A group of audiobooks that all have a mystery component, but also more. My Wife is Missing is a psychological thriller with a mystery and a cold case to solve. Leave No Trace is an FBI criminal investigation, but also has some history as well. Finally, The Violin Conspiracy, is a mystery blended with the music world and the racism and prejudice within it.

My Wife Is Missing by D.J. Palmer, Karissa Vacker (Narrator)

Published May 10th 2022 by Macmillan Audio, St. Martin’s Press

5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

My Wife is Missing is a thriller with a great mystery. Once I started listening this one, I didn’t stop. When the book opens, Natalie and Michael Hart have arrived in New York with their two children, Addie and Bryce. When Michael leaves to get pizza, Natalie and the children disappear. Michael is frantic, but no one wants to help as it appears she left of her own accord. The rest of the story has Natalie trying to get away, and we learn why. A police officer teams up with Michael to find her and the children. It is quite the chase, as well as a mystery as to what is true, and what is Michael’s secret.

Natalie is one smart cookie. She has planned her escape well and is pretty good at anticipating when to make a change. She doesn’t trust people with her plans, not even her parents, which almost derails everything. D.J. Palmer does a great job doling out information at just the right pace. It was like peeling an onion as we find out enough to lead us in one direction and then the next layer had me thinking something totally different. This was a crazy ride with so many twists and turns. And that ending blew me away! I am not going to say anything else as you have to read this one yourself. The audiobook was narrated by Karissa Vacker and she does a great job. I definitely recommend this book to those who enjoy a good thriller with a mystery thrown in.

Leave No Trace (FBI K-9 #5) by Sara Driscoll,  Susan Bennett (Narrator)

Published January 9th 2021 by Recorded Books, Inc., December 29th 2020 by Kensington Books

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Leave No Trace is the 5th book in the FBI K-9 series. Although all the books can be read as standalone stories as each case is wrapped up in each book, I recommend reading them in order to get all the character building and relationship development. In this outing, Meg Jennings and Brian Foster of the FBI’s Forensic Canine Unit head to Georgia to investigate two murders, the victims having been shot through the heart by an arrow. With their K-9 partners, Hawk and Lacey, they try to follow the trail of a killer. The biggest problem is trying to connect the victims. In difficult terrain, wild animals, a rising body count, and too many possible suspects, they’re kept on their toes.

The main characters in this series are excellent. They are all well-developed and their relationships very realistic. Meg and Brian are such great friends and partners that they can almost read each other’s minds. The K-9 officers are the stars of this series. They are always an integral part of each case and usually end up saving someone’s life during the story. The crime was very interesting in this book. There is history shared, Trail of Tears and the government giving the indigenous people’s land away in lotteries is enmeshed into the story. I always enjoy the process use to solve the crimes in this series, using a reporter with amazing knowledge of history, as well as great skills of deduction and a great team with various skills. I did a read/listen of this book, but read quite a bit of it. The previous books were narrated by Angela Dawe and became the voice of the series. This one was narrated by Susan Bennett, and she just didn’t seem to give the audiobook the same sense of urgency I have grown used to. I definitely recommend this book and series, as they continue to entertain and keep me on the edge of my seat.

The Violin Conspiracy by Brendan Slocumb, JD Jackson (Narrator)

Published February 1st 2022 by Random House Audio

5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

First I have to thank Tessa over at Tessa Talks Books for bringing this book to my attention. You can read her review here.

I really enjoyed this musical mystery, that also deals with racism within the world of classical musicians and theater. Ray McMillian grows up Black in rural North Carolina. His mother wants him to get a job to help support his family, but he dreams of becoming a professional violinist. He is using a school violin, but needs to return it, so his grandmother gives him his great-great-grandfather’s aka Pop-Pop’s, beat-up old fiddle. He gets it repaired and gets a mentor with contacts. When he finds out his fiddle is actually a priceless Stradivarius, all his dreams suddenly seem within reach. He is entered in a Tchaikovsky Competition, the Olympics of classical music, when his violin is stolen. Can he play on a borrowed violin? Who stole his precious instrument? Can a poor, Black, young man break the barrier of classical musicians?

There was so much to this story. It is a mystery, but also a story about racism in classical music. Ray is a great character. He followed his dream, despite so much stacked against him. He was always overshadowed by other violin players in school based on his colour, not his ability. Even when he proved he was a great player, he was passed over, until his mentor, a college teacher, took him under her wing and opened doors for him. We learn about Ray’s story through memories and flashbacks, blended into the present timeline. The past and present mesh seamlessly. The mystery of the stolen violin was interesting. There were a few suspects (family who wanted to sell it, the family who claimed it was stolen from them generations ago, or someone hired to steal it) so lots to track down. There was also an investigator who was trying to help locate the violin, so I was kept guessing just like she was. I did not have the culprit on my radar, but it fit well. I learned about the music world as well while listening. The author notes that he wanted to shed light on so many who are diminished by society as shown through some of his own painful past and memories. I listened to this story and was totally immersed in Ray’s story. JD Jackson perfectly narrates this story and becomes Ray. I recommend this audiobook to those who enjoy a mystery, but also like to read about injustice in order to learn more so we can change.