I know I have touched on this subject before >>>I’m hoping it wasn’t too recently! The previous entry has me thinking about how much enjoyment I have gotten from listening to books on tape.
Every time I drive somewhere in my car (alone!), I listen to a mystery book. Both of my children went to the University of Texas in Austin, which is about an hour and a half from our home, but I never balked at having to deliver a book they had left at home (or clean clothes!)… this just meant that not only would I be able to treat them to lunch, but I would also have at least three hours in the car to enjoy my current Cozy Mystery.
I have a few narrators who I absolutely love to hear. These are people who are able to take some of my favorite 3-D characters, and flesh them out even more. (Let’s face it, one of the wonderful things about being addicted to Cozy Mysteries is that MOST of the mystery books have 3-D characters!)
In this entry, as well as the next two entries, I am going to name some of my favorite narrators. I know I have named several of them before – but they’re so good they deserve another mention! (I also know that not all of the authors I mention are Cozy Mystery book authors…)
There is a reason that Barbara Rosenblat has won more Audie Awards than any other audio book narrator: She is terrific! Rosenblat is a narrator, as well as an actress. If you have ever had the privilege of hearing Rosenblat’s work, you would probably be hard-pressed to decipher where she lives (New York!) Her characterizations are so believable that it truly is difficult to pin her native accent down. She has narrated for such distinguished authors as: Elizabeth Peters, Linda Fairstein, Lisa Scottoline, Kathy Reichs, Diane Mott Davidson, Nevada Barr, and Dorothy Gilman.
Sir Derek Jacobi is not only a very accomplished actor; he is also a very talented audio book narrator. He has narrated a vast amount of books – from Homer’s Odyssey to Peter Graves’ I Claudius, to Ellis Peters‘ Brother Cadfael Mysteries. It is no wonder that he has won so many awards for his work in audio book narrations.
Thank you, Danna! I love audio books also. I listen to them while I knit. I’m familiar with Ms. Rosenblat’s narration and you’re absolutely right she’s terrific. I didn’t realize she did so many other books besides Elizabeth Peters and Diane Mott Davidson. I’d never heard of Derek Jacobi so that’s another to add to my list. I know you said there are more coming and I’m guessing they include Lisette Lecat who does such a marvelous job with the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency books. In fact, such a good job that I don’t read the books but only listen to them since I wouldn’t know how to “pronounce” many of the African words that are used in the story. As an aside, when I was looking for the spelling of Ms. Lecat’s name I discovered there is a DVD featuring Mr. McCall Smith titled Botswana: in the footsteps of the No. 1 ladies detective with Alexander McCall Smith. The description of this DVD says: Join the author as he travels to the heart of Botswana, inspiration and location for his series, and introduces views to Botswana’s unique character and beauty. I’d not heard of this and hope you haven’t already mentioned it and I missed it.
Vickie B says
Barbara Rosenblatt is one of my absolute favorites. George Guidall, Davina Porter, Derek Jacobi are other favorites.
I listen to many audiobooks, cozies included. They keep me mellow on the commute for work and keep me mellow at work.
I listen to audio books while doing my data entry…makes the time fly and not so boring.
James Patterson has set the standard in audio books. His readers do an excellent job. I lose track of who is talking in some books that just use one reader but with Patterson’s readers I always know what is going on. I am working my way thru the Alex Cross series. SO enjoyable! Love the sound effects that most do not include.
I wish more of the audio books were as well done as Patterson’s.
Totally OT, this (although you are spot on about Sir Derek):
I owe you a favor. I’m going to dive back into writing (after an hiatus where I focused solely on painting). I’ve been torn between doing a cozy with a female sleuth or a darker police procedural with a deliciously introspective male sleuth. I didn’t want to do a darker piece with a female sleuth because I’ve tried that before, and it degenerate into a pointless personal gripe session, a self-indulgence I really don’t need right now, and which nobody needs to read. Then, it occurred to me that I had somehow internalized an assumption that male sleuth equals super serious, and female sleuth equals cozy. Shame. On. Me. Looking over some of the male protagonists in your lists is very encouraging. The only thing getting in my way was my own assumptions (but, ain’t that always the way…) I’m off to make notes…
Danna - cozy mystery list says
I sometimes pre-write my entries… especially when they follow a single thread.
Lisette Lecat is in my third entry about audio book narrators. Isn’t she absolutely phenomenal?!? My daughter reads the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency books but I ONLY listen to them. I am always entranced by Lecat’s spin on Mma Ramotswe, Mma Makutsi, and the rest of the Botswana characters…
Davina Porter is in my second entry… I have spent many hours enjoying Porter bring Isabel Dalhousie and the rest of the Edinburgh gang to life…
Thanks for the tip re good narrators for audio books. I’ve just recently started listening to books on tape at the gym. It makes the time go faster when I’m on the cardio machines. I will look for the narrators you recommended. I’ve also found that I enjoy poetry more listening to it. I just listened to Langton Hughes and Billy Collins reading their own poetry and enjoyed both of them.
I love Barbara Rosenblat so much I started taking out random books read by her after I finished all the Elizabeth Peters books. I especially enjoyed the E E Nesbit books. 🙂
Danna - cozy mystery list says
Laurie, Barbara Rosenblat is one of the very best readers for audio books I know of – and I’ve listened to a lot of them.