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Our new humour section is filled with books with elements of humour. Books that will make you laugh, chortle and chuckle as you read.
A thoroughly entertaining, fast-moving and smirky crime caper. When Daniella arrives in Spain for her estranged mother’s funeral, she finds herself in the middle of a property scam, things soon get rather… complicated. The storyline has the feel of an old black and white crime comedy film, but this is bang up to date and in spectacular colour. The chapter titles act as a heads up and several times Morgan Cry tells you what is to come, which just ratchets up the tension. Words jabbed at my awareness, the characters are larger than life, and even when being vile, have the potential to be somewhat loveable. The police transcripts that are scattered through the book are extremely diverting and left me smiling. I read this in one sitting, and the ending arrived with a blast. I would describe Thirty-One Bones as a crime-laden romp, it is pure escapism, and I enjoyed it so much, I’ve included it as a Liz Robinson Pick of the Month.
This sequel to John Uttley’s family drama Where’s Sailor Jack? sees Bob, now past his “three score and ten”, dealing with era-defining external changes (Brexit, changes in the Labour Party, Donald Trump’s presidency) alongside day-to-day life, with his new love Wendy also given her own narrative. Having survived a divorce and a heart attack, and found himself new partner, Bob has also bought himself a grave plot “near enough to the gate for me to look for an escape if I’m sent to the wrong place,” he remarks with typically wry humour. Lively new characters are also introduced in this sequel, courtesy of teacher Lucy Fishwick, reputedly “a man-eater of all ages and sizes”, and her daughter Maddie, who’s often the object of male characters’ lascivious gazes. Reflective, nostalgic, and suffused in the author’s roots, No Precedent will appeal to those interested in personal takes on present-day political shifts. Indeed, it often reads as if lines between characters’ views and those of the author have been blurred. Tony Blair, Ed Miliband, Boris Johnson, Jeremy Corbyn, Teresa May, Jacob Rees-Mogg, John Bercow and Keir Starmer - and others - are discussed, and we’re also offered a reason for the collapse of Labour’s red wall in the 2019 general election: “I suppose they took the view that if you can’t beat the bastards then you might as well join them, if only for a while.” With loss, immortality (and the fates of Bolton and Blackpool football clubs) covered alongside politics, the overall reading experience is akin to overhearing a wry-minded, well-meaning stranger, then getting to know them over the course of an evening.
I think that Game of Gnomes: The Necrognomicon is a cheeky, fun, irreverent fantasy adventure. It is a bit sweary in parts and there is dark and adult humour throughout, I did chuckle aloud as I read. Gassy’s life of crime has rewarded him with a quiet dream home in which he can retire. Until he is roped into traveling to the revived criminal convention to compete in the Crimicompetion, the ultimate test of criminal ability by his friend Borty. I liked the fourth wall breaks and the wordplay between the three gnomes as they head to Crimicon and participate in the Crimicompetition to find and steal the Necrognomicon (try saying that six times fast!). This entertaining fantasy adventure sees everything go wrong, it’s like Despicable Me crossed with Deadpool, and would be good for fans of the latter. This book is not for children but did seem to me to be a mischief-making adventure story adapted with adult language. In the early chapters, I found that there could be a slight rebalancing with the erotica jokes (for my personal preference there was maybe one too many). However, I did enjoy the reaction to the garden gnomes as well as the inclusion of other fantasy creatures throughout the story. I think this book is a bit of daft fun, it feels like a children’s adventure rewritten for adults and is lighthearted, harmless and entertaining.
