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21 Must Read Hoopla Mystery and Thriller Audiobooks!

Jamie Canaves

Contributing Editor

Jamie Canavés is the Tailored Book Recommendations coordinator and Unusual Suspects mystery newsletter writer–in case you’re wondering what you do with a Liberal Arts degree. She’s never met a beach she didn’t like, always says yes to dessert, loves ‘80s nostalgia, all forms of entertainment, and can hold a conversation using only gifs. You can definitely talk books with her on Litsy and Goodreads. Depending on social media’s stability maybe also Twitter and Bluesky.

If you’re already a Hoopla user, jump on down to the list of 21 great mystery and thriller audiobooks you can find on Hoopla. If you’re going, “Hoopla, what?” It’s this fantastic library lending platform where you can check out ebooks, audiobooks, comics, movies, TV, and music. Check with your library to see if they use Hoopla—if so congrats, you can now check out their content and there are no holds and everyone has the same titles to choose from! If your library isn’t using Hoopla, you can always request they do. I’m obviously going to focus on the audiobooks for this list because I’m a huge audiobook listener and Hoopla has really stepped up their game recently in getting great mystery & thriller audiobooks. And no matter what your likes are under the crime genre I got you.

Use Hoopla? Curious about the service? Give these mystery and thriller audiobooks on Hoopla a shot. book lists | audiobooks | hoopla audiobooks | mystery audiobooks | thriller audiobooks | library services


The Unquiet Dead audiobook coverThe Unquiet Dead (Rachel Getty & Esa Khattak #1) by Ausma Zehanat Khan, Peter Ganim (Narrator)

The start of a fantastic Canadian procedural series, starring two detectives handling minority sensitive cases, that takes you around the world—Full review. (You can marathon four of the five books)

Raven Black audiobook coverRaven Black (Shetland Island #1) by Ann Cleeves, Gordon Griffin (narrator)

This is one of those satisfying from beginning to end murder mysteries where you get to know a handful of people in a remote area—Full review. (You can marathon six of the eight books.)

The Borrowed audiobook coverThe Borrowed by Chan Ho-Kei, Jeremy Tiang (Translation), P.J. Ochlan, Jeremy Tiang (Narrators)

This was a great read that I think will appeal to many types of mystery fans. You get an apprenticeship; a procedural; lots of good, different-from-each-other, twisty puzzle mysteries; and a historical look at social/political changes in Hong Kong—Full review.

Salvation of a Saint audiobook coverSalvation of A Saint (Detective Galileo #5) by Keigo Higashino, Alexander O. Smith (Translator), David Pittu (Narrator)

A great Japanese mystery—this one isn’t dark (like most I’ve read) but does have a puzzle mystery. A man is found dead in his home from poison. The obvious suspect would be his wife. The problem is, Ayane was out of town, making it rather impossible for her to have been the culprit—Full review. (You can marathon three of the books in  the series and don’t worry about them being out of order they weren’t even translated in order—I’ve read them all I promise they read as stand-alones.)

(Murder) Mystery

Fallen Mountains audiobook cover imageFallen Mountains by Kimi Cunningham Grant, James Patrick Cronin (Narrator)

I’m a sucker for small-town mysteries where the buried secrets are gonna rise, and this novel did all of that really well. It’s told in past and present while following a group of people in Fallen Mountains, Pennsylvania: Red, a widowed sheriff set to retire; Transom, Chase, and Laney, friends who grew up together; Possum, a once bullied kid now out of prison—Full review.

Spin by Lamar Giles audiobook coverSpin by Lamar Giles, Bahni Turpin, Shawana Carter, Sisi Aisha Johnson (Narrators)

If you haven’t read Giles’s novels yet you really should—he’s writing some fantastic teen characters in the crime genre. DJ ParSec, real name Paris Secord, is a 16-year-old up-and-coming DJ ready for fame and most importantly fortune—or was before she was murdered—Full review.

Far From You audiobook cover imageFar From You by Tess Sharpe

Sophie Winters’s best friend, Mina, was murdered in front of her. But Sophie is a recovering drug addict and the only witness, so no one believes her that it wasn’t a drug deal gone wrong. Tough, unrelenting, and sick of her family and friends not believing she’s no longer using drugs she decides to find Mina’s killer herself—Full review.

Before She Was Found audiobook cover imageBefore She Was Found by Heather Gudenkauf, Brittany Pressley (Narrator)

Twelve-year-old Cora Landry is found a bloody mess on the train tracks—instead of at home having a slumber party—with her friend covered in blood, and the third girl’s whereabouts unknown. As the parents, doctors, and police try to figure out what happened, the girls offer no help…—Full review.

True Crime

My Midnight Years audiobook cover imageMy Midnight Years: Surviving Jon Burge’s Police Torture Ring and Death Row by Ronald Kitchen, Prentice Onayemi (Narrator)

Highly recommend for fans of true crime memoirs and also nonfiction readers of our (in)justice system and racism—Full review.

