The best books that are both dark and funny

Roz Watkins Author Of The Devil's Dice
By Roz Watkins

The Books I Picked & Why

Missing, Presumed

By Susie Steiner

Missing, Presumed

Why this book?

Missing, Presumed introduces us to Manon Bradshaw, a single thirty-nine-year-old detective. She’s sad and lonely but also funny and full of observations on life that have you cheering along. She’s devoted to her work but is also trying to find love, and the book opens with her on a date with a profoundly dull man who’s obsessed with newts. I was hooked by this character and ready to follow her anywhere.


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The Grownup: A Story by the Author of Gone Girl

By Gillian Flynn

The Grownup: A Story by the Author of Gone Girl

Why this book?

This is actually a short story rather than a novel, but there’s enough plot and character for a full novel. The story opens with this announcement: ‘I didn’t stop giving hand jobs because I wasn’t good at it. I stopped giving hand jobs because I was the best at it. For three years, I gave the best hand job in the tristate area.’ How can you not read on? The unnamed narrator is damaged, cynical, funny, and extremely unreliable. 


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Flowers Over the Inferno

By Ilaria Tuti, Ekin Oklap

Flowers Over the Inferno

Why this book?

Set in a vividly described location in the Swiss Alps, Flowers Over the Inferno features a most refreshing protagonist. Teresa Battaglia is in her sixties, stocky, diabetic, and extremely grumpy. What’s not to like? The plot is dark, the location stunning, and the crimes intriguing, but it’s Teresa’s character that made it a stand-out book for me. 


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Sweetpea

By C.J. Skuse

Sweetpea

Why this book?

I should perhaps be concerned about how much I liked the main character in C.J.Skuse’s Sweetpea given that she’s a murdering psychopath. She’s very normal on the surface but, oh the things she does to men who follow women on dark canal paths… I’m sure we’ve all had little fantasies about doing the same (I hope it’s not just me). She’s rude, funny, and extremely violent!


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We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

By Karen Joy Fowler

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

Why this book?

There’s something odd about Rosemary, and about her brother and sister, who she’s no longer in touch with. What exactly went on in this profoundly disturbed family is gradually revealed. There are deep, dark, and important themes here, wrapped up in a funny and engaging story. I’m saying no more, because the less you know the better!


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