Audiobook Renaissance

Instead of hot vax summer, I’ve been having hot audiobook summer.

(Doesn’t have the same ring, does it? And yet…)

For years and years, I was a devoted audiobook listening, dutifully moving the CDs from the boom box in the bathroom to my Discman (yikes, age!) to my car and back again. But after a while, that become… cumbersome, and I used to look at the length of some audiobooks (13 hours?! Forget it, that’ll take me forever!) and tap out.

And then… podcasts came along, and I never looked back. Podcasts are portable, short, snappy, and there are SO many to choose from, that I’ve become quite the devotee in recent years to my same stable of podcasts and podcast hosts.

But, on a longish road trip to a meeting this summer, I was just… OVER every podcast in my queue. And in a flash of inspiration, I thought, a ha! How about a light and fluffy audiobook?

And now, I’m hooked all over again, hence my “hot audiobook summer”.

I started easy with a Talia Hibbert romance… then dove into a couple of Jasmine Guillory romances, and then it was off to the races: romance! suspense! mystery!

So, without further ado, here’s what I’ve been *listening* to lately…


While Justice Sleeps by Stacey Abrams (yes, that Stacey Abrams!) was an audiobook listen for me, thus amping up the sense of urgency in this legal thriller that involves the Supreme Court, a justice that has slipped into a coma, and a very, very complicated international conspiracy – the unraveling of which depends on law clerk Avery Keene. This was complex, full of puzzles and twists and turns, and a great cast of characters that had me listening as much as I could to find out the ending! This is a lengthy read, but didn’t feel overinflated – once you get going, you get going!

Talk Bookish To Me by Kate Bromley was a nice little romance listen about a struggling author, an upcoming wedding, the one that got away, and is a classic “lovers to enemies to lovers” story. While not super memorable, this was a nice little romance, and was a pleasant listen.

Finlay Donovan is Killing It by Elle Cosimano was just a hoot and a half of a mystery novel. Finlay is on the struggle bus… as a mom, divorcee, and struggling mystery writer. When she is overheard discussing her latest murder mystery plot, she is mistaken for a contract killer, and things just go… shall we say, sideways from there. This was just fast, fun, and funny – I really enjoyed it!

Mother May I by Joshilyn Jackson‘s domestic suspense caught me from the start and never let up on the gas. Bree’s infant son is snatched in broad daylight – horrifying enough – but when the kidnapper asks for what seems a simple favor in return, Bree complies and it comes with a devastating effect, of course). From there, the race to find her son is on, and secrets from the past begin to surface… including why Bree was targeted. I found myself sneaking any minute I could just to keep listening to this propulsive tale!

Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica was a pleasant surprise. I find Kubica hit-and-miss, but this was a definite hit! A tight knit, affluent community has been hit by two disappearances – a young wife, and then a mother and her 6-year-old daughter. But when one of them returns… what’s the real truth behind the disappearances, and are they linked? I loved the pace and propulsion of this one, filled with compelling characters, red herrings, and a few “no way!” moments. A great, engaging listen.

Hostage by Clare Mackintosh was just…. whew! What a ride (literally)! The suspense, red herrings, and taught pacing of this suspense novel really shone on audiobook! Mina is a flight attendant on an inaugural London-to-Sydney nonstop flight… but when her family is threatened, will she cede to the demands of those who wish harm to those on board the flight? And WHY do they wish this harm on all aboard? This is a GREAT “locked room” suspense novel and I really enjoyed it, finding myself holding my breath over and over again.

The Disappearing Act by Catherine Steadman was just SUCH a great listen (not least by the fact Steadman narrated it herself, as an accomplished British actress)! I love a good Hollywood insider story, and this is a good one. Mia is in the US for “pilot season” from the UK, and right before an audition befriends Emily. After doing her a simple favor… Emily disappears. The plot gallops along from there, weaving in disappearance, subterfuge, a peek behind the Hollywood curtain, glamor and suspense. This was a super enjoyable listen!

The Invisible Husband of Frick Island by Colleen Oakley was just… so cozy and nice. 🙂 Piper and her husband live on tiny, barely inhabited Frick Island in the Chesapeake Bay… but when Tom dies on a boat trip, Piper carries on as though… Tom were still alive, and her neighbors go along with it. Mix in an ambitious journalist, some quirky townspeople, a remote location and a podcast, and you have the makings of a sweet romance novel.

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