us as if there was nothing unique or different about her is a proper bang-up riot! She also shows her heart such as the scene where she gives a twenty spot to a witch down on her luck whilst taking the commuter rail. The dialogue is sharp and the quickstep pacing of the story being delivered is a treat for your ears (if your listening to the audiobook, such as I had been) – everything is running a bit on hyper-speed, as the lead character has this hyper personality that comes through quite clearly. It adds to her charm though, because she’s the kind of bold character you look forward to meeting and can’t wait to know further!

The hilarity is in high order- Wycherley has such a prime way of carving out a bang-on brilliant romp of humour, you can’t stop laughing before you run into the next snarky bout of humour arriving in your ears! She’s written a right smart emotionally raw and honest character who speaks her mind, says what she means and means what she thinks who has a way of warming your heart for her forwardness! The way she’s written this Cosy Mystery is a bit unsuspecting as it feels much more like a Women’s Fiction exploit in how to put your life together at an age where everyone expects you to have your druthers in order whilst at the same time, there is a case of mystery right in the midst of Alfhild putting her life back to rights!

The way she’s conceived of this neverending home repair property to rankle the patience of Alfhild is just part of the folly as once you get into the groove of the audiobook, you’ve already embraced her cheeky humour and the dramatic way she involves us into this witchy Cosy!

-quoted from my review of The Wonkiest Witch

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A note of apology to Ms Wycherley
& an explanation of the delay in this review
being featured on Jorie Loves A Story:

I have been trying to bring this review to Jorie Loves A Story for the last three years as when I originally listened to the story I was unable to compose my thoughts about it directly as I heard it. I was going through quite a lot back then and for whichever reason, listening to a story on audio was far easier than pooling my thoughts about it as I heard it. This novel and the first Trans-Continental novella by E. Chris Garrison (ie. Girl in the Gears) was heard the same year and both are reviews I’ve been wanting to write and share on my blog ever since. Both of them were so wickedly brilliant – both in scope of the writers who wrote the stories and the performances of the narrators who expertly brought both worlds to illuminated light for me.

In different intervals and conversations, I did let both authors know the personal impact these audiobooks had on me but as I’ve become an audiobook listener (and audiophile, let’s be real!) I’ve enjoyed conveying my reactions the listening to stories read aloud, performed by narrators and blogging my thoughts about the joy of hearing a story lit alive through narration. It has been an interesting journey these past six years (since 2016) and I’ve grown a lot as both a reader and as an audiobook listener; even if I feel I have only scratched the surface of genres and literary realms to explore in audio – I’m comfortably confident to say I have curated quite a few favourites along the way! And, these two authors and their narrators are at the top of the expanding list which is now past ten faovurite narrators!!

I’ve tried several times to re-listen to both over the years – tying them into different events (ie. Witchathon, #SpookasticReads or even #WyrdAndWonder or #SciFiMonth) which they would naturally fit inside and yet, it wasn’t until this 5th Year of Wyrd And Wonder where I had conceived of the idea for a #WitchyWednesdays showcase wherein I could tuck closer to the #WitchyReads I love seeking out and talk about those stories directly on a Wednesday. I had planned to feature 4x #WitchyWednesdays this May but as life and work threw me offline more than I expected to be this month, I had to reduce my plans.

However, there is some good news to share! This series has expanded quite a heap since (2019) as back then there were 8x releases and now there are a wickedly brilliant 15x!! Plus, four Christmas Specials which reminds me dearly of my beloved BBC serials which oft do the same! I also noted more of the audiobooks have released which is why between now and October (for our next #SpooktasticReads event hugged into the final fortnight of the month in a chase up to Halloween) I’ll be gathering those audiobooks myself to continue my adventure into a world which bewitched me as soon as I first entered it!

I might have taken the longer road back into the Wonky Inn series but I am evermore grateful to the author who first enchanted me with her series and now has me hungering after new installments! I’ve marked which of the stories are now released into audiobook as well for those who would prefer to listen to the series as I do vs reading them in either print or ebook. I have known ever since I first ‘heard’ Alf that this is a series I have to always listen to in audio – I cannot even fathom how I would read a story set in the Wonky Inn world without Kim Bretton in my ears! Except to say for the Christmas Specials – as I’m uncertain if those are going into audio which is why I noted on this review I’ll be collecting those in print editions. If they do go into audio that would be a wickedly sweet surprise for me!!

