Murder Most Mirthful

M.C. Beaton

Agatha has moved to a picture-book English village and wants to get in the swing. So she buys herself a quiche for the village quiche-making contest and is more than alarmed when it kills a judge. Hot on the trail of the poisoner, Agatha is fearless, all the while unaware, that she's become the next victim....

Also available on audio.

Eric Garcia

Somewhere between "L.A. Confidential" and "Jurassic Park," readers can find this comic noir mystery about a private investigator (who happens to be a dinosaur) in contemporary New York.

Marne Davis Kellogg

Running back home after news of her affair with a politician leaks out, Lilly Bennett starts up her own international security consulting business and finds her first client in a murdered head of a ranching dynasty.

Peter Lovesey
"The eldest son of Queen Victoria, Bertie will one day be King Edward VII. For the moment, though, his primary responsibility is to enjoy himself, a task at which he excels - bedding society beauties, tormenting his long-suffering wife, and taking his royal bulk off to other people's country estates, there to shoot things, eat enormous meals, and pinch the serving maids. It is at just such an estate that the story unfolds, though this is no ordinary shooting-party, and with a killer afoot, the glittering guest-list is dwindling rapidly. Bertie greets the murders with some delight, as they allow him to exercise his passion for amateur sleuthing (a task at which he doesn't particularly excel)."
Nancy Bell
Mrs. Fiona "Biggie" Wooten Weatherford is well known for landing five-pound catfish, mowing down mailboxes when she drives, and owning half the county. Now she's mobilizing the local ladies against City Hall's new garbage dump, right next to the graveyard of their forefathers -- especially James Royce Wooten, founder of the town and namesake of Biggie's eleven-year-old grandson, J.R. But when the mayor himself drops facedown in his angel food cake, Biggie smells something worse than a garbage dump.
Nancy J. Cohen
When Maria's hateful ex, Stanley Kaufman, asks a favour, she's stunned. Granted, it might have something to do with the fact he's been arrested for the murder of his third wife, Kimberly, and wants Maria to find the "real" killer. After visiting Stan in Jail, Maria is convinced he's innocent. So who could have stabbed the beautiful young heiress and left her body lying at the foot of her stairs?
M.J. Trow

There is a new broom at Scotland yard: Nimrod Frost. His first little job for Lestrade is to investigate the reported appearance of a lion in Cornwall, a supposed savager of sheep and frightener of men. Hardly a task for an Inspector of the Criminal Investigation Department...

Sarah Strohmeyer

A beautician, reporter, and sleuth, Lehigh, Pennsylvania's Bubbles Yablonsky is saddled with an ex-husband, a precocious daughter, and a shoplifting mother. From solving dark crimes to lightening dark roots, Bubbles has everyone talking. when she trips over a corpse and implicates a wealthy town socialite in the crime, Bubbles teams with a well-muscled photographer to blow the lid off the murder.

Marian Babson

The cat's out of the bag: dead bodies are piling up in Brimful Coffers, a picturesque English village. Among the deceased is Boswell, a pet white rat. His killers were caught: Had-I and But-Known, two mischievous felines belonging to Lorinda Lucas, mystery writer. Unfortunately, the other victims were all too human-and their killer remains at large... The danger in Brimful Coffers was unforeseen when several authors created an informal writers' colony in this lovely town outside of London. In act, the location was heaven until the undesirables-critics and scholars-began to show up. Soon Lorinda and her friends feel as if they're living in a fishbowl. Worse, they're getting chilling threats, supposedly from their fictional characters! But when fatal "accidents" begin to claim the colony's residents, death isn't make-believe. And unless Lorinda can sniff out the killer, even a cat's nine lives might not be nearly enough...

Elmore Leonard
The last time Florida motel owner George Moran was in the Dominican Republic he was in a uniform and people were shooting at him. Years later he's back looking for a girl he lost -- and finding one he'd be better off without. But that doesn't matter to George while he's sleeping with beautiful Mary de Boya -- only when he discovers his lover is the wife of a former death squad general in exile with solid mob connections. Now George is bringing big trouble back with him to the Sunshine State -- as his nostalgic trip down memory lane has tangled him up in a cat's cradle of drug deals, swindles, vengeance and murder . . . and a love that's not only blind but lethal.
Elizabeth Peters

It was the time of the Great Game of European powers. Spies and soldiers traded information, risking betrayal and death. Into this unsettled territory trips Amelia Peabody, intrepid heiress and would-be Egyptologist.
First of the Amelia Peabody series.
Also available as an audiobook.

 

Chloe Green
When fashion stylist Dallas O'Connor happens upon a knife-wielding man standing over a dead model's body, she tries to help him prove his--and her own--innocence.
Jill Churchill

It's So Hard to Kill Good Help These Days. . .

With three kids to raise on her own, Jane Jeffry sometimes needs a hand with the housework. But many of her complaining neighbors believe that the Happy Helper cleaning lady they all share wouldn't know a dustball if she was choking on it. That hardly seems reason enough, however, to do the disreputable domestic in.

So when the charwoman in question is discovered strangled to death with a vacuum cleaner cord, Jane decides to dig up the real dirt--if the tenacious single mom can find any time to spare between her PTA meetings and car-pooling duties. But despite her busy schedule, Jane is determined to tidy up the whole murderous mess--even if it means provoking a killer who may live as close as next door.

Jonathan Lethem

Gumshoe Conrad Metcalf has problems-not the least of which are the rabbit in his waiting room and the trigger-happy kangaroo on his tail. Near-future Oakland is an ominous place where evolved animals function as members of society, the police monitor citizens by their karma levels, and mind-numbing drugs such as Forgettol and Acceptol are all the rage. In this brave new world, Metcalf has been shadowing the wife of an affluent doctor, perhaps falling a little in love with her at the same time. But when the doctor turns up dead, our amiable investigator finds himself caught in the crossfire in a futuristic world that is both funny-and not so funny.

