Playlisted Best Mystery Series: Listens That'll Take You Right to the Crime Scene From murder mysteries to private detective novels, these mystery series will have you sleuthing for the tiniest clues in the most unlikely places, all in standout audio format. By Jamie Canavés Mar 15, 2021 While a standalone mystery is great when you're in the mood for a one-and-done, sometimes you want to feed your craving with an entire mystery book series—knowing you’ll have a world and characters that you can keep coming back to while solving an unsolved mystery. And with audiobooks, you get the added bonus of sinking deeper into the world as it’s read and performed for you, so you'll feel like you're alonside detectives, ready to bust a case. Here are the best mystery book series in a range of genres, from procedural and PI to historical mysteries and thrillers. Trouble Is a Friend of Mine stop Trouble Is a Friend of Mine By Stephanie Tromly Narrated by Kathleen McInerney 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. Trouble seriesPhilip Digby ropes the new girl in town, Zoe Webster, into helping him find answers about his sister's disappearance. Hijinks, friendship, and possible crushing ensue. Listening to the audiobooks, all narrated by actress and award-winning narrator Kathleen McInerney, feels a lot like watching a season of Veronica Mars. (There are two more novels in this series, which is completed, at least for now: Trouble Makes a Comeback and Trouble Never Sleeps.) Truly Devious stop Truly Devious By Maureen Johnson Narrated by Kate Rudd 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. Truly Devious seriesIf you love mysteries, you’ll love Johnson's nod to the genre with this trilogy. Stevie Bell can’t wait to start school at the elite Ellingham Academy and get away from her family. Most importantly, she can't wait to put her crime-solving skills to work on the mystery of who kidnapped the school founder’s wife and daughter back in the ‘30s. Playing with past and present riddles, and filled with winks to the mystery genre, this is a fun trilogy to get lost in. It's perfectly brought to life by narrator Kate Rudd, who you may know from her narration of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars. The two other books completing this trilogy are The Vanishing Stair and The Hand on the Wall. A is for Alibi stop A is for Alibi By Sue Grafton Narrated by Mary Peiffer 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. Kinsey Millhone Mysteries seriesIf you like your PIs wise and armed with a smart mouth, please let me introduce you to one of the most popular PIs: Kinsey Millhone. Starting in the ‘80s in a fictional California town, we follow along in alphabetical order as the divorced ex-cop-turned-PI tackles all kinds of cases, from scammers all the way to murderers. Mary Peiffer and Broadway singer and actress Judy Kaye bring Millhone’s tough and sarcastic character to life. This completed series ended with author Sue Grafton passing away after writing volume Y; the family is respecting her wishes in not having anyone else write Z. The entire series is as follows: B is for Burglar, C is for Corpse, D is for Deadbeat, E is for Evidence, F is for Fugitive, G is for Gumshoe, H is for Homicide, I is for Innocent, J is for Judgement, K is for Killer, L is for Lawless, M is for Malice, N is for Noose, O is for Outlaw, P is for Peril, Q is for Quarry, R is for Ricochet, S is for Silence, T is for Trespass, U is for Undertow, V is for Vengeance, W is for Wasted, X, Y is for Yesterday. Unquiet Dead stop Unquiet Dead By Ausma Khan Narrated by Peter Ganim 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. Rachel Getty and Esa Khattak seriesTravel the world with Esa Khattak and Rachel Getty, Canadian detectives working for a department that handles minority-sensitive cases. This series is filled with great mysteries, fantastic characters, and a ton of heart, and it travels the world, shining a light on important social issues. The reason you should definitely go with the audio edition? Award-winning actor Peter Ganim’s deep, lovely voice. This recent series currently has four more novels: The Language of Secrets, Among the Ruins, A Dangerous Crossing, A Deadly Divide. Land of Shadows stop Land of Shadows By Rachel Howzell Hall Narrated by Je Nie Fleming 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. Detective Elouise Norton seriesFor fans of procedurals (especially TV detective shows) that focus first on the case and mystery but also give you enough private life scenes to really know the character, meet LA Homicide Detective Elouise “Lou” Norton. She has a cheating husband, a new partner at work, a sister who went missing in childhood, and case after case of criminals that need to be brought to justice. Smart and snarky, she's a character you’ll root for throughout the series, which has four entries so far: Skies of Ash, Trail of Echoes, and City of Saviors. In the Woods stop In the Woods By Tana French Narrated by Steven Crossley 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. Dublin Murder Squad seriesIf you’ve yet to discover the fantastic Tana French and her Dublin Murder Squad, today is your lucky day. This procedural series also read as a collection of standalones, as