The 10 Best Funny Murder Mystery Books to Read Right Now

Murder mysteries have captivated audiences for centuries, combining suspense, thrills, and an intricate web of clues to keep readers guessing until the very end. However, there’s a whole subgenre of murder mysteries that also weave humor into their plots, making for an even more entertaining and enjoyable experience. In this article, we’ll explore why funny murder mystery books are worth your time and share our top 10 picks for the best ones to read right now.

The 10 Best Funny Murder Mystery Books to Read Right Now

Why Funny Murder Mystery Books Are Worth Your Time

While many readers enjoy classic murder mysteries, the introduction of humor adds another dimension to the story, ultimately making it more engaging and memorable. Funny murder mysteries exploit the absurdity and comical side of human nature, which adds levity to an otherwise dark subject matter. Let’s take a look at why this blend of genres is so appealing to readers.

The Perfect Blend of Humor and Suspense

In a well-written funny murder mystery, the author creates a delicate balance between humor and suspense. The narrative must be engaging enough to maintain the reader’s interest while weaving in comedic elements that keep the tone from becoming too heavy. This intricate balance keeps readers hooked, invested in the plot, and eager to uncover the thrilling conclusions – all without taking themselves too seriously.

Moreover, this balance of humor and suspense is refreshing, especially when compared to other genres. As the tension mounts and twists are revealed, readers find solace in the lighthearted moments. This delightful mixture of emotions makes the reading experience all the more enjoyable and rewarding.

Escaping Reality with a Good Laugh

Life can be pretty serious, so it’s no surprise that many readers turn to funny murder mysteries to unwind and momentarily escape the monotonies of daily life. Humorous writing, combined with fascinating who-done-it plots, provides a much-needed respite from real-world stress, allowing readers to dive headfirst into a world where laughter is abundant and crime-solving is a thrilling, make-believe adventure.

But what makes a funny murder mystery truly great? It’s the characters, of course! A well-crafted cast of characters brings the story to life and adds depth and dimension to the plot. From the bumbling detective to the eccentric suspect, each character adds their unique flair to the story, making it all the more enjoyable.

Another aspect that sets funny murder mysteries apart is the setting. Whether it’s a quaint English village or a bustling city, the setting plays a crucial role in the story. A vividly described setting transports readers to another world, immersing them in the story and creating a fully realized world that readers won’t want to leave.

Now that we understand the appeal of funny murder mysteries, let’s explore our top 10 recommendations. Split into five classic and five modern selections, these books are sure to captivate and entertain any reader who loves a good laugh and a thrilling mystery.

Top 5 Classic Funny Murder Mystery Books

Are you a fan of murder mysteries? Do you enjoy a good laugh? Then you’re in luck because we’ve compiled a list of the top 5 classic funny murder mystery books that are sure to tickle your funny bone while keeping you on the edge of your seat.

  1. The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett
  2. The Moving Toyshop by Edmund Crispin
  3. The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
  4. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
  5. The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz

The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett

The Thin Man

The Thin Man is a classic murder mystery that was written by Dashiell Hammett in 1934. The story follows retired private detective Nick Charles and his wealthy, witty wife Nora as they are roped into investigating the disappearance of an inventor. The book is known for its snappy dialogue and an assortment of eccentric characters, making it the perfect read for fans of both classic mysteries and witty banter. In addition to the murder mystery, the book also offers a glimpse into the glamorous and decadent world of New York City during the Prohibition era.

The Moving Toyshop by Edmund Crispin

The Moving Toyshop (The Gervase Fen Mysteries)

The Moving Toyshop is a delightful murder mystery that was first published in 1946. The story revolves around amateur detective Gervase Fen as he investigates a murder that occurred within a seemingly innocuous toyshop. The book is brimming with clever wordplay and deftly balances humor with suspense, making it an engaging and entertaining read. The book is set in Oxford, England, and offers a glimpse into the world of academia and the eccentric characters that inhabit it.

The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency: A No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Novel (1) (No 1. Ladies' Detective Agency)

The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency is the first book in a series written by Alexander McCall Smith. The book introduces readers to Precious Ramotswe, the unflappable and resourceful founder of Botswana’s first female-owned detective agency. The novel, published in 1998, blends humor and warmth with a captivating murder mystery. Along with its strong, likable characters and vivid descriptions of Africa, this book is sure to charm and entertain any mystery lover.

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

The Eyre Affair: A Thursday Next Novel

The Eyre Affair is a unique murder mystery that was written by Jasper Fforde and published in 2001. The book is set in an alternative 1985 where literature is taken very seriously. The story follows literary detective Thursday Next in her pursuit of a literary criminal who has kidnapped Jane Eyre from the pages of her own novel. Fforde’s imaginative world is filled with clever literary references and tongue-in-cheek humor, making for a wholly original and delightful read. The book is a must-read for any literature lover who enjoys a good mystery.

