Mystery Monday: Audiobook Round-up for Black History Month

In recognition of Black History Month, some audiobooks featuring African-American themes, protagonists and/or authors. What are some of YOUR favorites?

February is Black History Month in the United States. A time to celebrate the achievements and contributions of Black Americans. In recognition of the men and women who have played a central role in U.S. history–as well as the country’s future–I’ve put together a round-up of mystery and thriller audiobooks that have African-American themes, protagonists and/or authors.

Recent research indicates that when we read fiction, we’re able to identify with the characters, regardless of our similarities or differences, and ultimately improve our capacity for empathy. So take a look at today’s list and find a dynamic character to slip into with your next audiobook.

UNDERGROUND AIRLINES
by Ben H. Winters, read by William DeMerritt
Hachette Audio

underground-airlines

Ben H. Winters’ alternate history about a United States that never experienced Abraham Lincoln as its president, never had a Civil War and never completely abolished slavery is brilliantly narrated by William DeMeritt. DeMeritt’s efforts on this audiobook are being recognized with a 2017 Audie nomination for best male narrator.

DARKTOWN
by Thomas Mullen, read by André Holland
Simon & Schuster Audio

darktown

While Winters looked at a hypothetical world if history had been different, Thomas Mullen fictionalizes actual American history with the first black officers to serve on the Atlanta, Georgia, police force. André Holland also turns in an Audie-nomination-worthy performance for this powerful audiobook.

IQ
by Joe Ide, read by Sulllivan Jones
Hachette Audio

iq

Joe Ide delves into the world of a young, genius black man who takes on a Sherlock Holmes-type role in a tough Los Angeles neighborhood. Sullivan Jones gives voice to the myriad facets of this fascinating new character in crime fiction. Another 2017 Audie nominee, IQ is an all-around winner.

CHARCOAL JOE
by Walter Mosley, read by Michael Boatman
Random House Audio/Books on Tape

charcoal-joe

A list recognizing African-American crime fiction would never be complete without Walter Mosely and his beloved investigator, Easy Rawlins. Longtime series narrator, Michael Boatman brought this newest installment to life as Easy works to clear a black man accused of murdering a white man in 1960s Los Angeles. His efforts earned him a place on AudioFile’s Best Audiobooks of 2016 list.

PLEASANTVILLE
by Attica Locke, read by JD Jackson
Harper Audio/ Blackstone Audio

pleasantville

JD Jackson narrates Attica Locke’s second audiobook featuring her Houston lawyer protagonist, Jay Porter. PLEASANTVILLE delves into the issues confronting race in politics as Porter takes on a high-profile murder case. Locke was awarded the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction for PLEASANTVILLE.

This is just the tip of the iceberg in African-American crime fiction. Help us continue this list by sharing some of your favorites in the comments.

Browse more audiobook titles by authors WALTER MOSLEY, THOMAS MULLEN, BEN WINTERS, and ATTICA LOCKE

 

Mystery Monday: Thrilling releases for February

February is packed with great new mystery/thriller releases. Here’s a taste of what’s out in February. What audiobooks are YOU most looking forward to?

No matter your preferred sub-genre in the mystery/thriller realm, February has a slew of exciting new releases for us crime fiction audiobook junkies. I’ve rounded up a cross-section of these new releases to share, and I’d love to hear what you’re most excited about getting your ears on this month. Let’s take a look:

garden-of-lamentations

Deborah Crombie continues her Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James series  with installment number seventeen, GARDEN OF LAMENTATIONS (February 7, HarperAudio). Series fans will be delighted to investigate the suspicious deaths in a private garden in Notting Hill as read by Gerard Doyle, who has capably covered the previous four novels in this series.

racing-devil

Historical mystery lovers can head back to the early twentieth century with Charles Todd’s Inspector Rutledge in RACING THE DEVIL (February 7, HarperAudio). Simon Prebble, no stranger to the Rutledge series, once again gives voice as the Scotland Yard inspector investigates a strange automobile accident.

shimmering-road

For those who like a dash of paranormal with their crime, Hester Young follows up her amazing 2015 debut, THE GATES OF EVANGELINE, with THE SHIMMERING ROAD (February 14, Penguin Audio). The versatile January LaVoy  returns for this second installment in Charlotte Cates’ story as she receives more chilling messages from children in her dreams. But instead of a swamp in Louisiana, Charlie and her partner are headed across the border to Mexico. Read the AudioFile review here.

dime

Dipping her toes in the mystery waters is Kathleen Kent–best known for her historical novels. THE DIME (February 14, Hachette Audio), however, is set squarely in present-day Dallas with tough-as-nails police detective Betty Rhyzyk. She’s a New York transplant, and Dallas is going to put her to the test. Cynthia Farrell, who is no stranger to the female law enforcement protagonist, narrates.

death-of-ghost

On the cozier side of the mystery coin, M.C. Beaton is releasing the 33rd Hamish Macbeth mystery , DEATH OF A GHOST (February 21, Hachette Audio). If you’re new to this series, there’s plenty of backlist to keep you busy as you wait for the 34th title to come out on audiobook. Series regulars will be delighted to hear Graeme Malcolm  narrate as Hamish and Charlie spend the night in a castle to determine exactly what is haunting it.

This is just a snippet of the rich list of new mystery/thriller audiobooks releasing in February. There is certainly something for every crime fiction fan. Share with us in the comments the titles you’re most excited to hear this month!

Mystery: Her Nightly Embrace

Check out the Ravi PI series debut before the TV adaptation surfaces

Heroes star Sendhil Ramamurthy is making a large investment in Adi Tantimedh’s debut, HER NIGHTLY EMBRACE. Not only has he given voice to the character in this engaging and entertaining audiobook, he’s also provided the face of Tantimedh’s quirky private investigator, Ravi Chandra Singh, on the audiobook’s cover, AND he’s slated to play Ravi in the television adaptation. While the TV project is still in the adaptation stages, check out the Earphones Award-winning narration.

nightly-embraceHER NIGHTLY EMBRACE
Adi Tantimedh, read by Sendhil Ramamurthy
Simon & Schuster Audio

Read AudioFile’s full review and listen to a sound clip here.
Browse all of our newest mystery reviews to find your next great listen!