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.
Rowling has created a rich world of complex characters engaged in complicated, dark, multi-layered plots. When read by Glenister, these audiobooks make for engaging listens, in spite of their length (LETHAL WHITE comes in at 22.5 hours!).
2016 was a good year for mystery/thriller audiobooks, as the 2016 Audiobook of the Year award went to Paula Hawkins’s THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN, read by Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey, and India Fisher. In addition, the 2016 Audie Award for Best Male Narrator went to Daniel Silva’s THE ENGLISH SPY, read by George Guidall.
In 2017, the Audies Mystery winner was Michael Connelly’s THE CROSSING, read by Titus Welliver. This book brings together former L.A. detective Harry Bosch with his half-brother, lawyer Mickey Haller. Welliver (who plays Bosch in the Amazon Prime series) has become the voice of Harry Bosch over the last several books in the series.
This brings us to 2018, when the Mystery Audie Award went to David Lagercrantz’s THE GIRL WHO TAKES AN EYE FOR AN EYE, read by Simon Vance, who has been the voice of the “Girl” series since the beginning of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy.
If those titles don’t keep you busy enough, go back to the 2014 Audies, which was again a rich year for mysteries and thrillers. The 2014 Mystery winner was David Rosenfelt’s UNLEASHED, Book 11 in the Andy Carpenter series, read by Grover Gardner. If you’re not familiar with this series, it’s worth checking out. Gardner plays smart-mouthed, reluctant New Jersey lawyer Andy Carpenter with just the right tone of sarcasm to make the listener laugh out loud.
In 2014, the winner in the Classic category was THE COMPLETE SHERLOCK HOLMES, also read by Simon Vance. For those familiar with my blog, you know I am a huge Simon Vance fan, and I found this to be a wonderful listen that brings together the classic stories with an outstanding narrator.
And finally, Donna Tartt’s suspenseful Dickensian novel THE GOLDFINCH, read by David Pittu, won the 2014 Audie Award for Literary Fiction.
That’s plenty of good listening to keep you busy during these long, dark winter months as we look forward to the 2019 Audies in March!