Saturday, December 10, 2011

Humorous Mysteries

I love humorous mysteries. Of course that's why I chose to write some.

Why wouldn't anyone like to read or write something that makes them smile? Or laugh? Why would anyone want to be serious all the time?

I've heard agents and authors of highly successful humorous romances say those are out now. Readers don't want them.

Of course that's not true. The latest book written by Robin Wells,an extremely successful author of funny romances from my writers' group in New Orleans, was just a finalist for the Rita for Best Romance of the Year.

Many leaders in the mystery genre say serious work is more highly rated. Of course maybe they've stood in lines around the block to have Janet Evanovitch sign her latest work for them?

The romantic comedies of long ago (like when I was a teen)were loved by people of all sexes and ages. I don't believe everyone's taste has changed. There is, of course, lots and lots of serious crime everywhere. Just turn on the TV. Open a newspaper. Check your computer screen.

In the meantime, I believe that at least for a while, I will keep writing work that makes me smile or even chuckle. That's fun, which I enjoy.

Do you like any humor in books you read?

14 comments:

Jean Henry Mead said...

I agree, June. Humor is an impotant element in all my books, both fiction and nonfiction. I think a writer's job is to not only inform but entertain.

June Shaw said...

You are so right, Jean. I work hard to do that in my books and also in talks about writing.

Michael J. McCann said...

Donald Westlake, of course, perfected the humorous mystery, and I still enjoy re-reading his best novels.

I write police procedurals and by their nature they're serious business, but law enforcement officers are notorious for their gallows humor. It can be rather insensitive at times but it's an important part of an officer's need to protect themselves from the terrible things they experience on the job. I include some of this humor in my stories but balance it with dry wit and irony that alert readers can enjoy at a level above the realism!


The Overnight Bestseller
http://michaeljmccannsblog.blogspot.com/

Leighton Gage said...

Interesting point, June.
Arnaldo Nunes, a Brazilian federal agent with a penchant for sarcasm and humor, played a minor role in my first book.
But, since then, he's been elbowing his way into the foreground.
Now he, more than his boss, (who the series is supposed to be about) has become the favorite character of most of my readers.
And, truth to tell, mine.
Everybody likes a good laugh.

June Shaw said...

Michael, I'm so glad you balance the serious police work with humor. Good for you!

June Shaw said...

Leighton,
Yes, those light-hearted characters are much more fun to be around.

Mark W. Danielson said...

Humor is a must, June. Even evil characters emit sarcasm. Books lacking humor are called textbooks.

Mark W. Danielson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ben Small said...

I love them. Loved especially, Lawrence Sanders' last series, the one about the spoiled Palm Beach investigator, Archie somebody.

Bill Kirton said...

You're right, June, it's an essential ingredient. I feel so sorry for people who have no sense of humour. Life must be awful. When my mystery novel, The Sparrow Conundrum, was the winner of the 'Humor' category in this year's Forward National Literature Awards, it felt like a double recommendation - with the important one being the 'humor' bit.

June Shaw said...

Ben, I didn't know about that series but will have to check into it. Thannks.

June Shaw said...

Bill, I had no idea your book included humor. Congratulations on your win! That's another book I have to add to my list.

Bill Kirton said...

June, rather than 'including humor' that particular book was written with just one aim - to make readers laugh. But, as you and the others have said, humour is a near-essential ingredient, however ghastly or gore-spattered a book may be.

Jaden Terrell said...

I tend to read and write darker books, but even there, humor is an essential spice.