each book focuses on a different detective in the department. You get a deep dive into the department, the case at hand, and the detective's life and inner thoughts and turmoil. It’s an especially satifying listen if you’re looking to sink deep into a mystery. Each book changes the narrator, perfectly suited to bring a different detective to life. And the first two books were adapted into a Starz series entitled Dublin Murders. The series currently has five more entries: The Likeness, Faithful Place, Broken Harbor, The Secret Place, and The Trespasser. The Dime stop The Dime By Kathleen Kent Narrated by Cynthia Farrell 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. Detective Betty seriesBetty Rhyzyk has left behind her Brooklyn police detective days and moved to Dallas with her doctor girlfriend. She’s hard as nails, but haunted by her past and keeps talking to her dead uncle's ghost for advice. And good advice is something she really needs when her case goes so sideways that it ends up nowhere near what she began investigating. It’s an awesome and intense ride you won’t be able to pause. So far, this recent series has an equally thrilling sequel: The Burn. Bluebird, Bluebird stop Bluebird, Bluebird By Attica Locke Narrated by JD Jackson 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. Highway 59 seriesLocke is a gifted writer of both novels and screenplays. In this novel, she vividly brings to life East Texas and Darren Mathews, a Black Texas Ranger whose attempt to be a good samaritan gets him suspended. But that doesn’t stop him from needing to solve the murder of a white woman and black man in a small town where tensions are super high. Award-winning narrator JD Jackson’s beautiful, deep voice captures the character of Darren Matthews and East Texas. This entry into the series is followed by the sequel Heaven, My Home. Devil in a Blue Dress stop Devil in a Blue Dress By Walter Mosley Narrated by Michael Boatman 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. Easy Rawlins seriesWelcome to bestselling author Walter Mosley’s detective series that begins in the 1940s and progresses to modern times. The series follows Easy Rawlins: a Black WWII veteran, now PI, who starts by taking a job to locate a white femme fatale. Rawlins is a no-nonsense PI surrounded by great characters in a gritty series that is the definition of hard-boiled detective fiction. The audiobooks are mostly narrated by Spin City actor Michael Boatman, who perfectly voices the role. (Currently there are thirteen more books in the series: A Red Death, White Butterfly, Black Betty, A Little Yellow Dog, Gone Fishin’, Bad Boy Brawly Brown, Six Easy Pieces, Little Scarlet, Cinnamon Kiss, Blonde Faith, Little Green, Rose Gold, and Charcoal. The Last Place You Look stop The Last Place You Look By Kristen Lepionka Narrated by Allyson Ryan 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. The Roxane Weary Mysteries seriesIf you like down-on-their-luck PIs who actually work to get their lives turned around, you’ll love rooting for Weary, the Ohio PI who manages to end up solving cases even when she’s reluctant to get involved. With a dead father who was a police officer, and two ill-advised relationships, her personal life isn’t great, so she keeps focused by solving cases. This one is perfect for fans of twisty mysteries with thriller endings and narrators who are perfect at nailing dry humor and exhausted-by-life characters. So far, there are three more entries, with one releasing a year: What You Want To See, The Stories You Tell, and Once You Go This Far. The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra stop The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra By Vaseem Khan Narrated by Sartaj Garewal 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. A Baby Ganesh Agency Investigation seriesThis is a delightful and entertaining series that walks the line between cozy and crime with a quirky twist. Inspector Chopra retires from the police force, inherits a baby elephant, and becomes a PI solving important cases in India. Actors Sartaj Garewal and Madhav Sharma will transport you on a trip through India. The series currently has four more novels: The Perplexing Theft of the Jewel in the Crown, The Strange Disappearance of a Bollywood Star, Murder at the Grand Raj Palace, and Bad Day at the Vulture Club. Broken Places stop Broken Places By Tracy Clark Narrated by Shari Peele 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. Chicago Mysteries seriesAfter a traumatic work incident, police officer Cass Raines quits, manages an apartment building, and takes on cases as a PI. When her father figure, a priest, is murdered, she’ll stop at nothing to get answers. Raines is surrounded by great characters, including a breaks-the-mold nun, and Shari Peele narrates with a smooth voice that brings Raines's great heart and humor to life. So far, this listen has a sequel called Borrowed Time. A Study in Scarlet Women stop A Study in Scarlet Women By Sherry Thomas Narrated by Kate Reading 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. Lady Sherlock seriesA delightful reimagining of Sherlock Holmes, this series depicts Charlotte Holmes, a famed detective. Though she is recovering from a disgraceful