I cannot apologise enough to the author for the long gaps in communication and for stalling in my progress to make this review a reality. I cannot wait to listen to the third novel Weird Wedding at Wonky Inn ahead of the Christmas Special and the next two audiobooks in sequence right in time for #SpooktasticReads this October when I resume my #WitchyWednesdays!! The blessing of course is how cosy comfortable this series has become to me and how lovely it is to return as if I’ve simply gone away for a spell and now have chosen to return ‘home’.

I should also mention – portions of this review were previously written during my first listening of the story and also, during my second – whilst this is my third listening of the story and I’ve done my best to make this a cohesive review as I combined all the thoughts I had to share on its behalf.Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

A #WitchyWednesdays Audiobook Review during #WyrdAndWonder | “The Ghosts of Wonky Inn” (Book Two: the Wonky Inn series) by Jeannie Wycherley, narrated by Kim BrettonThe Ghosts of Wonky Inn
Subtitle: Wonky Inn, Book 2
by Jeannie Wycherley
Source: Direct from Author
Narrator: Kim Bretton

Alf has tried to banish her demons.

And her ghosts.

But memories of her recent past linger and keep her awake.

Every night it’s the same. Insomnia.

When she does eventually drift off, she’s woken almost immediately by a sobbing spirit.

He says he's lost.

And worse than that, someone is trying to kill him.

Who is this sad specimen of a spirit? And where does he belong?

And how do you kill someone … who is already dead?

Find out what Alf gets up to next as the Wonky Inn adventures continue.

Read The Ghosts of Wonky Inn today.

Genres: Cosy Mystery, Ghost Story, Paranormal Suspense, Historical-Fantasy, Paranormal Urban Fantasy, Urban Fantasy

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1719966740


Also by this author: The Wonkiest Witch

Published by Self Published

on 28th June, 2019

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 4 hours and 51 minutes (unabridged)

This is a self-published audiobook.

Formats Available: Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

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The Wonky Inn series:

Wonky Inn series promo banner provided by Audiobookworm Promotions

🎧 The Wonkiest Witch (book one) (see also review)

🎧 The Ghosts of Wonky Inn (book two) → heard thrice!

🎧 Weird Wedding at Wonky Inn (book three) → next in line!

The Witch Who Killed Christmas (A Wonky Inn Christmas Special)

🎧 Fearful Fortunes & Terrible Tarot (book four)

🎧 The Mystery of the Marsh Malaise (book five)

The Mysterious Mr Wylie (book six)

The Great Witchy Cake-Off (book seven)

Vengeful Vampire at Wonky Inn (book eight)

Witching in a Winter Wonklyland
(A Wonky Inn Christmas Cozy Mystery)

A Gaggle of Ghastly Grandmamas (book nine)

Magic, Murder and a Movie Star (book ten)

O Witchy Town of Whittlecombe (A Wonky Inn Christmas Cozy Mystery)

Judge, Jury and Jailhouse Rockcakes (book eleven)

A Midsummer Night’s Wonky (book twelve)

Halloween Heebie-Geebies (book thirteen)

Owl I Want for Witchmas is Hoo:
A Wonky Inn Christmas Cozy Mystery Special

Oh Mummy! (book fourteen)

Pieces of Hate (book fifteen) ← forthcoming August, 2022!

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NOTE: I marked which installments are released into audiobook with a headphone emoji whilst I changed the colour of the text to reflect the Christmas Specials which are only currently released into print or ebook formats. I’ll have to gather the print of those stories to read before I proceed forward into the next stories released into audiobook. For instance, I’ll be purchasing my first one after listening to “Weird Wedding Wedding at Wonky Inn” before I purchase a copy of “Fearful Fortunes & Terrible Tarot”.

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I believe there is a spin-off series called:

Sugarplum Scary (book one)

*as I read somewhere online this is a story connected to Alf
as she asked a favour of the character whose featured

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Converse via: #WonkiestWitch + #AudioReads, #Audiobook
and #WitchyWednesdays during #WyrdAndWonder

OR #loveaudiobooks, #Paranormal #CosyCrime

About Jeannie Wycherley

Jeannie Wycherley

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.

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on revisiting & relistening to the Wonky inn series:

The following are a series of transcribed tweets I shared whilst I was re-soaking into the first installment of the Wonky Inn series in order to re-anchour myself back to Alf’s life & world:

I *knew!* I had to give myself a refresher about the Wonky Inn series wherein I re-found myself dearly attached to our lovely wonky witch herself: Alf! Her wickedly delightful humour pulled me right back into her life – #sogood #AudioReads #loveaudiobooks

So much #witchy goodness in @thecushionlady’s #audiobook series [#WonkyInn] feat. the delightfully hilarious #narrator Kim Bretton (@nashvegaskim) who portrays Alf in such a way, you LOVE her instantly and want to be her immediate new BFF! Pack your suitcase & head to the Wonky Inn! (I did!)

