This will be a little review to suit a little book. A little book, but one that contains bag-fulls of charm, magic, mayhem and talking cats. Earwig is an orphan who was left on the steps of St Morwald's Home for Children. She has managed to entwine the inhabitants of the Children's Home round her little finger, and all now do her bidding. So she is beyond dismayed when Bella Yaga and the Mandrake come to the Home and choose Earwig to take home with them. Bella Yaga is a witch and determines that she is going to use Earwig as a second set of hands. Earwig is just as determined that she won't be used for that - and sparks certainly fly.
Diana Wynne Jones is sorely missed - an author who mixed mundane and magical to produce stories of great delight. I equate Diana Wynne Jones with Roald Dahl - someone who knew how to entertain children, not talk down to them, and introduced both darkness and humour to their tales.
Accompanying the text of Earwig and the Witch are atmospheric illustrations from the pen of Marion Lindsay - cute and eerie, all at once.
As I said above, I was utterly charmed by this novel and think that anyone who has enjoyed a Diana Wynne Jones in the past will love this dark little gem.