[Supernatural Born Killers] I saw this title, and then the rest of the series, and knew that they deserved a mention here. In addition to Supernatural Born Killers, which is the most recent entry, the Pepper Martin mysteries include:
Don of the Dead
The Chick and the Dead
Tombs of Endearment
Night of the Loving Dead
Dead Man Talking
Tomb With a View
A Hard Day’s Fright
Wild Wild Death (weakest entry)
This is series punning done RIGHT. They (presuming author + publisher) picked a theme: movies. They applied death-related terms to all their chosen titles, without too much reaching. They’ve left themselves lots of room for future titles. *polite clapping*
I’d like to take a moment to appreciate not just one punny mystery title, but a series of titles that incorporate the same pun and don’t have an appreciable drop-off in amusement value. It’s not the strongest pun, but it reaps rewards over time.
Sometimes a title will come across my screen that’s ideal in terms of its hilarity, but it’s difficult to figure out how an author could extend that joke value across additional books. Since these sorts of books usually come in series, that can be a real challenge.
Other books in the Ghost Hunter Mystery series include What’s a Ghoul to Do?, Demons are a Ghoul’s Best Friend, Ghouls Just Haunt to Have Fun, Ghouls Gone Wild, and Ghouls, Ghouls, Ghouls.
[Murder Under Cover] The Bibliophile mystery series has an uneven history of cover puns. Homicide in Hardcover and The Lies that Bind are … OK. If Books Could Kill is clearly the winner of the series. This most recent one isn’t too bad, but it isn’t truly awesome/horrible enough to merit more than a passing mention, either. Let’s step it up, people!
[Classified as Murder] Since it’s National Library Week and all, I thought we’d feature a few library or book-oriented cozies. Classified as Murder is the second in the “Cats in the Stacks” series (featuring Charlie the librarian and his cat, Diesel), following Murder Past Due. I’m not a huge cat cozy adherent, but I can definitely appreciate a mild library pun, especially the title of the most recent book. What is murder classified under? My library seems to have it in 364.
[Formula for Murder] The pun in this one escaped me until I saw the cover and the series title (Maternal Instincts), which turned it from a run of the mill suspense title to an eye-rolling cozy title. Other titles in the series: Motherhood is Murder and Bundle of Trouble.
Note: It is possible that I only find this title so amusing because I am the mother of a toddler. -A
[Fruit of All Evil] Now that’s what I’m talking about! Leave it to the cozies to wash away the weird taste of series romance. Plus, this title is a huge improvement on the first in the series, Farm Fresh Murder. And if you’re in to niche cozies, AND WHO ISN’T?, I hear farmer’s markets are the new plumbing.
[Polished Off] This is an improvement in terms of 1) punny titles and 2) “organic skin-care recipes” has to be the most exotic add-on that I’ve yet heard of for a cozy mystery. This book is the sequel to Tressed to Kill, which is a tough act to follow, I’m sure.
Interesting(?) note: This is not the first time Polished Off has been used, and not even the first time for a cozy or a cheap pun. The first one was a Charlotte LaRue Maid-for-a-Day mystery.