Snorts. When Alf meets her Mum’s solicitor for the first time – I mean, how can you not love this series straight-off but during this convo – and the whole sequence ahead of it – the world just starts to unfold before you #audiobooks #mustlisten

Kim Bretton is a charming gem of a delight embodying the role of Alf – in @thecushionlady’s #WonkyInn series – her instincts are bang-on brill as she infuses her voice with Alf’s explosively bubbly personality & her quirky sense of humour which never fails to make me snort into a bout of unfailing laughter!

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Whilst I took a few spare notes along the route of the story as well to give myself a marker of reference when I re-entered The Wonkiest Witch. You might find these humourous or useful to gauge how I listen to the stories themselves. This also proved useful when I needed to jog my memory ahead of soaking into The Ghosts of Wonky Inn for my third go-round!

Alf’s encouraged to take herself more seriously – as a witch and as a witch who has personal growth to achieve.

Shadowmander – love this bloke!

Confisco – wears spectacles and had the most curious information for Alf.

The curse of Maeve..

Members of the Mori…

The spirits amongst her… Alf was never quite alone but she was as alone as she isolated herself from her craft. Ancestral spirits like to attach themselves to their descendants.

I dearly wish I had the ghost-machine to aide my domestic efforts in the kitchen!

Jed = bad guy
Millicent – co-conspirator

Alf’s father (owl)

Guardian over the woods/Wonky Inn

Cheese and tomato sandwiches (Alf’s favourite) *need the recipe!

Rona – one of the funniest secondary characters you’ll ever meet!

Millicent – another favourite due to how she gives some of the best advice to Alf.

Alf has issues with her witchy roots and background. Jed had genuine interest even though he wasn’t entirely sure what it would involve. Her Mum was a wickedly good one and her father was quite the impressive wizard. Though Jed was a bit gobsmacked witches were real – he was positively intrigued by Alf’s abilities – this is of course, when Alf revealled to Jed she’s a ‘wonky’ witch and of the wonky witches quite the ‘wonkiest’ of them all. As her spellcraft is a bit of a unique practice in of itself.

Mr Hoo (the owl) as Alf calls her friend in front of Jed – the whole sequence was endearing because of how fragile Alf’s confidence had become in her own witchy senses of self.

Dark Magic isn’t something Alf is keen on having to deal with …

Shadowmander (wise wizard of her Mum’s)

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my review of the ghosts of wonky inn:

A few weeks after the final showdown we return into Alf’s world – where the threat of the Mori still looms over her and why the Inn still has its vulnerable bits… yet nothing could quite prepare her for crisis which would play out straight in front of her eyes! The kind of traumatic experience you hope you never have to face firsthand and yet, for Alf what choice did she have other than to calmingly deal with it even if afterwards she had to reconcile that not everything is ever quite as it seems!? As we’re re-aligning into Alf’s life – it is Bretton’s capacity for bringing her fully back to life straight into my headphones which makes this such a winsome series of JOY to be listening to time and time again! I never fail to smirk, laugh and delight in how Bretton narrates Alf’s life! She truly is a marvel of ingenuity to know *exactly!* how to get these details of Alf’s life into the heart of audiobook listeners! Her instincts for this series are bang-on brilliant!

The shock of course is finding Alf befuddled by how she’s dealing with a life crisis one moment and then, poof! the next moment she’s left alone as if nothing had happened at all. That was how it was sometimes for her – experiencing something quite extraordinary and scary and yet left without a hint of it being present. The recent renovations have allowed certain ghosts in-residence to come round again as if they were never absent from the grounds of Wonky Inn and their presence were now haunting Alf; along with taking bits of her patience along with their quirkiness of arriving whenever they please without forethought of what Alf might be doing herself.

Florence was the first ghost which made her presence known to Alf – she was completely taken by Alf and yet, she had a way of not agreeing with some of Alf’s habits such as how she made her tea! She knew Alf’s great-grandmother and had such a wonderful bit of history of the property and of the Inn itself – which of course led Florence and Alf to realise the renovations weren’t just improving the property, but they were allow the secrets of the Inn to reveal themselves. Florence much to her chagrin was looking after Alf as if Alf were her new charge to care after now that they’ve become introduced.

