I've read every Lee Child, every Robert Crais, every Harlan Coben and - argh! argh! - am on my last few John Sandfords.
All of them are writers of proper thrillers - not comedy thrillers like Hiassen - that are also permeated with humour. I'm desperate to find some new authors, preferably with series characters.
I've also read Lindsey Davis and Alan Bradley, who I'd count more in the 'cosy' department and also more comedy than mystery.
It's the thrillers with that constant background of humour I'm after.
Do you like crime thrillers? If so, have you tried Stuart MacBride? He's a bit like Ian Rankin crossed with Terry Pratchett
Hi Astrea - I'd classify Sandford as crime (as in police) thrillers, though I tend to steer clear of most police procedurals as they're usually so utterly lacking in humour.
I can't get on with Ian Rankin's books - have tried his first, middle and latest to give him a fair try and can't get past the first 50pp of any of them - but I've read all of Terry Pratchett's Discworld series (and listen to them over and over again as audiobooks.
That's an interesting recommendation, of Stuart MacBride - I've gone ahead and ordered 'Cold Granite' from the library.
Anybody got any more? It's like feeding a furnace!
Incidentally, I've just this minute noticed a feature on Amazon that I'd never noticed before: if you go to the product page of any book, right near the bottom, below customer reviews, they list two authors under the heading, 'Customers also bought books by'.
I'm familiar with the 'customers who bought this also bought' feature but not this one.
For Sandford it's giving me Jeffrey Deaver (read him) and Robert Crais (read him); for Lee Child it gives Michael Connelly and James Patterson (neither of whom use much humour, to speak of); for Robert Crais it gives Lee Child and Michael Connelly; and for Harlan Coben it gives Michael Connelly and Lee Child.
So, not much good for my purposes but interesting to see it's there.
Oh! Just remembered another crime series that has its own unique sense of humour without being comedy: Fred Vargas's books. She's a French writer whose crime fiction has two series police detectives. Enjoyably weird, implausible plots. Great stuff.
Just in case anybody else was looking for recommendations!
Cold Granite is definitely one of his grittier books, but he still mixes in plenty of dark humour. Can't remember if DI Steel features much in this one, but she is quite a character - hope you like Mr MacBride!
What about the Sue Grafton 'alphabet' series? She has a light touch as far as humour goes that isn't a million miles from being a female Harlan Coben.
Yes, I was about to say Sue Grafton - also Val McDermid's Kate Brannigan series? Susan Hill's Simon Serrailler series has its light side.
I've just got back into Maigret, too - more crime than thriller, admittedly, but it's very, very dry, deadpan humour, and whether it's funny depends a lot on how good the translation is, but ooh, he's good.
Thanks, saturday - just ordered 'A for Alibi' from the library!
Thanks, Emma - I've ordered 'Dead Beat' and 'The Various Haunts of Men'
I think Maigret would be too unthrillery and probably so Kate Atkinson but I've downloaded a sample of 'Case Histories' to my Kindle so I'll give that a go - thanks, Catkin!
I think I'm going to have to stretch a bit if I'm going to have anything at all to read! Nothing like a familiar series...
The Inspector Morse books by Colin Dexter are great! I like Jeffrey Deaver and love Lee Child, so it looks like we have similar taste.
I'm not a big thriller reader but every now and then I like one on audio. At the moment I'm absolutely gripped by Touch and Go by Lisa Gardner, about a rich family who get kidnapped.
It's so deftly handled and entertaining. Humour? Not so much, but still worth checking out for story telling alone.
Otherwise, Val McDermid maybe?