Solve: Maisie Dobbs

One of my favorite mystery series just keeps getting better

AudioFile goes Behind the Mic to hear narrator Orlagh Cassidy talk about Jacqueline Winspear’s enduring series. It’s a knack to keep a long-running series fresh, and Orlagh definitely has a lock on private investigator and psychologist Maisie Dobbs along with the portraits of her familiar friends and colleagues.

” My first audiobook was the first Maisie Dobbs. . . .and I’ve started work on the next one.” —Narrator Orlagh Cassidy

Journey to MunichJOURNEY TO MUNICH
Jacqueline Winspear, Read by Orlagh Cassidy
Harper Audio
AudioFile Earphones Award

In JOURNEY TO MUNICH new circumstances challenge Maisie as she’s sent to Munich during Hitler’s early rise to power. A good deal of backstory is supplied to help listeners enter the series. It’s hard to have a favorite, but this 12th title in the series could be mine. Listen to a sound clip from JOURNEY TO MUNICH, and read AudioFile’s full review here.

Orlagh Cassidy

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Solve: Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d

Flavia de Luce is home! Here she comes on Gladys, her trusty bicycle.

We want this Solve to have a bit of a light touch, and Flavia de Luce always makes us smile. AudioFile is Behind the Mic with narrator Jayne Entwistle. She knows 12-year-old Flavia, the terror of Buckshaw, better than the rest of us.

“From one Flavia fan to another, who’s with me?” —Narrator Jayne Entwistle

Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd

by Alan Bradley, read by Jayne Entwistle
Random House Audio

Audio is the perfect format to enjoy Flavia de Luce. Narrator Jayne Entwistle can capture all the characters who populate Alan Bradley’s entertaining series, as well as Flavia’s passions—poisons and graveyards. One more thing we love is how author Bradley describes her escapades: “Flavia brings to light mysteries that everyone else wishes had been left buried.” Listen to a sound clip of Jayne and read our full review here!

Jayne Entwistle

Find more recent audiobooks narrated by Jayne!

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Solve: Cry of Thunder

Narrator Johnny Heller has a ball with the characters in this Sherlock Holmes & Kolchak team-up

AudioFile goes Behind the Mic with narrator Johnny Heller to hear about Kolchak: The Night Stalker doing a little time-travel and getting wrapped up with Sherlock Holmes. CRY OF THUNDER: Sherlock Holmes & Kolchak the Night Stalker piques our curiosity—before the X-Files there was Kolchak.

“Kolchak, the hardened newspaper reporter, investigates crimes and events that law enforcement doesn’t want because they have, at their heart, the supernatural.”—Narrator Johnny Heller


CRY OF THUNDER: Sherlock Holmes & Kolchak the Night Stalker
Joe Gentile, Read by Johnny Heller
Blackstone Audio

Johnny Heller has a ball with the characters—from crime reporter Kolchak to Holmes and Watson and somehow looping in cowboys of the American West. Read our full review here!

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Solve: Elections

For a little diversion before Election Day: 8 election thrillers—the fictional kind

If the 2016 election has created more than enough mystery for you, think about indulging in some audiobook mysteries about elections. Ross Thomas is one of my favorite writers whose mysteries often have a thick topping of satire spread over the dirty tricks and gamesmanship. THE PORKCHOPPERS narrated by Brian Hopsopple and The SEERSUCKER WHIPSAW narrated by R.C. Bray are Ross Thomas titles to get you started.


Who better to take charge of an election than Tom Clancy? The legendary Jack Ryan is performed by Lou Diamond Phillips in LOCKED ON.


Thriller writer Richard North Patterson has an election in his sights in both THE RACE narrated by Michael Boatman and ECLIPSE read by Peter Francis James.

The Race

Some of these election mysteries I just have to include because of their titles. What about these odds—the first female sheriff of Arizona! Listen how it comes out in TOMBSTONE COURAGE, one of J.A. Jance’s Joanna Brady mysteries nicely narrated by Hillary Huber. CAPITOL CONSPIRACY by William Bernhardt, read by Stephen Hoye, gets an AudioFile Earphones Award.

Capitol Conspiracy

And if listeners want more, Janet Rudolf, in her blog Mystery Fanfare, posted a terrific list of “Presidential Crime Fiction” in November 2012. I see many others available as audiobooks!

Be sure to vote!

Robin Whitten
Robin is the Founder & Editor of AudioFile Magazine. The AudioFile Blog is her newest project to offer new voices and recommendations for audiobooks.

Solve: The Deal

More from the Strand Mystery Series

We’ve been talking about the Strand Originals Series all month—these audiobook shorts deliver mystery in small bites. Great suspense, terrific authors, and intriguing listening.

The Deal

by Michael Palmer & Matthew Palmer, read by Fleet Cooper
Hachette Audio
AudioFile Earphones Award

“Fleet Cooper definitely lavishes his listeners with a treasure.”  Listen to a sound clip of Fleet and read our full review here.

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Solve: Those Who Wish Me Dead

Start the week with this “watch out” thriller—and remember to look over your shoulder!

Robert Petkoff knows the territory well—Michael Koryta territory that is.  And, he knows the characters. Listen to Robert Behind the Mic with AudioFile as he tells us about narrating THOSE WHO WISH ME DEAD set in the wilderness of Montana.

“Koryta sits right on the razor’s edge of supernatural. Is it in the character’s head, or is it real?”—Robert Petkoff

Those Who Wish Me Dead

Michael Koryta, read by Robert Petkoff
Hachette Audio
2015 Audie Award Winner

“The clock is ticking, the mountains are burning, and those who wish Jace Wilson dead are no longer far behind.” Is your heart pounding yet? Wait until you meet the killers. Robert Petkoff draws listeners in with Michael Koryta’s relentless suspense.

Robert Petkoff
Photo by Col Brandon

Listeners can also hear Robert in Koryta’s THE PROPHET, and THE RIDGE, and the new RISE THE DARK!

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

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Solve: Strand Originals

Crime in small bites

Untitled design (12).jpg

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
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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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!

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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
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.

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Best Audiobooks 2016AudioFile
2016 Best Audiobooks
Award Winner

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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

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.

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Best Audiobooks 2016

2016 Best Audiobooks
Award Winner

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