Podcast and Audiobook suggestions, please!
June 15, 2021 10:51 AM   Subscribe

I am about to drive 14 hours from VA to FL and need podcast and audiobook recommendations! I like mysteries, true crime, and absolutely hate podcasts that consist of hosts chatting a ton (think My Favorite Murder). More details on what I’ve liked in the past inside.

The last time I did this drive I made my way through most of Liane Moriarty’s oeuvre, as well as some Agatha Christie. These were perfect!

For podcasts, I really like Radiolab, Invisibilia, loved Death in Ice Valley, the first season of Serial, and Dirty John.

Note that I’ve done this drive many times and have got that aspect covered in terms of car maintenance, triple A membership, I am the opposite of a hero and stop if I’m tired, etc etc. Just looking for ways to entertain myself along the way. Many thanks in advance!
posted by nancynickerson to Media & Arts (26 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
Dr. Death podcast (I’ve only heard the first season)
posted by dianeF at 11:00 AM on June 15, 2021 [3 favorites]

Swindled is my all-time favorite podcast and Casefile is a close second.
posted by mezzanayne at 11:13 AM on June 15, 2021 [1 favorite]

Seconding Dr Death.

You might also like Offshore Season 1, which is a podcast about murders in Hawaii with racial elements.

One crime audiobook I really liked was The Innocent Man by John Grisham, which is actually a nonficiton story of someone being falsely convicted for murder.
posted by catquas at 11:23 AM on June 15, 2021

dang, I was going to say the audiobook for "big little lies" but it sounds like you've done that one!

here's some random audiobooks I've enjoyed a lot (caution, i'm not too picky, if the reader is good, I can get into some pretty dumb books)

"Such a Fun Age" by Kiley Reid was a great audiobook.

I just recently listened to the first two "maisie dobbs" mysteries which were pleasant.

Perfect Little Children by Sophie Hannah

The Round House by Louise Erdrich

There There by Tommy Orange

I'm always a bit loathe to recommend it, but if you're into this kind of pulpy gore mystery and if you don't mind some pretty intense violence against women, I liked the audiobook for Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter!
posted by euphoria066 at 11:27 AM on June 15, 2021

If you liked Death in Ice Valley, I'd recommend Where Is George Gibney? and The Nobody Zone. Bonus points for both if you like an Irish accent :)
posted by snusmumrik at 11:37 AM on June 15, 2021

Best answer: BBC: The Lazarus Heist: " “Almost a perfect crime.” The hacking ring and an attempt to steal a billion dollars. Investigators blame North Korea. Pyongyang denies involvement. The story begins in Hollywood."

Wondery: The Vaping Fix: "Two young Silicon Valley entrepreneurs set out to rid the world of smoking with an incredible new product. The device stands to disrupt the tobacco industry and make them rich, until it falls into the wrong hands and lives are ruined. From classrooms to hospitals, boardrooms to the Oval Office, what can be done to protect teenagers and is it too late?"

WitnessDocs: Verified Season 2: Dust-up: "Host Natasha Del Toro and the Verified team [investigate] whether a group of women developed ovarian cancer from dusting their bodies with Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder—an iconic brand associated with innocence and comfort since the 1800s. One woman's mysterious illness snowballs into thousands of court cases, claiming that baby powder is to blame for their cancer."

WitnessDocs: The Dream : "In Season 2 we look at a world just as shady and mysterious as MLMs, but one whose promises are at times even more bombastic and unfathomable: WELLNESS. What is it? Who sells it? And will it bring you eternal happiness... and, perhaps, eternal life?" Season 1 is about multi-level marketing and also good.

CBC: "Missing and Murdered":
Season 1: Who killed Alberta Williams? "In 1989, 24-year-old Alberta Williams was found dead along the Highway of Tears near Prince Rupert, B.C. Police never caught her killer. Twenty-seven years later, her unsolved murder continues to haunt her family — and the retired cop who says he knows who did it."
Season 2: Where is Cleo?: "Taken by child welfare workers in the 1970’s and adopted in the U.S., the young Cree girl’s family believes she was raped and murdered while hitchhiking back home to Saskatchewan. CBC news investigative reporter Connie Walker joins the search to find out what really happened to Cleo." (I have only listened to the first season so far.)
posted by amf at 11:38 AM on June 15, 2021

Seconding Swindled! Other good true crime: Criminal with Phoebe Judge; Tom Brown's Body; White Silence from RNZ.

If audio drama appeals to you at all, there are 4 seasons of the White Vault you can listen to (final season comes out this October). It's a slow-burn horror podcast. The Left/Right Game has some great acting and sound design.
posted by orrnyereg at 11:40 AM on June 15, 2021 [1 favorite]

Also! Two podcasts from The Australian newspaper: Teacher's Pet and Who the hell is Hamish?
posted by orrnyereg at 11:42 AM on June 15, 2021

Best answer: The Guest List by Lucy Foley is a good audiobook, a closed-island mystery where each narrator has a different voice actor. It's modern but in the vein of Agatha Christie, and you will likely figure out some of who did it/what's actually happened by the reveal, but it was a good listen.

