Courtesy of Hachette Audio
“Trouble is What I Do” by Walter Mosley; read by Dion Graham; Hachette Audio.

The four best audiobooks of June to take you places

Hardboiled mysteries, obscure farming communities, and tales of home and family provide ample entertainment in June’s audiobook roundup.

In June, take an armchair trip across the world – first through the mind of an intrepid detective, then into America’s meadowlands and orchards, on to a dystopian future set in France, and finally back to a Tennessee of the past.

"Trouble is What I Do" by Walter Mosley
Read by Dion Graham; Hachette Audio; three hours and 30 minutes

The latest installment in the Leonid McGill detective series plays out like an old-fashioned detective potboiler – but it’s a perfect update to the genre, filled with multilayered characters who display insight, humor, and depth of knowledge. Author Walter Mosley takes every hardboiled stereotype and flips it on its head. As private investigator, McGill takes on a 94-year-old client from his past – one Philip “Catfish” Worry – and he must negotiate both sides of the law. Narrator Dion Graham is a complete delight, with a wide array of character voices and a knack for voicing both men and women. Though too short, this is a fantastic distraction that you can sink into and finish in one sitting. Grade: A+

"The End of The Ocean" by Maja Lunde
Read by Jane Copland and Jean Brassard; Harper Audio; nine hours and 53 minutes

Courtesy of Harper Audio

Twenty years in the future, a father and daughter stranded in drought-stricken Europe experience the devastating effects of climate change. While scavenging for supplies, they stumble upon a sailboat stuck in a parched garden miles from the shore – a connection to a second, separate narrative centered around lost love and set amid a growing water crisis. Both stories unfold against chilling backdrops of environmental collapse and unrest, though love and forgiveness remain at the heart of the book. The story is read by two narrators; Jean Brassard has an engaging French accent and a firm command of the plot, while Jane Copland maintains a refined British accent and a nuanced and rich performance. Grade: A-

“The Beekeeper's Lament: How One Man and Half a Billion Honey Bees Help Feed America” by Hannah Nordhaus
Read by Xe Sands; Tantor Audio; seven hours

Courtesy Tantor Audio

Fans of science, bees, cultural history, and memoir will enjoy this nonfiction work. Author Hannah Nordhaus follows a small but dedicated group of beekeepers who pollinate American crops by literally trucking their colonies to farms across the country. Her writing can be a bit glib and occasionally disjointed, but overall, this audiobook is compelling for three reasons: The fascinating story of beekeeper John Miller and his cohort, Nordhaus’ explanation of bee culture, and her breakdown of the likely causes of colony collapse disorder. Narrator Xe Sands is perfectly lively, chummy, and spirited. Grade: B+

“Before We Were Yours” by Lisa Wingate
Read by Emily Rankin and Catherine Taber; Random House Audio; 14 hours and 30 minutes

Courtesy of Random House Audio

The unregulated landscape of early American adoption is explored in this historical novel set in Tennessee; a family of children orphaned in the 1920s is tied to a modern-day tale of romance and mystery. Unfortunately, the historical aspect of the novel far outshines the ho-hum contemporary plotline, in which a politician’s daughter carries out an investigation into the past. The backstory, however, is both fascinating and horrifying. Both narrators embrace appropriate Southern accents, are age-appropriate for their characters, and bring energy to the story. Grade: B

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