incident, Holmes remains very practical and loves her desserts. If you’re a fan of mysteries, laughs, and women who charge forward regardless of society's rules, you’ll love this series. With the epic Wheel of Time series under her belt and multiple awards, narrator Kate Reading expertly brings Victorian society and Charlotte Holmes's antics to life. Currently there are four novels with the fifth releasing in fall of 2020: A Conspiracy in Belgravia; The Hollow of Fear; The Art of Theft; and Murder on Cold Street. A Rising Man stop A Rising Man By Abir Mukherjee Narrated by Malk Williams 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. Sam Wyndham seriesOpening in 1919, this clever mystery series is perfect for fans of procedurals and historical mysteries. Former Scotland Yard detective Sam Wyndham is now in charge of a new post in the British-ruled Calcutta police force. Wyndham was hoping to leave his troubles behind, but his PTSD and opium addiction have followed. Now he’s hoping to stay afloat while solving crimes and trying to navigate politics and racism. There are three more novels thus far: A Necessary Evil, Smoke and Ashes, and *Death in the East*. A Curious Beginning stop A Curious Beginning By Deanna Raybourn Narrated by Angele Masters 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. Veronica Speedwell Mysteries seriesIf you want adventure, fun, laughs, mysteries, family drama, and a will-they-or-won’t-they romantic subplot, this is your series. Veronica Speedwell is an adventurous lepidopterist in 1880s London who ends up paired up with a reclusive and grumpy natural historian, Stoker. The two embark on adventures as they travel, solving mysteries and trying to stay alive. Narrator Angele Masters fantastically brings Speedwell’s wit and spirit to life. And if you’re hooked, you’re in luck—there are four more novels in the series, which has been growing annually: A Perilous Undertaking, A Treacherous Curse, A Dangerous Collaboration, and A Murderous Relation. The Black Echo: Harry Bosch Series, Book 1 stop The Black Echo: Harry Bosch Series, Book 1 By Michael Connelly Narrated by Dick Hill 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. Harry Bosch seriesLAPD homicide detective Harry Bosch isn’t here for corruption or crime. But this Vietnam vet is exactly the hero LA needs in this gritty, dark crime procedural series. Marathon the audiobooks and watch the exciting Amazon adaptation starring Titus Welliver, who also narrates a special Audible edition of The Black Echo. So far this is a 22 book series: The Black Echo, The Black Ice, The Concrete Blonde, The Last Coyote, Trunk Music, Angels Flight, A Darkness More Than Night, City Of Bones, Lost Light, The Narrows, The Closers, Echo Park, The Overlook, Nine Dragons, The Drop, The Black Box, The Burning Room, The Crossing, The Wrong Side Of Goodbye, Two Kinds Of Truth, Dark Sacred Night, and The Night Fire. Special Circumstances stop Special Circumstances By Sheldon Siegel Narrated by Tim Campbell 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. Mike Daley/Rosie Fernandez Legal Thrillers seriesThis series is perfect for fans of cynical humor, legal thrillers, and unique characters. It isn’t every day we get to follow an ex-priest, past public defender, and now fired partner from a prominent law firm. So what’s he doing with his time? Trying to clear his former colleague from double murder charges, of course. With a deep, slightly gravelly voice, award-winning narrator Tim Campbell expertly navigates listeners through this high-energy courtroom drama. Currently there are 11 books in the series: *Incriminating Evidence, Criminal Intent, The Final Verdict, The Confession, Judgment Day, Perfect Alibi, Felony Murder Rule, Serve and Protect, Hot Shot, The Dreamer*. Still Life stop Still Life By Louise Penny Narrated by Ralph Cosham 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. Chief Inspector Gamache/Three Pines seriesWelcome to Three Pines, a rural village south of Montreal, where Chief Inspector of the Surêté du Québec, Armand Gamache, and his team investigate all types of crimes—usually murder. Gamache is thoughtful and kind, and surrounded by eccentric town residents as he solves case after case, making this a wonderful series to sink into. It isn’t fully cozy but never goes into the grim and dark details of grittier series. Ralph Cosham brought a rich portrayal of Gamache and residents to life for most of the series until his passing, when award-winning English actor Robert Bathurst took over narration. Currently, the series has 16 entries: *A Fatal Grace, The Cruelest Month, A Rule Against Murder, The Brutal Telling, Bury Your Dead, A Trick of the Light, The Beautiful Mystery, How the Light Gets In, The Long Way Home, The Long Way Home, The Nature of the Beast, A Great Reckoning, Glass Houses, Kingdom of the Blind, A Better Man, All the Devils Are Here*. Happy listening, mystery fans! Jamie Canavés is a Book Riot contributing editor and Tailored Book Recommendations coordinator. She writes the Unusual Suspects mystery newsletter, never says no to chocolate or ‘80s nostalgia, and can hold a conversation using only gifs. Recommended Looking for a Fright? 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