Mr Hoo happily made his return as he was one particular presence I was hoping would be returning. When Alf observed him though, she was in quite a sour mood as she was burnt out on romance and love; given her a rather sourly outlook on both life and her present situations at the Inn. She was reflectively melancholic about her state of relationships and that was something you empathetically had sympathy for her as she worked through her memories especially as they concerned Jed. Shortly after she pulled herself back together, she was assaulted with the noises of wailing which pierced itself through the Inn without a specific location Alf could root out herself. It made you curious if the person behind the noise was struggling to reconcile something now that they had passed on and couldn’t sort it out on their own.

Alf felt less inclined to continue to work on Wonky Inn – which was the wrong time to find her GrandMumma returning into her life to offer her criticisms about her mood and how she was handling her life. Bretton excelled at this moment to show the differences in age between Gwen (GrandMumma) and Alf whilst owning to the ridiculously long history both women have with the Inn! A woman like Gwen cannot even think of stomaching the sight of Alf disappearing into a sea of self-inflicted pity which of course was a personal insult to her given her own nature of rising through the ashes of adversity. The bite of Alf’s words in retort didn’t deter her GrandMumma to speak openly to her about her own struggles being married after the war and the difficulties of living in an age which still required chaperones for women. Her GrandMumma had a bit of a surprise for her though about the ghost she hand-picked to take care of the yardwork!

Alf has the curious kink in their attractions (of what attracts the ghosts to her) – as her wounded heart wasn’t prepared to tackle another soulful connection in courtship but it would appear that the Wonky Inn and even Alf herself was curiously drawn towards encouraging ghosts to take up residence who were feeling a bit wayward and awkwardly unsure about themselves. A bit like how Alf felt herself – she hadn’t yet seen that she was drawing ghosts towards her of whom were struggling with similar issues that she herself was still attempting to overcome.

Alf still fell into that kind of trap of mind – where you constantly re-pool your thoughts towards the negative and find it difficult to anchour yourself back into the positive. She can’t believe still how impossible it could be to comprehend she was taken in by someone who pulled the wool over her eyes – like a right fool. This would never be easy for Alf to let go of and in effect, it was hindering her efforts to re-stablise the Wonky Inn. If thoughts are things, Alf’s mind was a hive of uncertainty and a pooling sea of self-doubt.

Gwen was surprised Alf can drive even if it wasn’t legally qualifiable! lol You have to love how Gwen’s voice rises whenever her most insta-emotional reaction is pure ‘shock’ – such as how she couldn’t contrive of a world where you have to ‘test’ your way into a license to drive! Laughs. She is so removed from the progress of time that her reactions were humbling in one regard and most disconcerting in another as she truly was living outside of time. Gwen had a way of surprising you, too, because it wasn’t just Alf who was surprised to see her giving out a bit more praise than usual.

Of course, the peace between Alf and Gwen only lasted for a few breaths – as when the subject of cooking came along in their conversation – they both had a difference of opinion. As Alf wanted Florence to takeover the main responsibility but it was the mention of a bacon butty which threw me for a loop as I hadn’t heard of it previously! (cue to me searching it out and realised it wouldn’t be my cuppa!) And, then, when we heard the advert on the local radio for a chef at Wonky Inn was just too wicked for words! Shortly after the advert ran we had the chance to see the ghosts in residence and observe how they casually interacted with Alf.

I almost thought Alf was going to lose her sanity – as before she officially met Lupit Arthur Smeethop (a whimpering ghost who could use courage like the lion) she heard him and it was his wailing moans which were upending her nerves the most. He had the consistency of creating noise as frequently as a cat who had to howl at closed doors. Zephaniah gave Alf the best clue towards uncovering the mystery of the moaning and constant rattling of cries – even though he wouldn’t depart with the exact reason behind the noise but it was his way of approach to confide in Alf which staid with me most. It was almost as if he wanted Alf to change her heart and opinion before she met the person behind it all.

You had to appreciate the way in which Alf gave her attention to this ghost – half bemused and half entertained – as if this was an ordinary conversation with an ordinary bloke whose just taken up residence in her Inn! Lupit is a strange ghost but a troubled soul all the same – the kind of strange which takes more than one conversation to understand! How do you help a ghost with memory loss? This is the crust of the problem Alf finds herself in the middle of throughout The Ghosts of Wonky Inn – for instance, how can a ghost experience loss or pain? It was a curious theory to have played out as what could influence a ghost’s experience past what they were meant to experience haunting a particular person or place? What affects the emotional health of ghosts and how can they be turnt back round to the positive?

