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June 20, 2016


Debra H. Goldstein

Thank you for inviting me today. Looking forward to learning the writers your readers chuckle with ....and to giving one of your readers a copy of Should Have Played Poker.

Sally Schmidt

My grandmother and her gang played Bunco. Not as elegant as Mah Jongg but those women were serious - special prizes, food, stay out of the way for "Grandma's Club.". The first time I read Janet Evanovich I thought Grandma Mazur was just like my mom, and realized what a character she must look like to the rest of the world. Diane Vallere and A. W. Hartion are two additional authors that never fail to have me laughing and snorting. And now a new series, yay!

Karen in Ohio

I've always thought the funniest people were also among the smartest. It's the most appealing characteristic of a person/companion, to me. And amusing writing is the best!

Carolyn Haines

Humor is difficult to write--and it often doesn't get the acknowledgement that it deserves. I have friends who are comedians and the same is true in Hollywood.

Antoinette Brown

The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency novels by Alexander McCall Smith always leave me smiling with their gentle humor.

Karen in Ohio

Colin Cotterill is hilarious. My husband is reading one of his books from my "read already" pile, and he keeps coming in the room to share why he's laughing.

The only time I've played Mahjongg is on a computer. It's a fascinating game.

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Mahjongg on the computer, Karen? I'll check it out..But don't you love the actual beautiful tiles?

And Carolyn, agreed. The line between funny and stupid is very narrow...

Debi Huff

I, too play Mah Jong on the computer. I also enjoy the humor of the writers discussed above.


I find that it takes more in a book to make me laugh over what it takes in the TV show or movie. I think seeing the situation helps as does hearing the way the lines are delivered. But some authors and I click, and I see the humor in their situations and language.

One such author is Laura Levine, who constantly makes me laugh.

Your book sounds wonderful!

Paula Gail Benson

Debra and Hank, what a terrific blog post. Humor is so difficult to do well, yet it can provide such insight in mysteries. I'm thinking of Art Taylor's novel told in stories, On the Road with Del and Louise. Some pieces are quite seriously told, but the funny "capers" in California wine country and the Las Vegas wedding chapel are hilarious and open up so many avenues to deepen the reader's understanding of those characters. Very much enjoying Should have Player Poker. Looking forward to reading many more Goldstein novels!

Debra H. Goldstein

It doesn't matter what game we, our mothers, or our grandmothers play -- it's deadly serious. Thanks for stopping by and mentioning two authors I always find amusing. BTW, how many of us do you think had Grandma Mazur in our lives? (coming from Jersey originally, I met a number of them) Debra

Debra H. Goldstein

If I'm amused, I'm happy. That's why I relish being with people who have the wit to make me laugh and envy those who can convey humor in their writing. Thank you for leaving a comment this morning. Debra

Debra H. Goldstein

I mentioned you in my blog because you are definitely one of the people who deserves all the recognition in the world. From the first time I heard you speak at Birmingham Southern (Nevada Barr and you), I was intrigued by how you worked your knowledge and wit into your writing. You make it look simple, but I know you work at the craft. Your point is well made that those who do it well, work at it...... and those who do it well, often don't receive the recognition they justly deserve. Hats off... Debra

Nancy Jo

The Lumby Line series by Gail Fraser - laugh out loud funny.

Miss Julia series by Ann B Ross - again, laugh out loud funny.

Debra H. Goldstein

Another good choice. I love curling up with a No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency novel. Debra

Debra H. Goldstein

Karen and Debi (and Hank),
Mah jongg on the computer is more like playing the game concentration. They simply can't duplicate the ivory or even slick plastic tiles nor the variety of hands one can play. It's fun on the computer but better in person. Also offers more humor playing with other live people. Debra

Celia Fowler

Anne George's Southern Sisters books are so entertaining -- I really miss her. My grandmother taught all her grandchildren to play Mah Jongg and if we won, we'd say "Wu Mah Jongg"

Debra H. Goldstein

Thank you for leaving a comment. Another author to consider and you made me think about the different ways we all process things. One of my children, only gets the humor when he sees it on tv or hears something read aloud --- he's more of an audio learner. I tend to be word oriented and can hear the voices in my head as I read the words (we won't go there)....Debra

Debra H. Goldstein

You certainly mentioned a winner - Art Taylor's book. He did a wonderful job combining humorous and serious scenes. His book deserves the accolades it has been receiving! Thanks for your kind words.. Debra

Barb Goffman

Humor is certainly difficult to write, but it's well worth the effort. I love making people smile.