The City That Barks and Roars is a humorous anthropomorphic crime fiction. As I started reading, following Chico Monkey as he heads into the city to start his new detective role there was that this book was going to be like Zootopia but rewritten for an adult audience. This was a recurring thought and I think it’s a very good way to explain or summarise the book in a sentence so I was amused when I saw it mentioned in the description after I had finished reading. I particularly like the attention to detail shown throughout the plot, the logistics of Chico Monkey getting into the car belonging to his partner, Frank Penguin as they get to work hunting for Lucas Panda. As the search for Frank’s missing partner goes on, they realise it’s connected to a darker web of corruption. I liked this book and I think it would be good for people who like good old-fashion crime mysteries, although this one does have a furry and feathery twist. I thought that the characters were all very different and I enjoyed trying to work out what animal they were before being told, and discovering whether they had their own ulterior motive that would pull Monkey and Frank deeper into the mire. The City That Barks and Roars is a quick and entertaining read that I enjoyed and would recommend for anyone looking for a good detective mystery.
The Severed Hands of Oliver Olivovich is a satirical take on a crime fiction story with the addition of fantasy creatures and parallel worlds. The author has done very well to pack all of these different elements in and I can’t fault his world building. I found the mystery aspect of this book and the hunt for Oliver Olivovich’s killer twisty and interesting. I liked how the author takes the reader down a number of seemingly unconnected paths. I didn’t know how all of the different leads were connected as I read and I think that the author did well to pull everything together at the end. This book is irreverent, a bit sweary, and although some of the jokes didn’t quite hit well and got a bit repetitive by the end for me personally (I didn’t like the “Frenchie” jokes and comments at all if I’m honest), it’s a generally amusing book. I did like the imaginary dog and found Nigel the seagull funny.I think the tone of the humour is akin to something like Family Guy, as a comparison. If that is the style of humour you like, then this might be a good book recommendation for you. In all, I think that The Severed Hands of Oliver Olivovich is a decent attempt at combining the fantasy and mystery genres together while adding in a satirical twist and adult humour. It wasn’t really my type of humour but for those who like “on the nose” comedy, this could be a good recommendation.
John Cranston is a simple gardener, he isn’t interested in things like global domination but a simple meeting with a friend turns his world upside down. Pandora’s Gardener is a funny adventure story with a piece of computer hardware at the heart of a secret battle for technological domination. Based on the myth of Prometheus stealing fire from the gods and Zeus’ revenge with Pandora’s box. Democracy itself is under threat and this humble data card could lead to a technological Dark Age. This book is set in a typical, modern criminal society and as you meet the characters you aren’t sure who the good guys are or who should be trusted. There’s some witty chapter heading that made me smile and plenty of twists and turns throughout the narrative as both sides fight to find the data card and a trail of death is left behind. The narrative is engaging and easy to follow, with easy character development and wry humour. The third-person narration allows the book to jump perspective and provides the reader with an in-depth knowledge of each storyline as they meet and diverge. This is a book that will keep you interested and amused right through to the final page. Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador
An absolute delight of a romantic comedy debut, stuffed full of smiles, flirtations, and feel-good moments. Evie has to prove that it is possible to meet and fall in movie-style love, her job depends on it, and so her life is taken over by arranging ridiculously cheesy meet-cutes. The intriguing chatty prologue made me snort with laughter and I found myself relaxing and sinking into the story. Text messages, emails, and screenplay excerpts appear within the pages (but not too many), which keeps things interesting. Anette, and Evie’s friends are a fabulous supporting cast, while the two leading men add an edge to the will-they-won’t-they potential! Rachel Winters keeps things beautifully bright and breezy, bringing out the very best of the romcom. Would Like To Meet is very lovely indeed, in fact, it allows you to properly escape reality for a while and I really didn’t want to leave the pages!
