Are Your Ears Ready?

It’s summer. It’s road trip time. And thusly… time for audiobooks!

What will you be listening to on your vacation? I’ve been devouring audiobooks this spring on my many road trips. Here’s a few I enjoyed.

Girl on a Train – Paula Hawkins. I’ve mentioned this one before. Unreliable (possibly lying, possibly just drunk) protagonist who will make you want to stay sober and an expertly done narration with three actors for the three points of view. I figured it out but that didn’t spoil my enjoyment of this dark tale.

A Rule Against Murder – Louise Penny. My first mystery by the Canadian crime writer. I often choose audiobooks from writers I’m simply curious about. Penny is a bestseller in the English manor house mystery tradition. This one is set on a remote lake in Quebec where one of the rich but annoying family members is killed when a statue of the patriarch inexplicably falls off its pedestal. Yes, that’s really the plot but I don’t think you really read Penny for the plot. Full of intriguing characters but slow going.

Act of War – Brad Thor. Again, my first time with Thor. The exact opposite of Louise Penny on the crime fiction scale. A manly action tale of spies on the run. I picked up an abridged version (at a truck stop!) because I am a sucker for spy stories. A reminder to not buy abridged in the future.

Til Death Do Us Part – Kate White. A light, frothy mystery without much substance but it kept me awake in the car, which isn’t a small victory.

Before I Go to Sleep – S.J. Watson. This was my favorite audiobook of the last few months. A story of a London woman who has lost her entire memory, and loses the previous day every morning after she sleeps. She begins to keep a journal to write down what she’s learned about herself from the day before and who the man in her bed is (her husband reportedly). In a ‘Memento’ way she slowly regains her self, despite the dangers. I love this sort of psychological thriller.

Dietland – Sarai Walker. This started out with promise, a young, overweight writer who writes Dear Abby advice for a fashion magazine, pitched as Bridget Jones meets The Devil Wears Prada. But alas, that is not anywhere near the plot. This novel is a heavy-handed rant against the diet industry, fat-haters, and pornography not to mention rapists, the fashion industry, and men. There are, of course, many reasons to dislike all those industries and/or people. But there is not a single likable man in the story. Written by a PhD in gender studies, the story isn’t bad, but the telling of It is strident and unnecessarily graphic. At one point there was a seemingly endless list of numbered lipstick colors. I was shouting ‘stop’ in the ‘B’s and it went all the way through the alphabet, nearly 200 names. Probably not so bad in print but it gave me a headache in the car.

Dietland is not crime fiction. I chose the novel because my fellow Thalia Press writers and I have been writing a mystery together featuring a food blogger and an FBI agent on the trail of a killer taking revenge against TV chefs. She is similar to the character in Dietland, an overweight young woman who is humiliated and tired of her invisibility. But our novel is, we hope, funny and murderous and full of delicious food from sea to shining sea. Stay tuned for more on the Thalia mystery: Beat Slay Love: One Chef’s Hunger for Delicious Revenge, coming this fall.

And this just in

I have two new audiobooks! The Girl in the Empty Dress and PLAN X are now available from Audible and iTunes. I’ve got promo codes to give away and I’d love to give you one. You can get an audiobook free through with the code. I’ll send instructions with the code if your name is picked. Comment below or on my Facebook page at to win an audiobook worth $17.95 or $19.95. Both are unabridged.

Girl Audiobook- for web The Girl in the Empty Dress: US

The Girl in the Empty Dress: UK

narrated by Denice Stradling


• PLAN X: Australia


narrated by Tassoula E. Kokkoris

Leave a comment to win an audiobook!

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