I listen to audiobooks on my drive to work every day and I have lots of favorites. Here is a list of some of them.
- Adrian McKinty’s Sean Duffy series. Gerard Doyle reads them with a wonderful Irish accent. The series takes place in the 1980s in Northern Ireland during the Troubles. They are exciting, informative, funny, and I keep wanting to get back in my car. The first one is Cold, Cold Ground.
- Spencer Quinn’s Bernie and Chet series. Chet is the narrator. He is a dog. Bernie Little, his owner, is a private eye in Arizona with a lot of personal problems. Chet often misses some key moments when he gets distracted. Did you say squirrel? The reader Jim Frangione really does a great job with Chet’s internal voice. Start with Dog Gone It.
- Alexander McCall Smith’s Precious Ramotswe (No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency) series. These books take place in Botswana and the reader, Lisette Lecat, brings it alive. I always want to visit after listening to one of these books.
- Louise Penny’s Three Pine series. The reader of the first ten books was Ralph Cosham (he has since died) and that is how I remember Armand Gamache’s voice. The new reader, Robert Bathurst, takes some getting used to. But the stories are still wonderful. Again, a place I want to visit. Start with Still Life.
- The Good House by Ann Leary. Hildy Good, a realtor, a townie and an alcoholic is the narrator of this story that follows several secrets in this small North Shore town. The reader, Mary Beth Hurt, really catches Hildy’s voice. You feel like you know her. This is being made into a movie with Meryl Streep as Hildy.
- Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series. I particularly enjoyed the Tiffany Aching set (which starts with The Wee Free Men), read by Stephen Briggs.
- Ivan Doig’s Montana series make wonderful audiobooks. His descriptions are lyrical. Try Work Song with reader Jonathan Hogan.
- One series I collect at home is Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey and Maturin books. This naval historical set takes place during the Napoleonic period. One of the book covers the great naval battles of the War of 1812 between the US and Britain. The reader, Patrick Tull, brings the characters to life. You understand the humor more in the audio than you do reading them yourself. Start with Master and Commander. There are several readers for this series and your favorite is apt to be the one you start with.
- Michael Connelly’s books have several readers. I’ve enjoyed all of them. He writes clearly enough that you can follow the plot as you drive.
- And, of course, the Harry Potter series. I like the Jim Dale versions, but others really like Stephen Fry, the British reader, but those aren’t available in our system.
Answers to last month’s quiz:
- Morse by Colin Dexter
- DCI Alan Banks by Peter Robinson
- Tess Monaghan by Laura Lippman
- Armand Gamache by Louise Penny
- Hamish Macbeth by MC Beaton
- Dismas Hardy by John Lescroart
- Alex Cooper and Mike Chapman by Linda Fairstein
- Walt Longmire by Craig Johnson
- Bernie Little by Spencer Quinn