Funny Mysteries

Welcome to the Rolling Mystery Blog Tour. My post is the second in today's rolling blog. Log on to Nancy Lauzon's at: and read what she has to say about funny mysteries. We'd also like to hear which authors make you laugh, so please leave us a comment.

Before I began writing today’s blog, I e-mailed my sister to make sure LOL stood for “Laugh out Loud” rather than “Lots of Luck.”
            I read to relax, to learn something new, to take my mind off of what’s happening out there in the big, scary world. Sure, there are times when I read to educate myself, but if you peruse my bookshelf, you’ll quickly learn what makes me happy. My shelves contain books on birds, food, travel, poetry, writing, and even Egyptology. My mystery collection includes Agatha Christie, Sherlock Holmes, Raymond Chandler, Elizabeth George, Nevada Barr, Dick Francis, just to name a few. I read these authors because they are great storytellers whose settings intrigue me. Here are three authors whose gift of humor keeps me sane. I have their entire collection.
            Most humorous mysteries are character driven. Put a zany character (ex-governor of Florida who turns his back on civilization, moves into the Everglades, lives on road kill and what fish he catches) in a crazy situation (punishing a wife-killing, environment-polluting biologist), and you’ve got Carl Hiaasen’s Skinny Dip. Hiaasen writes about the never-ending battle between environmentalists and developers in Florida. Governor Tyree’s role is a minor one in Hiaasen’s stand-alone mysteries, but I relish the anticipation of his appearance in every story.
            In Elizabeth Peters’s Amelia Peabody series, her characters also drive the stories that take place in Egypt around the turn of the twentieth century. I discovered Peters when her catchy title The Last Camel Died at Noon, caught my eye. I don’t read her mysteries for plot structure, I read them because Amelia Peabody and her entire entourage have become like old friends who have never learned to stay out of trouble. In Peters’ world of fiction, I vicariously enjoy the antics of her characters and am thankful I’m not in the middle of their skirmishes.
            Martha Grimes’ Richard Jury series might not be considered a laugh-out-loud series, but when her eccentric cast of characters gather at in the Jack and Hammer pub and attempt to help Jury solve his cases, I find myself wanting to pull up a chair, order a pint of Old Peculiar, and join in on their insane conversations.
            When I set out to write my mystery series, I focused on making it lighthearted and funny. When a reader contacts me and tells me they enjoy my books and add that I made them “laugh out loud,” I feel pretty darn good.
             Join us next Monday when the Rolling Mystery Blog Tour blogs on what's more important "plot" or "characterization."