If you're like me, one of the best ways to prepare for a trip is to immerse yourself in novels set in the destination. When it comes to a visit to England, there's nothing like a cozy mystery novel.
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Looking for a great, English mystery novel?
From the first time I read And Then There Were None in lower school, I haven't been able to stop searching for my next "favourite" English detective.
Being lawyers (or a recovering lawyer and now blogger, in my case), my husband and I read all day at work, but I also love books. I also find reading to be a great way to prepare for/get in the mood for a trip - no matter where we're going, I load up on books about the newest location. And, since we're always going to England, English mystery novels perform double duty for me!
That said, I'm 100% an audiobook aficionado (of course all the books I list below are available as "normal" books, as well). I love being able to take in a novel while doing other things - blogging, driving around, doing laundry, working off the pinot grigio at the gym...
Don't have an audible subscription yet? Visit Audible to sign-up and get two free audiobooks and start your free trial! Incidentally, if you're getting a major head start on the Christmas shopping, an Audible membership also makes a great gift for the auditory learner in your life!
Here's my round-up of the best cozy, English mystery audiobooks, that I've found, available on Audible!
Curious about great British TV shows?
Finding the perfect cozy mystery audiobook
With audiobooks, unlike "normal" books, finding the right fit is two-fold - you need both the perfect book and a very talented narrator. (If normal books are more your speed, don't forget to check out my best Books about England!)
The narrator can't go too over-the-top with the various characters' voices, must interpret the book in a way you like, and, generally, you have to be OK with them becoming the voice in your head for at least a few days! I'm happiest when I find a series that I can keep relying on - and don't worry, there are quite a few of those below!
Links below take you to the Amazon page for the books - just select "audiobook" to get the audiobook, rather than the physical book. Amazon's audiobooks are managed through Audible.
Best English Detective Books & Series
Originally written under a nom de plume, Robert Galbraith, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling was ultimately revealed to be the author of these phenomenal books. Like Harry Potter, the books start off well, but really pick up and build as time goes on. Lethal White, the 4th installment, tips the scales at over 22 gorgeous Audible hours, and the most recent release (September, 2020), Troubled Blood, is an incredible 31 hours of Robert Glenister. Looking for more Strike? Check out Books like Cormoran Strike.
No offense to the other narrators on this list, but veteran British actor Robert Glenister is by far my favorite audiobook narrator of all time. Excitingly, Glenister joined the cast of C.B. Strike, the TV adaptation of the novels, playing Jasper Chiswell, in Lethal White.
A small-town-Cotswolds mystery series, with a will-they-won’t-they between the two main characters, and read by Detective Chief Inspector Barnaby from Midsomer Murders, Neil Dudgeon. Need I say more...??
The books are comprised of three short stories a piece and come out fairly quickly (they aren’t all out yet in Audible format). So once you've burned through what's currently on Audible, keep an eye out for the new ones, once Dudgeon takes a break from filming Midsomer. Busy man!
Read by the famous sidekick from the iconic Poirot, Hugh Fraser, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd often tops the lists of best murder mysteries ever, which is saying something, as it was written by the Queen of Crime herself, Agatha Christie, author of more than 70 classic murder mysteries. Fraser actually has voiced a number of Christie's audiobooks, if this tickles your fancy!
This was a more recent discovery of mine. Read by Nathaniel Parker, yes, Inspector Lynley, it's a fun play on words, centering on the main character's move to Bunburry, the home of his deceased aunt, as he learns more about his family history and the inevitable demise of some villagers. Entrepreneur-turned-gentleman of leisure takes up the case!
And, even better - it's a series!
Ok, in fairness, this series is very much Scottish, not English, but it's British, so here we go!
Focusing on a photojournalist who unexpectedly inherits an up-and-coming Scottish distillery from her uncle, Abigail Logan heads up to The Highlands, only to find the distillery under siege and an unfriendly group of distillers who aren't happy about her arrival on the scene, the series doesn't disappoint, providing more than its fair share of cozy Scottish scenes, and a few Highland gentleman, along the way!
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Thank you! I'm super psyched to check these out!
Thank you so much! Let me know which ones you like best/ if you have any additions!
Ngaio Marsh is amazing, I love her novels and the mystery is always great!
Thank you!! I'm going to check them out!! x
these are all great I am going to give them all a try.
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