Solve: Strand Originals

Crime in small bites

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The Mulholland Books Strand Original Series is a smorgasbord of tasty audiobook shorts for mystery and crime lovers. With variations in length, subgenre, and narration style, there’s sure to be something for everyone in this collection. Some of the shorter stories, like Linwood Barclay’s JACKET MAN (17 minutes), are perfect for quick trips or listening opportunities that are too brief to engage in a novel.

Jacket Man
JACKET MAN
Linwood Barclay, read by Kevin Stillwell
Hachette Audio

They’re also great for those new to audiobooks, who are just learning to listen. The suspense is gripping and the duration is succinct enough to keep from taxing budding attention spans. Whether listeners favor traditional mysteries, like Colin Dexter’s THE OTHER HALF (16 minutes), or plots that dabble in the paranormal, such as Michael and Matthew Palmer’s THE DEAL (23 minutes), this collection will accommodate them.

Even time periods run the gamut in this series—from the nineteenth century (Philip Kerr’s THE POCKET HANDKERCHIEF – 36 minutes) to the distant future (Faye Kellerman’s THE VOICELESS– 19 minutes). Each audiobook is strongly narrated by a single reader and is well produced. Individually or combined—the stories that make up this series are sure to entertain!—Jen Forbus

This post has been edited from its original longer form in the print issue of AudioFile Magazine, October/November 2016.

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Behind the Mic: Grace

A novel about women who are survivors

AudioFile goes Behind the Mic with Lisa Renee Pitts who tells us what it was like to record GRACE, Natashia Deón’s searing novel.

“My job was to stay true to the intentions of each character.”—Lisa Renee Pitts

Grace
GRACE
by Natashia Deón, read by Lisa Renee Pitts
Blackstone Audio
Earphones Award Winner

The advance reviews of GRACE caught our attention, and paired with the powerful talent of Lisa Renee Pitts, we knew this would be an astonishing and affecting listening experience. Listen to a sound clip and read the full review here!

Lisa Renee Pitts

Listen to more of Lisa’s audiobooks here!

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Solve: 5 Dangerous Dames

These unforgettable crime-fighting dames have held on to their brilliant narrators through a series

Mysteries get a lot of attention from AudioFile Editors, and this month we’re taking a look at the “dangerous dames” of audiobooks. Here are just a few of our favorites—let us know yours in the comments below!

Murder and Mendelssohn

PHRYNE FISHER: Kerry Greenwood’s creation, Miss Fisher is brilliantly performed by Stephanie Daniel, from COCAINE BLUES (#1 in the series) to MURDER AND MENDELSSOHN (#20). The TV series, “Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries,” has helped to bring on more fans.

Girl Waits with Gun

CONSTANCE KOPP: Amy Stewart’s first Kopp Sisters mystery, GIRL WAITS WITH GUN —based on one one of the first American female deputies—was a hit and picked up an Earphones Award for Christina Moore. Number two in the series, LADY COPY MAKES TROUBLE, just received a second accolade.

Journey to Munich
MAISIE DOBBS: Another “dame” in a historical setting, MAISIE DOBBS  was introduced to us by author Jacqueline Winspear twelve episodes back, and just after WWI. The latest, JOURNEY TO MUNICH, brings us to just before WWII. We love narrator Orlagh Cassidy as Maisie.

Killer Look

ALEXANDRA COOPER: Back in the hard-hitting world of the New York City District Attorney’s office, Linda Fairstein’s Alex Cooper has 18 titles, from FINAL JEOPARDY to the recent KILLER LOOK. And, of course, Golden Voice narrator Barbara Rosenblat is a dangerous dame all on her own.

Turbo Twenty-Three

STEPHANIE PLUM: Janet Evanovich and narrator Lorelei King are a natural pair in the Stephanie Plum series. Listeners will find Lorelei’s sassy Stephanie from #7, SEVEN UP, all the way up to  TRICKY TWENTY-TWO, with the newest, TURBO TWENTY-THREE, coming out in November 2016.

Long series often give these dames plenty of time to get in plenty of trouble, and to pick up a following. When a great narrator teams with the author long-term, listeners enjoy each perfect pair.

We’d be at this list for a long time if we covered every dangerous dame & her narrator double. Please add your favorites!

Browse our newest mystery reviews to find your next great listen!

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Self: Put Your Intuition to Work

How to Supercharge Your Inner Wisdom to Think Fast and Make Great Decisions

Personal and workplace decision-making can be a mercurial process. AudioFile goes Behind the Mic with narrator Hillary Huber to hear her thoughts about her accessible performance of Lynn Robinson’s authoritative guide to trusting your intuition.

“Success is based on so many decisions throughout each day.”—Hillary Huber

Put Your Intuition To Work
PUT YOUR INTUITION TO WORK

Lynn A. Robinson, read by Hillary Huber
Vibrance Press

We all like good, actionable ideas to help our day, and our lives, go better. When an audiobook narrator connects listeners to those ideas, it’s a win-win. Hillary Huber helps us absorb Lynn Robinson’s approach to using our inner wisdom. Listen to a sound clip and read our review here.

