Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer
Audiobooks

20 Must-Listen Audio Mysteries

Emily Martin

Contributing Editor

Emily has a PhD in English from the University of Southern Mississippi, MS, and she has an MFA in Creative Writing from GCSU in Milledgeville, GA, home of Flannery O’Connor. She spends her free time reading, watching horror movies and musicals, cuddling cats, Instagramming pictures of cats, and blogging/podcasting about books with the ladies over at #BookSquadGoals (www.booksquadgoals.com). She can be reached at emily.ecm@gmail.com.

the audiobook edition of Treasure State by C.J. Box

#1 New York Times bestselling author C. J. Box's Treasure State finds Cassie Dewell in Montana on the trail of a con man. This audiobook is read by Christina Delaine.

Settle in, mystery mavens and amateur sleuths! If you love mysteries and you love fun audiobooks, then here are 20 audio mysteries for you that you just have to give a listen to.

I love listening to audiobooks across many genres, but one of my favorite types of genres to listen to? Mysteries, obviously. Mysteries just lend themselves so well to the audiobook form. The right narration ups the sense of suspense in the story and creates the perfect atmosphere for surprising twists and turns. Sometimes mystery audiobooks pull out a full cast of narrators to really bring the characters to life. Sometimes one dynamic narrator is all you need to create a story that will have you glued to your earbuds.

Quite a few of these books are newer titles, and some are older mysteries than are just impossible to get out of your head. Some of these stories are dark and creepy. Some are super cozy. Although each of the books on this list is different, the twenty audio mysteries on this list are all here for similar reasons: propulsive storylines, surprising twists and turns, unforgettable characters, and compelling narrators. If all of that sounds appealing to you, then check out these twenty must-listen audio mysteries.

cover of The Dying Day by Vaseem Khan

The Dying Day by Vaseem Khan

Set in Bombay in 1950, this novel follows Persis Wadia, the first female police detective in India, as she investigates the disappearance of the Bombay Royal Asiatic Society’s head curator and a priceless manuscript of Dante’s Divine Comedy. Persis’ investigation sends her down a path of unsolved murders, coded clues, and conspiracy.

the infirmary book cover

The Infirmary by LJ Ross

In the summer of 2014, a killer has been stalking the streets of Newcastle, and the whole city is panicked, especially after the officer in charge of the case turns up dead. Now it’s up to Detective Chief Inspector Ryan to take on the case and uncover the murderer. While the police in Northumbria CID still see him as an outsider, he’s going to need all the help he can get to solve this case.

The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell book cover

The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

After her 25th birthday, Libby Jones returns home to find the letter she’s been waiting for her whole life: the true identity of her birth parents. But opening up that letter, Libby discovers way more than she could have anticipated. She now knows who her parents are, but she’s also inherited their abandoned mansion on Cheyne Walk on the banks of the Thames in London. But something strange happened in that mansion 25 years ago. Police arrived to find three dead bodies, one baby happily cooing in her bed, and the rest of the children missing.

cover of The Cutting Season by Attica Locke

The Cutting Season by Attica Locke

Attica Locke’s The Cutting Season is a historical novel that includes not one but two mysteries to unravel. One involves a murder in Belle Vie, a historic plantation house in the heart of Louisiana’s Sugar Cane county. And the other involves a mystery from a hundred years earlier, when an enslaved person went missing from Belle Vie.

Hollywood Homicide book cover

Hollywood Homicide by Kellye Garrett

Dayna Anderson is just an actress looking to help her parents keep their house. She isn’t at all expecting to solve a murder. But after she witnesses a deadly hit-and-run and sees there’s a 15-grand reward for providing information, she jumps at the opportunity. And before she knows it, she gets wrapped up in the story of the victim’s life. Now it’s about more than money. She wants to solve the murder and avenge this poor woman’s death.

A Good Girl's Guide to Murder book cover

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

Everyone knows Sal Singh killed schoolgirl Andie Bell. The case was closed five years ago. But Pippa Fitz-Amobi isn’t so sure. So for her final year high school project, Pippa decides to get to the bottom of what really happy to Andie. She’s certain that Sal is innocent and the real killer is still out there. But the more she digs into the crime, the more she uncovers secrets that people in her town would rather keep hidden.

cover of The Conductors ; illustration of a young Black woman in old-fashioned dress holding a lantern

The Conductors by Nicole Glover

This mystery story is filled with magic and history. Set in the aftermath of the Civil War, this book follows Hetty Rhodes and her husband, Benjy, who were Conductors on the Underground Railroad. With the war now over, now the couple are channeling their skills into a new mission: investigating the crimes and murders that authorities would rather ignore. The sequel The Undertakers is also out now!

cover of The Secret Place by Tana French

The Secret Place by Tana French

Detective Stephen Moran has been waiting for his chance to join the Dublin Murder Squad. And that chance comes into his office when sixteen-year-old Holly Mackey shows up with a photo of a murdered boy with the caption “I KNOW WHO KILLED HIM.” One year ago, the boy was found dead at a girl’s boarding school, but the case was never solved. Now Stephen is reopening the case, investigating Holly’s group of friends and their connection to the murdered boy. The book alternates between the present investigation and the events that happened a year ago leading up to the murder.

all good people here book cover

All Good People Here by Ashley Flowers

Everyone in Wakarusa, Indiana remembers what happened 20 years ago, when the body of six-year-old January Jacobs was discovered in a ditch. Now Margot Davies, who was January’s neighbor and the same age as her, has moved away to become a journalist in the big city. But what happened to January remains in the back of her mind, especially because she feels like that could have been her and because the killer has never been brought to justice. So when she hears that five-year-old Natalie Clark from the next town over has gone missing, Margot feels like she has to find Natalie and solve January’s murder.