Also available on audio.

Kasey Michaels
In this comic mystery Maggie, a mystery writer, finds herself up to her neck in trouble. She discovers that the "fictional" character that made her a bestselling author is hanging out at her apartment, and meantime a couple of her colleagues meet very untimely deaths.
Joan Hess

When crop circles begin appearing in her little town, Police Chief Arly Hanks finds herself more than occupied with tabloid reporters, officers for UFORIA (Unidentified Flying Objects Reported in Arkansas), cattle mutilations, and the murder of a young ufo-ologist.

Michael Bond
Monseiur Pamplemousse has been summoned by the director of Le Guide, the prestigious culinary magazine for which Pamplemousse writes restaurant reviews. The aunt of the director's wife, whose restaurant perpetrates some of the worst food in France, is demanding to be included in the next issue. With the director's marriage at stake, he dispatches Pamplemousse to the Hotel du Paradis. There, Pamplemousse meets Aunt Louise, who serves him a dinner that causes his gorge to rise . . . and other things as well, for the meal contains an aphrodisiac of undeniable potency. Who would do such a thing? And why?
Sparkle Hayter
Robin Hudson, a reporter for the All News Network, overcomes a loathsome boss and a dead-end career when she discovers that the murder of her gynecologist may be connected to random shootings at her network.
Janet Evanovich

Out-of-work Stephanie Plum blackmails her bail bondsman cousin into giving her a try as an apprehension agent. Her first case involves tracking down a former vice cop on the run from a charge of murder one, a man who also happens to be her former lover.

Carl Hiaasen
"Chaz Perrone might be the only marine scientist in the world who doesn't know which way the Gulf Stream runs. He might also be the only one who went into biology just to make a killing, and now he's found a way--doctoring water samples so that a ruthless agribusiness tycoon can continue illegally dumping fertilizer into the endangered Everglades. When Chaz suspects that his wife, Joey, has figured out his scam, he pushes her overboard from a cruise liner into the night-dark Atlantic. Unfortunately for Chaz, his wife doesn't die in the fall. Clinging blindly to a bale of Jamaican pot, Joey Perrone is plucked from the ocean by former cop and current loner Mick Stranahan. Instead of rushing to the police and reporting her husband's crime, Joey decides to stay dead and (with Mick's help) screw with Chaz until he screws himself."
Lawrence Block
"Antiquarian bookseller by day, burglar by night, Bernie has an innate knack, a gift, for getting into places designed to keep him out. Sophisticated yet down-to-earth, philosophical yet practical, Bernie is a gentleman who knows and loves his territory, the gloriously diverse and electric streets of Manhattan; a connoisseur who surrounds himself with the finer things in life, including his tailless Manx tabby, Raffles, and good friends like his neighbor Carolyn. In fact, it's a friend who gets him in his latest jam. Bernie is minding his own business when he's asked for a favor -- a neat, uncomplicated bit of vengeful larceny that will reap a tidy profit -- an offer the intrepid thief can't refuse. But with a few days to go before the crime, Bernie gets restless. So what does a burglar do to change his mood? Go on the prowl, of course. Though not the best way to do business, as he well knows. This bit of prowling lands Bernie in a pile of trouble that includes four murders and the burglary of his own home. Caught in the center of a deadly mystery, he must use his wits and wiles to connect the dots and add up the coincidences. Because if Bernie doesn't catch a killer, he'll lose not only his freedom but his life."
Nancy Bartholomew
The whip-smart Sierra Lavotini is the hottest act on Panama City's strip scene. Besides her bodacious business, Sierra's life is fairly simple. And that's the way she likes it. But when a good friend seeks her help, Sierra's life takes a murderous turn.
Dorothy Cannell

Reluctant to show up at her family reunion carrying so many extra pounds, unmarried, overweight Ellie Simons hires Bentley T. Haskell to pose as her fiance, thus beginning a weekend of romance, jealousy, and murder.

Tamar Myers

Charleston antiques dealer/amateur sleuth Abigail Timberlake Washburn reluctantly attends a seance at her friend C.J.'s newly-bought fixer-upper. When the psychic who conducts the seance is forced to the other side prematurely, Abby leaps into action.

Leslie Meier

Lucy is asked by her friend Sue Finch to help plan the wedding of Sue's daughter to an Internet millionaire. When the groom's body is found floating beside his yacht, Lucy's not convinced this was an accident. Soon, Lucy finds herself contemplating her own funeral as she launches a harrowing pursuit of a killer.

Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown

"Curiosity just might be the death of Mrs. Murphy--and her human companion, Mary Minor "Harry" Haristeen. Small towns are like families. Everyone lives very close together. . .and everyone keeps secrets. Crozet, Virginia, is a typical small town--until its secrets explode into murder. Crozet's thirty-something post-mistress, Mary Minor "Harry" Haristeen, has a tiger cat (Mrs. Murphy) and a Welsh Corgi (Tucker), a pending divorce, and a bad habit of reading postcards not addressed to her.

"When Crozet's citizens start turning up murdered, Harry remembers that each received a card with a tombstone on the front and the message 'Wish you were here' on the back. Intent on protecting their human friend, Mrs. Murphy and Tucker begin to scent out clues. Meanwhile, Harry is conducting her own investigation, unaware her pets are one step ahead of her. If only Mrs. Murphy could alert her somehow, Harry could uncover the culprit before the murder occurs--and before Harry finds herself on the killer's mailing list."