Humorous mystery authors

  • Charlotte MacLeod/Alisa Craig
  • Elizabeth Peters
  • Jo Dereske
  • J. S. Borthwick
  • Joan Hess
  • Carolyn Hart
  • Katherine Hall Page
  • James Anderson (The Affair of the Bloodstained Egg Cosy & The Affair of the Mutilated Mink)
  • Nancy Pickard
  • Charlaine Harris (Aurora Teagarden series)
  • Lee Martin (Deb Ralston series)
  • Valerie Wolzien
  • Lawrence Block (Bernie Rhodenbarr series)
Author Comments: 

These are "light" mysteries, with oddball characters and never-in-real-life plots. Not necessarily a lot of outright humor, but a good alternative to serious murder mysteries which seem all too likely to become real scenarios.

Thank you for the tip. It looks like I have a lot more mysteries to read! :). Have you tried Rita Mae Brown/Sneaky Pie Brown's Mrs. Murphy series? Perhaps it is appealing only to those of us with cats, but it, too, does not gruesomely detail crimes that come all to close to things that may happen to us.

My mom keeps recommending that one too, but somehow I've never gotten around to them. Someday.

I don't know how I missed this list. No Donald Westlake?

Never read him. Is he similar to any of the people on this list?

From this list, I've only read the Block, which I enjoyed. Donald Westlake's "Dortmunder" books are comic crime capers. Not really whodunnits. John Dortmunder is a thief whose plans always go amusingly awry, usually forcing him to attempt the same crime numerous times. Quite a while ago I kicked in this Dortmunder post, which has some more information.

I would like to reiterate the Westlake recommendation. The Dortmunder books are quite good. Also Westlake writes under the name Richard Stark and does a series on Parker. ( the anti-hero in the Lee Marvin movie Point Blank remade by Mel Gibson as Payback)

Similiar to Block Bernie Roddenbarr's character but I find Westlake funnier and more interesting. I think Block also writes under a few names.

i'm hardly aware of what this site is, but what i am trying to find are books my 15-year-old boy might like to read. he has read and liked only one book in his life: Holes. his English teacher wants him to read fiction; most fiction for his age group is fantasy/science fiction and many have female heroines. i'm looking for books on the slightly more young-adult end rather than young teen, possibly humorous mysteries. i saw something at the bookstore, i think Adamson was the author, humorous mysteries set in japan--anyone read these, or any other suggestions?

Actually, my first suggestion is to ask your local librarian for recommendations. They'd be more than happy to find books for a reluctant reader.

Of the books on this list, the Lawrence Block ones may appeal - the main character is actually a burglar, and there's lots of interesting information about where people hide things and how to talk your way into buildings.

Does he not like sf? How many has he tried? There's a lot of good sf out there, but there is also some very badly written stuff - one bad one shouldn't turn him off the genre.

In my experience, most fiction for young adults actually tends to have male protagonists - that's why I made special lists of fantasy and sci-fi featuring female lead characters.

My final suggestion is a book I read recently and enjoyed tremendously: it's called Hatchet , by Gary Paulsen. It's a survival book, which I would think would intewrest a lot of boys. A young boy crashes in the middle of nowhere with nothing but his clothes and a hatchet - how does he survive?

Here are a few suggestions for your son. Many of these I enjoyed very much as a teenage lad and have stayed with me as favourites over the years.

The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton &nbsp - beautifully written story, about teenagers (171 pages). Follow this up with the (fabulous) movie - also one of my favourite movies, and an unbelievable cast. Also worth checking other books by the same author, such as 'Rumble Fish' and 'That Was Then This Is Now' (both also made into movies).

The Catcher In The Rye by J. D. Salinger &nbsp (amazing story - great writing - 218 pages).

The Odyssey by Homer &nbsp - literary classic, and surely the most fantastic exciting thriller/action book ever, with the greatest of (male) heroes. Translated by E.V. Rieu (from the epic Greek poem into novel format).

The Star Rover by Jack London &nbsp - literary classic - fantastic story.

The Gormenghast Trilogy by Mervyn Peake (book II is exceptional) - very popular with teenagers.

The Once And Future King by T.H. White (the legend of King Arthur and Camelot).

Dying Inside by Robert Silverberg - the author is usually classified as a Science Fiction writer, but this has nothing to do with space or the future (read the reviews).

Time Enough For Love by Robert Heinlein (fantastic story - science fiction).

Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke &nbsp (fantastic story - science fiction)

The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester &nbsp (fantastic story - science fiction)

Click on the links and see a synopsis of each book with reviews by other readers, but do not take the reviews too seriously because people often review only those books they love so they can sometimes be a little biased or exaggerated. You can also order them online for delivery direct to your door within a few days - also watch out for the 'used and new' options on the right of the screen for alternative (and often cheaper) sellers. Do not worry too much about using your credit card online as the card companies provide automatic protection insurance against online fraud.

I can certainly recommend science fiction as it really fires the imagination of the younger readers, including me when I was younger.

I have mentioned the length of some of the books because the shorter books can often seem easier to read and a less daunting starting point for a new reader.


No humourous books, as I usually find them very forgettable once finished.
For a dash of humour you might like to consider
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller &nbsp or &nbsp
The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams (science fiction),
both very popular with younger readers.

Best of Luck !

I am looking for books along the lines of the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. Any suggestions? Thanks,

If you like Janet Evanovich, I suggest Lori Avocato. I loaned her first book "A Dose of Murder" to a friend and she swears it's Janet using a different name. It isn't, but the books are just as good. I also like Anne George, Sarah Strohmeyer and Dorothy Gilman. Gilman is nothing like Evanovich. But she is an excellent story teller.