Alf’s father (Eric Demon) was one of the regular ghosts who took turns in visiting with Alf on the regular whilst was interesting because it showed another example of how even when loved one’s crossover into the next life, they are never very far off from us. Her father was a wealth of information and had a wise twinkle about him, too. He had a calming effect on Alf which encouraged her to re-focus on the needs of the other ghosts who were now claiming her Inn as their stomping grounds.

Mr Confisco offered humbled wisdom to Alf when she needed it most – blessedly she sought him out when she was feeling quite low and needed a good reminder of who she was and what her strengths were as a witch. She had found a wicked good friend in Mr Confisco and it was his listening ear which provided her with the most comfort. You could easily see them conversing together and observing Alf relaxing as the conversation moved along. He was the best person to confer when it came to researching History and just the number of books and volumes of records he had in his possession was quite impressive!

Perdita was the most quirky and interesting guest at the Inn by half! It is hard to describe her – as her voice was deeper than you’d expect and her enthused reaction to the Inn was quite infectious too. There are certain people with dogs in tow who seem to consider them to be ‘people’ rather than ‘people’ to the extent where their voices rise in height of expression each time they get round to describing them; whereas at the same time, they have an innate tendency of enjoying the sound of their own voice. She also regaled Alf with so much information it was hard to process exactly why she felt she had to say so much and yet, not say anything in particular at all.

Perdita had a very high-tech approach at rooting out the ghosts and in studying the ghostly inhabitants regularly communicating with Alf at Wonky Inn. Perdita had a tone about her which put me on edge – I could see why Alf was hesitating to speak with her more openly – as you had to question, what was really motivating Perdita to descend upon Wonky Inn and offer services? Especially as she had some disturbing observations and some of those comments left a curiosity about her own background which was hard to shake knowing that she was leaving bits out of her conversation. Despite a bit of misgivings – Perdita did give Alf something to chew on which would effectively help her understand why Lupit was so dearly convinced about being in danger. And, what surprised me is how long Perdita stuck round and how hopeful she would become as the story ebbed along towards uncovering the truth which seemed to have been properly buried for far too long.

I loved how Florence took a more central role in helping Alf throughout this installment know more about the Inn’s History. She would pop back round into the foreground – giving Alf living histories to consider about the Inn whilst owning to the fact Florence didn’t have quite the happy-go-lucky life Alf felt she might have had given the era in which she had lived. Yet, Alf found out first-hand that despite that misimpression on behalf of Florence’s life – Florence had a harder life than Alf could ever have imagined. Florence was someone you liked being round – for her honesty and her healthy outlook on life, too. She had a lot to give still and it was her positivity which I felt was a good influence on Alf.

Lupit’s situation disintegrated further and further from what can only be said to be of a despairing reality for Alf. She realised her shortcomings in his regard and the inability to directly affect his present even if that was a harder pill to swallow than she wanted to admit. She was more bystander than participant of change in his life and that bothered her more than anything. Except of course when it came to having an epic row with Gwen (her GrandMumma) she didn’t hold back from speaking her mind and finding out that there was much more to running the Inn than she first realised. In fact, her whole presence there was not quite what she realised either – if you consider the depths of what Gwen was eluding too.

You never know which era in History Alf’s current adventure is going to back-track inside – this time round, it was centreing round Lupit – his lost and hidden living histories were the key to the whole mystery. You had to peer quite hard into his past to better understand how he was being haunted now in the present day as this was no ordinary ‘haunting’. Mr Confisco provided a way for all of this to be researched whilst it was Alf who re-laid the information to us, the readers whilst Wycherley provided such a keenly interesting back-history of Lupit and gave us a biographical sketch of his past which was entertaining as watching a biographical documentary.

The cook-off and Alf’s reactions to how they performed in the kitchen were priceless! For anyone (like me!) who loves cooking shows especially the cookery competitive shows – this sequence of the story would be a keen treat of joy!! Of course, the hilarious bit for me was how each of the chefs were dearly gobsmacked by the other aspects of the Inn; the bits of course which were par for course and couldn’t be removed! Laughs. Bretton’s performance in this sequence is wicked brilliant – especially the exasperation in Alf’s voice and the shocking expressions and reactions of the chefs themselves!