Clever, sharp, and yet wonderfully poignant, this is a hugely entertaining multi-generational family drama. After hiring highly recommended carer Mandy for their father James, Phoebe and her brother Robert begin to wonder if all is as rosy as they first thought. Deborah Moggach excels in opening a window to all generations, there is a feeling of truth to her descriptions. With a different character heading each chapter, I soon felt as though I was diving deep into their thoughts. An ongoing rivalry for their father’s attention has kept Phoebe and Robert company through into middle age. All aspects of their personality spilled out onto the page, from selfish to thoughtful, fractious to charming, and so while not necessarily always likeable, it felt as though they were in the room with me. There are a few surprises in store, you know when you’re cringing and wincing, but can’t stop reading and almost want to peek at the pages between your fingers? That’s exactly what happened to me here! Chosen as a Liz Robinson Pick of the Month, and one of our LoveReading Star Books, The Carer is a vivid, colourful, smirky, yet penetrating and compelling read. Loved it!
Sassy, saucy, and a little bit sweary! This is Volume One in the Cherry PI mystery series. Meet Cherry Hinton, a former journalist who was humiliated on live TV, she now runs a cake shop full of Essex collection creations such as Hornchurches of Plenty. Her former investigative skills come to the fore when she is asked to look into the murder of a contestant on a reality show, everyone saw who murdered him, or did they! Set in Essex with the focus on reality TV shows, you’ll find plenty to give your armchair detective mind a workout. Bold, amusing, and that little bit different, Cherry Slice is an entertaining murder mystery.
This is such a beautifully handled startling wow of a read, it has gone straight in to sit as a LoveReading Star Book. Spend a week with Majella as the routine of her life changes, she just wants to go to work, watch Dallas, and eat the same dinner each night. However… her mother is an alcoholic, her dad disappeared in the Troubles, and her gran has just died. The synopsis tells you that Majella is autistic, but this is her story, and she doesn’t know she is, so I met, I saw, I got to know Majella, as Majella. The extensive list of things she isn’t keen on are announced as the story progresses. The humour Michelle Gallen delivers is punchy, the swearing is particularly sweary, while the heartachy emotion wormed its way into my heart and squeezed. In fact Majella marched her way into my thoughts, she is one of the most wonderful characters I’ve had the pleasure of meeting, and I’d go so far as to say that she is unforgettable. The repetition of her life, echoed through the book, adding emphasis to each new experience. The surrounding town and its folk slipped and exploded into play while the chip shop sits centre stage. Simple and raw yet richly complex, Big Girl, Small Town comes with huge applause and recommendations from me.
A refreshingly different, sparkling romantic comedy with real depth and heart. Tiffy and Leon agree to share his flat, which has just the one bedroom. They’ve never met or want to meet, he works nights and stays away at the weekend and she works days, what could go wrong? I absolutely adore this premise, it feels as though it shouldn’t work, but oh, it so does! I settled in straight away, with chapters either headed by Tiffy or Leon. They are both wonderful characters, and I felt as though I really got to know them, the more I read, the closer friends we became. The surrounding cast are fabulous and add real flavour. There are some darker and disquieting aspects to explore, which are handled with sensitivity and empathy by Beth O’Leary, while the humour dances feather-light across the page. The Flatshare is an original romantic comedy debut that made my heart smile. Explore our '80+ Books That Deliver a Hug' listicle for more feel-good or uplifting books.
Sir Ecgbert Tode of Tode Hall has survived to a grand old age - much to the despair of his younger wife, Emma. But at ninety-three he has, at last, shuffled off the mortal coil. Emma, Lady Tode, thoroughly fed up with being a dutiful Lady of the Manor, wants to leave the country to spend her remaining years in Capri. Unfortunately her three tiresome children are either unwilling or unable (too mad, too lefty or too happy in Australia) to take on management of their large and important home, so the mantle passes to a distant relative and his glamorous wife. Not long after the new owners take over, Lady Tode is found dead in the mausoleum. Accident? Or is there more going on behind the scenes of Tode Hall than an outsider would ever guess....? In the traditions of two great but very different British writers, Agatha Christie and P.G. Wodehouse, Waugh's hilarious and entirely original twist on the country house murder mystery comes complete with stiff upper lips, even stiffer drinks, and any stiffs that might embarrass the family getting smartly brushed under the carpet...
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