The best mysteries to tickle your funny bone

Richard Audry Author Of The Karma of King Harald
By Richard Audry

Who am I?

Since I was a kid, I've devoured books. But I have to be perfectly honest here and confess that my taste has always run to genre fiction. Mystery. Science fiction. Adventure. Fantasy. Suspense. That sort of thing. I’ve never been one for “serious” literature that addresses the miseries of modern life. Non-fiction, as well, is rarely on my reading docket. I prefer action…intrigue…humor. So when I started writing novels, that’s where I went. There are my three canine cozy mysteries, the first of which is noted below; and my historical mystery series. Under my real name, D. R. Martin, I wrote a ghost adventure trilogy. 


I wrote...

The Karma of King Harald

By Richard Audry,

Book cover of The Karma of King Harald

What is my book about?

When springtime arrives in New Bergen, so do the tourists and antiquers. This year, though, there are some unwelcome visitors. Extortion. Arson. And murder.

After a desolating divorce, Andy Skyberg has gone home to New Bergen. All he wants is a decent job and a loyal dog. But fate has something else in store, when his big mutt King Harald starts sniffing out murder and mayhem. It then falls to Andy to channel his inner sleuth and make sense of it all. Throw into this mix one legendary (but lost) ebelskiver recipe…a gimlet-eyed church lady…a van full of federal agents…a crusty old socialist…and a beloved iguana—and you have all the fixins for The Karma of King Harald.

The books I picked & why

Shepherd is reader supported. We may earn an affiliate commission when you buy through links on our website. This is how we fund this project for readers and authors (learn more).

Gun, with Occasional Music

By Jonathan Lethem,

Book cover of Gun, with Occasional Music

Why this book?

Jonathan Lethem’s first book is, perhaps, not as well regarded as some of his later works. But it blew me away back in the ’90s—with a black humor that satirized both noir mystery and science fiction. I still love it.

The future is totalitarian. Everyone is stupefied by mandated memory-deadening drugs. Karma scores must be kept up, or you’re put in the freezer—literally. Gumshoe Conrad Metcalf gets hired to tail a cheating wife. But things go sideways when the client turns up dead. The cops suspect Metcalf. He encounters many a shady, seedy character, including animals given human-like intelligence; such as Joey, the kangaroo hitman. And whodunit? I think the answer is shocking…and hilarious. I think you’ll think so, too.

Gun, with Occasional Music

By Jonathan Lethem,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Gun, with Occasional Music as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first novel by Jonathan Lethem (author of the award-winning Motherless Brooklyn) is a science-fiction mystery, a dark and funny post-modern romp serving further evidence that Lethem is the distinctive voice of a new generation. Conrad Metcalf has problems. He has a monkey on his back, a rabbit in his waiting room, and a trigger-happy kangaroo on his tail. (Maybe evolution therapy is not such a good idea). He's been shadowing Celeste, the wife of an Oakland urologist. Maybe falling in love with her a little at the same time. When the doctor turns up dead, Metcalf finds himself caught…

The Quiche of Death

By M. C. Beaton,

Book cover of The Quiche of Death

Why this book?

I’ve been an M. C. Beaton fan since forever and realized that a cozy mystery doesn’t need to be trite and treacly. They can be tart, saucy, sarcastic, and cuttingly funny. Agatha Raisin’s debut misadventure is a good place to start.

Agatha, a London PR exec, has a chip on her shoulder the size of Surrey. But when she retires to the Cotswolds, she wants to fit in and make local connections. Why not enter a quiche in the local baking contest? (A store-bought quiche, in fact—typical Agatha.) A judge samples it and drops dead. Many a chuckle and hoot ensue, as headstrong, abrasive Agatha doggedly follows the clues of a clever murder and navigates the baffling complexities of village life.

The Quiche of Death

By M. C. Beaton,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Quiche of Death as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Every new Agatha Raisin escapade is a total joy' ASHLEY JENSEN

'No wonder she's been crowned Queen of Cosy Crime' MAIL ON SUNDAY

'A Beaton novel is like The Archers on speed' DAILY MAIL

The first Agatha Raisin mystery from bestselling author M. C. Beaton

__________________________

Revenge is a dish best served warm...

