Audiobook review: In the Company of Witches by Auralee Wallace
Brynn Warren and her aunts, Nora and Izzy, run the Ivywood Hollow Inn. They are witches who like to help the residents of their small town. But when local spinster Constance “Connie” Graves is found dead in their inn, suspicion and mistrust begin to fester, flames fanned by Connie’s estranged family.
In the Company of Witches is an entertaining an enjoyable first story in the Evenfall Witches B&B paranormal cozy mystery series. I like that the author jumps right into the story, hinting at things, but not telling. She allows the reader to figure out the circumstances over time.
The mystery of who killed Constance is good. The author makes the case over the course of the story as Brynn uncovers the truth about Connie and the Graves family. I enjoyed seeing Brynn get to the bottom of things in concert with her own personal journey. I did feel there was a major flaw in that Brynn could communicate with Constance, yet she never thought to ask Connie who killed her. It also got a bit convoluted at times, but flowed pretty smoothly overall.
In addition to the mystery, we witness Brynn’s personal journey in climbing out of the grief that cripples her daily life. Brynn is suffering from the loss of her husband and its impact on her abilities. I really enjoyed Brynn’s development and the family dynamics with her aunts and uncle. I love the transformation the main character took over the course of this book, and I look forward to seeing how she will fair now that she’s begun to deal with her grief.
Narration: The story is shared via first person POV of Brynn. The narrator has a youthful, energetic voice that suits Brynn. She alters her voice based on gender and age for the dialogue of all other characters. I was impressed with her performance of the two aunts: bold and gruff for Nora, while soft and soothing for Izzy. At 1.3x, the narrator and dialogue are at a good pace; however, the narrator adds lengthy pauses in between some sections, and when it happens during dialogue, it was noticeable. I really enjoyed how the narrator added effects to make voices that are far away sound as such etc.
Overall, I really enjoyed meeting Brynn and her family. I will definitely pick up the second audiobook, When the Crow’s Away, which came out earlier this spring.
About the Book:
When a guest dies in the B&B she helps her aunts run, a young witch must rely on some good old-fashioned investigating to clear her aunt’s name in this magical and charming new cozy mystery.
For four hundred years, the Warren witches have used their magic to quietly help the citizens of the sleepy New England town of Evenfall thrive. There’s never been a problem they couldn’t handle. But then Constance Graves–a local known for being argumentative and demanding–dies while staying at the bed and breakfast Brynn Warren maintains with her aunts. At first, it seems like an accident…but it soon becomes clear that there’s something more sinister at work, and Aunt Nora is shaping up to be the prime suspect.
There’s nothing Brynn wants more than to prove Nora’s innocence, and it hurts her to know that even two years ago that might have been easier. Brynn, after all, is a witch of the dead–a witch who can commune with ghosts. Ghosts never remember much about their deaths, but Constance might remember something about her life that would help crack the case. But Brynn hasn’t used her powers since her husband died, and isn’t even sure she still can. Brynn will just have to hope that her aunts’ magic and her own investigative skills will lead her to answers–and maybe back to the gift she once thought herself ready to give up forever.
Author: Auralee Wallace
Narrator: Cassidy Brown
Series: Evenfall Witches B&B Mystery #1
Genre: Paranormal Cozy Mystery
Audiobook Release Date: October 19, 2021
Publisher: Penguin Random House Audio
Length: 10 hrs and 10 mins
Audio Speed: 1.3x
Audible/Amazon (affilate link)