Do I Write Funny Romantic Mystery Books?

Funny romantic mystery books are a popular choice for many readers, and most of my novels fall into this category – kind of! The romance is often a little lacking, but I always aim to inject humour and ensure that there’s a mystery right up to the very end.

When you’re adding a book to the Amazon catalogue, you need to indicate what category it falls under. The Ghost Under The Stairs is a mystery story with a little bit of antagonism over relationships that comes good in the end – so it’s almost got a romantic touch to it. It’s not a horror story, is a bit paranormal, but mostly humorous.

So what category should it go in?

Mystery Romance Books

Most of my books have a mystery to be solved (or a problem to overcome), and there is the occasional nod to romance. I’ve even been known to add a little bit of suspense, but nothing too scary.

That said, they’re definitely not Mills and Boon-esque romance novels. Far from it!

So not romance. Probably not paranormal. Humour is a bit too wide, but the subcategories don’t really do it justice! It’s not a cosy mystery…and to be fair, A Murder in Nether Bumble isn’t a true cosy mystery either!

The Best Murder Mystery Books

This is one of the problems of writing a story. You never really consider what it should be categorized as during the writing process, and even established writers can struggle with this.

The best murder mystery books may have a strong romantic element running through them, but the focus is still on the mystery. For example, in Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, there are a number of married couples and relationships forming – but it’s not the main plot point.

In my opinion, the best murder mystery books manage to keep you guessing right to the end. And The Ghost Under The Stairs is one of those books…unfortunately, it doesn’t have a murder to solve!

Fun Crime?

A Murder in Nether Bumble and The Ghost Under The Stairs are both perfect fun reads if you like a bit of a mystery, and neither involves graphic descriptions of death and destruction. Even the Nether Bumble murders are…tasteful?

Perhaps they are “fun crime” stories, but I’m not sure that’s a category. Or maybe “thriller laugh”…or “stupid people fix situations.”

Finding a Category

If you think of Terry Pratchett, you probably think of Discworld. Those novels are about dwarves and trolls and wizards, so clearly fantasy – but they echo the modern world and are tremendously funny, so they’re parodies. Nobody calls Terry Pratchett a parody writer though!

Stephen King writes horror stories about vampires and werewolves and ghosts…except The Shining (the story about a haunted hotel) is about a man’s descent into insanity. Did the ghosts send him mad, or was he mad already and a symptom of this was seeing things? On that basis, Stephen King writes books about the condition of the human mind – but everybody is certain it’s Stephen King, the horror writer.

In fact, it could be said that both the authors above write funny romantic mystery books, as there’s always a secret hidden within the pages, always some humour, and always someone falling in love with/obsessing over someone else.

I think the key factor may be the order of the words. Funny comes first, which is what I aim for in my stories, and I believe what Mr Pratchett aimed for too. Romance is a by-product, and mystery is simply the plot.

However, it looks like “funny romantic mystery books” have a genre of their own. You’ll spot them easily – they all have cartoon-like covers, and books that are part of a series tend to have very similar covers just in different colours.

It turns out that I don’t write this type of book at all, and neither does Mr Pratchett or Mr King. Oh well. Looks like I’ll have to redefine myself for the next one!

If you want to check out my funny not-romantic mystery books, click here.