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The Bumbling Detective Mystery Genre

What is a Bumbling Detective Mystery?

Whether they are lazy, rude or generally incompetent, these bumbling detectives all have one thing in common, they make us laugh. These detective manage to get to the finish line and solve the case, but the path they take to the denouement is nothing short of amusing. While not a large subgenre, this group of books is adored by those who enjoy this type of humor.

Bumbling Detective Mystery Characteristics

  • Level of Characterization

    Characterization is not the primary concern of these books. The main characters may be drawn broadly or may be detailed and precise.

  • Level of Plot

    the plots are usually involved as the detective cannot be shown as so incompetent that they cannot determine that John Doe stabbed his wife if he's standing over the body. So a good plot is required.

  • Level of Mystery

    the detective has to come to the solution through convoluted means and this requires the mystery to last up to the last few pages.

  • Level of Suspense

    not a lot of suspense is involved as the characters will come out fine in the end.

  • Level of Thriller

    these cases rarely have any major repercussions or else the head of the police bureau would be unlikely to assign them to the case.

  • Level of Strangeness

    the case and the detective can be as strange as the author's imagination. There's no limit to the level of oddity that can appear.

  • Level of Violence

    these are books with large parts of humor in them, which typically requires a minimal amount of violence and injury.

  • Level of Action

    the characters may run from place to place, but there's little in the way of fisticuffs in these books.

  • Degree of Thriller/Suspense/Crime/Mystery Elements

    These fall squarely in the mystery genre because of the humor and the reliance on plot. The characters alone would not be suitable for thrillers or suspense, and they would not fit easily into the more stylized crime novels.

Related MYSTERY Subgenres



  • Puzzle Mystery . Puzzle plots for the detailed plots that face our intrepid, yet flawed heroes.

  • Humorous mysteries . Humorous mysteries for the level of mirth that comes from bumbling characters in action.

Bumbling Detective Mystery isn't for you IF...

You like serious novels or don't find bumbling people to be amusing.

Popular Bumbling Detective Mystery Books