Mystery Scene

Writing an award-nominated novel is no laughing matter. But that didn't stop this year's Left Coast Crime Lefty Award nominees for Best Humorous Mystery from taking themselves most unseriously when they shared their favorite jokes with Mystery Scene.

Lefty nominees Mike Befeler (Cruising in Your Eighties Is Murder), Laura DiSilverio (Swift Run), Jess Lourey (December Dread), and Brad Parks (The Girl Next Door) share a few chuckles. Other nominees in the category are Lisa Lutz (Trail of the Spellmans) and Nancy Glass West (Fit To Be Dead).

Congratulations to all the Left Coast Crime nominees! The 2012 winners will be honored at Left Coast Crime in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on March 23, 2013.

disilverio_lauraLaura DiSilverio
Swift Run (Minotaur Books, 2012)

1. A horse walks into a bar. The bartender says, “Why the long face?”

2. If life hands you melons, you might be dyslexic.

3. Two muffins were in the oven. The first muffin says to the other, “Dang, it’s hot in here.” The second muffin screams, “Aaagh, a talking muffin!”

"Most of the jokes I like are short, word play kind of jokes," said DiSilverio, a career Air Force intelligence officer who turned in her security clearance in 2004 after 20 years of service and now pens no fewer than four series: Mall Cop Mysteries, Ballroom Dance Mysteries, Southern Beauty Shop Mysteries, and Swift Investigations Mysteries (to which her Lefty-nominated novel belongs). On her website DiSilverio says, "Along the way, I married my wonderful husband and produced two beautiful children who redefined what is important in life." She noted that joke no. 1 is wonderful husband's favorite, while joke no. 3 is a favorite of her 15-year-old daughter's.


Jess Lourey
December Dread (Midnight Ink, 2012)

1. Q: Where do generals hide their armies? A: In their sleevies.

2. Q: Why did the elephant paint its toenails red? A: So it could hide in the cherry tree.

"You are going to learn a lot about me by finding out what my two favorite jokes are," warned Lourey, the St. Cloud, Minnesota-based author of the, thus far, eight-book Murder-by-the-Month series set in Battle Lake, Minnesota, and featuring PI Mira James.

befeler_mikeMike Befeler
Cruising in Your Eighties Is Murder (Five Star, 2012)

1. Q: What's the difference between geezers and tweezers? A: Tweezers still have a grip on things.

2. A doctor, a lawyer, and a geezer took a walk together. They started talking about the most important things they could do. The doctor said, “I’d like to cure cancer.” The lawyer nodded and added, “That’s important. I’d like to prove the innocence of all people wrongly jailed.” The geezer looked at the other two and said, “I’d like to find a restroom.”

3. Q: What’s the difference between a leprechaun and a geezer?” A: One has a pot of gold and the other is a pot of old.

4. Q: Why’d the geezer go to all the funerals in town? A: He was social networking.

5. Q: Do you know what a geezer triathlon is? A: You ride a stationary bike for a minute, take a walk to the Jacuzzi, and soak in the hot tub.

"Read them and groan," said Befeler, who in addition to his mystery series featuring 85-year-old protaganist Paul Jacobson, also speaks and teaches on topics concerning aging. The "politically incorrect geezer jokes" here are just a few of the gems from Befeler's novels, in which Paul and his granddaughter Jennifer delight in trading yuks.

parks_bradBrad Parks
The Girl Next Door (Minotaur Books, 2012)

1. A writer and an editor are trudging through the desert, near death from dehydration. In the distance, they see an oasis. They think it must be a mirage but, no, as they get closer they see it's real and dash toward it.

The writer wets his parched face and begins drinking deeply from the water, which is sweet and cool and perfect. But when he looks up he sees the editor is... pissing in it?

"What are you doing?!?" the writer cries.

"Don't worry," the editor says. "I'm making it better."

Brad Parks, once a journalist for the Washington Post and The Star Ledger, introduced veteran reporter Carter Ross in Faces of the Gone in 2009, a debut that garnered the author both a Shamus and Nero award. You can read a review of the fourth book in the series, The Good Cop (2013) in the Mystery Scene reviews.