Blog, Personal Notes

Thriller, Mystery & Suspense: For Your Ears

One of the main reasons people give for not indulging in their passion for reading great thriller books? Lack of time. It makes sense. We are busy people these days and taking the time for a fiction reading fix sometimes doesn’t happen as frequently as we’d like.

That’s no reason to give up this simple pleasure though! Today, we’re going to look at some other options: thriller, mystery and suspense for your ears.

While we may not have an hour or more to sit down with a great thriller and a cup of something hot to drink, most of us do have a lot of downtime that can be better utilized. For instance: riding or driving to work and home again, washing dishes, cleaning, walking the dog or working out at the gym…these are all the perfect times to indulge in your favorite thriller books or mystery book series.

So, let’s take a look at some of the best thriller, mystery and suspense audio programs out there.

Suspense & Thriller Radio Dramas

I loved, loved, loved listening to books on record and books on tape when I was a kid. My mother could literally “plug me in” to one of these with headphones and I’d be quiet for hours. I especially loved the dramatic telling of favorite stories. These were more engaging because I could clearly imagine every detail, each facial expression and the setting perfectly in my mind.

1. SUSPENSE Radio Drama

This is one of my very favorite suspense and thriller radio dramas: SUSPENSE Radio Drama.

When I was working in a corporate writing gig, my afternoons were usually spent editing. And while I can’t write and listen to a story at the same time, I could edit (mostly adding html to my articles). I remember more than once forgetting to breathe as I listened to an episode, or feeling the little hairs at the back of my neck stand straight up.

Professionally scripted and told by very talented actors, SUSPENSE Radio Drama has lots of thrills, chills, and all the sound effects to make you feel like you’re right there in the story. Be sure to check out an episode…and then be prepared to download 10 more immediately.

2. Blackwood

Three teens from Blackwood, CT, started investigating a local legend, called Bugman. They die but their story and their research lives on. Blackwood is a newer radio drama and sounds really good. If you like creepy tales about things that go bump in the night or unexplained phenomenon, this might be perfect for you.

3. Suspense

Not to be confused with SUSPENSE Radio Drama, Suspense was a true old-time radio show which was popular in the 40s and 50s. Created by Alfred Hitchock in early 1940s, Suspense Radio is a classic for good reason. You can listen to 13 chilling episodes via Nitrate Diva.

4. Serial

If you love stories about real-life crimes, you’ll want to check out Serial. It is an award-winning radio show which tells a single true-crime story over the course of a single season. I haven’t listened to these as I’m not a fan of true crime but would encourage you to if that’s an interest of yours.

5. Darknet Diaries

With more discussion about AI, smartphones and smart homes, data breaches and other tech-heavy topics in today’s society, it can feel like one’s privacy online is elusive. Darknet Diaries, a fictional radio show about cyber crimes may raise your pulse…and your interest in going offline more frequently.

Thriller & Suspense Book Podcasts

Along with a love of fictional suspense and thriller radio shows, I also enjoy listening to podcasts that discuss great thriller books and suspense novels. Here are a few that are definitely worth listening to.

1. Meet the Thriller Author

This show features a different thriller author with each episode. Have you ever read a book and thought, “Wow. I wish I could ask them how he came up with xx.” Or “Geesh, was the reason for that plot twist at the halfway point to direct you here?” In Meet the Thriller Author host Alan Peterson, asks all the questions you wish you could. It features a variety of thriller, mystery and suspense authors.

2. The FrankenPod

In this fun (and often funny) podcast focuses on Gothic fiction. The FrankenPod offers reviews of both old and modern Gothic fiction. It’s a must-listen for readers who love the thrills and chills that Gothic literary works offer.

3. Castle of Horror

Like your books a little more edgy and thrilling? If you’re a fan of horror, supernatural suspense and spine-tingling tales, you’ll enjoy Castle of Horrors. Here, horror authors are interviewed. It’s interesting “see” behind-the-scenes and learn more about how these writers get their inspiration and how they get their dark and creepy tales out on the page.

What would you add?

It feels like I’m just scratching the surface here. What are your favorite podcasts to listen to? Which thriller/suspense/mystery episodes would you recommend? Please leave a comment below.

Published by jpchoquette

I am an author and lover of Gothic books and movies. I enjoy reading, spending time in old cemeteries, visiting junk shops and drinking hot beverages...just not all at the same time.

5 thoughts on “Thriller, Mystery & Suspense: For Your Ears”

  1. Kay says:

    I don’t listen to podcasts very often or to serial dramas, but I love, love, love audiobooks. I do about half my reading that way and always have a story with me. I get them through Audible or my local library. I know that some people don’t think they would like them or would get distracted, but I think it just takes a little practice. Also, my advice is always to start with a book you’ve already read and loved. Then, if you miss a bit, it doesn’t matter.

    1. J.P. Choquette says:

      I love audiobooks too, Kay. I don’t listen as often as I used to (probably all these podcasts!) but really enjoy them and love them especially for long car rides.

      Do you have a few favorite books/authors that you enjoy listening to?

  2. Alan says:

    How cool! Thank you so much for including Meet the Thriller Author in your podcast list. I’ve also picked up some new ones I need to check out after reading your post. Some of my favorite podcasts include Spycast which is non-fiction hosted by a historian and curator of the spy museum in D.C. He interviews real spies! Lore is good podcast where they explore the dark side of history.

    1. jpchoquette says:

      Hi Alan, thanks for producing such a great show! It’s always a pleasure to listen and learn from other thriller authors–you’ve had some really great guests. I will have to check out Lore as it sounds fascinating. Did you mention once on the show that your bachelor’s is actually in history or am I imagining that? Spycast sounds fascinating as well. I have a friend who’s a thriller/spy novelist and I bet that podcast will be right up her alley.

      Thanks again for stopping by and hope you have a great writing/podcasting week.

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