In the monthly Glimmer Train bulletin, you'll find some fabulous advice from working writers. Here's a bit of what novelist Eric Wasserman had to say about research (Eric pictured above):
Fiction writers can easily write themselves into a corner. For the writer of the researched story it almost inevitably happens when the details cease to be attached to characters, particularly when writing historical fiction, which is what I have been engaged in for a number of years. My manuscript reached over 1,000 pages at one point. Of the 450 pages I cut, the majority were sections where I had fallen in love with my research.
Also read J.P. Lacrampe on Humor in Fiction.
And more juicy advice, all free, in Bulletin 33 from Glimmer Train.