7 Great Mysteries and Thrillers on Audio

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Kendra Winchester

Contributing Editor

Kendra Winchester is a Contributing Editor for Book Riot where she writes about audiobooks and disability literature. She is also the Founder of Read Appalachia, which celebrates Appalachian literature and writing. Previously, Kendra co-founded and served as Executive Director for Reading Women, a podcast that gained an international following over its six-season run. In her off hours, you can find her writing on her Substack, Winchester Ave, and posting photos of her Corgis on Instagram and Twitter @kdwinchester.

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I love a good mystery on audio. There’s something special about these stories that takes me back to listening to old-fashioned radio shows as a kid. From cozies to psychological thrillers, there’s something there for everyone! Here are a few of my favorite mystery and thriller audiobooks from the last few years.

The Golden Cage by Camilla Läckberg, Narrated by Ann Richardson

In this psychological thriller by international superstar author Camilla Läckberg, protagonist Faye discovers that her husband is having an affair, and their business falls apart. With so much of her life devastated, Faye swears to get revenge. Ann Richardson captures Faye’s brisk and intense perspective in so many subtle ways.

Blacktop Wasteland by S.A. Crosby, Narrated by Adam Lazarre-White

I’m always here for great southern literature, and when I heard of S.A. Crosby’s new thrilling novel, I knew I had to pick it up. Blacktop Wasteland focuses on Beauregard “Bug” Montage, who holds the reputation as the best getaway driver in Mississippi. But Bug leaves all that behind to start a new life on the straight and narrow. Of course, his previous life comes back to haunt him, and he finds himself drawn back into the life he thought he had left behind. Adam Lazarre-White’s performance is stellar, making me look up everything else he’s done.

Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley, Narrated by Isabella Star LaBlanc

Firekeeper’s Daughter burst onto the scene as a #1 New York Times Best Seller, and for good reason! Angeline Boulley’s debut novel is stunning. When a biracial Ojibwe girl witnesses a murder, she goes undercover. Is there any way she can ever return to the life she had before? Isabella Star LaBlanc, a Sisseton Wahpeton Dakota actor, performs the audiobook beautifully. So far, Firekeeper’s Daughter is the only audiobook she’s narrated so far, so I hope she performs more titles in the future!

The Unquiet Dead by Ausma Zehanat Khan, Narrated by Peter Ganim

Detective Esa Khattak and his partner Detective Rachel Getty begin looking into the death of a man who has fallen off a cliff. What first appears to be suicide is soon to discovered to be murder. As the duo continue looking into the man’s life, they start to realize that this man is not exactly who he claimed to be. I can only imagine how difficult this audiobook would be to narrate, but Peter Ganim performs the audiobook with intense feeling and emotional depth.

Death by Dumpling by Vivien Chien, Narrated by Cheryl May

Lana Lee caught her boyfriend with someone else and walked out of her job. Now she finds herself newly single and jobless, so she takes a job at her family’s Chinese Restaurant. When the restaurant’s property manager dies from an allergic reaction to a dumpling cooked at the restaurant, Lana becomes determined to find the murderer. Cheryl May is a delightful narrator, and I can’t wait to listen to her narrate the other books in this series.

The Cutting Season by Attica Locke, Narrated by Quincy Tyler Bernstine

The book world is buzzing with love for Attica Locke’s Bluebird, Bluebird, which I also love. But my favorite mystery of hers is The Cutting Season. Caren Gray manages a plantation, called Belle Vie, in modern day Louisiana. When a woman working in the sugar cane fields next door is found dead, an investigation gets underway. There are so many moving parts to this novel, but Attica Locke pulls them all together, creating a complex narrative of two murders separated by over one hundred years.

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson, Narrated by Kate Rudd

Stevie Bell arrives at Ellingham Academy ready to try to solve a cold case of the Academy’s founder’s missing wife and daughter. As she begins looking more into the case, she discovers new clues. But when someone is murdered on campus, her investigation takes on a new urgency. This audiobook had me hooked from the first two minutes. The overarching mystery spans three books, and I loved Kate Rudd’s performance for all three of the novels.