Karen’s Killer Book Bench: IS IT STILL MURDER EVEN IF SHE WAS A BITCH?, The Donna Leigh Mysteries Book 1 by Robin Leemann Donovan

KAREN’S KILLER BOOK BENCH: Welcome to Karen’s Killer Book Bench, where readers can discover talented new authors and take a peek inside their wonderful books. This is not an age-filtered site, so all book peeks are PG-13 or better. Come back and visit often. Happy reading!


The Donna Leigh Mysteries Book 1


How does one react to the shocking news that a former colleague has been brutally murdered? Worse yet, you realize that your vitriolic relationship with the victim could land you squarely on the suspect list. That’s exactly what happened to Donna Leigh, a menopausal ad exec, who jumps right in to the investigation in order to keep the wolves away from her door. She manages to amuse, as well as impress with her effective but unorthodox sleuthing.


The Donna Leigh Mysteries Book 1

Writing a Humorous Murder Mystery

Editing is always critical, no matter what you write. Editing a humorous murder mystery is considerably more critical than a non-humorous fictional murder because you can easily lose the empathy of your reader if the humor goes too far or becomes too macabre. Even if the victim was a vile person, there is still a line over which the protagonist dare not step. On the other hand, if you’re not into cozy mysteries, becoming too macabre may be your goal. Long live Stephen King!

The humorous murder mystery has to maintain something of a pathos throughout, while highlighting humorous components whenever possible. And there had better be enough tasteful humorous components or you will lose your audience to boredom.

While my protagonist in Is It Still Murder Even If She Was A Bitch? can’t pretend to be sorry her horrible former colleague has been murdered, she does take the time to comment on her feelings of sadness for the widower and the now motherless child. In other parts of the story, through another character, we are informed that the clownishly large feet of the murdered woman were almost too big to fit in her coffin. Were these elements juxtaposed too closely and not timed perfectly, it might highlight the humor in a negative or cruel light, leaving a bad taste in the mouth of the reader.

That sounds like an extremely delicate balance – and it is. But hitting that sweet spot, that perfect balance of humor and compassion, can be so rewarding.

When I first started writing cozy mysteries, I took my cue for humor from the extremely successful Janet Evanevich. She typically employs about 6 different comedic incidents in every book. That’s harder than it sounds. Not to mention that a humorous undertone must work right alongside pathos when murder is involved, so the author must carefully interweave these elements with masterful timing.

The husband of Is It Still has to make a somber decision to give up the woman he loves, his mistress, as it is in the best interest of his young son after his wife’s tragic death. At the same time, said mistress is having a laughable public meltdown as she decides that the dead woman’s mother is responsible for her being dumped. With these scenes, I hope to elicit respect for a man who is able to make a difficult decision to sacrifice his own needs for those of his son, and conversely, amusement over a woman who takes a completely self-centered viewpoint of a tragic event that does not directly involve her. If my timing misses, this whole scenario is likely to fall flatter than a pancake. But if it works, I will succeed in taking your emotions way down and then back up all the way to laughter. That’s a very heady feeling for an author.

*Is It Still Murder Even If She Was A Bitch?

**I Didn’t Kill Her But That May Have Been Short Sighted.

***I Don’t Know Why They Killed Him He Wasn’t Really That Annoying.

Website: https://www.rldonovan.com



Special Giveaway: Robin will give away a print copy of IS IT STILL MURDER IF SHE WAS A BITCH? to one lucky reader who comments on her Karen’s Killer Book Bench blog.

Happy Reading!


Thanks, Robin, for sharing your book with us!

Don’t miss the chance to read this book!

9 thoughts on “Karen’s Killer Book Bench: IS IT STILL MURDER EVEN IF SHE WAS A BITCH?, The Donna Leigh Mysteries Book 1 by Robin Leemann Donovan”

  1. The title caught my attention and you kept it. This sounds like a really good – and possibly relatable- mystery! Thanks!

  2. Good morning, wow, Congratulations on all your accomplishments and all the hard work you have put into it all!! You are a very hard working and busy lady. Your books all sound like great reads! Thank you for the chance at your book , it sounds very intriguing . Have a great day and a great weekend.

  3. Good morning, Robin, and welcome back to Karen’s Killer Book Bench. I do love your titles! With a hint of snark, they capture my attention and tell me that this isn’t your garden-variety mystery. I do love humor in a mystery. It does take a knack! Thanks for sharing your story with us today!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.