My view of MAY DAY by Jess Lourey

What a ride Jess Lourey takes readers on in MAY DAY, the first of her murder-by-month series featuring Mira James! I’m late to the party, as this novel was published in 2006 and Jess is up to JANUARY THAW now, with FEBRUARY FEVER duemayday2 out in – you guessed it, February 2015 – so you’ll have to hurry to catch up. If the subsequent books follow the promise of MAY DAY, it will be a fun, if R-rated, ride.

Mira is adrift, sort of, when the story begins. She’s left her pointless job, philandering boyfriend, and listless grad school efforts back in Minneapolis, relocating to tiny Battle Lake, Minnesota, to housesit for a friend, Sunshine “Sunny” Waters. Mira lands a job at the library, starts writing for the local newspaper, and falls hard for a visiting archaeologist. She’s thinking her life just might be improving when, of course, the bottom falls out. Native Ojibwe petroglyphs, a fading high school beauty queen, and a bizarre twist on the home-party circuit keep this book moving.

Always fearful of spoilers, and even the tiniest hint here could ruin the whole story, I’ll play it safe with recommending a quirky collection of often recognizable small town characters as supporting cast, and a plot that will keep you guessing. Be warned though: Jess is a tad risqué for me, so if you’re a die-hard cozy fan, this might be a bit much. I liked meeting Mira and her gang, though, and cheered for her all the way to end. I’m betting you will, too.

MAY DAY, published by Midnight Ink in the third edition that I read, is available from all the usual suspects.

I’ll be reading from my debut novel FORTY & OUT this Friday evening, October 10, 6:30 p.m., at Epic Book Shop, 229 Dayton Street in Yellow Springs (behind the Emporium/Underdog Café). Stop by and introduce yourself!

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