The podcast Phoebe Reads a Mystery is the host of Criminal (also a podcast but I've never listened to it) reading out public domain mystery (mostly) novels over the past year. Some books are better than others - I would recommend Dracula and the Moonstone in particular.
posted by phlox at 11:44 AM on June 15, 2021


I found this audiobook well voiced (by different actors even!) And 8/10 writing. Definitely worth trying for a drive, especially if you like Harry Potter fan fiction already.
posted by bbqturtle at 11:58 AM on June 15, 2021

Best answer: All the seasons of You Must Remember This are fantastic, but I really recommend the combo of "The Blacklist" from a couple years ago and the current "Gossip Girls" season (which intersects with the HUAC era) for a timely combo.

And my go-to recommendation every time is Ghosts In The Burbs. Start at the beginning.
posted by Lyn Never at 12:10 PM on June 15, 2021 [2 favorites]

Canadaland's Thunder Bay series may be of interest.
posted by Jessica Savitch's Coke Spoon at 12:27 PM on June 15, 2021

Best answer: Chameleon is the craziest true story I've ever heard on a podcast. Don't Google it! It's still unfolding in real time. My favorite podcast of the last year. It's excellent.
posted by Pademelon at 12:30 PM on June 15, 2021

Since Agatha Christie made an appearance in your list, I highly recommend Shedunnit. There is only one host, although she does interviews occasionally. She has episodes about individual authors, real-life crimes that inspired writers, themes explored in golden age mysteries, and more. I find them very interesting and engaging, and I really like her voice so there's that as well.
posted by PussKillian at 1:10 PM on June 15, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Tana French or Jane Harper mysteries. Both have excellent audiobooks with good narrators, both have more than enough books to choose from to cover your trip both ways. Go with French for Irish accents or Harper for Australian, but you can't go wrong either way.
posted by the primroses were over at 1:28 PM on June 15, 2021

Seconding Shedunnit. And I feel obliged to mention Sport's Strangest Crimes from the BBC. There's only 2 episodes so far, but how could anyone resist Vanilla Ice narrating a podcast about the kidnapping of Shergar the horse?
posted by scorbet at 1:36 PM on June 15, 2021 [2 favorites]

Last Seen was a pretty good true crime podcast, IMO.
posted by kevinbelt at 2:07 PM on June 15, 2021 [1 favorite]

I loved "S-Town".
posted by Ochre,Hugh at 3:07 PM on June 15, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Look for Michael Jayston as narrator. He's terrific. I got hooked listening to his reading of A Small Town In Germany.

My author suggestion is Robin Yokum.
posted by SemiSalt at 4:04 PM on June 15, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Seconding Shedunnit.

Also, Audible has Stephen Fry reading the entire oeuvre of Sherlock Holmes, for nearly 63 hours. I could listen to Stephen Fry read a shopping list for 63 hours.
posted by basalganglia at 5:06 PM on June 15, 2021

Best answer: My wife and I listened to a six-hour podcast on the history of Chippendale's dancers on a recent long drive. It's on Spotify, and was way more interesting than you might expect.
posted by COD at 5:19 PM on June 15, 2021

Best answer: Mysteries on audiobook that I have loved: Tana French’s The Trespasser, Anthony Horowitz’s The Word is Murder and any of Ann Cleeves’s Shetland mysteries. Have a good trip!
posted by sk932 at 5:45 PM on June 15, 2021

Fun fact: Michael Jayston, who's also recorded audiobooks of many of John Le Carré's novels, played Peter Guillam in the 1979 BBC TV adaptation of "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy." His Le Carré readings are unsurprisingly top-notch.
posted by Sheydem-tants at 7:51 PM on June 15, 2021

Response by poster: I marked a few best answers here, but truly all of them were excellent! Thanks to all, and I’m super excited to dive into a bunch of these on my many upcoming summer road trips.
posted by nancynickerson at 8:00 PM on June 15, 2021

In case you'd like a few more:

I really enjoyed the audiobook of Graham Moore's The Holdout, about a jury of an infamous murder trial who get back together for a reunion--which sets the scene for another murder. I had to speed up the narrator a little but once I did, she was good.

I also liked the audiobook for Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson. The owner of a bookshop is visited by the FBI when an old list he posted on the internet of "perfect murders" from classic mysteries looks like it was the inspiration for a series of recent murders.

Years ago, someone on MetaFilter recommended The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher by Kate Summerscale. It's Victorian true crime, about one of the first detectives of Scotland Yard, and it is absolutely excellent. The version I listened to was narrated by Christian Rodska and his narration was really well done. [Content warning: very disturbing death of a toddler.]
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 7:39 PM on June 16, 2021

To Live and Die and LA

best selling author becomes true crime detective. Season 2 out now.
posted by jander03 at 4:51 PM on June 17, 2021

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