Soon after Alf was off chasing after the historical records and known histories about the Bard of Somerset (Lupit) which of course placed Alf in a particularly infamous section of London. A bit of cheeky humour was suggested about royal ghosts which gave me a ready chuckle! Lupit’s past history came through the Baron’s recollection but there was something untoward about how he told the story and I felt there was more than meets the eye in regard to what really happened vs what was being told about it. This whole section of the novel was wickedly engrossing as it was full of British History and in true Alf fashion – a bit of selfish indulgence at the chance to cosy up so close to historical figures Alf could only have hoped to have met.

After Alf had a jolly wicked adventure, she had a renewed since of purpose and with her newfound joy to run the Inn – I found myself wickedly delighted by her plans for the kind of guests she is going to be entertaining! Especially as I loved how inclusive she wanted to make the Inn whilst opening its doors to everyone and anyone who could appreciate the atmosphere of the place! Except despite the joys of this news, Alf had to re-focus her energies on being protective of the Inn and its inhabitants because their safety and security was constantly in jeopardy. I felt for Alf – just when she thinks she’s putting her life back to rights, another crisis arrives right at her doorstep!

This is definitely a Cosy Mystery for readers who happen to fancy the Haunted Mansion (the ride and/or now the film) housed at Walt Disney World. Mostly as it isn’t oft you get to curl into a Cosy which is focused more on the past histories and lives of the ‘ghosts’ who’ve taken residence in a particular place where the past they once lived now has bearing on their ‘present’ time-line,…

on the paranormally witchy styling of Jeannie Wycherley:

Wycherley has such a wicked knack for comedic timing and comedic dramatic interlude when it comes to how she’s written the tone of this series! I loved how we’re chasing after Alf as she’s dealing with a mysterious occurrence in her house – the visual clues Wycherley gave us keeps us on the very edge of our seat and of course, once we see what Alf sees it is almost too fantastical and yet, this is how Alf lives her life – having to deal with the otherworldly moments which would leave most of us dead faint on the floor!!

I loved the ghosts from The Wonkiest Witch which is why finding that they were now the mainstay attraction of this installment, I was wickedly thrilled to bits! What was especially clever is how Wycherly chooses to describe her ghostly characters – she etches out certain attributes of their personalities and their deathly state of departure in how they are appearing now in their afterlife – my favourite by half was how she gave Florence a particularly smokey quirk of accessory!

The ghosts of the Inn are as follows: Amelia (flapper), Albert (from the 18th Century), Ned (a Victorian builder), Luke (a sailor from the 1920s), Zephaniah (caretaker), Florence (the housemaid), an elder Monk and Lupit Arthur Smeethop. As well as a few other cleverly described inhabitants which I felt could go the length of the series to better understand as they don’t always pop round when Alf is agreeable to listen or deal with their crises. Although, Alf has such a kind heart (even if she is sometimes short-tempered) – her spirit is infused with goodwill with a healthy portion of nurturing guardian – this aides her well as she navigates the role as Inn hostess and owner – for Wonky Inn has a lot of curiously needful residents both living and dead! Though of course according to Perdita there are far more than a few ghosts lingering round the Inn which I felt was good fodder for the series longevity!

Not to mention the fact I love the meddlesome way Gwen (GrandMumma) nettles her way into Alf’s life – she has such a knack for riling Alf and more than oft giving her a good shaking up because of how her interference has a direct effect on Alf! I could listen to those two in the midst of a row for ages because they’re both strong women with strong opinions and each of them wants to live independently of each other but as Wycherley points out – they’re both living with each other for very good reasons even if one of them is beyond the veil!

I love finding new words and phrases in the stories I am reading or listening too – an “all-rounder” (jack of all trades) was used in The Ghosts of Wonky Inn to hint towards what Alf was hoping to find when she hired on a chef who could do everything but with a creative edge to the food and bakes. I thought it was quite ingenious as it expressed what you hope to find in the position someone would organise in the kitchen of an Inn like Alf’s.

What is most engaging of all though – aside from the characters Wycherley has infused into the heart of the Wonky Inn series is her impressively visceral storytelling and eye for detail of the fantastical settings she entreats us to explore! Even when we are somewhere much more ordinary than fantastical as a lot of the setting of this series is rooted in what I would refer to as an Urban Fantasy as there are impressions of our known world within the realm of the world Alf inhabits as her own – we’re given beautiful visual clues and glimpses into these places which truly light our imagination with JOY just to listen or read about them. For that, I am especially grateful because part of the joy I have as a reader of Fantasy is being able to feel as if I’ve become wholly transported into that particular world and taken up residence there as if I were as familiar to its dimensions as the characters were themselves.

