Between the Wars: Audiobooks in Honor of Remembrance Day

Highclere in the rain
Highclere in the rain
Ellen Quint’s visit to Highclere Castle

Confession time—I am a Downton Abbey addict. And in fact, I made a trip to Highclere Castle (where Downton is filmed) to walk the rooms and grounds and soak in the atmosphere. I even took it one step further with a trip to Bampton (the setting for the outdoor scenes). This is a quiet little village near Oxford that has built a small tourist industry around Downton. You can imagine my thrill as I got to stand in the church where Lady Mary got married twice. (Please don’t judge me.)

The release of the Downton movie brings the Crawley family up to 1927, almost ten years since the end of WWI, which officially ended on November 11, 1918.  This period between the wars was a dramatic time of trying to recover from painful losses and find a path to a future, which unfortunately planted the seeds for the next great war. Many mystery series take place during this time and then continue into the WWII years. It seems appropriate to focus on them in preparation for Remembrance Day/Veteran’s Day on November 11. 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).

Let’s Get Scared: 6 Frightening Audiobooks for Halloween

Lets Get Scared

Lets Get Scared

When I go on haunted house rides with the children in my life, I’m the one who screams most often. I also close my eyes when ominous movie music begins.  And if I’m startled, I jump and screech. So I deserve extra credit for listening to the following scary audiobooks. I did it for you, dear listener. I will not do such a thing again for you until next October. Read more…

Author and audiobook fanatic, Aurelia often falls asleep at night with earbuds still attached. She can also be found at www.aureliacscott.com.

Go Back to School with YA Mystery Series Audiobooks

Oxford University

Oxford University

The air has that delicious crisp feel that speaks of September, and the shorter days and back-to-school vibe give me an excuse to focus on Young Adult mysteries. The listening opportunities are so rich with the genre offering many series to binge on. 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).

Author Anthony Horowitz on His Passion for Writing

Anthony Horowitz

I was delighted to interview author Anthony Horowitz for the October 2018 issue of AudioFile magazine. Horowitz’s second Detective Daniel Hawthorne mystery, THE SENTENCE IS DEATH, was published this summer to rave reviews.  His most recent James Bond caper, FOREVER AND A DAY, has been equally lauded. Read my interview with Horowitz below.

Some days, Anthony Horowitz feels more like a secretary than a writer, which is a tad surprising for the author of 49+ novels and many screenplays. He should be the one in charge, yet, “Often I have to write with a pen because I can’t type fast enough to keep up with the speed my characters are talking. It’s as if I’m sitting on the side of the room with a notebook and a pen, furiously scribbling in shorthand the words I’m hearing.”

In a felicitous twist for us audiophiles, he adds, “That means my writing always begins as an audio experience.” Read more…

Author and audiobook fanatic, Aurelia often falls asleep at night with earbuds still attached. She can also be found at www.aureliacscott.com.

A Golden Voice of Romance: Narrator Simon Prebble

Simon Prebble
Simon Prebble
Simon Prebble (r) and Gerard Doyle

At our recent Golden Voices narrator celebration in May in New York City, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting veteran Golden Voice narrator Simon Prebble and his wife. As a result, I can categorically share that Prebble sounds as distinctive and compelling in person as he does on audio. He also has the trick of a sidelong smile that had his wife laughing and turning her head in his direction — she must know when he’s about to throw out a zinger of a joke!

Simon Prebble is a remarkable chameleon of a narrator — with more than 700 audiobooks to his credit, he is never boxed in to one genre, one type of character, or one style. During our short, lively conversation, he mentioned his enduring love of the Ian Rutledge mysteries and another of his favorites, the Alex Ryder adventure series for tweens and teens. And he’s no stranger to the classics — I may need to add Henry James’s THE TURN OF THE SCREW, narrated by Prebble and Rosalyn Landor, to my listening list, if only because of that auspicious narrator pairing. Read more…

Caitlin is a librarian from Connecticut who enjoys great narrators and happy endings. She has been reviewing audiobooks for Audiofile Magazine since 2006, and she has had the privilege of judging numerous Audie Award categories since 2009. Her favorite authors are Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, and whatever she's listening to right now!

