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Topic: Funny mysteries

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Subject: Funny mysteries
Date Posted: 10/19/2008 12:33 PM ET
Member Since: 7/17/2008
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I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on funny mysteries?   My favorites so far have been the Sharon Kahn, "Kosher Kozies" i.e. Hold the Cream Cheese, Kill the Lox.  Which Big Giver Stole the Chopped Liver, etc.   Also the Nancy Fairbanks series, i.e. Crime Brulee, Turkey Flambe, etc.

Thank You,


Date Posted: 10/19/2008 5:45 PM ET
Member Since: 1/26/2006
Posts: 318
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Joyce ~ Have you tried the Meg Langslow series by Donna Andrews?  Another one of my favorites is the Southern Sisters series by Anne George.  I tried one of the Nancy Fairbanks books, but didn't care for it.  But I haven't tried any by Sharon Kahn yet!


Date Posted: 10/19/2008 8:47 PM ET
Member Since: 11/24/2005
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Last Edited on: 2/21/10 11:48 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/20/2008 5:46 AM ET
Member Since: 10/19/2006
Posts: 136
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My all-time favorite is Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series. I also love the McAfee twins series by Jennifer Colt and the "Passport to Peril" series by Maddy Hunter.

Lisa Lutz, Carolyn Haines, Kathleen Bacus, Hailey Lind, Gemma Halliday and Dorothy Cannell all write very funny mysteries.

One new book that I have read lately (and hope that it is the beginning of a series) is "A Vicky Hill Exclusive" by Hannah Dennison. I loved this book so much that I didn't even re-post it because I am planning on reading it again!

Date Posted: 10/20/2008 4:51 PM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2008
Posts: 1,181
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The Maggody series by Joan Hess are quite funny -- very quirky. Enjoy!

Date Posted: 10/20/2008 5:36 PM ET
Member Since: 2/20/2007
Posts: 2,911
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Anne- her new book Scoop! (A Vicki Hill Mystery) by Hannah Dennison (Paperback - Mar 3, 2009) is coming next year

Date Posted: 10/20/2008 10:19 PM ET
Member Since: 3/15/2008
Posts: 420
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I like Linwood Barclay's two humorous mysteries, Bad Move and Bad Guys.

Date Posted: 10/21/2008 2:53 PM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2008
Posts: 1,520
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I have loved all of the Sharon Fiffer books.  She is a antique "picker" who gets into all sorts of crazy situations.  Have read all but the last one.

(In order: Killer Stuff, Dead Guy's Stuff, Wrong Stuff, Buried Stuff, Hollywood Stuff)

Date Posted: 10/22/2008 12:17 PM ET
Member Since: 7/1/2008
Posts: 2,835
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Sharyn McCrumb (some). I also find Matthew Scudder and Hitman and Tanner and Burglar series...oops I just find Lawrence Block very, very funny.

Date Posted: 10/22/2008 10:39 PM ET
Member Since: 12/26/2005
Posts: 12,167
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LOL, JK!   Ditto on the Lawrence Block, I just love him.

And on the cozy mystery side, I think Donna Andrews' Meg Langslow series is a hoot. 

Date Posted: 10/22/2008 11:01 PM ET
Member Since: 8/11/2006
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Robert Crais' Elvis Cole/Joe Pike detective books are a hoot!

Haven't read any Lawrence Block books. Are his two series--one about Matt Scudder; the other about Evan Tanner--equally funny?


Date Posted: 10/23/2008 1:26 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2005
Posts: 1,563
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While I definitely love the Elvis Cole/Joe Pike series, I would like to clarify for the OP that these are not cozies or fluffy mysteries. Though Elvis has a great sense of humor and throws out some very funny one liners, the novels themselves are very serious and sometimes contain graphic violence and "dark" themes. In other words, "a hoot" would not be how *I* would describe the series... but it IS a great series. :-)

Date Posted: 10/23/2008 1:53 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2005
Posts: 1,563
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One series I find to be very entertaining and amusing is the Hitchcock "Hitch" Sewell series by Tim Cockey. Though still not in cozy territory, narrator / lead character Hitch most definitely views the world from slightly left-of-center and relates events with tongue planted firmly in cheek. The series in order:


  • The Hearse You Came In On
  • Hearse of a Different Color
  • The Hearse Case Scenario 
  • Murder in the Hearse Degree
  • Backstabber
Date Posted: 10/23/2008 2:31 PM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2008
Posts: 427
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I have really loved the Chocoholic mysteries by Joanna Carl. The main character (Lee) gets her tongue tied when she gets nervous and you never know how things are going to come out. I also really like a couple of other series that I can't name right now...I'm drawing a blank. I'll get back to you on them.


Date Posted: 10/24/2008 7:03 AM ET
Member Since: 7/1/2008
Posts: 2,835
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Haven't read any Lawrence Block books. Are his two series--one about Matt Scudder; the other about Evan Tanner--equally funny?

