The Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich is one of my go-to comfort reads, and I’m always on the lookout for new authors like her. This is one of those series that, no matter how zany it gets (and it gets zany), still makes me laugh out loud. For reals this time. To keep from waking up my partner at 3:00 AM, I once had to stifle my laughter while lying in bed.
Honey, thank you.
In terms of style and formula, Evanovich is unmistakably her own. Some other authors like Janet Evanovich may have similar levels of humor, mischief, and familial bonding in their books as well. It’s also possible that you’re ready for a change or break from that particular series. Having caught up with everything, you may not want to repeat anything. Your patience with the back-and-forth between potential love interests may be wearing thin. According to my personal preference, the Ranger is my favorite character. It’s possible that some of these events have become too unbelievable to be true. Any of the authors listed below may pique your interest if you’re looking for more authors like Janet Evanovich who write in a similar style when you’re craving a lighthearted mystery fix.
Kellye Garrett Series: Detective by Day First Book: Hollywood Homicide
Just two books into this series, but it’s already a huge success!’ It won the Agatha Award for Best First Novel as well as numerous other accolades for its debut novel. Dayna Anderson, a semi-famous but financially strapped actress, is the star of this series, which follows her as she investigates a fatal hit and run. A rising star in the world of mystery, Kellye is someone to keep an eye out for in the future.
Liliana Hart Series: Addison Holmes First Book: Whiskey Rebellion
A lot of books have been written by this author. Pick the Addison Holmes series instead of Evanovich if you want to read something similar. Having a teacher by day and a stripper by night in a novel is a sure sign that you’re in for a wild ride. y’all we really need to pay our teachers more More than once, I found myself laughing out loud as I read this one. The thing I love most about Addison is how realistically clumsy she is, and how she still manages to make you fall in love with her despite her mistakes. That’s because it makes her a little less robotic. even though everything she’s been through has been beyond her wildest imaginations.
Leslie Langtry Series: Merry Wraith series First Book: Merit Badge Murder
Merry Wraith is my favorite series by this author, even though she has a few others to her credit. Girl Scout troop leader? That’s an odd choice for a former CIA agent. Certainly. If you add some crazy animals to the mix, you have the recipe for a hilariously entertaining series!
Jess Lourey Series: Mira James AKA Murder by The Month First Book: May Day
The story revolves around recent college grad Mira James, who decides to leave the Twin Cities for a while and make a home in Battle Lake. When she starts working as an assistant librarian and a part-time reporter, she starts finding dead bodies everywhere she looks (as you do in these country hamlets). Incredibly well-rounded characters populate this setting (we could all use a Mrs. Berns). While there are some hilarious moments, Mira is also dealing with the demons of her past and the possibility of alcoholism, which keeps the comedy grounded and relatable. However, nothing is overly depressing, and they are all worth reading.
Stephanie Bond Series: Body Movers First Book: Body Movers
Carlotta Wren, a former wealthy socialite, is the focus of this series. Following a scandal that saw the Wrens demoted to the ‘have nots,’ her parents had left town. She’s doing her best, but it’s not easy to care for her younger brother all by herself. During the day, she works at Neiman Marcus and at night, she helps move people. In this series, she deals with the adjustment to her new position in life and the attention she’s received from potential romantic partners.
Karen MacInerney Series: Margie Peterson First Book: Mother’s Day Out
Margie has given up her role as a stay-at-home mom in order to become a private investigator. Think about her dismay when she discovers a dead body at a drag contest with her landline number as the last one dialed on their mobile phone. It is fair to say that one of the story’s threads deals with a closeted male who doesn’t handle it well. That said, I thought it was important enough to mention regardless of whether or not a content warning is warranted.
This author also has a wide variety of series to choose from, with settings ranging from an English cottage to the beaches of Australia. Even though she doesn’t write only mysteries, the ones she does have have all the elements of a good cozy mystery. New business ventures, friends to help her along the way, and love interest or two to keep things interesting for the young heroine. Don’t forget about the dead bodies, either. Start with the English Cottage Garden, the Oxford Tea Room, or the Bewitched by Chocolate mysteries.
Cozy mysteries are Catherine’s specialty, so any one of them would be appropriate. The Cookies & Chance series starring Sally Muccio is your best bet if you’re looking for a set up more like the Plum Series. If you’re looking for something different, try her Cindy York series, which follows a determined real estate agent who also happens to be an amateur detective with a well-defined family life. As well, she has a new novel out, about a widowed chef who becomes a sleuth after learning that the death of her husband was not an accident.
Alexia Gordon Series: Gethsemane Brown First Book: Murder in G Major
What’s not to love about a show where the characters are voiced by the actors themselves? Getting stranded in Ireland, Gethsemane Brown is a classical African American musician. How does she intend to return to the United States? Making an award-winning Orchestra out of a bunch of rowdy high school boys. A ghost has come to Gethsemane to clear his name of the murder-suicide that was attributed to him. The only thing I can say is that I’ve heard nothing but good things about this book and can’t wait to get my hands on a copy.
Julie Leto Series: Dirty Series First Book: Dirty Little Secrets: Sexy Suspense
PI Marisela Morales takes on her new job at Titan International as a former gang member turned Private Investigator in this short television series. You’ll get your heart racing if you read one of these books about a fierce Latina with a “kick butt now, take names later” mentality. As a side note, this series has been put on indefinite hiatus due to low viewer interest. The future of the project is unknown. The two books and the novella are still worth reading.
Kyra Davis Series: Sophie Katz First Book: Sex, Murder, and Double Latte
That’s not the end of the list. It is impossible for me to recommend this series without doing so. Kyra’s first novel, Sex, Murder, and a Double Latte, came out about 15 years ago, and I’ve been hooked ever since. A best-selling mystery author, Sophie Katz, has a reputation for getting herself into trouble whenever she comes across a dead body. Her mother isn’t happy about it happening so frequently.
Honorable Mention: Aloha Lagoon Series
A series of books by Gemma Halliday Publishing revolves around characters who reside at the Aloha Lagoon resort in Hawaii. In each book, a different author takes on the role of one of the many characters that populate it. This is a welcome respite from reality, set in a picturesque setting with just the right amount of mystery and levity.