From Delia Owen’s debut to a murder mystery by Stuart Turton, The Duke And I by Julia Quinn, Richard Osman’s No1 and the late John le Carré’s masterpiece, the best audiobooks
Where The Crawdads Sing
Delia Owens Read by Cassandra Campbell, 12hrs 12mins
The debut novel of 71-year-old zoologist Delia Owens is a publishing phenomenon, dominating the audio bestseller lists for more than two years. It’s an atmospheric tale about a lonely outcast, Kya, who lives in the wild marshes of 北卡罗来纳 and becomes a suspect when a young man is murdered.
The haunting story is beautifully brought to life by audiobooks veteran Cassandra Campbell. Normal People’s Daisy Edgar-Jones will play Kya in the film adaptation.
The Seven Deaths Of Evelyn Hardcastle
Stuart Turton Read by Jot Davies, 16hrs 41mins
This prize-winning, mind-bending murder mystery – Agatha Christie meets Groundhog Day – is currently being adapted for the screen. Our narrator is condemned to keep repeating the same day until he solves a murder at a party.
And each day he’s in the body of a different character. It’s a complicated, tricksy story that requires close attention to pick up all the clues. Definitely not a background listen.
The Duke And I
Julia Quinn Read by Rosalyn Landor, 12hrs 9mins
Netflix’s Christmas hit, 布里奇顿, was an adaptation of this, the first novel in a series of eight bestsellers about the lives and loves of the aristocratic Bridgerton family in Regency London.
Daphne Bridgerton embarks on a fake courtship with the Duke of Hastings – what could possibly go wrong? Author Julia Quinn is a dedicated Jane Austen fan but this is far, far racier than Pride And Prejudice.
Rosalyn Landor is the voice of scores of audiobooks and has won awards for her narrations.
The Thursday Murder Club
Richard Osman Read by Lesley Manville, 12hrs 25mins
Pointless co-host Richard Osman’s debut novel was the Christmas No 1, selling twice as many copies as Barack Obama’s memoir in second place. And having the great Lesley Manville narrate the story of four elderly friends in a retirement village who meet up once a week to investigate unsolved murders was a stroke of genius.
This is a warm-hearted, funny delight. Osman has signed a deal to write two follow-ups, and Steven Spielberg has bought the film rights.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
John le Carré Read by Michael Jayston, 12hrs 48mins
Le Carré, who died last month, was the master of the literary espionage novel and many regard this as his masterpiece. British intelligence officer George Smiley comes out of retirement to root out a mole.
The two screen versions of Tinker, one starring Alec Guinness, the other Gary Oldman, were well received but Michael Jayston has great range and skill, and after listening to this it’s impossible to imagine le Carré’s tales told in anyone else’s voice.