Solve: And the Audies go to . . .

Thursday night the Audio Publishers Association celebrated audiobooks with their 22nd annual Audie Awards ceremony. With stiff competition in the mystery and thriller categories, predicting the winners was a challenge. There were outstanding contenders in both categories. If you missed the nominees, you can check out—and sample sound clips in—the mystery category here and the thriller category here.

In two fields of spectacularly performed audiobooks, congratulations go out to the winner of the 2017 Audie Award for Mystery, Michael Connelly’s THE CROSSING, performed by Harry Bosch’s television persona, Titus Welliver, and the winner of the 2017 Audie Award for Thriller/Suspense, James Patterson’s CROSS JUSTICE read by Ruben Santiago-Hudson and Jefferson Mays.

The Crossing

2017 Audie Award for MYSTERY

by Michael Connelly,
read by Titus Welliver
Hachette Audio

2017 Audie Award for THRILLER/SUSPENSE

by James Patterson
read by Ruben Santiago-Hudson and Jefferson Mays
Hachette Audio
Earphones Award Winner

There seems to be a bit of a “cross” theme going on with the winners this year. Both are titles in long-running series: Connelly’s L.A. Detective Harry Bosch (and attorney Mickey Haller) and Patterson’s East Coast-based FBI agent Alex Cross. “Crossing” from coast to coast, we love our crime fighters, don’t we? If you haven’t tried one or both series yet, now’s a great time to dip your toes in. And you certainly won’t run out of audios to listen to in either series for a good long while.

Congratulations to both winners and all the 2017 nominees!


Congratulations to the 2017 Audie Awards Winners!

The 22nd Audie Awards took place last night in New York City, and winners took home the prestigious audiobook award recognizing excellence in 29 categories. We wanted to give a hearty congratulations to all the winners, and we will be highlighting some of them in the coming week.

Audiobook of the Year
The winner of the Audiobook of the Year award is a behind-the-scenes look at HAMILTON, the musical that took Broadway by storm. It’s full of details of its run off and on Broadway, recording the cast album, and personal stories of writing, casting, composing, and choreographing what became a revolutionary tale of Alexander Hamilton. Lin-Manuel Miranda himself narrates accompanying footnotes, while Mariska Hargitay acts as a warm documentarian narrating this essential audiobook for HAMILTON fans.


HAMILTON: The Revolution
by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jeremy McCarter, read by Mariska Hargitay, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jeremy McCarter [Intro]
Hachette Audio

Best Female Narrator
The award for Best Female Narrator went to Tavia Gilbert for her narration of BE FRANK WITH ME, a captivating story about Frank, a 9-year-old boy with Asperger’s; Mimi, his mother who is a reclusive author; and their new personal assistant, Alice. Tavia manages to instill Frank’s dialog with charm and innocence while still capturing his unique speech patterns. Listen to her outstanding narration and you may forget that there’s only one narrator, as she switches between perspectives so seamlessly. Read our interview with Tavia to learn more about her intensive system behind her narrations.

Be Frank With Me

by Julia Claiborne Johnson, read by Tavia Gilbert
Harper Audio
AudioFile Earphones Award

Best Male Narrator
Simon Vance
won the award for Best Male Narrator for his narration of the epic fantasy JERUSALEM. In Simon’s capable hands, Alan Moore’s vivid prose becomes an absorbing audiobook recounting 200 years of impoverishment in Northampton, England, over the course of 60 hours. You can learn more about Simon’s narration of JERUSALEM and his journey to meet Alan and see Northampton firsthand in his AudiOpinion piece.

To put it simply, I just read the words and allow them to take me on a journey . . . and this one, I soon knew, was unlike any other—Narrator Simon Vance

Simon has been recognized for his talents as a narrator in the past for titles ranging from THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO to BRING UP THE BODIES. Read more about his narration of hundreds of audiobooks in his interviews on our site.


by Alan Moore, read by Simon Vance
Recorded Books
AudioFile Earphones Award

Check back in next week to read more about the winners of this year’s Audie Awards – and in the meantime, peruse the whole list and listen to sound clips here!

Tease: Wicked Abyss

Robert Petkoff has narrated Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark series for all 17 audiobooks, much to the delight of AudioFile’s reviewers! In the newest installment, WICKED ABYSS, Robert is able to bring alive the complicated love story of Sian, a demon lord of Hell, and his mate, the fey Princess Lila — not to mention a dragon with a brogue and a slightly manic Valkyrie.

