The Warfleet Chronicles.
Written and read by acclaimed author Carole Hayman, The Warfleet Chronicles are short stories, each complete, but linked by a common place and characters. The Chronicles are a mix of humour, piquancy, bitterness, caution, cunning and surprise. They’re all set in a slightly down-at-heel English seaside town, and vary in content from broad tapestry to petit point, showing the backdrop community as a whole, as well as the lives of individual characters. They may have a deceptively lulling beginning, but often an alarmingly macabre twist, or darkly comic ending – what in Scotland is known as a “Nippy Sweetie”.
Eg: There’s Rumer who can tell everyone’s fortune except her own cataclysmic one, or Henrietta , a “townie” who’s fallen in love with Warfleet, only to find her house burned down, or Laurel who falls over a cliff while stealing a plant for her rockery…
Jeremy, who having lost love, travels to find a new one.
The town itself ( anywhere on the South coast) has a distant bloody past, current ‘Euro’ connections and new ‘development’ and a shifting, faintly criminal population, along with many who were born – and will die- there.
A first glance at its promenade with dogs, pebbles, sailing boats, cottages, beach huts, cliffs, a pier and a Tudor castle, might reinforce the belief that there is honey still for tea – but dig below the cheery seafront and a dark subterranean life is quickly uncovered: A life of post-modern morals. Greed. Passion. Sudden death.
The characters range from the apparently ordinary – May who runs the tea room, but might be a witch – to the camply eccentric – Darryl and Jeremy who deal in antiques, but whose real work is meddling and spreading wild gossip.
The narration “voices” of Warfleet – touchstones for the doings of the town – are two writers:
Laurel, an embittered proffessional (or so she claims) and Sonia, a wide-eyed wannabe, who longs for a dramatic subject and gets more than she bargained for.