High-flying public relations supremo Agatha Raisin has decided to take early retirement. She's off to make a new life in a picture-perfect Cotswold village. To make friends, she enters the local quiche-making competition - and to make quite sure of first prize she secretly pays a visit…


Native Tongue

By Carl Hiaasen,

Book cover of Native Tongue

Why this book?

If rolling on the floor laughing your ass off is your thing, then Carl Hiaasen is for you. This was my entry into whack-job Florida crime capers, and it still puts me in stitches.

The carousel of nuttiness starts spinning when two rare “blue-tongued voles” are nicked from Amazing Kingdom of Thrills, a low-rent theme park. Bouncing off each other is a crowd of madcap and/or menacing characters. The racketeer park owner. The two boneheaded thieves. An enviro-radical granny. An oversexed dolphin. A security chief hopped up on steroids. An actress who plays a goofy park critter. A gonzo former Florida governor turned eco-guerrilla. And, as the only normal person in sight, an ex-journo PR flak. Now, just climb aboard and hang on.

Native Tongue

By Carl Hiaasen,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Native Tongue as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the New York Times bestselling author comes a novel in which dedicated, if somewhat demented, environmentalists battle sleazy real estate developers in the Florida Keys.

"Rips, zips, hurtles, keeping us turning the pages at breakfinger pace." —New York Times Book Review

When the precious clue-tongued mango voles at the Amazing Kingdom of Thrills on North Key Largo are stolen by heartless, ruthless thugs, Joe Winder wants to uncover why, and find the voles. Joe is lately a PR man for the Amazing Kingdom theme park, but now that the voles are gone, Winder is dragged along in their wake…

The Eyre Affair

By Jasper Fforde,

Book cover of The Eyre Affair

Why this book?

The place is definitely not of this universe. Literature—not sports and movies—dominates the culture. Thursday Next is a special agent in the Literary Detection branch. She tracks down forgers and whatnot. More notably, she can enter the worlds of fiction. Literally rub elbows with, say, a living, breathing Madame Bovary. But in this adventure, she has to prevent the snuffing of another protagonist…Jane Eyre. An arch-villain aims to snatch Jane out of her novel and erase her from all literature; then start croaking other famous fictional characters. And only Thursday can stop him.

For my money, Jasper Fforde’s first novel is a little masterwork of mystery, wit, and weirdness. And believe me, there are far more treasures in it than my description even hints at.

The Eyre Affair

By Jasper Fforde,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Eyre Affair as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Meet Thursday Next, literary detective without equal, fear or boyfriend

Jasper Fforde's beloved New York Times bestselling novel introduces literary detective Thursday Next and her alternate reality of literature-obsessed England-from the author of The Constant Rabbit

Fans of Douglas Adams and P. G. Wodehouse will love visiting Jasper Fforde's Great Britain, circa 1985, when time travel is routine, cloning is a reality (dodos are the resurrected pet of choice), and literature is taken very, very seriously: it's a bibliophile's dream. England is a virtual police state where an aunt can get lost (literally) in a Wordsworth poem and forging Byronic…

McNally's Secret

By Lawrence Sanders,

Book cover of McNally's Secret

Why this book?

“I poured a few drops of an ’87 Mondavi Chardonnay into her navel and leaned down to slurp it out.” Thus begins the first adventure of Archie McNally, Lawrence Sanders’s foppish gumshoe. I first heard of him on a golf course not too far from his Palm Beach digs. I’ve been a fan ever since.

Think of Archie as the love child of Bertie Wooster and Sam Spade. He tootles around town in his red Miata, sleuthing for his barrister father and hiding his extracurricular ding-dongs from girlfriend Connie. Along the way, he rubs elbows with the one percent and collars crooks. And at day’s end, he can be found sipping martinis at the Pelican Club. I wish I could join him.

McNally's Secret

By Lawrence Sanders,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked McNally's Secret as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Archy McNally, Florida dilettante private investigator, is asked to make some discreet inquiries when the much-married Lady Horowitz loses some valuable stamps. He doesn't take the case seriously until the first suspect dies. From the author of "The Seventh Commandment" and "Capital Crimes".

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in private investigators, journalists, and Wales?

6,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about private investigators, journalists, and Wales.

Private Investigators Explore 165 books about private investigators
Journalists Explore 118 books about journalists
Wales Explore 27 books about Wales

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Good Omens, The Book of Jhereg, and Her Royal Spyness if you like this list.