Hillary Huber

Listen to more from Hillary Huber here!

Want to make be sure your next audiobook choice is intuitive?
Browse AudioFile’s newest personal growth reviews!

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Behind the Mic: Age of Myth

The author of the popular Riyria books launches a new series.

AudioFile goes Behind the Mic to talk with Tim Gerard Reynolds—narrator of not only Michael J. Sullivan’s Riyria Chronicles and Riyria Revelations, but this first book in the Legend of the First Empire series, AGE OF MYTH. Is he sharing the secrets of the story?

“I got to work closely with Michael on this new series on things like characterization.”—Tim Gerard Reynolds

Age of MythAGE OF MYTH
Michael J. Sullivan, read by Tim Gerard Reynolds
Recorded Books
Earphones Award Winner

What an opportunity for a narrator to collaborate with an author on the performance of a new series! Tim Gerard Reynolds jumps back 3000 years to Book 1 of Sullivan’s new Legends of the First Empire series and grabs an Earphones Award right off.  Listen to sound clip and read our review here.

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Browse Tim’s audiography here!

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Solve: The Woman in Cabin 10

Mystery awaits aboard a small cruise ship

Your next cruise vacation may never be the same. Imogen Church delivers a full measure of travel writer Lo Blacklock’s paranoia and ambiguity in THE WOMAN IN CABIN 10.

The Woman in Cabin 10
THE WOMAN IN CABIN 10
Ruth Ware, read by Imogen Church
Simon & Schuster Audio
AudioFile Earphones Award

Narrator Imogen Church maintains an atmosphere of ambiguity and paranoia in this cleverly plotted mystery. Listen to a sound clip and read our full review here.

Browse our newest mystery reviews to find your next great listen!

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Behind the Mic: The Abundance

Essays by Annie Dillard

AudioFile asked narrator Susan Ericksen to go Behind the Mic to tell us about her experience narrating Dillard’s carefully chosen and juxtaposed essays collected in THE ABUNDANCE.

“The collection is in a class by itself—so artistically crafted and poetically written.” -Susan Ericksen

The Abundance
THE ABUNDANCE
by Annie Dillard, read by Susan Ericksen
Brilliance Audio
Earphones Award Winner

We are fans of Annie Dillard’s luminous essays that mix keen observation, spirituality, history, and lyrical storytelling. This collection from the author of TEACHING A STONE TO TALK and PILGRIM AT TINKER CREEK gives an abundance of thoughtful, engaging listening on such an array of topics. Listen to a sound clip and read our full review here.

Susan Eriksen
Photo by Peter Beck

Find more audiobooks narrated by Susan in her audiography!

Listeners may also want to explore Dillard’s autobiographical works, THE WRITING LIFE and AN AMERICAN CHILDHOOD.

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Solve: The City of Mirrors

The final title in The Passage trilogy

Scott Brick’s expressive delivery of Justin Cronin’s trilogy has gained fans starting with the momentum of THE PASSAGE. Brick injects emotion into even the smallest subplot and intensifies the drama.

The City of Mirrors

 THE CITY OF MIRRORS
Justin Cronin, read by Scott Brick
Random House Audio

After a century in postapocalyptic Texas, people have become complacent about the “virals” (vampires) beyond the walls of the cities and have begun to move outside. Scott Brick shines as a narrator—especially with his prodigious ability to deliver fast-paced dialogue and action. Listen to a sound clip and read our full review here.

AudioFile had a chance to go Behind the Mic with narrator Scott Brick to hear about his experience with Justin Cronin’s trilogy.

Browse our newest mystery reviews to find your next great listen!

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Self: Tribe

On Homecoming and Belonging—by journalist and filmmaker Sebastian Junger

What can we learn from tribal societies about loyalty, belonging, and the eternal human quest for meaning? The author of WAR, Sebastian Junger uses his experience and observations to examine the misalignment of the culture at home and the military experience.

Tribe
TRIBE
by Sebastian Junger, read by the Author
Hachette Audio

Journalist Junger delivers his audiobook with forceful and emotional conviction. Combining history, psychology, and social observations, Junger gives listeners thought-provoking points of view. Listen to a sound clip and read our full review here.

Browse our newest reviews to find your next great listen!

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Behind the Mic: Lily and the Octopus

An audiobook best appreciated by knowing very little about the plot before starting

AudioFile goes Behind the Mic with Michael Urie as he tells us more about LILY AND THE OCTOPUS. We love Michael’s clear connection to this audiobook. Listeners need know only that Steven Rowley’s debut is a beautiful love story.

“Steven Rowley has created something so true, so real.”—Michael Urie

Lily and the Octopus
LILY AND THE OCTOPUS

by Steven Rowley, read by Michael Urie
Simon & Schuster Audio
Earphones Award Winner

We loved the title (and jacket art) even before we heard Michael Urie’s performance. Now that we have, we want to share Michael’s heartfelt comments and his brilliant connection to the performance. You can also listen to a sound clip and read our full review here.

Michael Urie
Photo by Kevin Thomas Garcia

Read our full interview with Michael!

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