Many avid readers across the globe consider as well as claim detective stories to be mediums to escape from reality. There is more reason as to why people read or listen to the detective stories, the answer is that some remarkable people are great with deductions and retroduction curate them. So far, the brilliant minds that curate the stories make the detective audiobooks the best audiobooks in the world.
Best mystery audiobooks induce, never-ending excitement, knowing the end of the story, imagining a murder scene, the inevitable defeat of the evil. The anticipation to know about the climactic victory makes the listening to mystery audiobooks insatiable.
Why do people still look for mystery audiobooks?
Detective and mystery fiction is the most sought out by listeners across the world, due to the following reasons:
- Detective fiction like Sherlock Holmes is quite accessible to both readers and listeners. The texts are easily readable. Most mystery fiction is straightforward, they are well-spoken, and also have an even tone. Truthfully, this type of literary work is easier to hear and read as compared to others.
- The text’s structure allows listeners as well as readers to access the detection, transgression, and resolutive formula. The narrative doesn’t digress from the premise and the central plot. This makes sure that the literary work’s primary focus should be on detective fiction. Further, this doesn’t make the narrative go bizarre.
- Mystery audiobooks have the conventional “medium of exchange further opposing readerly element. Detective fiction breaks the solidarity allowing readers to provide an opportunity in figuring out crime as seamlessly as possible.
However, these are the only reasons why people listen to detective or mystery audiobooks. Let me ask you a question? Do you love puzzles? Yes, people love all kinds of puzzles. Well, people who love puzzles are generally into detective and mystery fiction. The truth is human’s psyche is complex. Everyone is in a pursuit to explore and identify themselves. This may also be the reason why it is difficult to understand why some people do things that they do give that it is weird for everyone else.
Mysteries have always been a part of who we are. We are enigmatic in our ways. Maybe this is the reason why we love a bit of mystery story ourselves. We’ve picked up some of the best mystery audiobooks for you, check them out!
10 best mystery audiobooks for people wishing to be like Sherlock:
- The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920)
The Mysterious Affair at Styles was the first-ever novel by Agatha Christie, the celebrated British writer. It was written during the middle of the first World War and was published later sometime in October 1920. The novel introduced one of the celebrated fictional detectives in the world, Hercule Poirot, who used his sharp detective skills for solving the mystery. The fame that Agatha Christie received from her first book shaped her career as a writer. As it was the first novel featuring Poirot, Christie didn’t seem to master sheer cleverness, yet she did give a satisfying ending making the book well-received by both critics and audience alike.
The audiobook of The Mysterious Affair at Styles also has the missing chapter. Listeners will also hear commentary from John Curran, a notable Christie expert. The listeners will uncover the poisoning of Emily Inglethorp alongside the escape of the murderer.
The audio novel has impeccable timing which made Christie’s debut unforgettable.
- The Big Sleep (1939)
Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep features a breathtaking hardboiled crime. The novel is the first-ever book to feature Philip Marlowe as a detective. The crucial aspect of the audiobook is its complexity, and characters involved in double-crossing each other. As the narrative continues, the listeners will get to know the truth piece by piece. The title of the audiobook suggests a euphemism related to death. In the final pages of the audiobook, the listeners will understand the basics of sleeping the grand, big sleep.
In 1999, The Big Sleep was listed 96th in Le Monde’s 100 Books of the Century. Later in 2005, The Big Sleep found itself to be among 100 Best Novels by Time Magazine. The Big Sleep is an example for cannibalizing; meaning, the short stories are taken from Chandler’s previous work and are later turned into coherent novels.
The Big Sleep is adapted into films a couple of times i.e., 1946 and 1978.
- Strong Poison (1930)
Strong Poison is a mystery novel featuring Lord Peter Wimsey for the fifth time. In addition to this, this is the first novel by Dorothy L. Sayers that showcases the debut of Harriet Vane for the first time. The novel opens with Harriet Vane on a murder trial of her ex Philip Boyes. According to Taylor and Barzun, the novel is regarded as the epitome of masterpieces. As listed among the best mystery audiobooks Strong Poison has the best suspense and mystery element.
The listeners will get to know about the enigma, clues, and free-love doubt. The narration of both the novel and the audiobook could not be perfected. The most genius part of the audiobook is its sombre opening. The judge in Strong Poison opens the monologue by commenting on how to prepare an omelette.
The novel has been adapted for a 1987 BBC TV Series with Edward Petherbridge and Harriet Walter.
- A Study in Scarlet (1887)
If you curate a list of Best Mystery Audiobooks and you leave out Sherlock Holmes, you are inhuman. Well, we don’t know that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes series is a classic franchise. Holmes, residing in 221B Baker Street is the greatest PI ever lived. He is great at forensic science, has impeccable deduction skills, alongside extensive medical knowledge. The listeners who aren’t aware of the history of Sherlock are in for a treat. A Study of Scarlet is the first-ever work of Sir Arthur to showcase Sherlock Holmes.
Moreover, A Study of Scarlet is the first-ever book to feature magnifying glass to be an investigative tool. The listeners will be hearing the story through Watson’s perspective. This induces the readers that A Study in Scarlet more than a work of fiction.
Most of Sherlock Holmes’ important and celebrated plots are filmed. However, Steven Moffat and Mark Gattis’ Sherlock is one of the best adaptations so far.
