In my look back at the year of mystery audiobooks in 2022, I came across several outstanding Earphones Award-winning audiobooks that I had missed. So, before 2022 becomes a distant memory, I wanted to share the following recommendations. They cover a number of sub-genres and settings, so there's something for everyone.
DARK MUSIC by David Lagercrantz and translated by Ian Giles is performed by Golden Voice Simon Vance. Scandi-noir fans will recognize Lagercrantz as the legacy author of Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series, also all performed by Simon Vance. Listeners will be entertained by the Sherlock Holmes inspired lead characters. Professor Hans Rekke, a brilliant observer of facts and logic and an authority on interrogation techniques, teams up with his modern-day Watson. In this case, Watson is a street-smart Stockholm police officer, Micaela Vargas, the daughter of Chilean political refugees. Vance brings his amazing talents with accents to convey characters of many nationalities. For those who have been entranced by the recent World Cup series, the focus here on the murder of a “footballer” (soccer player) will be an added bonus.
For something a little closer to home, we have IMPOSTER by Bradeigh Godfrey, read by Eileen Stevens and Brittany Pressley. The story is of two sisters, Lilian and Rosie, once very close but torn apart by the tragic death of their parents. Just as they are on the verge of reconnecting, a car accident leaves Rosie with a brain injury. In this audiobook the sisters are each performed by their own narrators: Stevens voices Lilian and Pressley takes on Rosie. The result is an intense, engaging experience, as listeners are drawn into the secrets that haunt the family.
On the lighter side, we have KILLERS OF A CERTAIN AGE by Deanna Raybourn, read by Jane Oppenheimer and Christina Delaine. As people of a certain age are tilting the buying, reading, and listening market, it’s no surprise that we are seeing more audiobooks featuring folks in this age group—not as victims or dottering, annoying nosy neighbors, but as the heroes and heroines. We are introduced to four women who are attempting to retire from their careers as assassins but now find themselves to be targets. The result is a fun roller-coaster of a listen. Another recent example of this sub-genre is the Thursday Murder Club Series by Richard Osman. The third book in the series, THE BULLET THAT MISSED, is an AudioFile Best Audiobook of 2022.
Now that I have binge-watched Three Pines, the Amazon Prime adaptation of Louise Penny’s Armand Gamache series, I am drawn to listen to the audiobooks. The latest, A WORLD OF CURIOSITIES (Book 18), is performed by British actor Robert Bathurst (who I still think of as the cad that dumped Edith at the altar on Downton Abbey!). Fans of the series will welcome the opportunity to visit the village of Three Pines and all of its quirky characters.
Looking ahead to 2023—we have new installments of some of our favorite series:
Finlay Donovan reappears with FINLAY DONOVAN JUMPS THE GUN (Book 3) by Elle Cosimano, read by Angela Dawes. Fans can look forward to this new audiobook in the fun, smart, entertaining series.
Fans of Alex Delaware will get to return to his world with UNNATURAL HISTORY (Book 38) by Jonathan Kellerman, with John Rubinstein returning to narrate.
And in April, John Sandford’s second entry in the Letty Davenport series, DARK ANGEL, is scheduled for release, narrated by Robert Petfkoff.
Anticipating and wishing you great listening in 2023!