The Best Audiobooks for British TV Mystery Fans

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When you love a TV series or character, it's hard when you get to the end of the series and there's just…nothing left. Luckily, though, a surprisingly large percentage of British TV shows are based on books – and while not all of them have audiobook versions, many do.

It's not quite the same as having more episodes, but it's the next best thing. Even when a show is based on a book, the books often reveal more details and character quirks than you get in the TV adaptation. I find they're especially nice when I'm cooking or doing chores around the house, since I can't always keep an eye on the screen.

For those who aren't familiar with it, Audible is Amazon's audiobook sales arm. It allows you to download audiobooks to your computer, phone, or tablet – and for those who prefer it, you can pay a little more to have both Kindle and Audible versions that sync up together so you can seamlessly switch between listening and reading. 

 

The Best Audiobooks for British TV Mystery Fans

Ann Cleeves's Vera Series

How often do you see a photo of Vera smiling?

Filmed in the often gloomy, atmospheric Northeast of England, Vera is a basically a female version of the classic male detective figure. She's a bit rough around the edges, but we always know she's on the right side of things. 

You can stream the series HERE.

 

Ann Cleeves's Shetland Series

Shetland

In the beautiful and remote Shetland Islands of Scotland, DI Jimmy Perez stays surprisingly busy solving murders. Then again, as every mystery fan knows – small, close-knit communities are never what they seem at first glance. 

You can stream the series HERE.

 

J.K. Rowling's C.B. Strike Series 

CB Strike

This modern-day detective series takes place in London and follows detective Cormoran Strike and his assistant Robin Ellacott. The first three novels have been adapted for TV, and the fourth has recently gone into production. Rowling writes the series under the pen name Robert Galbraith, and she's said in the past that there will probably be at least 7 novels in the series.

You can stream the TV series HERE.

 

M.C. Beaton's Agatha Raisin Series

The first episode of Agatha Raisin, Season 3 premieres in October on Acorn TV

Agatha Raisin is NOT your typical hard-boiled detective. She's not even your typical Sherlock Holmes-style detective. She's a fashionable, ex-PR exec from London who retired to the Cotswolds to enjoy country living. The television version of Agatha is fun and light, as are the novels. There's a big difference in how Agatha herself is portrayed, though, so most people seem to favour one version or the other (usually the one they came to know first). 

Some of the earlier Agatha Raisin audiobooks are narrated by Penelope Keith, which is a treat!

You can stream the TV series HERE.

 

M.C. Beaton's Hamish Macbeth Series

Hamish Macbeth in the Scottish Highlands
Hamish MacBeth streams on Acorn TV

You can stream the TV series HERE.

 

Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse Series

Inspector morse and inspector lewis where to watch
Inspector Morse

Colin Dexter may have passed, but he left us a great treasure – one of the greatest British mystery series of all time. His Inspector Morse series has spawned a successful television series + 2 equally successful spin-offs. If you loved the television adaptation of his work, you're sure to love the books even more.

The best part? Several are narrated by Kevin Whately (aka Inspector Lewis). 

You can stream the TV series HERE.

 

W.J. Burley's Wycliffe Series

Wycliffe
  • Wycliffe and the Three-Toed Pussy (Book | Audiobook)
  • Wycliffe and How to Kill a Cat (Book | Audiobook)
  • Wycliffe and the Guilt Edged Alibi (Book | Audiobook)
  • Wycliffe and Death in a Salubrious Place (Book | Audiobook)
  • Wycliffe and Death in Stanley Street (Book | Audiobook)
  • Wycliffe and the Pea-Green Boat (Book | Audiobook)
  • Wycliffe and the School Bullies (Book | Audiobook)
  • Wycliffe and the Scapegoat (Book | Audiobook)
  • Wycliffe in Paul's Court (Book | Audiobook)
  • Wycliffe's Wild Goose Chase (Book | Audiobook)
  • Wycliffe and the Beales (Book | Audiobook)
  • Wycliffe and the Four Jacks (Book | Audiobook)
  • Wycliffe and the Quiet Virgin (Book | Audiobook)
  • Wycliffe and the Winsor Blue (Book | Audiobook)
  • Wycliffe and the Tangled Web (Book | Audiobook)
  • Wycliffe and the Cycle of Death (Book | Audiobook)
  • Wycliffe and the Dead Flautist (Book | Audiobook)
  • Wycliffe and the Last Rites (Book | Audiobook)
  • Wycliffe and the Dunes Mystery (Book | Audiobook)
  • Wycliffe and the House of Fear (Book | Audiobook)
  • Wycliffe and the Redhead (Book | Audiobook)
  • Wycliffe and the Guild of Nine (Book | Audiobook)

You can stream the TV series HERE.

 

Ngaio Marsh's Inspector Alleyn Series

Inspector Alleyn Mysteries

You can stream the TV series HERE.

 

Ian Rankin's Rebus Series

Rebus

If you enjoy mysteries set in the eerie and atmospheric city of Edinburgh, this is the series for you. Considered a classic of Scottish detective fiction, the books are often favoured by those who feel the TV show is a bit dated.

You can stream the TV series HERE.

 

What's Your Favourite British TV Mystery Series in Novel or Audiobook Form?

What's your personal favourite in terms of British TV-inspiring mystery novels or audiobooks? We'll continue to update this post because there are quite a few others out there. 

 

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Audiobooks for British TV mystery fans

3 Comments

  1. The narrator of the Outlander series is extremely talented. This is a long series (early books are available on Starz TV channel), but the Audible books are better than the TV version IMHO. More depth and detail. I don’t generally like female voices due to my hearing issues, but I love this narrator. Hands-down my #2 narrator (#1 is the early-books’ narrator of the Detective Gamache series).

  2. Thank you for the great list. I love audiobooks.
    Two series I love that I would suggest, though neither have been made into TV series, but there is always hope.

    The Jackman and Evans series by Joy Ellis narrated by the wonderful Richard Armitage. (Check out his other audiobooks as well on Audible).

    The Ruth Galloway novels by Elly Griffiths narrated by Jane McDowell and Clare Corbett.

  3. I am working my way through the Rebus detective series, just love it! Going slowly to draw it out. 😉 Though not a TV series I also love listening to Adrian McKinty’s Detective Sean Duffy series, takes place in Belfast area during “the Troubles”.

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