May DayBook - 2006
Minneapolitan Mira James has been taking it easy since college graduation--too easy. Due to a dead-end job and a cheating boyfriend, the Twin Cities have lost their charm, and Mira decides to begin a new life in rural Battle Lake. Right away she is offered jobs as an assistant librarian and part-time reporter, and falls into an unexpected romance with a guy who seems to be the perfect man until he turns up dead between the reference stacks her tenth day on the job.
Anxious to learn more about the man who had briefly stolen her heart, Mira delves into the hidden mysteries of Battle Lake, including a old land deed with ancient Ojibwe secrets, an obscure octogenarian crowd with freaky social lives, and a handful of thirtysomething high school buddies who hold bitter, decades-old grudges. Mira soon discovers that unknown dangers are concealed under the polite exterior of this quirky small town, and revenge is a tator-tot hotdish best served cold.
A hip, humorous, and gripping account of small-town murder, this novel is the first in a series of cozies featuring Mira James, an urban woman with rural Minnesota roots.
"Jess Lourey writes about a small-town assistant librarian, but this is no genteel traditional mystery. Mira James likes guys in a big way, likes booze, and isn't afraid of motorcycles. She flees a deadend job and a deadend boyfriend in Minneapolis and lands up in Battle Lake, a little town with plenty of dirty secrets. The first person narrative in May Day is fresh, the characters quirky. Minnesota has many fine crime writers, and Jess Lourey has just entered their ranks!"—Ellen Hart, Lamda Award-winning author of Jane Lawless & Sophie Greenway Series