There are several mystery characters in mystery series that make me laugh, but two stand out first there’s Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum and secondly there’s Parnell Hall’s Stanley Hastings. Stanley’s latest caper Stakeout is Book 16 of 2013.. Stakeout is the 18th book in the series that I started reading in 1991! Like all the others this one is a fine caper, which had me out laughing out loud on more than one occasion! The Washington Post Book World says this about the series:
“The charm in Stanley Hastings lies in his chummy, loquacious, self-deprecating commentary as the narrator of his adventures”
While Marilyn Stasio of the The New York Times Book Review writes:
“The Stanley Hastings mysteries depend on subversively sly wordplay. In Caper catching criminals is all very well, but in the violently verbal world he inhabits, Stanley would be happy just to win an argument”
and from Mystery Scene
“This is the 18th installment in Parnell Hall’s long-lived and enjoyable Stanley Hastings series…The whole novel is told through dialogue–not so easy a trick. The writers who are really excellent at this make it look simple–Robert B Parker and Steve Hamilton spring to mind. Hall shares that gift…As Stanley lurches and jolts toward a final “aha” moment in a crowded courtroom, you’ll be rooting for him to come out, more or less, on top.” –
In Stakeout Stanley is hired by a beautiful wife to follow her husband to determine whether he is cheating on her. Stanley follows him and stakes out the motel where has rented a room. When no one shows up, Stanley decides to check out the room. When he opens the unlocked door, big surprise, he finds the husband dead!! Quickly the police arrive and Stanley is fingered for the crime. The rest of the book revolves around Stanley trying to find out who committed the crime and mostly just digs himself deeper in a hole!! It is a very quick and enjoyable read, with the usual cast of characters including Stanley, his wife Alice, police officer MacAullif, and Stanley’s boss personal injury attorney Richard Rosenberg. Here’s a typical discussion between Stanley and MacAullif:
“A vampire?” MacAullif said.
There is no way I can do justice to the skepticism, sarcasm, and mistrust with which MacAullif managed to imbue the word.
“You want me to find a vampire?”
“I’d be relieved if you could. I’m afraid he might be dead.”
― Parnell Hall, Crimes by Moonlight: Mysteries from the Dark Side
So if you enjoy a good mystery with a lot of great humor check out any of the Stanley Hastings mysteries by Parnell Hall or if you prefer Puzzles check out his puzzle lady books. Parnell also writes and performs cleverly written songs like this one about the ebook revolution!