all that's left unsaid book cover

All That’s Left Unsaid by Tracey Lien

Ky Tran will never forgive herself for convincing her parents to let her brother Denny go out to celebrate his high school graduation with friends. That’s because that night Denny was brutally murdered in the Lucky 8 restaurant in the Sydney suburb of Cabramatta. Police are stumped by the murder. A dozen people were in the restaurant at the time, but everyone claims to have seen nothing. Desperate to find out what happened to her brother, Ky decides to track down the witnesses herself.

the lost kings book cover

The Lost Kings by Tyrell Johnson

Jeanie is living in England, drinking too much, sleeping with a married man, and trying her best to keep the past out of her mind. But it just won’t let her go. Twenty years ago, her father came home covered in blood, and the next day, he and Jeanie’s twin brother Jamie were gone. Now someone from her past has returned, claiming to have tracked down her father. Should Jeanie keep running from her past, or is it time for her to finally confront her father and find out what happened to her brother all those years ago?

wrong place wrong time book cover

Wrong Place Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister

This mystery novel is about a parent who finds herself in a terrible situation. One night, Jen Brotherhood witnesses her son Todd murder a man in the street. Soon, her teenage son is taken into custody. But then Jen wakes up the next morning, and it’s a day earlier, and the murder hasn’t happened yet. Now, Jen finds herself in a time loop, waking up a day earlier, a day before a murder. Now she’ll have to find out if there’s any way to prevent a murder before it happens.

marion lane and the midnight murder book cover

Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder by T.A. Willberg

In the secret tunnels beneath the heart of London, there is a mysterious group of detectives recruited for Miss Brickett’s Investigations & Inquiries. Marion Lane is a first-year Inquirer-in-training who finds herself drawn into a strange case. Late one night, a filing assistant for Miss Brickett’s received a letter warning her that something terrible was about to happen. But when she goes to investigate at the stroke of midnight, she is murdered by a killer she can’t see.

When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole book cover

When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole

Sydney Green was born and raised in Brooklyn, but she’s unsettled by the recent changes she’s seeing in her neighborhood. People she’s known all her life are disappearing, and all of these richer white people are moving in. Is Sydney Green being paranoid? Or maybe there really is a conspiracy to push people out of the neighborhood.

Book cover for A Deadly Inside Scoop

A Deadly Inside Scoop by Abby Collette

Bronwyn Crewse is a recent MBA graduate who has now taken over her family’s ice cream shop in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. Unfortunately, renovating the shop takes longer than expected, and Win ends up opening her shop just as the first snow is falling in the village. Needless to say, she doesn’t get many customers that first day. To make matters worse, later that day Win discovers the dead body of a man who had an old feud with the Crewse family. It doesn’t take long for the family to be implicated in the murder.

My Sweet Girl by Amanda Jayatissa book cover

My Sweet Girl by Amanda Jayatissa

Paloma was adopted from a Sri Lankan orphanage, and ever since then she has had the best that money could offer. But now that she’s thirty and newly cut off from her parent’s funds, she decides to sublet her San Francisco apartment to Arun, who has recently moved to the States from India. But when Arun discovers Paloma’s secret, something that might destroy everything she has built for herself in this country, she knows she has to get rid of him. Too bad she doesn’t get the chance. Before she gets the chance to talk to him, she finds Arun dead in a pool of blood. She flees the apartment, but the police find no body and no evidence that Arun ever existed.

cover image for The Bullet That Missed

The Bullet That Missed by Richard Osman

The Thursday Murder Club is made up of a group of unlikely friends who solve cold cases together. There most recent mystery is a decade-old cold case that becomes red hot when a new foe pays one of them a visit. Suddenly no one in the club feels safe. Will the gang be able to solve the case before the killer strikes again? This is the third in a series; to start at the beginning, pick up The Thursday Murder Club.

The Anatomy of Desire by L.R. Dorn

If you enjoy audiobooks that sound a little more like true crime podcasts (like Sadie by Courtney Summers), then check out this audio mystery. Cleo Ray is a glamorous influencer who’s invented a magnetic persona and created a life for herself in Los Angeles. Then one summer day, Cleo takes a canoe ride with a woman named Beck Alden. An hour later, Beck is found dead in the water and Cleo is nowhere to be found. Who was Beck? Was her murder an accident? And if Cleo is responsible for the woman’s death, why would she risk everything she’s built for herself to murder this person?

how to kill your best friend

How to Kill Your Best Friend by Lexie Elliott

Georgie, Lissa, and Bronwyn have been best friends since they met on the college swim team. But now, somehow Lissa, the strongest swimmer they know, has drowned. Could it possibly be an accident? Or is one of them secretly a murderer? As funeral guests gather at the fabulous island resort Lissa owned with her husband, nobody knows who to trust. And Lissa’s death was only the beginning.

The Murder Rule by Dervla McTiernan cover

The Murder Rule by Dervla McTiernan

We’re rounding out this list with the Dervla McTiernan’s latest, which is inspired by a true story. When Hannah Rokeby joins the Innocence Project at the University of Virginia, it seems like she’s there to help. But she has her sights set on one specific case: Michael Dandridge, who has served11 years in prison for the rape and murder of a young mother. Dandridge claims a confession was forced out of him, but Hannah will stop at nothing to stop his conviction from being overturned.

Twenty audiobooks not enough to get you through? We’ve got tons of other audiobook recommendations for you. For more mysteries, try these 8 audiobooks for Agatha Christie lovers. If full-cast audiobooks are your thing, then you’ll want to listen to these 10 new full-cast audiobooks. And if you want to just know more about why mysteries just make such good audiobooks, then read about why you should start with mysteries if you’re new to audiobooks.