top of page
  • N. N. Light

An Unwilling Suspect by @JoHiestand is a Celebrate Audiobook Month pick #britishmystery #giveaway

Title: An Unwilling Suspect

Author: Jo A. Hiestand

Genre: British mystery

Book Blurb:

McLaren’s fiancée tragically died one month ago. Trying to heal emotionally from her death, McLaren settles into a rented farmhouse in the woods near picturesque Lake Windermere, in Cumbria. But he’s barely had a chance to rest when Helen, the woman in the neighboring cottage, is killed…and is discovered near his front door.

Because McLaren had spent much of the previous day with her, and his snowy footprints lead to and from her house, he becomes the prime murder suspect in what the police label a frustrated romantic advance.

Motives for Helen’s murder are as chilling as the outdoor temperature. There’s the hands-on garage mechanic who’d like to put his hands all over her, the affluent fishing guide, and Helen’s former boyfriend who wanted to renew the relationship.

Can McLaren find the killer before the police arrest him for murder?

Audiobook Clip:

Buy Links:

Apple iTunes –

What makes this a must-listen audiobook?

I think it's due to narrator Callum Hale. Each character is instantly recognizable due to voice inflection, timbre, and accent. You never get lost wondering who's speaking, which of course takes you away from the story. His pacing is excellent: speeds up when the action calls for it, softly spoken when it also is warranted. He makes "An Unwilling Suspect" come alive in my mind's eye and plunges me into the midst of the story.

Giveaway –

One lucky reader will win a $75 Amazon US or Canada gift card

Open internationally. You must have a valid Amazon US or Amazon CA account to win.

Runs June 1 – June 30.

Drawing will be held on July 1.

Author Biography:

I grew up reading Dumas, Twain, duMaurier, Dickens and the Brontes. I loved the atmosphere of those books. Add the Basil Rathbone-Nigel Bruce movies and the moods of 1940s/50s movies like Brief Encounter, Night Must Fall, and The Thirty-Nine Steps, and I knew I wanted to write mysteries, and the books had to be set in Britain. That was a must even though I knew only what I’d seen in the movies and read in the novels. But the British pull was tenacious. Three years ago I discovered that I have literally centuries and centuries of English, Scottish and Welsh ancestry. Do genes mean anything?

My first visit to England was during my college years and that cemented my joy of Things British. Since then, I’ve been lured back nearly a dozen times, and lived there for a year during my professional folksinging stint.

What do I write? Well, at the moment, I write a British mystery series: the McLaren Mysteries. They feature ex-police detective Michael McLaren, who investigates cold case murders on his own in Derbyshire, England. I also began a cozy crime series a year ago, The Cookies & Kilts Mysteries. The protagonist is Kate Dunbar, who owns a pet bakery in a small Missouri town. The books will alternate between cats and dogs as the animal focus in each book. To date I have three books out.

I combined my love of writing, mysteries, music, and board games by co-inventing a mystery-solving treasure-hunting game, P.I.R.A.T.E.S.

I founded the Greater St. Louis Chapter of the international mystery writers/readers organization Sisters in Crime, serving as its first president.

In 2001, I graduated from Webster University with a BA degree in English and departmental honors. I live in the St. Louis, MO area with my cat, Tennyson, and way too many kilts.

Narrator Biography:

Callum Hale - I trained as an actor at the East 15 School of Acting, based on the principles of Joan Littewoods Theatre Workshop. I knew from fairly early on that I wanted to be an actor, pretty much ever since I realised that playing make-believe could actually be a career. I’ve been telling stories my entire life, and when as a child I was given a Dictaphone, I would record books for me and my siblings to listen to, so you could say I’ve been narrating audiobooks for a very, VERY long time.

I remember particularly recording a number of short stories from a magazine my Scottish Grandmother used to share with us. One was about a Clooty Dumpling that got into a scrape with a spider in a cave. I read the entire thing in a Scottish accent; which you can hear me doing plenty of in another McLaren audiobook, An Unfolding Trap.

My mother’s family are from the Yorkshire and Cheshire regions of England, not far from where McLaren and his friend Jamie call home, so I was drawn not only to those characters, and the sounds of those voices, but also to the landscapes, which Jo makes just as important a character in her books.

I find it a real joy to sit in my little corner, behind the microphone, and step into the world of the book I’m narrating. Just as you would when reading alone for pleasure, I can see the hills in my mind’s eye, I feel the emotion of McLaren; I let the words affect me and, hopefully, affect my delivery so that the listener has the same engagement as they would reading the words themselves. To my mind, narrating is acting, and acting is telling stories, and I’ve been doing that all my life.

Author Social Media Links:


Rita Wray
Rita Wray
Jun 17, 2022

Sounds like a great book.


Jo Hiestand
Jo Hiestand
Jun 17, 2022

Thank you for featuring "An Unwilling Suspect" during the Audiobook Month!


N. N. Light
N. N. Light
Jun 17, 2022

Thank you, Jo, for sharing your audiobook in our Celebrate Audiobook Month event!

bottom of page