AUDIO REVIEW: THE WOMAN IN A BLACK BEEHIVE (BRENDA AND EFFIE) / AUTHOR: PAUL MAGRS / PUBLISHER: BAFFLEGAB / STARRING: ANNE REID, ALEX LOWE, CHRIS PAVLO / RELEASE DATE: DECEMBER 12TH
The Woman in a Black Beehive is the first in the new series of Brenda and Effie Mysteries, written by Paul Margrs and produced by bafflegab. The series starts with Brenda’s arrival in Whitby with the intention of opening a B&B and makes an ideal jumping on point even if you have no previous exposure to Brenda and Effie.
While Whitby itself is no stranger to supernatural fiction (i.e. Dracula) what is less common is having two elderly women as protagonists. Of course things aren’t that simple; Brenda’s neighbour Effie, who runs an antique shop, is descended from a long line of witches, and as to Brenda herself? Well there are clues, but details emerge slowly.
The plot works on many levels. On the one it is introducing the characters and Whitby is also as important as anyone else, a third member of the trinity of central figures. With its steep old streets, traditional butchers, chip shops, and Christmas Hotel (a favourite spot for afternoon tea) the character of the town oozes out of every corner of the story.
We also learn about the mythology of Whitby and in particular the legend of a certain cat! Then there is the talking cat that haunts the rooftops and the painting Effie buys that seems to be coming alive! Lots for the listener to get their teeth into.
In style this is a heavily narrated piece with Anne having the bulk of the work narrating and voicing the leads. She is ably support by Alex Lowe (Harold the Cat) and Chris Pavlo (the Erl King). Although the level of narration is high, there is action as well as mystery. There is also a rich vein of dry humour that sparkles through as you sit back and enjoy.
The Woman in a Black Beehive is available download only for £6.99 – a better bet might be to subscribe to the whole run of four for £25 and a free copy of Vince Cosmos.
All you need to know is bafflegab will release The Woman in a Black Beehive on Friday, December 12th; full details are available on their website for this and the whole of the upcoming series. The titles will be released every two months until June 2015.
In summary this is a strong, yet gentle, start for a series that shows every sign of becoming a fan favourite as the various mysteries of Whitby unfold.
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