30 Days of Golden Voice Narrators

Robin’s Roundup June 7

George Guidall, Barbara Rosenblat, Scott Brick

30 Days of Golden Voices

AudioFile is aligning the stars this June. If you’re reading this, you’ve probably been seeing that we’re going all out this month to celebrate the narrators who have been honored with our lifetime achievement award, Golden Voice. We kicked off the celebration with a party—of course—and AudioFile editors welcomed Golden Voice narrators at NYC’s John Marshall Media studios. We were dazzled by so many audiobook stars that night, but our five new Golden Voice narrators—January LaVoy, Edoardo Ballerini, Bahni Turpin, Johnny Heller, and Suzanne Toren—got special love. They even “signed in” by autographing our Stars of the Audiobook Universe poster. 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.

Everybody’s Talkin’ in These Full-Cast Productions

6 Engaging Full-Cast Audiobooks

Carmalita
Carmalita
Aurelia’s mother on stage

When I say that I come from a family of spoken word enthusiasts, it’s not just that we talk a lot. It’s that when I was born, my mother was a theater actress and my father a lighting designer. And, as I’ve mentioned before, my father was raised in a traveling marionette theater. So, declaiming in full sentences and the general trying-on of plot lines and personalities were big in our house. That’s why I’m delighted that AudioFile’s 2019 Listening Challenge includes Listen to an audiobook performed by a full cast. But why stop at one? Here are some of my favorites, most of them Earphones Award winners, starting with a trip around the galaxy with Arthur Dent. Read more…

Author and audiobook fanatic, Aurelia often falls asleep at night with earbuds still attached. She can also be found at www.aureliacscott.com.

4 Comfort Audiobooks That Make Everything Better

Have Cold, Will Listen

The Perfect Lover

The Perfect LoverI’ve been under the weather with a very bad cold, and there hasn’t been much that’s made me happy, with the exception of Simon Prebble’s narration of THE PERFECT LOVER by Stephanie Laurens. Whenever the misery gets especially miserable, I hit play and sink into his all-encompassing storytelling. THE PERFECT LOVER is one of Laurens’s early “Cynster” novels, recently recorded by Prebble, and it makes ideal comfort listening. The main character, Simon (okay, yes, two Simons), arrives at a Regency house party and is immediately intrigued by a longtime acquaintance, Portia. Prebble’s aloof yet dominant voice for Cynster embodies aristocratic arrogance without a smidge of overacting. (Important aside — I would really like that voice for the emergency alert system on the radio . . . and my GPS . . . and my voicemail.) Read more…

Caitlin is a librarian from Connecticut who enjoys great narrators and happy endings. She has been reviewing audiobooks for Audiofile Magazine since 2006, and she has had the privilege of judging numerous Audie Award categories since 2009. Her favorite authors are Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, and whatever she's listening to right now!

Reflecting on Remembrance Day through WWI Mysteries

Ian Rutledge, Bess Crawford, and Maisie Dobbs

The Gate Keeper

The Gate KeeperNovember 11, 2018, marks the 100th anniversary of the formal end of WWI, observed on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. Several years ago, while visiting Salisbury, England, on November 11, I personally experienced that moment when everything and everyone comes to a complete stop at 11 am to observe two minutes of silence to honor those who lost their lives fighting for their country.

To honor the 100th anniversary, I would like to call attention to several mystery series that are set during WWI and its aftermath. 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).

The Night a Classic Ghost Story Was Born

Robin Rounds Up Frankenstein

Frankenstein

FRANKENSTEIN was the result of a challenge among a group of friends to come up with a new ghost story. In 1816 on a holiday in Italy with friends, Percy Bysshe Shelley, his 18-year-old fiancee Mary, and Lord Byron shared stories, and Byron made the challenge. Mary Shelley’s resulting novel is still a catalyst for writers 200 years later. As an audiobook, the story of Frankenstein makes terrific listening—in both classic and newly imagined versions.

Frankenstein
Frankenstein
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.