The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz

The Spellman Files: Document #1 (The Spellmans series)

The Spellman Files is a playful, character-driven mystery that was written by Lisa Lutz and published in 2007. The book introduces readers to the Spellman family – a clan of private investigators. The story follows Isabelle Spellman as she investigates the disappearance of a high-profile client’s daughter. The book is filled with hilarious moments and witty dialogue, making it an enjoyable addition to the funny murder mystery genre. The book also offers a glimpse into the unique and eccentric world of private investigators.

So, there you have it – our top 5 classic funny murder mystery books. Whether you’re a fan of witty banter, clever wordplay, or eccentric characters, these books are sure to entertain and delight. So, grab a cup of tea, curl up on the couch, and enjoy a good laugh while solving a murder mystery.

Top 5 Modern Funny Murder Mystery Books

Murder mysteries have always been a popular genre, but the recent trend of adding humor to the mix has made them even more enjoyable. Moving on to more recent publications, here are our top picks for the best modern funny murder mystery books:

  1. The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith
  2. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
  3. The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
  4. An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good by Helene Tursten
  5. The Guest List by Lucy Foley

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

The Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike Book 1)

Published in 2013 and penned under a pseudonym by J.K. Rowling, The Cuckoo’s Calling is the first in the Cormoran Strike series. This compelling whodunit follows private investigator Cormoran Strike and his secretary-turned-assistant Robin Ellacott as they dig into the suspicious death of a supermodel. Rich with colorful characters and peppered with sharp wit and humor, this book is a must-read for mystery lovers.

The Cuckoo’s Calling is a perfect example of a modern murder mystery that is both entertaining and thought-provoking. The characters are well-developed and the plot is full of twists and turns that keep the reader engaged until the very end. Rowling’s writing style is engaging and witty, making this book a joy to read.

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Big Little Lies

Big Little Lies delves into the complicated lives of three women who find themselves connected by a mysterious death at an elementary school trivia night. Moriarty’s 2014 novel expertly balances humor, secrets, and intrigue, making it an addictive and satisfying read for those who love their murder mysteries with a side of dark humor.

What sets Big Little Lies apart from other murder mysteries is its focus on the lives of the women involved in the case. Moriarty’s characters are complex and relatable, and the way she weaves their stories together is masterful. The humor in this book is often dark, but it serves to lighten the mood and make the story even more enjoyable.

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

The Thursday Murder Club: A Novel (A Thursday Murder Club Mystery Book 1)

In The Thursday Murder Club, a group of septuagenarian friends – residents of a quiet retirement village – meet weekly to discuss unsolved murder cases. When a real murder occurs nearby, the club members use their collective knowledge to help solve the case. Published in 2020, this endearing and humorous mystery offers an engaging tale with delightful, well-drawn characters.

The Thursday Murder Club is a delightful read that will make you laugh out loud. The characters are charming and their interactions are full of wit and humor. Osman’s writing style is engaging and easy to follow, making this book a great choice for those who are new to the murder mystery genre.

An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good by Helene Tursten

An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good

A collection of interconnected short stories, An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good features the unassuming but cunning 88-year-old Maud as she commits a series of crimes. With a charming blend of dark humor and intrigue, this 2018 book is the perfect choice for readers who love clever protagonists and light-hearted, yet suspenseful mysteries.

An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good is a unique take on the murder mystery genre. Rather than following a traditional detective, the book’s protagonist is a criminal mastermind. Maud is a fascinating character who is both funny and cunning, and her schemes will keep you on the edge of your seat.

The Guest List by Lucy Foley

The Guest List: A Reese's Book Club Pick

The Guest List transports readers to a remote Irish island, where a high-profile wedding takes a deadly turn. Told from multiple perspectives, this 2020 mystery keeps readers guessing, expertly combining humor, secrets, and suspense. With a mix of interesting characters, a breathtaking setting, and a twisting plot, The Guest List is a must-read for fans of funny murder mysteries.

The Guest List is a page-turner from start to finish. Foley’s writing is sharp and witty, and the plot is full of surprises. The book’s setting is also a standout – the remote Irish island adds an extra layer of intrigue to the story.

There you have it – our top 10 funny murder mystery books to read right now. Whether you prefer the timeless charm of classic tales or the engaging storytelling of modern novels, this list offers a little something for everyone. So go ahead – grab one of these compelling books, sit back, and enjoy the perfect blend of humor and suspense.


Why are funny murder mystery books so popular?

Funny murder mystery novels offer readers a twist on the typical conventions of a murder mystery narrative. These stories are infused with dark humor and comical errors which make them far lighter reads than crime or thriller novels.

Who writes the best funny murder mystery books?

Richard Osman has recently gained popularity after releasing his series, The Thursday Murder Club. There are currently three books in the series.

Are murder mystery stories appropriate for middle-grade readers?

Given that they explore death and other dark themes, murder mysteries are not usually written with children in mind. However, there are countless mystery novels that focus on non-violent crimes that are perfect for middle-grade readers.

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Eddison Monroe
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