Beyond Reviews: Favorite Mystery Narrators and Authors Talk about Their Craft

Listening to our Favorite Narrators and Authors Talk About Their Craft

Listening to our Favorite Narrators and Authors Talk About Their Craft

In these turbulent times, I find comfort in focusing on the silver linings—the positive, unanticipated benefits. For me this has included connecting with family and friends more often (even if it’s virtual); the quiet of Brooklyn due to the extreme drop in traffic; the amazing streamed entertainment, interviews, and educational programs available; and the time to actually listen.

If you are a fan of audiobook mysteries and thrillers, you might really enjoy hearing and (in many cases) seeing your favorite narrators and authors discuss their craft. The interviews and discussions are enlightening and will connect you to these talented folks on a whole different level. Read more…

A mystery writer, audiobook reviewer and Audies judge. Ellen is currently the program chair of Sisters in Crime-NY and has published two crime short stories: Crossing the Line (Family Matters); Taking the Brooklyn Bridge Back (Where Crime Never Sleeps).

Audiobook Lessons for These Times, and Edgar Award Winners

Audiobook Lessons For These Times

Audiobook Lessons For These Times

Part 1: Listen and Hear

Let me start by saying that my original plan for this week’s blog post was to focus on the Edgar Award winners (which you will find below). But what is going on outside my apartment window is permeating all of my thoughts. I live on the roadway of the Brooklyn Bridge. And as I write this, there is a march of a totally diverse group of hundreds carrying signs and chanting the name George Floyd and Black Lives Matter. Cars going up the roadway next to them are honking their horns to show support. It is all respectful and peaceful. Read more…

A mystery writer, audiobook reviewer and Audies judge. Ellen is currently the program chair of Sisters in Crime-NY and has published two crime short stories: Crossing the Line (Family Matters); Taking the Brooklyn Bridge Back (Where Crime Never Sleeps).

Golden Voice JD Jackson’s Audiobook Mysteries

Golden Voice narrator JD Jackson's Audiobook Mysteries

Golden Voice narrator JD Jackson's Audiobook Mysteries

What does it take to be honored as a Golden Voice narrator?  To join the ranks of such narrating luminaries as Simon Vance, George Guidall, Dion Graham, Bahni Turpin, Robin Miles, and January LaVoy? To be known as the “Best of the Best?”

Well, if we go by the 2020 induction of JD Jackson into this highly select club, you would notice two things about his body of work—first, it’s voluminous, and second, it covers a full range of genres: biography, history, children, young adult, literary fiction, poetry, and, of course, mystery and thriller. Read more…

A mystery writer, audiobook reviewer and Audies judge. Ellen is currently the program chair of Sisters in Crime-NY and has published two crime short stories: Crossing the Line (Family Matters); Taking the Brooklyn Bridge Back (Where Crime Never Sleeps).

Listen to These Mystery & Suspense Audiobooks with Your Kids and Teens

Mystery Audiobooks for Kids and Teens

Mystery Audiobooks for Kids and Teens

What’s a grandmother to do? My 6-year-old grandson has become so enraptured with listening to Jim Dale’s reading of the HARRY POTTER series that he drew a lightning bolt on his forehead. He did a good job of it—and he did it with a permanent ink marker. Needless to say, his parents weren’t happy, and I had to try very hard not to laugh when this was revealed on our FaceTime call this week. I was just glad he didn’t decide to do it on his 4-year-old sister’s forehead as well. Ah, the power of audiobooks and children’s imaginations!

One of the greatest challenges I see parents facing with children home and in their care 24/7 is how to educate, engage, and entertain without having them glued to a screen. Audiobooks are a great solution, and the Harry Potter series is a great place to start. They can be downloaded for free from most public libraries now through their library apps, such as Overdrive or Libby. (For Harry Potter fans, you can now listen to J.K. Rowling’s THE TALES OF BEEDLE THE BARD. This is a novella (a collection of five fairy tales) that grew out of the Harry Potter world of wizardry. The audiobook is narrated by a talented full cast.) Read more…

A mystery writer, audiobook reviewer and Audies judge. Ellen is currently the program chair of Sisters in Crime-NY and has published two crime short stories: Crossing the Line (Family Matters); Taking the Brooklyn Bridge Back (Where Crime Never Sleeps).

New Additions to Favorite Mystery Series on Audio

New Additions to Favorite Mystery Series

New Additions to Favorite Mystery Series

In our forced stay-at-home situation, many of us are consuming content at an accelerated pace. I heard one comedian claiming to have gotten to the end of Netflix. Fortunately for audiophiles, and particularly mystery/thriller fans, we can always count on new additions to our favorite audiobook series to listen to. And even if you haven’t listened to the audiobooks in a particular series before, you should be able to pick up on the characters and story lines and be inspired to go back to the beginning; that should keep you busy. Read more…

A mystery writer, audiobook reviewer and Audies judge. Ellen is currently the program chair of Sisters in Crime-NY and has published two crime short stories: Crossing the Line (Family Matters); Taking the Brooklyn Bridge Back (Where Crime Never Sleeps).