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In regards to the audiobook, directly:

About Kim Bretton

Kim Bretton

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.

I am appreciative of Ms Jess providing a cursory outline of how best to articulate my listening hours on behalf of this audiobook and the others I shall be blogging about or reviewing in future. I’ve modified the suggestions to what I felt were pertinent to respond too on my own behalf as well as keeping to the questions I felt were relevant to share.

Number of Times I’ve heard the Narrator(s):

I’ve listened to the narration styling of Kim Bretton several times now:

The first time I listened to The Ghosts of Wonky Inn, I enjoyed colouring inside one of my colouring books as it helps ease me into the story and gives me a wicked good foundation in which I can build on as the story evolves forward. One of the joys of colouring is also having a bit of art in my life whilst at the same time it is rather Zen. It gives me a way to unwind and relax whilst keeping the story clearly moving through my mind’s eye.

In my next readings of this story, I opted to play Solitaire whilst listening to the performance and the story evolve through my headphones. I simply needed a respite, and this provided such a beautiful uplift of joy to hear, I didn’t take out my colouring supplies. For the relisten of the story in order to properly write-up my notes on behalf of my reactions to the story during #WitchAThon (see also Announcement) I happily was able to use my Springtime colouring book which I recently refound from my 5th Blogoversary celebration! This was a keen find in March 2020, as on the 31st I embarked into my 7th Year as a Book Blogger! And, when I resumed re-listening to this in May, 2022 I went back to playing Solitaire so I could delve deeper into the story as it had been quite awhile since I last heard the novel.

Each time I started the novel over from the beginning as too much time had transpired since I had last heard Alf’s adventure inside this installment. I am grateful I had too as each re-listen I felt I heard something anew and was able to re-see into this world with a fresh perspective.

Regards to the Narrator’s Individual Character performances:

Alfhild: I loved the smirkiness of her voice – as there was a lot of cheeky humour etching through her voice again which of course I keep finding endearing because Alf has such a distinctive voice! Her personality of course is half brassy and half comforting because at the end of the day, I figured Alf simply wanted to have a bit of a go at normalcy wherein her life wasn’t constantly interrupted.

Gwen (Grand-Mumma): I love her voice! She has this high-pitched voice and a proper sense of authority! She has this lovely accent as well – you can definitely assert its her and you never mistake her for another as she singularly has as distinctive of a personality as her great-granddaughter, Alf! Her voice reminded me of Hyacinth Bucket! From “Keeping Up Appearances”!!

Lupit: He was a very fragile ghost – his emotions were right on his sleeve and how Bretton voiced him was amazing because you truly felt captured by his retelling of his story which affected him more than he could convey. He didn’t have a lot of confidence and you could tell he was frustrated by his memory loss.

Perdita: A fast-talking woman who seemed to want to assail as many words as she could into conversations so no one would suspect her truer intentions. She seemed to walk as if she owned wherever she visited and part of me questioned her motives and methods; as she had that kind of tone about her that made you question everything she had already said. Bretton voiced her with a deeper voice than Alf and of course, with her own unique personality to boot!

Secondary characters:

Zephaniah: A quiet mannered bloke who appreciated yardwork and working with his hands. He was like finding an unexpected caretaker of the grounds and yet, he had a secret when Alf questioned him about the mysterious sounds plaguing Alf inside the Inn. I loved how Wycherley made him one of the persons Alf could confide in and expect an honest response in return. He understood the ghosts and as they had their own community – he was one of the ghosts who spoke to Alf directly about their community’s concerns and feelings which made it a bit more interpersonal between them and Alf.

A prior housemaid (Florence): A lively voice who sounded like a downstairs girl from the Edwardian era. She had such a keen presence in the beginning of the story – despite her appearance which preluded to a rather tragic ending of her life – she was quite the chatterbox when she was in the presence of Alf. She had such a keen innocence about her and she was quite cheerful about her circumstances, too. Which gave way to re-thinking about how we look at death and the afterlife.

The community of ghosts: Each of the ghosts had their own voice, tone and personality but some of them had a distinct accent as well. The joy of listening to this audiobook was also being privy to the wide range of accents and voices by Ms Bretton! And, when it came to this lovely community of ghosts, you really felt as if you were listening to an eclectic gathering of souls.

