Title: Witch for Hire
Series: Witch for Hire #1
Author: N.E. Conneely
Narrated by: Jeff Hays
Length: 7 hrs and 14 mins
Format: Unabridged Audiobook
Publisher: N. E. Conneely
Rating: 3 out of 5 Wine Glasses
Most witches don’t work for police departments, but Michelle isn’t your average witch. She’s clanless, looking for a warlock who isn’t offended by her lack of family connections, and in danger of losing her job if she can’t find the escaped trolls before they start eating the local residents.
Trolls, angry police, and misbehaving spells are the least of her problems. Statues attacking homeowners might be problematic for your average witch, but to Michelle it’s another day at the office. Her real concern is the wizard suddenly interested in dating her and an old elf set on pestering her. When her happy family is rocked by a long kept secret her stable life falls apart faster than she can pick up the pieces.
And she still hasn’t found those trolls.
Michelle: Phone. That had to be my phone waking me up. My hand swept across the nightstand until it found the vibrating hunk of silicone. "Hello."
"Michelle, It's Gordon from the Cobb County Sheriff's Office. We need you to deal with some illegally bred magical creatures."
The sound of barking and shouting followed his voice.
"What are they?"
"We don't know. I can tell you what they look like. Henri was one of the responding and he's never heard of these things. I think they're new."
Blech. I rolled out of bed to start getting dressed. Henri was an old vampire. I'm not sure how old. But old enough to take his word on something like this.
"Gordon, tell me what these things look like."
"I'd say someone found the stupidest Chihuahua in the city and then did something to give it wings and magic."
"Great! How do I get there?" I wrote down the address and a few directions. "That's the mayor's place, isn't it?
"Yep and he's not happy."
WITCH FOR HIRE by N.E. Conneely was an enjoyable urban fantasy listen which held my attention from the get-go. It's the first book in a series about Michelle, a clanless witch who runs her own business assisting various law enforcement agencies with their magical creatures' issues. The setting is in a world where humans as a minority coexist with legions of paranormals including good and bad witches, brownies, elves, unicorns, satyrs, centaurs, trolls, vampires, dwarves, shifters, mermaids, giants and much more. It was a diverse population, for sure, and the traits of each species seemed to ensure that Michelle was kept super busy.
While the reader accompanies Michelle on multiple jobs, one assignment continues thru-out the book of finding and re-capturing troublesome trolls. That particular task was quite complicated requiring multiple trips and complex spells; And requiring sleuthing to solve who was behind their disappearance. There were also a few side plots - one involved Michelle's love life; another an Elf, Elron, whose lifeline has intersected with Michelle's; and a third, Michelle's relationship with her parents. There's almost no romance in this particular book, but since Michelle's love life is one of the plots, I'm hoping that there will be some hanky panky in future installments.
When I finished listening to WITCH FOR HIRE, I had checked audible for the sequels only to find that none of the other books were available in audio. But when I checked the author's website, I was glad to read a relatively recent update that the other books will be released in audio soon! She posted on June 12th:
• A Witch’s Path, A Witch’s Trial, and A Witch’s Concern are coming out as audiobooks! I don’t have release dates yet, but I think all of them will be out this fall and winter. A Witch’s Path will start production next month and the rest will follow.
I truly hope that Jeff Hays, the narrator for this book, returns to narrate the rest. He was phenomenal! I was blown-away at how one single male narrator voiced all those characters - female and male - so well. I even double-checked that he was listed as the sole narrator as his female voices were so amazing for a male actor. If I hadn't known better, I would have thought that there were multiple voice actors performing this audio. I certainly plan to listen to more books narrated by him in the future. I would rate the narration 5 Wine Glasses!
Following please find a few of my favorite quotes from this audio which hint as to the humor and the storytelling within this book:
In the ten houses the police had scouted, I hadn't sensed anything more dangerous than a pot that prevents over-boiling.
The spell started to brush across my skin, tasting me, telling me what it wanted....
Nothing compared to power flowing through you, over you, around you. It was alluring, sensual as it wound through my hair, cuddled with my skin. It wanted me to swirl the power, to tickle it with light and sound, and it sang to me of spells long lost....
Watching the spells bend and move was captivating. One moment they were crawling over each other looking for structure and the next they'd formed a fortress of magic seeking targets, calling them home....
“With all the time on my hands, I hadn't accomplished much, other than dwelling on the unchangeable.”
I feel that WITCH FOR HIRE heralds promise for the series with some really cool characters. The fast-paced, climatic ending actually had me on the edge of my seat! I'm definitely thinking this series will get stronger and I'm looking forward to seeing that happen! If you enjoy witchy cozy mystery books, I'd encourage you to check out WITCH FOR HIRE!