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.

Solve: Harry Hole

policeLast week I blogged about listening to a debut so this week I’m turning to the tried and true. We all have those series we love, and we start anticipating the next installment roughly 30 seconds after finishing the current one. If you’re a mystery lover, it’s darned hard not to have a plethora of such series. For me, one of those is Jo Nesbø’s Harry Hole series.

I have enjoyed most all of Nesbø’s books, but I’m especially fond of his Harry Hole series, maybe partly because that’s how I discovered Nesbø and maybe partly because the narrators have consistently performed these audios so well. This is a rare series situation where I enjoy the narrations of both Robin Sachs and John Lee equally. While their interpretations of Hole are distinct, each is true to Nesbø’s hero.

The series was published a little irregularly in the United States. We were introduced to Hole with the third of Nesbø’s series, THE REDBREAST. Ultimately, though the first (THE BAT) and the second (COCKROACHES) were recorded for U.S. listeners. So if you’re new to the series, you can listen in order. The first two books are great, but even better if you don’t have the knowledge of the end of the series ahead of time.

This month Harry Hole returns in THE THIRST. It’s been a few years, and several standalones from Nesbø, since we last visited the flawed Norwegian cop-turned-private-investigator in POLICE, and I’ve been anticipating him every second since. Have you?


Tease: Interview with Author Kristen Ashley

Kristen Ashley Pic

Superstar romance author Kristen Ashley’s new title—COMPLICATEDwas released as an audiobook original. We asked her to share her thoughts on the audiobook process and her favorite titles. Read on!

Read more…

Solve: A Criminal Defense

There’s something special about discovering an author with their debut. You can be torn between taking a chance on someone new—let’s face it, committing hours of your time is a big deal—and finding the “next big thing.” In the world of mystery audiobooks, especially, there are so many long-running series (and longtime author-narrator partnerships) that we can count on new books coming out from our favorite authors on a regular basis. We’re creatures of habit, and we like what we know and are already comfortable with. However, in the case of audiobooks, sometimes a narrator can help nudge us in the direction of that discovery. If I know I enjoy listening to a particular performer, I’m more likely to take the plunge. How about you?

Have you discovered a new author, or even a new-to-you author, who you’ve checked out recently on audio? Did the narrator help you decide to listen? Or maybe you got a recommendation from a friend? What prompted you to take a risk on a new (to you) author?

Being a fan of Peter Berkrot’s work, I was immediately intrigued when I saw that he was narrating William L. Myers, Jr.’s debut audiobook, A CRIMINAL DEFENSE. Combine that with AudioFile‘s glowing review, and I’m ready to try A CRIMINAL DEFENSE for myself! How about you?

A Criminal Defense

by William L. Myers, Jr., Read by Peter Berkrot
Brilliance Audio
AudioFile Earphones Award