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December Dread (The Murder-By-Month Mysteries) Paperback – October 8, 2012


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Product Details

  • Series: The Murder-By-Month Mysteries (Book 8)
  • Paperback: 277 pages
  • Publisher: MIDNIGHT INK; First Edition edition (October 8, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738731889
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738731889
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #580,497 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jess Lourey is the author of the Lefty-nominated Murder-by-Month mysteries set in Battle Lake, Minn. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, The Loft, and a founding faculty member of the Mystery Writers of America’s MWA University. Lourey resides in St. Cloud, Minn., where she is a professor of writing and sociology. For more information, visit her online at JessLourey.com.

Watch Jess on Showcase Minnesota (08/26/09).

Watch Jess on Twin Cities Live (09/02/09).

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Open publication - Free publishing - More battle lake

More About the Author

Jessica (Jess) Lourey is best known for her critically-acclaimed Murder-by-Month mysteries, which have earned multiple starred reviews from Library Journal and Booklist, the latter writing, her books are "a splendid mix of humor and suspense." Jessica also writes sword and sorcery fantasy as Albert Lea and edge-of-your-seat YA adventure as J.H. Lourey, and is branching out into literary fiction under her given name.

She is a tenured professor of creative writing and sociology at a Minnesota college. When not teaching, reading, traveling, writing, or raising her two wonderful kids, you can find her dreaming big, playing with her dorky dog, or watching craptastic SyFy original movies. Visit her website at www.jessicalourey.com or her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/jess.lourey. All are welcome!

Customer Reviews

Well written, suspenseful and great characters.
Deborah Jacobson
If you aren't into reading books in a series and want to pick just one, I would say this is the one.
Scarlett Leigh
I look forward to reading the next in the series.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By MidwestMom on October 24, 2012
Format: Paperback
December Dread is a bit darker in tone, I feel, but it's also my favorite in this series so far. Being privy to the serial killer's thoughts and actions was creepy but in a good way. :) Lourey has done an amazing job of making Mira a very believable character with so much depth--and very likable! Mira faces some of the demons in her past, and it will be interesting to see how this affects her in future books. Loved it and can't wait for January!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Ruthieo on October 19, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
First off I have to confess that I am a native Minnesotan and love most everything about my state, especially because I am no longer living there! (absence makes the heart grow fonder!) That said, I LOVE LOVE LOVE all the books in this series. I grew up in a small town central Minnesota location just a few towns away from Mira James' Paynesville! The books are a joy to read and I spend quite a bit of time chuckling and having to explain certain things to my non-Minnesotan husband. I can't wait for the January book! I recently acquired a kindle and my first purchases were all her books through November. I reserved my copy of the December book and devoured it in just a few days!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Gail B. on October 21, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I have ready every single book and I still can't get enough of Mira and her escapades.
This was a very good read and of course, I read it in one sitting. I can't seem to put the books down.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Linda on October 28, 2012
Format: Paperback
Jess Lourey's December Dread is a great read!! This is the eighth book in this wonderful series, and I've enjoyed them all, but I think this one is the best.

Due to budget constraints, Mira James, librarian and lead character, has been ordered to close the library for two weeks. With Christmas just around the corner, Mira decides to use this time to visit her mother and enroll in a required PI course needed for certification. What should be a fun holiday visit with her mom turns into so much more. Two years ago, during the month of December, four Chicago women were brutally murdered. Last December, four women from Wisconsin were killed. All of these women resembled Mira--same hair color, height, weight, approximate age, etc. The press has dubbed the murderer the Candy Cane Killer, and he/she has now struck close to home. With the help of her friend Mrs. Berns, Mira sets out to trap the killer.

Mira is an interesting character. She has grown a great deal since the first book (May Day) but is still having trouble getting past the terrible hurt she experienced after her dad died. She knows that what we experience in life shapes us and makes us who we are, but as the book progresses, she learns that time can heal many wounds, and it is okay to let go of the pain and move on. Mrs. Berns, her elderly sidekick, is one of my favorite characters. She fully embraces life, loves Mira, and is frequently the voice of reason--and hers is a very funny voice!!

Ms. Lourey has written an intriguing mystery. Chapter One is only two pages long, yet those two pages quickly grabbed my attention and didn't let go until the last page. I'm looking forward to the next book in this enjoyable series.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By S. Warfield TOP 1000 REVIEWER on December 16, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Jess Lourey's "December Dread" fit exactly what I wanted to read in December. I felt like reading a Christmas mystery and what better choice than the December book in Lourey's The Murder-By-Month Mystery series. I've read the May book, but none of the others, and I must say that I enjoyed this one so much more, although I liked the May choice.

Mira James works at the local library in her town in Minnesota, and it's December with below zero temps in the frozen north. The library is shutting down for two weeks, so Mira decides that it's time she gets a break from her newspaper job too, and visits her mother while she takes a P.I. course that she needs for her certification. Mira hasn't been close to her mother in recent years and her father died an alcoholic. It's time she faces her feelings about her parents. Mira's sidekick, Mrs. Berns, goes with her and the two of them take a self-defense course. Mrs. Berns provides comic relief throughout the book and she's one of my favorite characters. What's in her head usually comes out of her mouth, and it's nearly always funny.

Mira discovers that one of her old high school friends has been murdered by a serial killer who the police are calling the Candy Cane Killer. He has killed before and the women he kills are in their thirties with brown hair and they all resemble Mira. The killer leaves a candy cane at the crime scene. Not able to leave things to the police, Mira decides to take on the investigation herself, and not with the blessing of the police or FBI. Before she knows it, Mira herself might be the next victim.

This is a fun mystery to read. I love mysteries and this one provides some very nice family scenes with Mira, her mother, Mrs. Berns, the dog Luna and cat, Tiger Pop.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Deborah Jacobson on November 5, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have read and enjoyed all of the murder by month books by Jess Lourey. December Dread - all I can say is that I couldn't put it down. Well written, suspenseful and great characters. I love Mrs. Berns - I want to be just like her!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Scarlett Leigh on October 25, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I can not wait for the next book in this series. I agree with so many others that this is the best one yet. If you aren't into reading books in a series and want to pick just one, I would say this is the one.
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