You can jump into the series with WICKED ABYSS or go back to earlier titles in the series to hear Robert tell the story of a bloodthirsty vampire and an Appalachian young woman possessed by an evil goddess in LOTHAIRE, or listen to the tale of Lucia the Huntress and Scottish werewolf Garreth MacRieve in PLEASURE OF A DARK PRINCE.

Wicked Abyss

WICKED ABYSS: Immortals After Dark, Book 17
by Kresley Cole, read by Robert Petkoff
Simon & Schuster Audio
Earphones Award Winner

Look for more new Romance reviews on our website!

Solve: Summer Crime Listens

Happy Memorial Day! It’s the unofficial beginning of summer. Kids are wrapping up the end of their school years, summer vacation plans are starting to take shape, and the world of publishing is talking about “beach reads.”

I love summertime for audiobook listening opportunities. We often think about car rides for listening to audiobooks, and if you’re driving to your vacation destination, you’ll definitely need some great stories for that. But I find a lot of other great opportunities for listening as well: doing yard work, walking in the park with my dog, sitting on the front porch on a warm evening; there is just so much prime time for audiobooks in the summer. And these days with iPods, smart phones, tablets, and other MP3-playing devices, we can pack plenty of listening goodness for whatever the occasion. What kinds of summer activities do you enjoy doing while listening to an audio?

Do you find yourself choosing certain kinds of books for your summer listening? Maybe a little lighter fare than usual? Save the WAR AND PEACE for those cold winter stretches—let’s move (especially if you’re out running in the sunshine)! Thrillers and fast-moving mysteries are great for just this occasion. They’re also very healthy—they’ll keep you from falling asleep in the sun and acquiring a sunburn.

I have a few suggestions for you to consider for your summer listening playlist. And I’d love it if you’d offer up some of your own suggestions in the comments this week. So here we go.

For those who favor thrillers, you can check out Brad Parks’s first non-series book, SAY NOTHING, read by the versatile George Newbern.

Say Nothing

Looking down the calendar, you can mark Meg Gardiner’s new thriller UNSUB down for the end of June. This one will have your heart pumping!

If summer makes you yearn for something on the humorous side, how about a crew of pensioners who rob the National Museum in an effort to be arrested because they’re sure they’ll receive better treatment in jail than their retirement home? Check out Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg’s THE LITTLE OLD LADY WHO BROKE ALL THE RULES, delightfully performed by Patience Tomlinson.

Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg: Little Old Lady

More funny mystery goodness to anticipate this summer includes David Rosenfelt’s sixteenth Andy Carpenter installment, COLLARED, out this July.

But if you’re not a fan of funny (is there such a creature?), how about a dark police procedural like Trudy Nan Boyce’s OLD BONES? This is her second Detective Sarah Alt novel. If you haven’t listened to the first, you can easily pick this one up alone, but heck, it’s summer, grab OUT OF THE BLUES as well. Rebecca Lowman narrates them both.

Trudy Nan Boyce: Old Bones

And the summer of 2017 has many more hard boiled novels coming our way, like a new stand alone from Spencer Quinn about a female Afghanistan war vet. THE RIGHT SIDE is one I’m anticipating.

 How about you? What’s on your listening list for the summer of 2017? Share with us in the comments!



Tease: Steve West – RT Romance Narrator Award winner!

Steve West

Congratulations to Steve West, the winner of RT Book Reviews Romance Novel Narrator award given by AudioFile! Steve won the award for his narration of A BUCCANEER AT HEART. With his “rich rolling style”, he tells the tale of nineteenth-century sea captain Robert Frobisher and his growing intimacy with—and subsequent fear for—the captured Aileen Hopkins.

Buccaneer at Heart

A BUCCANEER AT HEART: Adventurers Quartet, Book 2
by Stephanie Laurens, read by Steve West
Blackstone Audio
AudioFile Earphones Award

Steve has narrated more than a hundred audiobooks, and gives us some intriguing insights into his recording of The Adventurers Quartet in our recent interview with him:

It was boiling hot weather. Even with air-conditioning on, my recording booth becomes a mini-greenhouse. The only thing for it in these circumstances is to record in your underwear. I’m not kidding, and I can bet you a lot of narrators do this in their home studios! If they say ‘no,’ they’re telling fibs.—Narrator Steve West

Steve also described his love for the feisty female leads in The Adventurers Quartet series in a Behind the Mic video about LORD OF THE PRIVATEERS earlier this year!

Keep your eye—or ear—out for Steve and his many new audiobooks. Explore his whole audiography of audiobook titles.