This week I listened to the new Andy Carpenter mystery from David Rosenfelt. Twas the Bite Before Christmas is the 28th in the series for people who love courtroom drama and dogs and stories set in New Jersey and dogs. Most if not all of the audiobooks have been done by Grover Gardner, so I associate Andy as much with Gardner as I do with Rosenfelt.
I’m finding that having a consistent voice enhances an audiobook series.
Walt Longmire is George Guidall almost as much as he is author Craig Johnson.
Cormoran Strike is Robert Glenister almost as much as he is Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling).
Charlotte Holmes by Sherry Thomas is also Kate Reading.
Cork O’Connor by William Kent Krueger is also David Chandler.
They got away with changing the narrator on the Harry Bosch novels, but only because the new narrator is Titus Welliver.
And I have found some tasty books I may otherwise have ignored by searching for other novels narrated by Guidall or Gardner or Chandler.
I never quite got over when they switched the narrator of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum novels from Lori Petty, one of the great actresses from A League of Her Own who gave Stephanie a pure New Jersey accent, to C.J. Critt and finally Lorelei King, who do a nice job but they’re not Lori Petty and, in my mind, they’re not Stephanie Plum.
The audiobook has really gained in popularity since it migrated to smartphones as opposed to multiple-unit CDs and cassettes before that. It only makes sense, in this art form of its own, that the format is gaining its own set of stars.