I'll Be Gone In the Dark audiobook cover imageI’ll Be Gone In The Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer
by Michelle McNamara, Gabra Zackman, Gillian Flynn (Narrators)

The true crime sections show McNamara’s gift as a crime journalist and her incredible drive for justice rather than a need to obsess over a predator. The memoir chapters show McNamara’s gift as a writer, her honesty, and her beautiful ability to analyze herself and the past, seeing the things we all miss when we’re in the present. This is a terrifying and heartbreaking search for a serial killer that has gone far too long without capture—Full review.

You All Grow Up And Leave Me audiobook cover imageYou All Grow Up and Leave Me by Piper Weiss, Brittany Pressley (Narrator)

This is very much a memoir about a woman coming to terms with her teen years when she was a student of a fun, larger-than life tennis instructor who turned out to be a predator. If you don’t actually know the crime, or about Gary Wilensky, you don’t learn about what happened until the end of the book. Instead we see how easily a predator was able to teach the children of New York’s elite—Full review.

Cozy Mystery

Blanche on the Lam audiobook cover imageBlanche on the Lam (Blanche White #1) by Barbara Neely, Lisa Reneé Pitts (Narrator)

It is literally what the title states—Blanche White is on the lam! She’s a middle-aged African American housekeeper who, after some issues with an employer, ends up going on the lam. But soon she’s “employed” again as she pretends to be a white family’s housekeeper while she figures out her next move. Except, she picked the wrong family to pretend to be the housekeeper with…—Full review. (The first two books are available.)

Murder in G Major audibook cover imageMurder in G Major (Gethsemane Brown Mysteries #1) by Alexia Gordon, Jessica Carroll (Narrator)

An American musician finds herself in a small Irish town teaching music and solving murders—of course!—but she’s also gonna become friends with a ghost! (You can marathon all four books.)

Murder with Peacocks audiobook cover imageMurder With Peacocks (Meg Langslow, #1) by Donna Andrews, Bernadette Dunne (Narrator)

A zany and funny cozy that starts with a maid of honor to three weddings trying to solve a murder, of course—and possible poisoning, and accidents…Will she figure it out and will anyone make it down the aisle?!—Full review. (You can marathon 22 of the 26!)

Historical Mysteries

A Study in Scarlet Women audiobook cover imageA Study in Scarlet Women (Lady Sherlock #1) by Sherry Thomas, Kate Reading (Narrator)

An awesome, fun, kickass, and must-read gender-swapped Sherlock, done brilliantly—Full review. (You can marathon all three in the series so far.)

A Death of No Importance audiobook cover imageA Death of No Importance (Jane Prescott #1)  by Mariah Fredericks, Stephanie Willis (Narrator)

In 1910 New York, Jane Prescott, raised by a religious uncle with a home for rescued women, is a ladies’ maid for the rich who begins to investigate a murder out of concern for the possibility that she may know two people who may be suspected in the murder: her mistress, and a childhood friend who is now an anarchist—Full review.

 A Front Page Affair audiobook cover imageA Front Page Affair by Radha Vatsal, Justine Eyre (Narrator)

I adore Capability “Kitty” Weeks, a woman in New York in 1915 who is more than capable (heh) of solving crime—and being a journalist as she’d like—but she’s a woman in a time when women aren’t even allowed to vote—Full review. (Both books in the series are available.) 

Who Is Vera Kelly? audiobook cover imageWho Is Vera Kelly? by Rosalie Knecht, Elisabeth Rodgers (Narrator)

This reads like a literary novel that turns into an intense spy novel at the end, has a great character throughout, and is set against the backdrop of the months prior to the Argentine Revolution—Full review.

A Lady's Guide to Etiquette and Murder audiobook coverA Lady’s Guide to Etiquette and Murder (Countess of Harleigh Mystery #1) by Dianne Freeman, Sarah Zimmerman (Narrator)

A fun and entertaining recent start to a series about a young wealthy Victorian widow who finds being accused of murdering her husband will put a damper on the fun she’s having in life.

Psychological Thriller

Beautiful Bad audiobook cover imageBeautiful Bad by Annie Wardread, Xe Sands, Vivienne Leheny, Paul Fox (Narrators)

This opens up with a crime, a bloody kitchen, without revealing the who or why, and then mostly takes you back to two time periods before the reveal…Full review.

Under A Dark Sky audiobook cover imageUnder a Dark Sky by Lori Rader-Dayread, Tavia Gilbert (Narrator)

After a mix-up, Eden is staying in a house with a group of strangers (to her) who are friends (with each other from college), unable to drive back home. And then, of course, there’s a murder and everyone is a suspect! Eden is stuck as police try to figure out who had motive to kill as she watches her “roommates” secrets all start to come out, which forces even Eden’s secrets to escape…Full review.