My favorite books about mystery, humor, and revenge

Why am I passionate about this?

I spent a career as a television film editor, crafting other writers’ words and directors’ visions to help tell a story. I’ve always loved mysteries and the good ones always have clues that only the savviest of sleuths can figure out. When humor is added it’s even better. That’s what I’ve tried to do with my writing.

I wrote...

Well, I'll Be Damned!

By Rick Tuber,

Book cover of Well, I'll Be Damned!

What is my book about?

Film editor Rick Potter is serving thirty years for a murder he didn’t commit... but all things considered, life behind bars isn’t so bad. In fact, he’s flourishing in his new environment, regaling his colorful group of misfit inmates with tales from working in Hollywood during the Golden Age of television. 

While Rick falls in love with the warden’s assistant, the real killer is still out there. It will take the combined efforts of a pair of oddball detectives, a recent comatose octogenarian ex-cop, a savvy nurse, and a rehab aide to piece together the clues to unmask the true culprit and get the film editor released from prison. This is the third installment of the Rick Potter trilogy, but all can be read independently from each other.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The books I picked & why

Book cover of Spanking Watson

Rick Tuber Why did I love this book?

I love a good mystery that also makes me laugh. Kinky Friedman does that on almost every page. He is most known for his singing and songwriting, (and his run for Texas Governor), but I’ve found all his books to be page-turners and laugh-out-loud funny. In Spanking Watson, Kinky calls upon his real-life friends to help him solve a mystery that he instigated. Kind of a test to evaluate his future assistant, or Watson to his Sherlock. 

By Kinky Friedman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Spanking Watson as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Just as every dog must have its day, every Sherlock should have his Watson, and so in Spanking Watson the indomitable private dick Kinky Friedman embarks on a plan to determine which of his dependable 'Village Irregulars' will make the best sidekick.In order to assess the crew - McGovern, Ratso, Stephanie Dupont, Brennen and Rambam - Kinky assigns to each one the task of figuring out who wrote a death threat to Winnie Katz, the Kinkster's upstairs neighbour and dance teacher. Each one is resourceful in trying to ferret out the culprit - but what truly confounds Kinky is that…

Book cover of Squeeze Me

Rick Tuber Why did I love this book?

I find the books by Florida’s Hiaasen to be hysterical with a clown car of memorable characters. In Squeeze Me he pokes fun at a president and first lady that is not far from the truth. Someone or something has killed a prominent high-society dowager and others. It will take Angie, a pest control specialist to solve the mystery. Laughing just thinking about this book.

By Carl Hiaasen,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Squeeze Me as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'One of the world's funniest novelists'

'Scabrous and unrelentingly hilarious . . . the Trump era is truly Carl Hiaasen's moment'

From the highly acclaimed author of Bad Monkey and Razor Girl comes this hilarious new novel of social and political intrigue, set against the glittering backdrop of Florida's gold coast.

It's the height of the Palm Beach charity ball season: for every good cause, there's a reason for the local luminaries to eat (minimally), drink (maximally), and be seen. But when prominent high-society dowager Kiki Pew suddenly vanishes during a swanky gala, and is later…

Book cover of You Might Feel a Little Prick

Rick Tuber Why did I love this book?

This debut novel from former Magnum P.I. writer and producer Reuben Leder is a tale of surgery gone wrong and the length it takes to affect revenge. Based on true medical misdeeds, the author indeed gets his revenge in this fast-paced story about a former baseball player, Nick Glass, whose surgery ruins a promising career. With the help of his fiancé, Dr. Julie Toffoli, they turn the tables on the medical profession in a gory yet humorous manner. 

By Reuben Leder,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked You Might Feel a Little Prick as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A screaming snowman plummets from the top floor of Cleveland Mercy Hospital—a decaying relic built before the first pandemic—and disappears into the snow drifts below. By the time his thawed corpse is discovered the following spring, a body count of incompetents, frauds, and crooks who call this chamber of horrors home, has snowballed.