Let Audiobooks Transport You to Mysterious Places

Let Audiobooks Transport You

Let Audiobooks Transport You

Living in NYC, in the pandemic’s epicenter, under a stay-at-home mandate, I find myself thinking about the things I am missing most: Once I get past hugging and playing with my grandchildren, my mind goes to traveling. Getting on airplanes was a regular part of my pre-Covid work life. The last flight I took was back from Atlanta on the 6th of March. Then everything shut down. Unlike many folks who find travel a nuisance, I have always loved the entire experience, from the flight itself to being in a place with new sites, sounds, foods, and people.

Now, like everyone else, my wings have been clipped, and I am relying on audiobooks to transport me to new places. Below is a selection of audiobooks that take us to intriguing locations around the world. These listens engage us in mysterious doings and reveal the real people and customs that are less visible to tourists. And one of the keys to doing so is the power of the narrator to perform different accents, making the experience feel more genuine. Read more…

A mystery writer, audiobook reviewer and Audies judge. Ellen is currently the program chair of Sisters in Crime-NY and has published two crime short stories: Crossing the Line (Family Matters); Taking the Brooklyn Bridge Back (Where Crime Never Sleeps).

Finding Sparks of Light and Laughter: Funny Mystery Audiobooks to the Rescue

Finding Sparks of Light and Laughter

Finding Sparks of Light and Laughter

I’m reporting from the U.S. epicenter of the pandemic, New York City—Brooklyn, to be exact. I feel like I am in a terrifying Stephen King novel with no end. The streets are eerily deserted and spookily quiet. I have a view of the Brooklyn Bridge out my window—the walkway, always packed with tourists and commuters, is empty. And my hands are sore from washing them to protect me and everyone from this invisible enemy.

Yet I am grateful. I wake up every morning expressing my thanks for making it through another day unscathed. And I send wishes of strength for those who have been directly touched.

And with all of the mounds of advice out there for how to retain your equanimity under these circumstances, I want to offer up one additional strategy: listening to audiobooks, and particularly listening to those that will take you out of your world and actually make you laugh. Read more…

A mystery writer, audiobook reviewer and Audies judge. Ellen is currently the program chair of Sisters in Crime-NY and has published two crime short stories: Crossing the Line (Family Matters); Taking the Brooklyn Bridge Back (Where Crime Never Sleeps).

Historical Crime Audiobooks Featuring Strong Women Protagonists

Historical Crime Audiobooks

Historical Crime Audiobooks

Corona Craziness surrounds us. I can’t minimize the anxiety it’s raising for our health, our economy, our wonderful way of life. But if you are in need of, or open to, a bit of distraction as you are social distancing or self-isolating, you might consider some of these fine audiobooks. In celebration of March as Women’s History Month (as opposed to when our worlds turned upside down month), I offer you several audiobooks that are the latest additions to wonderful historical crime series featuring strong women protagonists. Read more…

A mystery writer, audiobook reviewer and Audies judge. Ellen is currently the program chair of Sisters in Crime-NY and has published two crime short stories: Crossing the Line (Family Matters); Taking the Brooklyn Bridge Back (Where Crime Never Sleeps).

2020 Audies Gala Highlights from One Super Fan

Audies 2020 Photo Credit Max Flatow
Audies 2020 Photo Credit Max Flatow
Photo by Max Flatow

The Audies Gala dazzled—the gowns, the world of audiobook stars, the excitement, the energy! All this turned me into a super gawking fan girl. Read more…

A mystery writer, audiobook reviewer and Audies judge. Ellen is currently the program chair of Sisters in Crime-NY and has published two crime short stories: Crossing the Line (Family Matters); Taking the Brooklyn Bridge Back (Where Crime Never Sleeps).

2020 Audie Awards Finalists in Mystery and Thriller/Suspense

2020 Audie Finalist Mystery Thriller Suspense

2020 Audie Finalist Mystery Thriller Suspense

It’s Audie Awards season. The Audie Gala, where the winners will be announced, will be held March 2 in New York City. In preparation for the 25th anniversary of the annual awards, I want to share with you the finalists in the categories of Mystery and Thriller/Suspense. Read more…

A mystery writer, audiobook reviewer and Audies judge. Ellen is currently the program chair of Sisters in Crime-NY and has published two crime short stories: Crossing the Line (Family Matters); Taking the Brooklyn Bridge Back (Where Crime Never Sleeps).