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The Best 2024 Mystery and Thriller Audiobooks . . . So Far

2024 has already provided audiophiles with a great selection of mystery/thriller audiobooks including both ongoing series and standalone gems. Let's dive into our top recommendations, starting with the latest additions to long-standing and new series.

Toxic Prey

John Sandford’s TOXIC PREY, narrated by Robert Petkoff, brings us the 34th addition to the Lucas Davenport series. In this bio-terrorism thriller, Davenport is brought into this world-threatening case by his daughter Letty. Petkoff’s narration perfectly captures Sandford’s trademark fast-paced plot and snappy dialogue, making for a gripping listen.

Narrator Jonathan Davis returns to deliver the 18th entry in the attorney Jack Swytek series in the Earphones Award-winning GOODBYE GIRL. Davis’s ability to voice men and women of different backgrounds and vastly different personalities really shines in this story centered on the music industry. 

The HunterTana French’s THE HUNTER, Book 2 in the Cal Hooper series, narrated by Roger Clark, offers listeners an opportunity to get in on a new series early. This Earphones Award winner takes listeners to a small Irish village where retired Chicago Police Detective Cal Hooper has taken up residence. Despite his retired status, Cal finds himself fighting crime and protecting those he has come to care about. Roger Clark masterfully meets the challenge of voicing the American Cal Hooper, the locals in rural Ireland, and assorted visitors of varying origins.

Now let’s explore standalones that will keep listeners glued to their earphones.

Calamity of SoulsAward winning author David Baldacci has gone back to his own experiences growing up in the South to bring us A CALAMITY OF SOULS. This Earphones Award winner is delivered by an outstanding cast of narrators, including MacLeod Andrews, Sisi Aisha Johnson, Cary Hite, and Kiri Sandy. While the story is set in 1968 in Virginia, revealing the deep roots of racism, its relevance resonates today. Having interviewed David Baldacci, I understand and appreciate his use of multiple narrators perfectly matched to their characters, to deliver a truly compelling listen.

California BearEarphones Award winner CALIFORNIA BEAR by Duane Swiercynski is narrated by James Urbaniak and Jesse Vilinsky. This is an inventive story, as it moves back and forth from the crimes of a serial rapist/killer who was active decades ago and the current day while providing alternating points of view. One of the main characters, The Girl Detective, perfectly voiced by Jesse Vilinsky, is a bright, thoughtful, and determined teenager recently diagnosed with cancer. In the afterword, author Duane Swierczynski shares his personal experiences that generated that character. 

Anna O

ANNA O by Matthew Blake is narrated by Dan Stevens, Hannah Curtis, Sarah Cullum, and Christine Rendel. I must admit that I sought out this audiobook to be able to hear Dan Stevens (for me he will always be Matthew from Downton Abbey). And I was not disappointed. Stevens portrays Anna O’s psychiatrist, who specializes in sleep-related crimes. His clear, deep voice will entice listeners into this complex narrative from the very start. Not surprisingly, this is another Earphones Award winner.

Finlay Donovan Rolls the DiceLest we think that 2024 is only delivering serious, dark mysteries and thrillers, let me call your attention to two lighthearted cozies that had me laughing out loud. The first is Book 4 in the Finlay Donovan series, FINLAY DONOVAN ROLLS THE DICE, by Elle Cosimano. Finlay ventures to Atlantic City with a full crew of family and friends, all masterfully voiced by Angela Dawe. Finlay finds herself in crazy predicaments that lead to more hijinks—dangerous for Finlay, but truly fun for listeners.

And finally, listeners can take a tour of Italy, vicariously experience the amazing cuisine, from pasta to gelato, and take on the challenge of uncovering the murderer. All of this is served up in the wonderful audiobook EVERY TIME I GO ON VACATION SOMEONE DIES by Catherine Mack, narrated by Elizabeth Evans. Catherine Mack is the pen name for Catherine McKenzie, who already has to her credit a significant body of successful thrillers. She changed her name to introduce this new series, which has already been scooped up by Fox TV.


AudioFile Magazine is your #1 source of audiobook reviews. 

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