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May Day (Murder-by-Month Mysteries, No. 1) Paperback – March 8, 2006

3.6 out of 5 stars 71 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Mira digs up a closetful of dirty secrets, including sex parties, cross-dressing and blackmail, on her way to exposing the killer. Lourey's debut has a likeable heroine and surfeit of sass."

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 calling her writing "a splendid mix of humor and suspense." A tenured professor of creative writing and sociology, Jess lives in Minneapolis with her family. Salem's Cipher, the first book in her thrilling Witch Hunt series, hits stores September 2016. You can find out more at www.JessicaLourey.com.

 

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Midnight Ink (March 8, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738708380
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738708386
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,061,169 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Holly Hassel on January 27, 2006
Format: Paperback
Lourey's debut novel is zany and nonstop hilarity without being silly or unbelievable. The protagonist, Mira James, a disenchanted English graduate student, moves to Battle Lake to housesit for a friend and infiltrates small-town life through her job as an erstwhile columnist for the local paper and a part-time librarian. High jinks ensue after a romantic tryst turned relationship ends tragically. James turns her considerable research and social skills toward solving the crime to achieve both justice and pesronal closure. Lourey's strenght is her trenchant wit, cleverness, and hilarious turns of phrase. She clearly knows the small town life and can turn a witty, cynical, and at time poignant eye to the ins and outs of rural mores, local politics, and small-town gossip to paint a lurid picture of the whimsy of the midwestern burg. Readers will revel in the hard-nosed heroine's cynical take on life and delight in Lourey's way with language. If you're looking for a smarter, more capable, and funnier (on purpose) Stephanie Plum, then this is your book. Fabulous!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I ordered three books from this series sight unseen because I have a fondness for Minnesota and because I live in a small town where I was once librarian. It seemed a great combination for this mystery fan. The book is well enough written. My problem is that I could not warm up to the heroine. I find it difficult to have patience with anyone who falls in love and has sex with someone she met only a few hours before. This might be generational, but I was irritated enough with the heroine from the start that I didn't enjoy the book.
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Format: Paperback
What a nice find! This is a nice break from the heavy beach-read mysteries that are trying to outdo each other and CSI at the same time. This is a fresh look at the mystery, where the solution lies as much with the quirky characters that inhabit our heroine's small town as in the physical evidence. What really kept me reading was the emotional, intelligent and giggle-out-loud humorous outlook of out lead character. She's a nice conduit for our own reactions to this world of diners, seniors, and bait shop regulars. The book takes place in a well-drawn rural community that exudes a definite sense of history. I'm looking forward to the "months" to come.
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Format: Paperback
I wanted to like this book, but I was immediately turned off by the narrator's voice. Chapter One drew me in, even with the annoying narrator, because it started the book out with a dead body. However, rather than continuing to follow the murder, the next SIX chapters were backstory. I frankly had no interest in what apartment the narrator had lived in before she moved to Battle Creek, nor did I care about the cockroach that started it all. I wanted to know what happened to the dead guy (who is much more likeable than the main character). I was disappointed that once the narrative returned to the murder, the main character walks around feeling superior to all the locals she's interviewing to track down the killer. I just could not tolerate the book.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I checked this ebook out from my local library.

I have to start my review by saying that this book is not for everyone! There is cursing up to and including the "F" word, there is also descriptive nudity. But very little to no violence described. If any of this may offend you I do not recommend this book to you.

After escaping her past to live in the big city the main character is called back to one small town to help house watch for a friend chasing her love to Alaska. While in town she meets many quirky characters... and a corpse.. but who killed him?

This author took a different take on the murder mystery genre then you usually see. Sure it has all the basics of a mystery whodunit, but even I was surprised by some of the things that came up. There are some weirdos living in this town! I don't want to give anything away in my review so I will just leave that at that.

In order to enjoy the book you do have to get past how odd the author made some of the characters, as far as I know there couldn't be this many weirdos in a small town, but heck, maybe there is and I just don't notice :) But it did make the book enjoyable and different because you didn't know what to expect next, and it didn't always necessarily have to do with the mystery.

So, if you want to try something different, check this book out. I'll be reading the next book in the series soon.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A Murder-by-Month-Mystery series by Jess Lourey is a very clever and appealing idea for a mystery lover like me. May is the first in the series and opens with Mira James, a former resident of Minneapolis, now living and working in a small town called Battle Lake in Minnesota. She graduated with degrees in English and is now working part-time in the public library. Mira has met a man she really likes, Jeff Wilson, and he had come into the library with some questions about the Jorgensen property, because his company he works for wants to build a resort by the lake on this property. Since Mira is also writing for the local newspaper, she wants to interview Jeff because he is an archeologist. Not much exciting happens in the town of Battle Lake, MN.

Jeff and Mira seem to hit it off very well and become intimate on their first date, but Jeff stands Mira up for the second date. Mira is very angry the next day when she goes to work at the library and thinks of all kinds of reasons why he would do such a thing. As she goes through the stacks, cleaning up and straightening up, she finds the reason for Jeff's absence the night before. As Mira starts to enter the Pl-Sca aisle, she stumbles upon Jeff's dead body, and now she knows why he didn't show up the night before. From here on out, the book follows Mira's sometimes wacky, but logical and accurate search for Jeff's killer.

Mira's friend, Sunny, is in Alaska for a few months, so Mira is housesitting Sunny's doublewide mobile home for her with her calico cat and her dog. I like Mira's relationship with her pets and also her finding comfort in gardening.
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