- Bleak House (1852-1853)
Bleak House proved to the literary world that Charles Dickens that he can write anything and they will all be brilliant. With Bleak House, Charles Dickens did establish a reputation as a mature and serious novelist. Listeners will uncover several characters that are in the novel. Further, the novel did end up supporting the judicial reform movement during the 1870s.
Listeners will hear the audiobook in both first-person and third-person narrative. Bleak House also showcases the ideal nature of feminine during the Victorian Era. Back in the old English Empire, the novel focused on some of the controversial elements. Some of the literary critics in the world like Gissing and Chesterton consider Bleak House as the best novel by Charles Dickens. According to Stephen King, Bleak House is among his top-10 favourite novels.
Bleak House’s Inspector Bucket is the first-ever “proper” detective(fiction) in the world.
- Northanger Abbey (1817)
Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey is a satire coming-of-the-age gothic novel. Sadly, Austen didn’t live longer to see the success Northanger Abbey had become. The novel was completed in 1803, and it’s first among Austen’s novels as per complete order. The plot revolves around a heroine, Catherine Morland who is young & naive. Morland journeys to understand her existence and her surroundings.
The listeners will find a pleasure-seeking, boy-chasing 17-year-old protagonist who becomes a heroine-in-training. Northanger Abbey is one of the brilliant works of Jane Austen. Moreover, Austen does a marvellous job of making a girl grow into a detective. Generally, women in novels are put into the crosshair of villains. However, here Miss Morland does her best to find the mystery lurking around her. You need to hear Northanger Abbey in audiobook, to enjoy its core-storytelling.
Northanger Abbey draws heavy inspiration from Gothic stories. Yet, it is unique by all means.
- The Moonstone (1868)
The 19th Century epistolary British novel, The Moonstone is one of the early examples of detective novels. Written by Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone laid down the foundation alongside ground rule for modern-day detective literature. According to T.S. Eliot, The Moonstone is the first, longest and modern-day detective novels curated by Collins. It was the best in its time. Additionally, Dorothy L. Sayer praised the premise. She added The Moonstone to be finest among all detective stories.
The Moonstone introduced several elements which further became essential attributes for the 20th-century detective novels. Listeners are going to fall into love with the multi-narrative medium. The writings in the novels came from the personal experience of the writer.
The Moonstone for best sellers for four consecutive years.
- The Maltese Falcon (1930)
Written by Dashiell Hammett, The Maltese Falcon is a celebrated detective novel. The narrative of the novel is done in the third person, externally. There are no descriptions of any of the novels’ characters or feelings or thoughts. The only thing the listeners will get to know is the way they look and their actions.
In The Maltese Falcon, Sam Spade ends up working for Miss Wonderley. He is tasked to find Wonderley’s sister who is eloped at the beginning. Spade becomes both the hunter as well as the hunted. In the race against time Spade looks for the treasure which led to many deaths. However, there is a deadline. Spade has to find the treasure before the antagonist, Fat Man searches for him.
Master Falcon is an enduring epitome of American fiction.
- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2005/2008)
The Swedish language masterpiece from Steig Larsson is an international bestseller. Larsson made numerous references to the core of Swedish society. He addresses the prevailing violence against women, the act of cowardice, incompetence of investigative journalists. The audiobook addresses all the modern-day struggles that happen across Sweden. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo also profoundly addressed moral and financial corruptibility. Given that the American critics gave The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo mixed review, it opened at #4 in NY Times’ Best Seller list.
The intrigued mystery at the heart of the audiobook will shock the listeners. The well-woven, compelling tale will transcend listeners to Sweden’s rural areas.
By 2010, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has already sold more than 30M copies.
- And Then There Were None (1939)
The novel has the most impossible and most fantastically fulfilling stories. Agatha Christie revealed that it is very tough for her to pen down the premise of the acclaimed novel. By the looks of it, And Then There Were None is adapted into a 3-Episode BBC TV Series of the same name. And boy, does it leave a mark on your mind! The minstrel song, Ten Little Niggers act as a significant plot point in the novel.
Hearing it as an audiobook would do justice to Agatha Christie’s masterpiece. And Then There Were None is the world’s #1 mystery novel. It is also regarded among the best-selling novels across the world. So far, the novel has sold more than 100M copies.
The ingenious plot as well as the surprising ending is meant to be heard as an audiobook.
Mystery audiobooks do not have a cozy or satisfying plot. They are brilliantly vague, and addictive. Once you start with one of the mystery audiobooks, you won’t rest until you complete it. One of the core elements of mystery audiobooks is that the listeners have to be observant, use their brains to uncover the conclusion.
Indeed, the detective stories have reportedly changed over the years. Yet, the fan following of Hercule Poirot and Sherlock Holmes has never been declined. These characters have become immortal due to the literary pieces that the authors have provided. You can find most of the mystery audiobooks available abundantly. The detective stories might not have the best conclusions; however, they do provide some plausible and explicable endings that almost makes readers go gaga.
After careful research and observation, we list these audiobooks as the best mystery audiobooks of all time. All of these stories have unique plots and definitive endings, almost bizarre and unfathomable. However, these unexpected endings make these audiobooks stand apart.
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