May Day (Murder-by-Month Mystery, #1)
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May Day (Murder-by-Month Mystery #1)

3.27 of 5 stars 3.27  ·  rating details  ·  701 ratings  ·  96 reviews
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...more
Paperback, 226 pages
Published March 8th 2006 by Midnight Ink (first published March 2006)
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I went into this hoping to be mildly entertained, and really wanting a good who-done-it. This delivered. The main protagonist is a 28 year old temporary librarian and part-time reporter stuck in small town Minnesotan life. A recent lover is murdered and she takes it upon herself to find out who killed him, discovering all kinds of town secrets she would have preferred not knowing. The writing is competent, indeed at times racy and irreverent. The humor is occasionally sophomoric and Mira does do...more
Mira the main character was consistently foolish which made it hard to admire her. Some of her cracks were witty and funny but they were quite mean at the same time and they were never softened by any kind remarks, for instance all the snide blue hair, raisin ranch and the like comments could have been balanced by a nice old person some where along the line.
Welcome to a new kind of cozy mystery, when there's a murder every month. When you think of May Day, you'll think about the call for help like in a distress signal or the first day of May, when there's a parade and a dance. Well, for Jess Lourey's May Day, her heroine Mira James sent out her own SOS. When she returned back to her home small town of Battle Lake, Minnesota, who said you can't go home again. She got a new job as the librarian in the library and discovered a dead body in plain sight...more
C2006. FWFTB: librarian, dead, land-deed, freaky, grudges. Another Kindle freebie which was a worth while read.I thought that this sounded like a nice little mystery set in an area that I am interested. (I love all the areas categorised as Mid-West). It was a good read and the only reason that I can say that it was okay as opposed to “I liked it” is that I think there is a fine line between creating characters that are slightly odd ball to being insulting and I am afraid that I found the comment...more
Rachel Cotterill
I picked up May Day as a Kindle freebie, a 'cozy' mystery to read as a bit of light relief between longer, more demanding books. And for the first few chapters, I was really enjoying the developing set-up... until it all got rather too silly for my tastes. The deliberately 'quirky' minor characters were just a bit too weird, and by the end there was almost no-one left in town without something to mark them out, making the whole thing feel like a grotesque Victorian freak show. Which is a shame,...more
The first in Jess Lourey's Murder-By- Month cozy mystery series, May Day was a good introduction to assistant librarian/on-call reporter, Mira James, and her less-than-triumphant return to small town life, house-sitting for her friend Sunny in Battle Lake, Minnesota. Mira's contemplating her next move in what has been a none-too-successful life, thus far. After earning a BA degree in English and working towards her masters, Mira was underemployed (and then unceremoniously unemployed, all thanks...more
Mira James has had issues with small towns in the past but when she’s fired from her job, flashed by a guy hawking guitar pedals AND finds her boyfriend in bed with the neighbor (all in the same day), the small town of Battle Lake suddenly looks more promising than Minneapolis. With her English major background, Mira’s able to secure an Assistant Librarian position and a part-time reporter job. When archaeologist Jeff Wilson strolls through the library doors, it seems that fate is finally smilin...more
I picked this book up for free in the kindle store. I'm just now getting around to it. It was strongly suggested that this book was a "cozy " mystery. I think some hardcore cozy readers might disagree . Most cozies lack strong language and crude sexual comments. The F bomb was dropped a time or two and some of the jokes were a little rough.
Mira is staying at a friend's farm in small town Minnesota. She gets a job at the small library. She meets a nice guy and starts to care about him, then he is...more
This is the first book in a series called the Murder by Month Mysteries. I thought it was okay but I just never connected with the main character. She is a late twenty-something and is just so self-absorbed that I never cared about her. She drops out of graduate school and moves to a small town in Minnesota and starts working a the town library. There are the usual quirky characters that I like in a cozy mystery. The exception was the town mayor who inexplicably has a southern accent. This bothe...more
Jul 01, 2014 Jeanne rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Jeanne by: Nancy Olson
This is a fun read set in Battle Lake, MN with lots of Minnesota references that I enjoyed. It is a light-hearted mystery that kept me guessing "who dun it?" right to the end. It is the first of a series of mysteries by Jess Lourey--one for each month, I think. I'm looking forward to reading the next one: "June Bug".
A young Minnesotan woman returns to small town Minnesota after a stint in the big city, lands a job in the local library and promptly finds a dead body in the library stacks. This story is pretty standard cozy mystery fare with a dose of observations about small town life. Except that this small town has some pretty wacky goings on and seems just a little far fetched. There were moments where the heroines pithy observations made me chuckle but they were few and far between. There were also a fe...more
Karl Jones
I read the second book in this series some time ago, before coming across the this first offering. Now I have read the first it answers some of the questions I had from the second, mostly stemming from references to this book and what happened in it.
The lead character Mira, has her problems, not least of which is being a newcomer to a small town and discovering the body of a recent lover at her place of work. Her investigation into the murder throws up a number of suspects, and uncovers many of...more
This was a Kindle freebie that looked interesting. While the mystery aspect was good - I did not immediately know "whodunit" - I am not sure if it was strong enough to hold the book together. I did not guess who the killer was, but I also did not see that character as a signficant part of the story, but rather as a side character. His importance was not evident until the mystery was solved. Many of the characters were flat- it was difficult to get involved in the story of people you did not real...more
Tina Axell
Although I am not from Minnesota, Chicago is close enough to thoroughly enjoy all the midwestern references. A good mystery and a very likeable main character. I will definitely be reading this series!
Chris Norman
Good light reading. This the first book in the series and the second one I've read. I can connect to the main character and like the Minnesota locale. Looking forward to reading the rest of them.
The sleuth, Mira, started out irritating me, but she grew on me over time. It helped that I really liked the murder victim so that by the time the flashback of his time with Mira was over, I was emotionally invested in figuring out who killed him, just as she was. I will say I did suspect the killer from the start (I do not generally try to guess when reading mysteries and usually haven't got any idea who the baddie is until it's revealed) and thought Mira was a little too trusting since she did...more
Cherie Bush
It was okay. Not sure that I loved the characters enough to read the whole series. Reserve the right to change my mind.
Good kick-off to a series. Makes me want to read the rest of the series to see how Mira is fairing.
Mystery that kind of evades any of the current sub-genres. A female slueth, not a policeman or PI, not slaptstick and she is an every day woman with a slightly hard edge. The mystery was fine. There were some what the heck moments like transexuals that have nothing to do with the story, and some pretty twisted characters. None which were necessary.

