Summer is a great time to soak up the sun—and to dive into a new mystery audiobook. AudioFile’s Editors recommend five thrilling new listens, performed by skilled narrators who bring out all the emotions and excitement these mysteries need. Read on to discover a new historical mystery set in Austen’s world and more tense tales from favorite authors that will make perfect beach listens.
Narrator Adam Lazarre-White draws listeners into the thought-provoking story of Titus Crowne, the first Black sheriff in the small Virginia county of Charon. As listeners enter Titus’s world, he is faced with a shooter at the high school, a neo-Confederate group on the march, and a serial killer terrifying the town. Lazarre-White delivers reflections on family, grief, and faith with genuine introspection and without distracting from the tense plotlines. This is a gripping, timely tale—beautifully told.
Jeremy Bobb provides an exceptional narration of Smith’s latest Arkady Renko procedural. Detective Renko, who originally appeared in Gorky Park, is tasked with finding a missing woman who may have been persecuted for her anti-government political stance. The action occurs against the backdrop of Putin’s aggressive moves toward Ukraine, giving a tone of real-time urgency to the proceedings. Bobb’s performance embraces the audiobook’s noir tone, providing a weathered, world-weary pacing to the proceedings while deftly handling the various Russian accents.
In this smart, intricate mystery audiobook, a contemporary music historian is hired to prepare a lost symphonic score by a celebrated 1920s jazz composer for its first public performance in a century. Narrator Chanté McCormick lends an edge to the voices of the historian and his tech-savvy partner, who discover that the famous white male composer may have had an uncredited partner who was gifted, female, and Black.
From Billie Fulford-Brown’s first words, Jane Austen’s world bursts into life. Jonathan Darcy, son of Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth Darcy (Pride and Prejudice), and Juliet Tilney, daughter of Henry and Catherine Tilney (Northanger Abbey), find themselves guests at a house party. Fulford-Brown perfectly sets the period with her beautiful, precise diction and sparkling intonations. When Mrs. Willoughby is poisoned, John and Juliet are on the case. Listeners will enjoy revisiting Gray’s world first introduced in The Death of Mr. Wickham. Scintillating dialogue, superb plotting, and a wonderfully engaging performance—who could ask for more?
Two narrators prove twice as nice in this engaging audiobook from a thriller titan. Lisa Flanagan does the heavy lifting, smoothly portraying the female characters, notably Mickey Gibson, a single mom and detective turned asset retriever; and Clarisse, a con artist who tricks Mickey into investigating the murder of a reclusive businessman. Corey Carthew voices a multitude of male characters whom Mickey and Clarisse interact with while solving this case. Flanagan and Carthew work together seamlessly to ratchet up the tension. The result is a thrill ride for listeners.