Could these "disappearances" have anything to do with the bogus—and disastrous—spine operation performed on local hero Nick Glass, a former ballplayer? Or the wrongful termination of Nick's fiancé, Dr. Julie Toffoli, an idealistic intern not afraid to speak truth to power? It's up to celebrity Homicide cop,…

Book cover of When the Sacred Ginmill Closes

Rick Tuber Why did I love this book?

This book is one of a series of Mathew Scudder stories by Block. I enjoy his books because his main character is as flawed as we are. Matt is a hard-drinking former cop who goes about helping friends out of their troubles. And his friends are in a lot of trouble. Action and close calls, as well as humor, abound in this well-crafted story.

By Lawrence Block,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked When the Sacred Ginmill Closes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A superb thriller from the writer of A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES.

Scudder is a witness to a heist in an illegal drinking den, and the owners would like him to find the culprits, while another witness wants him to investigate the murder of his wife.

Book cover of Bridge of Sighs and Dreams

Rick Tuber Why did I love this book?

While not as funny as the above books, I like this one for its story of betrayal, dignity, and revenge. Set in Mussolini’s fascist regime and the Nazi occupation, young Angelina Rosini witnesses her mother’s brutal murder and will enact revenge no matter how long it takes. She escapes to Rome with her daughter and joins the resistance where she encounters spies, and friends that are not really friends. Who can you really trust? The characters are believable and flawed like most of us. This novel is full of action, Nazi cruelty, and a relentless determination to make things right.

By Pamela Allegretto,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bridge of Sighs and Dreams as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Nazi-occupied Rome sets the stage for Bridge of Sighs and Dreams, where the lives of two women collide in an arena of deception, greed, and sacrifice.

Following an allied attack, Angelina Rosini flees to Rome from her bombed-out village and a ruthless Nazi officer bent on revenge. In Rome, the spirited portrait artist channels her creativity into the art of survival for herself and her young daughter. Unwilling to merely endure, and armed with ingenuity, wit, and unyielding optimism, she enters the shadow world of the Resistance where she zigzags through a labyrinth of compassionate allies and cunning spies.


You might also like...

American Flygirl

By Susan Tate Ankeny,

Book cover of American Flygirl

Susan Tate Ankeny Author Of The Girl and the Bombardier: A True Story of Resistance and Rescue in Nazi-Occupied France

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Susan Tate Ankeny left a career in teaching to write the story of her father’s escape from Nazi-occupied France. In 2011, after being led on his path through France by the same Resistance fighters who guided him in 1944, she felt inspired to tell the story of these brave French patriots, especially the 17-year-old- girl who risked her own life to save her father’s. Susan is a member of the 8th Air Force Historical Society, the Air Force Escape and Evasion Society, and the Association des Sauveteurs d’Aviateurs Alliés. 

Susan's book list on women during WW2

What is my book about?

The first and only full-length biography of Hazel Ying Lee, an unrecognized pioneer and unsung World War II hero who fought for a country that actively discriminated against her gender, race, and ambition.

This unique hidden figure defied countless stereotypes to become the first Asian American woman in United States history to earn a pilot's license, and the first female Asian American pilot to fly for the military.

Her achievements, passionate drive, and resistance in the face of oppression as a daughter of Chinese immigrants and a female aviator changed the course of history. Now the remarkable story of a fearless underdog finally surfaces to inspire anyone to reach toward the sky.

American Flygirl

By Susan Tate Ankeny,

What is this book about?

One of WWII’s most uniquely hidden figures, Hazel Ying Lee was the first Asian American woman to earn a pilot’s license, join the WASPs, and fly for the United States military amid widespread anti-Asian sentiment and policies.

Her singular story of patriotism, barrier breaking, and fearless sacrifice is told for the first time in full for readers of The Women with Silver Wings by Katherine Sharp Landdeck, A Woman of No Importance by Sonia Purnell, The Last Boat Out of Shanghai by Helen Zia, Facing the Mountain by Daniel James Brown and all Asian American, women’s and WWII history books.…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in private investigators, the Presidents of the United States, and presidential biography?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about private investigators, the Presidents of the United States, and presidential biography.

Private Investigators Explore 284 books about private investigators
The Presidents Of The United States Explore 85 books about the Presidents of the United States
Presidential Biography Explore 18 books about presidential biography