He has 4 series and a lot of standalones, some not mysteries.

Evan Tanner, which begins with the Thief Who Couldn't  Sleep, is very dunny, but not PC because of when it was written. I think it's the funniest but not as well done.

The Burglar Who is quite funny. They are even light hearted. probably second funniest.

The Hitman, series, have a lot of humor, but also a lot of poignancy and sadness.The Hit Man has a sense of humor, but he is always (almost) alone.

The Matt Scudder series is long. It breaks into 2 sets. Matt is an alcoholic. Although both parts are very, very good, I think the ones after Matt dries out are infinitely better books. In fact, I think they transcend genre into serious (but amusing) novels, somewhat like Reginald Hill's Dalziel/Pacoes do after Child's Play.

Subject: Funny mysteries
Date Posted: 10/24/2008 11:22 PM ET
Member Since: 7/17/2008
Posts: 2
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Thank you everybody for your help, this will give me some new books and authors to look for.  I'll let you know what I come up with.  Although I do have one book by Donna Andews,No Nest For the Wicket, that I will put on top of my pile because of what a lot of you said.

Thanks again and I'll keep checking back for more ideas.


Date Posted: 11/3/2008 6:09 PM ET
Member Since: 10/30/2008
Posts: 19
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I really love the Whiskey Mattimeo series by Nina Wright:

Whiskey on the Rocks

Whiskey Straight Up

Whiskey & Tonic

Whiskey & Water

The characters and storyline definitely make me giggle!

Date Posted: 11/8/2008 9:43 PM ET
Member Since: 12/25/2005
Posts: 1,413
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The Blackbird Sisters series by Nancy Martin is pretty funny and also the Desiree Shapiro series by Selma Eichler.

Date Posted: 11/8/2008 9:58 PM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2008
Posts: 1,673
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I have to agree with the above posters about the Robert Crais series.  They are not cozies, but they are a Hoot!  I just love Elvis Cole's style and I love Joe Pike's coolness!

Date Posted: 11/11/2008 8:29 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,603
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I just want to second BookMonkey's suggestion about Tim Cockey's series. Its not strictly a cozy but is very funny. I love Hitch and have even written the author imploring him to write more, but he put Hitch on hiatus while working on a different series under a pseudonym (Richard Hawke). I do hope Hitch comes back some day. It's not every day you meet an undertaker/sleuth! LOL

It's been years since I've read a Lawrence Block --I should get back to them and see how Bernie and Matt are doing. And I've only read one of the Robert Crais series and did like it--but it's just a case of 'too many books, too little time" I think and it wasn't spectacular enough to propel me to the next one. I'll have to give it a go.

For those who like books with a little darker edge (ie, not cozy, has cussing and adult themes) try Karen E. Olson's Annie Seymour series. The first one is called Sacred Cows and it's great! And, again, on the darker, somewhat twisted humor side I would recommend Mark Haskell Smith's books. They're non-series but funnier than aitch-ee-double toothpicks.


Date Posted: 11/11/2008 10:06 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2005
Posts: 1,563
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I looked them up and Mark Haskell Smith's books sound interesting. I'm going to give the first one a try! :-)

Date Posted: 11/11/2008 6:51 PM ET
Member Since: 8/22/2008
Posts: 448
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I find the Bishop Blackie Ryan series by Andrew Greeley, is quite humorous. He plays a detective of lock room mysteries, who lives in a rectory with the Cardinal. Who is always saying "See to it Blackwood". He is know as the priest that blends in and no one notices, but takes everything in at the same time. He is from an Irish family, in a Irish neighborhood in Chicago. The mysteries are good and he can be quite bold and humorous at the same time.

Andrew Greeley, also has another series with Nuala Anne McGrail. I just started it to see if I like it, and love them. She is fey as they called them who has the sense of the unforseen. So trying to finish these, too.

I find  them a relief after one of my intense thrillers I usually read.

So that is my suggestion, you should try one and see if you like them.


Date Posted: 11/18/2008 6:16 PM ET
Member Since: 11/10/2008
Posts: 7
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Sue Grafton and Carl Hiaasen, Carl's characters make you wish you were there.

Date Posted: 11/19/2008 10:15 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2006
Posts: 5,526
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Hi all - I'm not exactly a newbie, I just mostly lurk around the Thoughts forum.  I just popped in looking for some new titles, thanks for all the ideas.  Here are a couple of light series with good plots that I don't think were mentioned yet -

Stella Whitelaw (Jordan Lacey series) Pray and Die is the first one.  British (think Bridget Jones meets Stephanie Plum). 

Liz Evans (Grace Smith Investigations)  Also British, don't know the first one because I'm reading them out of order. 

Lisa P.

Date Posted: 12/17/2008 11:25 PM ET
Member Since: 10/18/2007
Posts: 597
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I'm currently reading Alpine for You by Maddy Hunter and it's hilarious. It's one series I'll definitely be continuing.