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Murder is rarely funny. However, The people around it can be. Many mystery writers owe their success not only to their well plotted stories, but to their judicious use of humor and romance. The characters they create are often flawed, but human nonetheless. They laugh and love and live just like the rest of us.

Join me after the thing.

As most of us have read at least some of Robert B. Parker's Spencer series; would they be as enjoyable without Spencer's love of Susan, or his banter with his partner Hawk?  

M. C. Beaton uses Constable Hamish's instinctive joy of calm and on again/off again romance with Priscilla to great effect in  Hamish Macbeth series.

The main characters don't have to be the only funny ones though. Not long ago I read the Corinna Chapman series by Kerry Greenwood. Not only does it have both humor and romance, It has an impressive list of characters.

Corinna:  Corinna's love life is nil unless you count her three cats: The haughty Horatio, and the two Rodent Control Officers, Heckle and Jeckle. Then after she finds a young girl who has overdosed on herion outside her shop, she meets "Daniel of the Soup Run."

Daniel Cohen: A hunk and all around nice guy is a volunteer for the nightly soup run to feed the homeless.

Jason: He was thrown out of the house at fifteen and promptly set about getting hooked on heroin. And almost as promptly decided to break the habit. He is sent to Corina by Daniel to ask for a job. Corinna lets him mop the floor for 10 dollars a day. Eventually Daniel expresses an interest baking. Muffins to be exact, and Corinna lets him try.

And then there's more:
Two anorexic models
A witch
A demanding Nun
A Dominatrix
A Vampire.
An ex-husband.
A cop.
Three cats.

All of which are involved in finding who's threatening the local residents with graffiti and nasty letters. Not to mention who's murdering neighborhood junkies by intentional overdose.

Watch out:

Mistress Dread giggled. This was not something she did a lot.
A fun read.

Here are a few other authors who write similar books.

J. D. Robb. The In Death Series.
Donna Andrews. The Meg Langslow series.
Charlaine Harris. The Lily Bard series.
Randy Wayne Wright. The Doc Ford series.
Janet Evanovich. The Stephanie Plum series.
Tim Dorsey. Serge is always looking for bad guys, usually doing the murdering himself.

I want to thank Susan from 29 for allowing me to do this diary. I send her my heartfelt best wishes.

Originally posted to Readers and Book Lovers on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 05:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by lundi channel.

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