Monday 31 May 2021

BLOG TOUR: Strange Tricks (The Essex Witch Museum Mysteries) - Syd Moore

Rosie Strange is back in the latest of the fabulously creepy Essex Witch Museum Mysteries

Secretly Rosie Strange has always thought herself a little bit more interesting than most people – the legacy her family has bequeathed her is definitely so, she’s long believed. But then life takes a peculiar turn when the Strange legacy turns out not just to be the Essex Witch Museum, but perhaps some otherworldly gifts that Rosie finds difficult to fathom. Meanwhile Sam Stone, Rosie’s curator, is oddly distracted as breadcrumb clues into what happened to his missing younger brother and other abducted boys from the past are poised to lead him and Rosie deep into a dark wood where there lurks something far scarier than Hansel and Gretel’s witch…

What did I think?

I'm really getting into the swing of audiobooks now and Strange Tricks from Isis Audio is the latest addition to my audiobook library.  Although I do already own Strange Magic and Strange Sight, Strange Tricks is my first virtual visit to the Essex Witch Museum and I have to say that it works absolutely brilliantly as a standalone, despite being book 6 in the series.  Listening to Strange Tricks has definitely made me want to pick up the earlier books as soon as I possibly can.

The audiobook is narrated by Julia Barrie but it really felt like I was listening to the main character, Rosie Strange herself.  Julia's narration is outstanding with a range of different voices and accents that kept me enthralled from start to finish.  Julia's warm, expressive and soothing voice actually reminded me of sitting down to story time in primary school but there was no subsequent nap time in this case as the storyline completely captivated me and I just had to keep listening to one more chapter.

I really liked the unusual setting of the Essex Witch Museum, owned by Rosie Strange, and the curious characters that Rosie comes into contact with.  I imagine quite a few of the characters have appeared in previous books but I didn't feel as if I was missing out on anything by jumping in mid-series.  It has made me want to find out more though, especially the will they/won't they relationship between Rosie and Sam.

The main plot follows the historical abduction of boys and the museum curator, Sam Stone has a personal interest as his younger brother went missing in unusual circumstances many years ago.  Whilst the majority of the plot is creepy and strange, Syd Moore adds some outstanding humour to create the perfect balance.  I don't think I'd been listening for long when I almost choked with laughter and this happened quite a few times.  Be careful if you listen to this audiobook in public as it is laugh out loud hilarious and gasp out loud creepy in places.

Mysterious, intriguing, humourous and highly entertaining, Strange Tricks is a fantastic audiobook and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.  I thoroughly enjoyed it from beginning to end; both the writing and the narration are exceptional and it's another amazing production from Isis Audio.

I chose to listen to a audiobook ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

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About the author:

Before embarking on a career in education, Syd worked extensively in the publishing industry, fronting Channel 4's book programme, Pulp. She was the founding editor of Level 4, an arts and culture magazine, and is co-creator of Super Strumps, the game that reclaims female stereotypes. Syd has also been a go go dancer, backing singer, subbuteo maker, children's entertainer and performance poet, She now works for Metal Culture, an arts organisation, promoting arts and cultural events and developing literature programmes. Syd is an out and proud Essex Girl and is lucky enough to live in that county where she spends her free time excavating old myths and listening out for things that go bump in the night.

About the narrator:

After graduating from Bristol University and joining The Bristol Old Vic Julia Barrie has worked extensively in Theatre; in rep, touring both nationally and internationally, as a member of the RSC, at the Old Vic and Royal Court and in the West End at The Duke of York’s and the Theatre Royal Haymarket. For BBC Radio she recorded Anthony Shaffer’s Widow’s Weeds and her TV and film credits include Prisoners’ Wives, The Commander, Doctors, Close Relations, Our Friends in the North, Out of Bounds, Ghost in the Machine and Five Greedy Bankers.

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