Friday, November 20, 2015

What's So Funny? ~ Find Out What Frankie Bow, Author of The Case of the Defunct Adjunct (A Molly Barda Mystery) Means!!

Please welcome Frankie Bow here today!!

What’s so funny? by Frankie Bow:

I like work: it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours.” This may look like one of those modern Facebook quotes you see popping up on your feed, inexplicably accompanied by a Despicable Me minion; but it’s from Jerome K. Jerome’s Three Men in a Boat, published in 1889.

Some other timeless tidbits:

“I do not want people to be very agreeable, as it saves me the trouble of liking them a great deal.” Jane Austen, Letters to Cassandra (1798)

“After spending an entire evening listening to her sing, I don’t understand why she doesn’t go into the movies.” (Dorothy Parker, reviewing Lillian Lorraine’s Follies performance in 1918, when movies were still silent.)

The late New Yorker reporter Jane Boutwell  wrote that “great writers transcend their times, but second-rate writers are mired by theirs, ” so “perhaps the best way to learn of another era is not from great writers but from second-rate writers.”

We’re all familiar with the great writers like the ones excerpted above, because they are the ones whose work remains in print. But now, thanks to resources like and Google Books, anyone with an internet connection has access to works that have not necessarily stood the test of time.

The first thing that the literary time-traveler will notice is how perishable is the wit of the second-rate writer.



The immodest title strikes the modern reader as overcompensating and a little desperate. Are Crawford & Co. (the publishers) overselling it? Let’s sample some of those mirthful stories:

Actors may have no end of animosities in private life, but they always make up before they appear on the stage.

Makeup! I get it! It’s a pun.

Dakota has a town named Patronage. Patronage is generally considered a good thing out of which to make capital.

Another pun. Okay.

"Men who have anything in their heads find plenty to do with their hands."—J. Howard, Jr., in N. Y. Press. That's so. We saw a tramp the other day who evidently had something in his head, and both hands were in use.

I don’t even understand this one. A sly jape at the expense of a homeless man in the advanced stages of alcoholism? Or is he supposed to be a pickpocket?

A Chicago man tried to commit suicide by perforating his head with a bullet. The bullet passed through his skull all right, but did not touch the brain. Before a man goes gunning for his own brains, he ought to acquire the requisite skill by practicing at a pea in a peck measure for a time.

I think we can agree that mirthful stories about failed suicides don’t age well.

Doddle—I say, Coddle, old boy! What's the ideah of having a howid big flap on a fellah's ear? 
Couldn't we have heard pwetty nearly as well without it?

Coddle—Pwobably, Doddle, but it dwaws the collar line, don't yer know; it sawter keeps the collar from wunning up and knocking our hats off.

Something to do with men’s fashion, I guess?

What a glorious world this would be if people lived up to the epitaphs on their tombstones.

Actually, that one’s not bad.

As someone who writes allegedly funny books, I hope that time will treat my work kindly.

But if not, I can console myself that I have offered future generations an illuminating glimpse into what used to pass for humor.

About Frankie's New Book:

The Case of the Defunct Adjunct (A Molly Barda Mystery)
by Frankie Bow
File Size: 504 KB
Print Length: 244 pages
Publisher: Hawaiian Heritage Press (December 1, 2015)
Publication Date: December 1, 2015

About the Book:

~~Special preorder price 0.99. Returns to 3.99 at release. ~~

A forbidden kiss. A death in plain sight. And the faculty meeting’s just begun.

Forced to attend the Student Retention Office’s summer retreat, Professor Molly Barda brings her game of buzzword bingo to fend off boredom. But when the lecherous Kent Lovely, Mahina State’s one-man hostile work environment, collapses face-first into his haupia cheesecake, the afternoon goes from dull to disastrous. Now Molly has to fight to keep an innocent out of prison—and herself off the unemployment line.

The Case of the Defunct Adjunct is the spoiler-free prequel to the Molly Barda mysteries, a cozy mystery series set in remote Mahina, Hawaii. If you like Dorothy Parker, Sarah Caudwell, P.G. Wodehouse, or E.F. Benson’s Mapp and Lucia stories, you’ll enjoy this tale of passion, pilferage, and petty politics.

Amazon Link:

The Case of the Defunct Adjunct (A Molly Barda Mystery)

Meet the Author:

Like Molly Barda, Frankie Bow teaches at a public university. Unlike her protagonist, she is blessed with delightful students, sane colleagues, a loving family, and a perfectly nice office chair. She believes if life isn’t fair, at least it can be entertaining.

In addition to writing murder mysteries, she publishes in scholarly journals under her real name. Her experience with academic publishing has taught her to take nothing personally.

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2 comments: said...


Thanks for hosting me today, and for your great blog! It was a lot of fun thinking about how humor has changed...or not.

Sapphyria said...

You're welcome, Frankie!!