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10 Funny Mystery Authors Like Janet Evanovich

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P.N. Hinton

Contributing Editor

Born into a family of readers, P.N. gained a love reading as a sort of herd mentality. This love of reading has remained a life long passion, resulting in an English Degree from The University of Houston in Houston, Texas. She normally reads three to four books at any given time, in the futile Sisyphean hope of whittling down her ever growing to be read pile of no specific genre.

One of my comfort reads is Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, and I’m always looking for other authors like Janet Evanovich. No matter how bananapants it may get (and it does) it is still one of the series that makes me literally laugh out loud. For real. I remember having to stifle my laughter one time while in bed to avoid waking up my significant other at 3:00 AM.

You’re welcome, honey.

Evanovich definitely has a voice and formula all her own. But there are other authors like Janet Evanovich out there who have the same level of humor, hijinks, and familial bonding that she does. And it’s possible you’re wanting a break or change from that series. It could be that you’re all caught up and don’t want to repeat. You could be tired of the back and forth between the love interests. For what it’s worth, I’m a Ranger girl all the way right here. Maybe some of the situations have gotten just too unbelievable.

Whatever the reason, if you’re looking for other authors like Janet Evanovich who write in that kind of style, some of the ones listed below may strike your fancy when you want to get a comedic mystery fix.

1. Kellye Garrett
Series: Detective by Day
First Book: Hollywood Homicide

There are only two books so far in this series but it’s already gained a lot of traction! The first in the series received numerous awards including the Agatha Award for Best First Novel. This series stars Dayna Anderson, a semi-famous but financially strapped actress who inadvertently turns investigator when she sets out to solve the crime behind a deadly hit and run. Kellye is a rising star in the mystery world and one to keep an eye on.

2. Liliana Hart
Series: Addison Holmes
First Book: Whiskey Rebellion

This author has quite a few series to her name. However, if you’re looking for a read like Evanovich, pick the Addison Holmes series. When a novel opens up with a teacher by day needing to become a stripper by night out of financial necessity (y’all we really need to pay our teachers more), you know you’re in for a wild ride. This is yet another one that had me snorting out loud many times throughout the series. What I love about Addison is that she’s so believably clumsy and you still fall in love with her despite her ineptness. Since that serves to make her a little more human. Despite all the unbelievable shenanigans she finds herself in.

3. Leslie Langtry
Series: Merry Wraith series
First Book: Merit Badge Murder

While this author has a few funny series under her belt, my personal favorite from her is her Merry Wraith series. Former CIA operative turned Girl Scout troop leader? Yes, please. Factor in numerous and various hijinks including some crazy animals, and you have the recipe for a hilariously delightful series!

4. Jess Lourey
Series: Mira James AKA Murder by The Month
First Book: May Day

This series focuses on college graduate Mira James who decides to take a break from the Twin Cities and settle into Battle Lake for a spell. After taking the job as an assistant librarian and part-timer reporter, she begins to stumble across dead bodies (as you do in these country hamlets). The cast of characters here is amazing (we could all use a Mrs. Berns). While there are some split-your-sides slices of humor here, there is also a touch of real life as Mira struggles with ghosts from her past as well as a possible alcohol addiction. Nothing ever gets too heavy though and they are all enjoyable reads.

4. Stephanie Bond
Series: Body Movers
First Book: Body Movers

This series is centered around former rich socialite Carlotta Wren. Her parents had skipped town following a scandal that moved the Wrens to the ‘have nots’. She is struggling to raise her brother alone. A Neiman Marcus worker by day, she helps move bodies at night. This series is about her struggle to adjust to her new position in life, as well as the new attention of possible romantic interests that have cropped up.

5. Karen MacInerney
Series: Margie Peterson
First Book: Mother’s Day Out

Margie has traded the day-to-day demands of a stay-at-home mom to become a private eye. Imagine her surprise when she stumbles across a dead body at a drag queen contest with her landline number as the last one dialed on their cell phone. As a fair overall and spoiler warning one of the threads in the story does deal with a closeted male who doesn’t handle it well. I’m not sure this would constitute a content warning but I wanted to make sure to call it out.

6. H.Y. Hanna

Another one who has a plethora of series to choose from, with settings that range from an English Cottage to the beaches of Australia. While not all of her series are purely mysteries, those do have all the ingredients needed for a cozy mystery. Ambitious young heroine starting out in a new business endeavor, friends to help her out along the journey, and a love interest or two just to keep things interesting. And don’t forget about the dead bodies. You can choose from the English Cottage Garden, Oxford Tea Room, or the Bewitched by Chocolate mysteries to start with.

7. Catherine Bruns

Catherine specializes in writing quite a few cozy mysteries so any one of those would fit. If you’re looking for a setup more like the Plum Series, then her Cookies & Chance series starring Sally Muccio is your best bet. If you want something different, though, as in a plucky real estate agent slash amateur detective with a set family life, then try her Cindy York series. She also came out with a new one about widowed chef Tessa Esposito who becomes a sleuth after discovering her husband’s death may not have been so accidental.

8. Alexia Gordon
Series: Gethsemane Brown
First Book: Murder in G Major

What’s not to love about this own voices series? It’s about classical African American musician Gethsemane Brown who gets stranded in Ireland. Her plan to get back to the States? Turning a group of rowdy school-age boys into an award-winning Orchestra. And there’s a ghost who needs Gethsemane’s help in clearing his name of the murder-suicide that was attributed to him. Even though I’ve never read this one personally, I have heard nothing but good things about it and can’t wait to pick it up.

9. Julie Leto
Series: Dirty Series
First Book: Dirty Little Secrets: Sexy Suspense

This short series centers around Marisela Morales, former gang member turned Private Investigator as she takes on her new role at Titan International. These books about a powerful Latina with a kick butt now, take names later attitude will get your blood pumping. As a side note, this series is sadly on an extended and possibly permanent hiatus. So, it is uncertain if it will continue. But these two books and novella are still worth the read.

10. Kyra Davis
Series: Sophie Katz
First Book: Sex, Murder, and Double Latte

Last but certainly not least. I will never not recommend this series anytime I am asked to do so. I started reading Kyra about 15 years ago (gah I’m old) when Sex, Murder, and a Double Latte first came out, and have been a fan ever since. Sophie Katz is a best-selling mystery writer and the misadventures she finds herself in whenever she happens upon a dead body. Which happens more often than her mother is comfortable with.

Honorable Mention:
Aloha Lagoon Series

This is a set of books from Gemma Halliday Publishing that centers around characters in the Aloha Lagoon resort in Hawaii. Each book is written by a different author around various characters. With the beautiful location that it takes place in, this is a nice little break from the real world, with a slice of mystery and humor to boot.

If you’re ever in the mood to read other cozy mysteries, a good source of information can be found here. I’m sure you’ll notice one or two overlaps there, which serves to cement the awesomeness of those series! Also, remember that our Tailored Book Recommendations, or TBR, subscription service gives personal suggestions books so you know which book to buy or borrow next!

Happy Reading!