Here at CFL we’re always keen to unearth hidden gems and our regular readers may remember that back in September we reported on five free classic crime reads that are legally available to download. Now if you happen to be an audiobook fan, we think we might just have found something that’s right up your street.
Librivox is an organisation that aims to make available as many books as it can that are in the public domain, with the help of an army of volunteer readers all over the world. The added bonus is that you can legally download your chosen recording – for free – either directly from their site or through iTunes as a podcast, which is by far the easiest and fastest way.
The collection of crime fiction recordings is quite impressive and is continually being added to. You won’t find any books by modern authors but what is available will certainly introduce you to some great writers you may never have heard of before, and to a few tales that could easily become firm favourites with any crime fiction lover.
Here are our top five picks, so far…
The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
Sit back and relax while the assorted readers who have come together to read Collins’ 1866 classic detective story re-tell the tale of a large Indian diamond that Rachel Verinder has inherited for her 18th birthday.
The Red House Mystery by AA Milne
Published in 1922, this locked-room murder mystery is narrated in 22 parts by Librivox reader, Kristin Hughes. It’s a country house mystery in which a man disappears. A shot then rings out and his body is discovered in a locked room. How was this seemly impossible murder committed? Antony Gillingham investigates.
Four Max Carrados Mysteries by Ernest Bramah
Listeners of BBC Radio 4 Extra’s Crime and Thriller hour may be acquainted with Max Carrados, but for those who are unfamiliar with the exploits of this very unusual sleuth, his adventures began back in 1914 with a tale called The Coin of Dionysius. Published in The Strand Magazine alongside Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories, what makes Carrados, who is ably assisted by former school chum Mr Carlyle, stand out from the crowd is that he happens to be blind.
The Club of Queer Trades by GK Chesterton
The name GK Chesterton is synonymous with the Father Brown mysteries, but here we are introduced to ‘Cherub’ Swinburne, Basil Grant and his brother Rupert, and six stories featuring a new and unusual trade. With each new investigation the trio edge closer to unearthing the secret behind the club and its strange membership rules.
Short Mystery Story Collection 001
This is a collection of 10 stories by writers ranging from PG Wodehouse to Anton Chekov and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It is an eclectic mix of that will keep you on the edge of your seat, or at the very least, highly entertained on your commute to work.
If you’ve already taken a Librivox mystery for a test run, why not let us know your thoughts and post any recommendations you might have below.