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September Fair (The Murder-By-Month Mysteries Book 5) by [Lourey, Jess]
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September Fair (The Murder-By-Month Mysteries Book 5) Kindle Edition

3.7 out of 5 stars 173 customer reviews

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Length: 270 pages
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Lourey's lively fifth murder-by-month mystery (after 2008's August Moon) finds Mira James, assistant librarian and part-time reporter for the Battle Lake Recall, covering the beauty pageant to elect Milkfed Mary, Queen of the Dairy, at the Minnesota State Fair. Unfortunately, drop dead gorgeous Ashley Pederson, a native of Battle Lake, Minn., turns up poisoned to death in the refrigerated room where, as winner of the contest, she was having her head sculpted in butter. Mira, in her effort to solve Ashley's murder, uncovers smalltown jealousies, secret love affairs, embezzlement and a big dairy concern engaged in dubious practices. The author does a good job of presenting the fairground activities, even if some of them, like sheep riding (billed as mutton busting), border on the absurd. Cozy fans who aren't sticklers for credibility will be entertained. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

.".. An entirely engaging novel with pathos, plot twists, and quirky characters galore. Beautifully written and wickedly funny." -- Harley Jane Kozak "(author blurb)"

"Move over Janet Evanovich--mystery fans have a new reason to celebrate! September Fair is fun, funny, and so cleverly written, you'll be guessing until the very end." -- Gemma Halliday "(author blurb)"

Product Details

  • File Size: 1720 KB
  • Print Length: 270 pages
  • Publisher: Midnight Ink (September 8, 2009)
  • Publication Date: September 8, 2009
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003M5H6UM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #734,661 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
A beauty contestant, competing in the "Milkfed Mary" pageant, is murdered while having her likeness sculpted in butter. Who can resist a premise like that? I don't often laugh out loud when reading mysteries, but I did during this one. Lourey's humor is dry and irreverent, just the way I like it, and her writing is crisp and engaging. The mystery kept me guessing until the end.
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Format: Paperback
After reading other mysteries/cozies with seemingly perfect, know-it-all main characters (which is kind of getting on my nerves!), September Fair is a breath of fresh air. Mira is flawed but lovable and is surrounded by interesting characters. Many laugh-out-loud moments, although I'm not sure I will be eating a burger anytime soon. :) I hope Ms. Lourey continues with the series!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The perfect book for a cold winter night. Jess Lourey has such a freewheeling sense of humor and sharp eye for detail that it should be HER head carved out of butter at the next Minnesota state fair.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the first free book I have ever downloaded onto my tablet. I was looking for something light and fun to read while I was on the treadmill. Well thanks to September Fair, each workout session was longer then planned because I got so engaged in the book. Mira, the main character, is a 30 year old recovering alcoholic who moved to a little Minnesota town to get her life in order. There she runs the town library and writes for the local paper. Her boss at the newspaper lends her his retro Airstream and sends Mira off to the state fair for a week to cover stories of townfolk at the fair. In short order the Milkfed Mary Dairy Queen, a hometown girl, is murdered and Mira promises the girl's mom that she will find the killer. Mira is a fun character and the two older women who move into her Airstream with her, uninvited, are a hoot. A fun cozy mystery and a new author for me. I will look for new books from her soon.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I love Mira James. September Fair was my favorite of the serie, it doesn't place in Battle Lake for once, because let's face it, how many murder can there by in a small town. I love all the caraters. Writing is good and smart.
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By vsreader on September 21, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I love mysteries with amateur sleuths so I was looking forward to reading this book. The writing is smooth, but the plot is bumpy. Way too many side stories and characters, it would've been nice if half of these subplots and people were cut from the novel. Then the main character could focus on solving the crime and the reader could get to know a handful of supporting characters better without being overwhelmed or distracted.

It was like there were too many elements being forced into the story, humor, mystery, romance, ecological themes, choosing a better path in life, etc.

It took a long time to get into the story, I finally skimmed to the end just to see who committed the murder.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I gave this book 2 1/2 stars because I think it is flawed. I will discuss its flaw in the last paragraph.

The setting for "September Fair" is the Minnesota State Fair where the Milkfed Mary Queen will be crowned. This year the beautiful Ashley Pederson is the chosen queen, but as she is sitting in a refrigerated room to have her head sculpted in butter (ugh!), the lights suddenly go out, and she falls over. When the lights are restored, Ashley is lying dead on the ground, and her skin is a peculiar shade of red. It is determined that she has been poisoned.

The protagonist, Mira James, librarian, and part-time reporter for the Battle Lake Recall has been sent on assignment to report on all the doings at the State Fair. She unearths many secrets about Ashley, the other contestants, the peculiar chaperone and Lars Gunder, one of sponsors of the State Fair, who is the owner of a chemical company and whom she suspects of carrying on with Ashley. He invites her to his plant for a tour which she accepts. When she confronts him, a married man, with having an affair with Ashley, he just abandons her in the middle of this huge plant, telling her she can let herself out. Frantic, she walks from hallway to hallway. Finally, she opens a door and finds herself in a room with animal parts; animals which have been butchered, and have been used for experiments. She is horrified. She does find her way out eventually. But, and to my horror, she does absolutely nothing about this. She does not report this to the police. She does not write this up in her newspaper and expose this plant for its abusive behavior to animals. She just returns to the fair, and goes on her merry way. It was this part of the book that I found most objectionable.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
September Fair is the first book by Jess Lourey that I have read. I learned from reading the description section of the book's page that it is part of the Murder-By-Month Mysteries and I wondered if I would have a difficult time getting up to speed with the characters, their situations, etc. Luckily, this was not the case. It was easy to become acquainted with the general overview of the series and the author did a great job of catching the reader up without going over previously covered territory endlessly.

This is a great cozy afternoon read as Ms. Lourey takes us through the heroine, Mira James', adventures in covering the Minnesota State Fair for her local newspaper. We are treated to some nice local color as well as a decent mystery. The characters are truly that...characters, and funny to boot.

There were a few lulls in the plot of the book, but nothing irksome. It felt almost like watching a friend going about her business and taking a break every now and then to enjoy a deep fried Nut Goodie or to be dragged into some misadventure by her fellow Battle Lake residents.

There were a couple of passages in this book that had me laughing out loud. True, some of the humor was a bit adolescent, but my inner 12 year old enjoyed it immensely.

I look forward to reading more works by this author.
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