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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**Post updated August, 2019
I absolutely cannot get enough English murder mysteries, and now that Fall is just around the corner, I am loading up the phone with the coziest mysteries I can find! From the first time I read And Then There Were None in lower school, I haven't been able to put them down. That said, I'm 100% an audiobook aficionado. I love being able to take in a novel while doing other things - driving to work, doing laundry, working off the pinot grigio at the gym...
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Here's my round-up of the best ones available on audio:
Being lawyers (or a recovering lawyer, in my case), my husband and I read all day at work, but I also love books. Over the last several years, I’ve been so happy to have discovered audiobooks. I also find using books as a great way to prepare for a trip - no matter where we're going, I load up on books about the place. And, since we're always going to England, English mystery novels perform double duty for me!
With audiobooks, unlike "normal" books, finding the right fit is two-fold - you need both the perfect book and a very talented narrator. 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!
The Word is Murder - by Anthony Horowitz, read by Rory Kinnear The newest from Midsomer Murders alumnus and British crime author extraordinaire, Anthony Horowitz, The Word is Murder follows a fictionalized version of Horowitz as he becomes involved in the investigation of an up-market London murder. It's recently become a series, as well. The Sentence is Death premiered in early June! You'll recognize Rory Kinnear if you're any fan of British TV, in addition to James Bond.
The Strike novels, starting with Cuckoo’s Calling (series) - by Robert Galbraith, read by Robert Glenister 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, they 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.
Cherringham (series) by Matthew Costello and Neil Richards, read by Neil Dudgeon 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. The books are comprised of three short stories a piece and come out fairly quickly (they aren’t all out yet in Audible format). What more could we want?
Murder of Roger Ackroyd - by Agatha Christie, read by Hugh Fraser 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.
The Mousetrap Murders - by Helena Marchmount, read by Nathaniel Parker 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!
The Whiskey Business Mysteries - by Melinda Mullett, read by Gemma Dawson. Ok, so this 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!
The links above and 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.
Happy Listening! xx Don't forget to drop your "favourites" in the comments below - I'll add them to my list!
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