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…

Ellen Quint
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).

Narrator Fred Berman on THE K TEAM

Fred Berman

Author David Rosenfelt is back with another canine companion on the case, and this time he’s launching a new mystery series. Narrator Fred Berman shares his insights into THE K TEAM, Rosenfelt’s new spin-off from the Andy Carpenter series. Hear more about this sharp, smart, dog-friendly audiobook thriller in Fred’s video.

“It’s a first-person narrative, which is my favorite type of book to narrate, because it’s the most actable. You can just dig in and live as the character.”—Narrator Fred Berman

Read more…

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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…

Ellen Quint
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).

Home for the Holidays: Fun with Family?

Audiobook mysteries with families wackier than yours

Home For The Holidays

Home For The Holidays

Holidays are a time for family and for fun. But at this point in the holiday week, you may not be thinking of those two words in the same sentence. So, let me share with you some audiobooks that will draw you into the craziness of family situations that you can laugh at and enjoy, because with the flick of a button, you can turn them on or off. Read more…

Ellen Quint
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).

Binge-Worthy Summer Mystery Listening

Seashore during Golden Hour

Seashore during Golden Hour

Summer provides the perfect opportunity for more relaxed listening, so why not do the equivalent of binge-watching and engage in some binge-listening? Read more…

Ellen Quint
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).

Listening to Past Audie Award Winners

Taking Up Listening Challenge #8

Simon Vance at Audies 2018
Simon Vance at Audies 2018
Simon Vance at the 2018 Audie Awards

This year, the 2019 Audie Award winners will be announced in early March, versus previous years when the celebration took place in May. So, for us mystery audiophiles, it seems like this is an appropriate time to take on #8 in AudioFile’s 2019 Listening Challenge and prepare for the 2019 awards by catching up on previous winners. To see the full list of winners and hear samples from 2014–2018, check out AudioFile’s special feature on past Audie Awards (and look for the list of 2019 Audies finalists on February 4!).

Let’s start with the winner of the 2015 Audie Award for Mystery, THE SILKWORM by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling), narrated by Robert Glenister. This is the second in the detective Cormoran Strike series. CAREER OF EVIL, Book 3 in this series, was the 2016 winner, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the fourth book in the series, LETHAL WHITE, wins the 2019 prize. Read more…

Ellen Quint
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).

DOG DAYS: 14 Audiobooks for Dog Lovers

Robin’s Roundup August 17

Dog Days of Summer

Dog Days of Summer

I wanted to collect audiobooks about dogs while we’re in the “dog days of summer” . . . only to find out that the original meaning has nothing to do with dogs. The Greeks used “dog days” for the hottest days of the summer when our brightest star, Sirius (aka the “dog star”), appears in the east. Nevertheless, it’s still a good theme, and I’ve found a terrific array of listening choices for dog lovers. Read more…

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.

Five Questions with Grover Gardner

Sharing five excellent audiobooks and five insightful questions with a veteran narrator

Grover Gardner

Grover GardnerI don’t know why I always associate veteran narrator Grover Gardner with nonfiction, because although he does indeed narrate history, biography, and theology, he has worked on a full range of genres, everything from horror to light kids’ stories. While I’m not likely to listen to Grover’s Earphones Award–winning performance of THE STAND (I think it might be too spooky for me), I enjoy listening to his “charming voice” on much tamer audiobooks.

Grover has narrated hundreds of titles (no exaggeration), so it was just a little difficult to pick only five to show off his work. The titles featured today reflect my own tastes: These are audiobooks I recommend or that are on my personal to-be-listened-to wish list. Read more…

Candace Levy
Candace is a full-time freelance book editor as well as a book reviewer and journalist. When she’s not working, you'll inevitably find her listening to an audiobook while cooking, walking, making lace, or taking photographs. She was honored to be the 2016 Audio Publishers Association's Audiobook Blogger of the Year.

Robin’s Roundup: July 28 New Audiobook Reviews

New Swedish noir from Anders de la Motte and a curious gem performed by Derek Jacobi

The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 1/4 Years Old
A couple of the audiobooks in this week’s new reviews have European provenance. THE SECRET DIARY OF HENDRIK GROEN:  83 1/4 Years Old  by Hendrik Groen is a Dutch bestseller published in 2014. The brilliant Derek Jacobi performs pseudonymous author Groen’s diary as a listener’s delight, delivering the emotional beats and subtle layers of humor.

For listeners who relish Swedish noir mystery, Anders de La Motte may be an author to check out. MEMORANDOM follows his successful GAME trilogy. Narrator Peter Noble does a great job leading listeners into an intriguing thriller that reflects the clear authenticity of de la Motte’s law enforcement background.

Being in the midst of summer, I would think we’d be seeing more baseball audiobooks. THE PRIDE OF THE YANKEES sounds like a real nostalgia piece, and will take many listeners back to 1942 with the story of Lou Gehrig and the making of the Gary Cooper movie. The season is long, so more choices for baseball  may come along.

We do seem to be in love with book covers with dogs . . .and COLLARED is no exception. Of course, it’s not just the cover—David Rosenfelt’s Andy Carpenter series is owned by narrator Grover Gardner. An Earphones Award here, but definitely not the duo’s first. I love this comment from AudioFile reviewer Brian Price: “Gardner’s wonderful combination of the rhythms of Sam Spade and the irreverent tones of Mark Twain make this diverting whodunit a listening treasure.” That’s my listening for this week.

What’s in your headphones?

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.