If You Like Janet Evanovich…

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.


Killer Heels by Sheryl J. AndersonAnderson, Sheryl J.  Killer Heels

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.

Murder 101 by Maggie BarbieriBarbieri, Maggie.  Murder 101

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.

Candy Apple Red by Nancy BushBush, Nancy.  Candy Apple Red

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.

A is for Alibi by Sue GraftonGrafton, Sue.  A is for Alibi

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.

Princess Charming by Jane HellerHeller, Jane.  Princess Charming

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.

Long Time No See by Susan IsaacsIsaacs, Susan.  Long Time No See

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.

Spellman Files by Lisa LutzLutz, Lisa.  The Spellman Files

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.

If Looks Could Kill by Kate WhiteWhite, Kate.  If Looks Could Kill

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.


7 responses to “If You Like Janet Evanovich…

  1. You should also list the series by Shelly Fredman. .. “There’s No Such Thing as …” Brandy Alexander is the main character, she gets into all sorts of trouble, is witty and hilarious, has 2 hunky men in her life, and the storylines are good and have kept me guessing. I like these just as much as the Stephanie Plum books. Love Fredman’s books and can’t wait for more.

  2. I invite readers to try the first in my new Kim Claypoole mystery series, Jean Erhardt’s Small Town Trouble. If you don’t laugh out loud, I’ll give you your money back!

  3. Lila Dare hairdresser mystery series should be on the list.

  4. Funniest and most suspenseful mysteries I’ve read are written by David Rosenfelt in his Andy Carpenter series.

  5. Joan Hess’ series with Arly Hanks is the closest to Stephanie Plum (aside from Lisa Lutz’s Izzy Spellman). Second would be Stephanie Bond books with Carlotta and her Two Guys Detective book.

  6. I’d also add Lois Greiman (Chrissy McMullen), Liliana Hart (Whiskey series) and Camilla Chafer (Lexi Graves series).. Also Jennifer Crusie’s Agnes and the Hitman.

  7. Most of these aren’t good because it’s not the mystery, it’s the snarky rom com plus mystery. It’s why Chrissy McMullen, Brandy Alexander, Lexi Graves, Izzy Spellman, Tara Sharp, Pauline Sokol, even Arly Hanks The gang of Chronicles of St. Mary’s, group/s written about by: Dakota Cassidy, Robyn Peterman, etc.

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