How the story sounded to me as it was being Read: (theatrical or narrative)

Bretton has wicked brilliant instincts with portraying Alf – which is why each of these audiobooks she’s giving us to enjoy hearing is definitely a theatrical performance! You not only dive straight into Alf’s life but it is bursting with such a strong presence of characters and setting; it feels as if it were a live play being performed in front of you! I get so lost inside the Wonky Inn stories – I credit that to Bretton because she has this way of capturing Alf’s life so wickedly instinctively as to allow us the joy of feeling as if we’ve stepped through a hidden portal and are now living next to the Wonky Inn!

Regards to Articulation & Performance of the story:

Bretton has some of the best articulation and performances I’ve heard in an audioplay such as the Wonky Inn series!! She not only etches out character traits in how she approaches the tonality and styling of the characters she’s performing but she has a special knack for ebbing out their emotional traits as well. You definitely knew the moods and mindset of Alf throughout The Ghosts of Wonky Inn because of how Bretton portrayed her in this story. I also loved how she turnt a word or phrase with the different characters as they each had their own distinct voice, personality and tone of place within the overall narrative. No two characters sounded alike and that is beyond incredible as it felt like such a larger cast!

Notes on the Quality of Sound & the Background Ambiance:

Ooh! It is a treat of delight to listen to a Kim Bretton audiobook – the sound quality is smashing and I love how each time I listen to one of her books on audio – her voice gives me such a keenly lovely entrance into the world the writer created for me to enjoy.

Preference after listening to re-Listen or pick up the book in Print?

Interestingly, the way I have felt attached to Ms Bretton’s narration, I am definitely going to be seeking out the rest of the series on audiobook! I can’t imagine another narrator for this series and in regards to reading the series in print and/or audiobook? It is definitely a charmer of a series in audio and I wouldn’t want to miss the chance to continue hearing it! I know I wouldn’t prefer to read this one in print as I would miss the joy of hearing how Ms Bretton has interpreted the rest of the series!

In closing, would I seek out another Kim Bretton audiobook?

Ooh, most definitely! I continue to seek out her audiobooks all the time – she has such an expansive audiobook library and she consistently is choosing stories and authors alike which I appreciate reading and/or listening, too as well! Mind you, if she does the whole Wonky Inn series – I will be over the moon in insta-happiness because I still cannot imagine anyone else giving voice and presence to this series as much as the heart and soul she’s put into it herself to bring it so very much alive for all of us!!!

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Reading this story contributed to
my #WyrdAndWonder Year 5:

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#WyrdAndWonder Year 5 banner created by Jorie in Canva.


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Enjoying my fantastical reviews about the worlds of Fantasy?

Ever since the beginning of Jorie Loves A Story, I have embarked on a Quest to seek out stories within the worlds of Fantasy which would heighten my awareness of the genre and give me wicked good reads – across the subniches of a genre I’ve loved since I was seventeen. Every May, I happily co-host @WyrdAndWonder – whilst throughout the months of the year, I regularly read & discuss the Fantasy reads I am discovering.

Visit my full archive for ALL my #EnterTheFantastic wanderings! As well as take a walkabout through my archives for #WyrdAndWonder – or take a walkabout through my archive for everything deemed wickedly fantastical!

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I was truly blessed the day I crossed paths with Ms Wycherley! She’s kept in touch with me to alert me to new audio releases for this series – whilst I’ve been truly grateful to continue to listen to a series which has given me such a delightful *boost!* of spirits in moments where this kind of STORY is *exactly!* what I needed to be listening too! I am hopeful my review at long last will reflect that insta-joy I had in hearing it – allowing new readers to discover her #awesomesauce style of writing #WitchyReads!

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This review will be cross-posted to LibraryThing.

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{SOURCES: Book Cover for “The Ghosts of Wonky Inn”, the biography and photograph of Jeannie Wycherley as well as the Witchy Inn series promo banners were originally provided by the blog tour hosted by Audiobookworm Promotions are are being reused with permission of the author Jeannie Wycherley. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets embedded by codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: #AudioReads banner created using Unsplash Photography (Creative Commons Zero) Photo Credit: Alice Moore and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2022.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Wednesday, 25 May, 2022 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, #WitchyWednesdays, Audiobook, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Book Review (non-blog tour), Clever Turns of Phrase, Cosy Mystery, Fantasy Fiction, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Ghost Story, Ghosts & the Supernatural, Historical Fiction, Humour & Satire in Fiction / Non Fiction, Indie Author, Self-Published Author, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Supernatural Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Witches and Warlocks

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