Try these authors and titles that write fast-paced, humorous books often containing quirky characters and snappy dialogue.
Andrews, Donna Call #: M AND
Set in Caerphilly, Va., these mysteries feature Meg Langslow, an ornamental blacksmith and amateur sleuth. Andrews’ series offers a cast of eccentric characters, a unique humor, and quirky plots.
Barnes, Linda Call #: M BAR
6’ 1’’ red-haired Carlotta Carlyle is a former Boston policewoman who works as a PI and drives a taxi. Barnes offers authentic Boston atmosphere, kinky, yet believable, secondary characters and a heroine who is brash, funny, and competent in an awkward sort of way.
Bruno, Anthony Call #: BRU
Loretta Kovacs’ last chance to work in law enforcement is to join the New Jersey Parole Violators Unit where she takes on parole jumpers with her partner. Bruno’s fast paced novels contain humor, sassy dialogue, clever plots and a lot of action.
Crusie, Jennifer Call #: CRU
Crusie’s romances are fast-paced, humorous stories with an element of suspense. Her heroines are independent women who usually find themselves in a comical and often dangerous situation and are surrounded by quirky characters and, of course, amusing dogs.
Kozak, Harley Jane Call #: M KOZ
Kozak’s lighthearted mysteries feature Wollie Shelley, a greeting card designer and owner of a card shop. These stories include a likeable main character, funny dialogue with snappy comebacks and wacky, fast-paced plots.
Roberts, Gillian Call #: M ROB
Amanda Pepper is a Philadelphia teacher in this humorous, thought-provoking mystery series filled with twisting plots and contemporary issues. Pepper uses her intuition rather then typical police work to unravel the mystery.
Smiley, Patricia Call #: M SMI
Tucker Sinclair is a feisty L. A. business consultant whose life is unwittingly filled with an entertaining mixture of humor and crime. The series has snappy dialogue, engaging plots, and eccentric characters, including Tucker’s actress mother, Pookie and her dog, Muldoon.
Strohmeyer, Sarah Call #: M STR
Bubbles Yablonsky, a hairdresser/reporter/sleuth from Lehigh, Pennsylvania, usually finds herself caught up in a perplexing situation. Along with a group of quirky secondary characters, Strohmeyer includes romance, action, and smart-mouthed dialogue in this entertaining series.
Molly Forrester, an advice columnist for Zeitgeist magazine, comes into work and trips over the dead body of a co-worker, stepping in his blood and ruining her brand new Jimmy Choo shoes. Since she isn’t really happy with her current job, she decides to investigate the murder with her two friends so she can get a story to sell to a big name magazine. Cute cop Kyle Edwards seems interested in Molly, but only because she is at the top of his list of suspects.
Alison Bergeron is a recently divorced English professor at St. Thomas, a small Catholic college in the Bronx. When her stolen car is found by the police, the dead body of one of her students, Kathy Miceli, is in the trunk. Alison becomes the prime suspect in Kathy’s murder, but some disturbing incidents involving Alison convince NYPD Homicide Detective Bobby Crawford to start looking for other suspects.
Jane Kelly, a thirty-year-old process server and part time P.I., followed her then boyfriend Tim from L.A. to Oregon, where he dumped her and left town. Now, still living in Lake Chinook, Jane’s first P.I. case involves Tim’s best friend, Bobby Reynolds, who murdered his wife and children four years ago, and then vanished. Tess Bradbury, Bobby’s mother, hires Jane to investigate her son’s mysterious disappearance.
Kinsey Millhone is a twice-divorced California private eye and former cop working in the fictional town of Santa Teresa in southern California. Eight years ago, Nikki Fife was convicted of killing her husband Laurence Fife, a prominent divorce attorney and well known womanizer. Now she’s out on parole and wants Kinsey’s help in finding the real killer, and several people in town had a reason to want him dead.
P.R. executive Elaine Zimmerman and her two best friends decide to take a seven-day cruise on the Princess Charming for their annual get-away together. Over crossed phone lines, Elaine overhears a plot to murder a divorced woman onboard and the hit man is already on board. Since the three friends are all divorced, her worry is that one of them is the intended victim, but everyone that hears about the phone call just thinks Elaine is paranoid.
History professor and amateur sleuth Judith Singer finds herself involved in a murder investigation when her neighbor Courtney Logan is found dead in her pool. Her husband Greg is the prime suspect, but Judith doesn’t believe he is guilty and neither does his father, mobster “Fancy Phil” Lowenstein. Phil hires Judith to find out who really murdered Courtney, but her former love, detective Nelson Sharp, warns her to mind her own business.
Isabelle “Izzy” Spellman has worked as a private investigator for her parents’ firm, Spellman Investigations, since age 12. After some problems over her current boyfriend, Izzy wants to leave the business and get away from her eccentric and incredibly nosy family, but her parents assign her a cold case to solve before they will allow her to quit.
Bailey Weggins, a true-crime writer for Gloss magazine in New York, receives a frantic call for help from Cat Jones, her editor-in-chief. Cat’s young live-in nanny has died from eating poisoned Godiva chocolates leftover from an editorial party at Cat’s house. Bailey agrees to look into the murder and investigate the murdered girl’s past, but a surprising discovery suggests that Cat may have been the intended victim.