Debra H. Goldstein

...There is no question that you do it well. Your short stories are perfect examples of how to use humor effectively. Appreciate you stopping by today.

Debra H. Goldstein

Nancy Jo,
Only thing to say LOL

Debra H. Goldstein

I agree about Anne George's books. She not only was a wonderful writer of comedy, but also Alabama's poet Laureate and the author of an excellent southern novel, This One and Magic Life. She passed way too soon.
A quick comedy tale...when I first began writing, I couldn't seem to get any character to die for at least 85 pages (which was frowned upon) so I asked Anne about this dilemma. She replied that she too had had this problem, but she solved it by dropping the body quickly and working from there. I went home that night and opened my newest Anne George book..the two cousins were at a restaurant and looked out the window as a body sailed past in the first paragraph...and then the book took off. From that point on, I've tried to sail the body by as soon as possible and keep on going. Thank you for bringing that exchange back to mind.

Elaine Viets

Thanks for the shout out. Congratulations on your new book, Debra. I heard you speak at Malice Domestic and you were hilarious. I know your book will be a terrific read.

Ellie Enos

My friend had never read a mystery until I shared a couple with her. For humorous, I started her off on the Maggody series by Joan Hess. She called me the next day and told me that was the "most stupid book" she had ever read and that she had stayed up till 3:00 AM to finish it. Her daughter never forgave me, because Pam took several on the airplane trip to Montana and kept laughing out loud and reading excerpts out loud.

Lynn Evans

For humor in mysteries, the Amelia Peabody series by Elizabeth Peters gets my vote. I play a variety of Mah jongg games on the computer, but I know the real deal has hit the retired ladies circuit in Northern Michigan. My mother was in two different weekly groups last winter.

Sally Schmidt

I love it when there are so many comments with more good books to read. And come to think of it, Debra, my grandkids probably think that I'm like Grandma Mazur!

Debra H. Goldstein

Thank you for your kind words. The shout out was on the mark - not only does your writing effectively utilize humor, but your delivery in workshops imparts knowledge while leaving us in the aisles. dhg

Debra H. Goldstein

There is a definite beauty introducing someone to a wonderful author/delightful series, but it sounds like Pam went off the deep end. Too bad for her daughter, but I bet Pam laughed all the way to the last page. dhg

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Oh, just back from my speech--and so wonderful to see you all chatting!
It's lovely how a discussion like this brings us all together--and gives us new books to read! Hurray! Thank you, dear Debra you are perfection. (ANd I want to chat with you about Mahjongg,
Is there another book in the works?

Please pick a winner!
And I love you all madly...xoxoo

Debra H. Goldstein

And the winner is Sally Schmidt....anyone who could be a deadringer for Grandma Mazur deserves a book she can take to the next viewing. Thank you all for participating and feel free to check my website, www.DebraHGoldstein.com for when the next giveaway / blog opportunity will be coming up (hint, it is only a few weeks away). Debra

Sally, please email me your mailing address at [email protected] or go through the connect page on my website.

Sally Schmidt

Thanks, Debra! Info sent to you via email.

Merrily Boone

The funniest scene I've read in a mystery is in Meg Cabot's Heather Wells mystery Big Boned. After Heather's boss has been murdered, the psych decides the staff needs a "team building" exercise. Maybe it's because I've had to go through some of these myself, but every time I read this chapter I start laughing hysterically.

Debra H. Goldstein

What a concept. Sounds like something we would have been required to do as an exercise in trust or maybe it would have been leadership....gov't, you know.

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Merrily, was that a movie, too? SOunds hilarious..xoo

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