Chris Ewan's Good Thief's Guide to Vegas, a smooth and funny caper, has its protagonist witness a shocking act of violence. Ewan does not play the scene for laughs, and he manages at the same not to upset the novel's mood. How does he achieve this? Perhaps by staging the scene behind soundproof glass; neither we not the narrator hear it. It's a delicate balance, and I say it works.
Thomas Kaufman's Drink the Tea does it in part by giving protagonist Willis Gidney a past that includes a grim childhood spent in orphanages and foster homes and by a series of gracefully executed flashbacks to that past.
If you read comic crime fiction, how do your favorite authors maintain the balance between the comedy and the crime?
© Peter Rozovsky 2011