Anyway, decent for free or a couple bucks. Well edited with no terrible types or other errors common in non biggie publishers. Like other Poison Pen b...more
Carl Meinzinger
This is a great series!
Another cozyish series that I love. I have actually saved quotes from this book because I could be the main character in some respects! She hates birds, yet she feeds them because she is convinced that one day they will turn on humans and she wants to be known as a friend. I do the same thing!! I hate the little harbingers of death yet faithfully and compulsively feed them all year long so they won't peck my eyeballs out. I won't tag them all, but I have read everything in this series so far and...more
I took it only because the heroine is a town librarian and that I work in a library too. I didn't like the heroine very much. But I liked the suspense and I wanted to know who was the killer.
By the way, too much details.... I didn't feel I had to know everything she has in her house, in the drawers, in her car....

I think this is the only one of the series translated in French. I'll read the others in the series once they'll be translated cuz it's not the type of books I buy.

Still a nice weekend...more
Jeannie and Louis Rigod
This book is a contemporary murder mystery with the odd and quirky characters often found in the cozy genre.

The setting is a small town in Minnesota, the sleuth, a young woman dealing with her personal demons, and seeking in the most honest way, love.

Since life is messy, Mira finds love is messy also.

I found myself liking the sleuth and her friends, crying over her lost loves, and enjoying her method of finding justice. I think Mira has found her new home and I know she has found a new reader...more
Sharon Tyler
May Day by Jess Lourey was the most recent selection for the Chick Lit book club. It was a fun and entertaining mystery which begins the Murder by Month series. The characters were well developed and the twists were certainly not what I expected. I found the book to be a great discovery, complete with quirky characters and wittily sarcastic heroine.

Read my complete review here
Sue T
This was a really fun read. Possibly I enjoyed it more than I ordinarily would have because I'm somewhat familiar with the area. My husband and I have vacationed in Otter Tail County almost every summer for about 20 years. Yes, all of those towns with strange sounding names (Perham, Fergus Falls and Clitherall) are real. Lourey's characters are entertaining and she definitely has the "feel" of that part of Minnesota down. I'm definitely looking forward to reading more of her books.
I think this one was sorta like chick lit mystery. Humourous, woman looking for a new beginning after spending her 20s in the big city. She finds the perfect man but after only one week of love she finds him in her little country library dead in the stacks with an ancyclopedia over his head no less. Will she solve the mystery????

Don't think I'll look for the next one unless I run out of stuff to read. Just started Orson Scott Card's Pathfinder. Much more to my taste!
Sort of a cozy mystery in that the sleuth is a part-time librarian in a small town, and sort of not a cozy due to some of the subject matter - not that I was offended by some of the explicit material, but it doenn't quite fit the "I'd recommend this to my grandmother" aspect of cozies. I really liked the dry sense of humor and protagonist once I warmed up to her. A good solid mystery that kept me guessing to the end. I'll check out more of this series in the future.
I really tried liking this book, I forced myself to keep on reading because I really like this genre and I loved the idea of having every book with a month in its name, but I just couldn't connect with the characters or the story. The characters were either uninteresting or unpleasant and after the first 35% of the book I realized I didn't care how it ended, so I just stopped reading.
I didn't hate the book, I just didn't it find it interesting or entertaining.
Marianne Stehr
This is an interesting book. It starts out somewhat slow, but is such a short book that it picks up quickly. There are some laugh out loud parts, I certainly would not consider it a "cozy" as I have seen it described, but at the same time I am not really all that interested in reading more int he series. The characters to me were not that gripping,. the small town not that outstanding and just overall lacked the interest level to continue the series.
Despite the mixed reviews, this book intrigued me and it was a quick summer read. I liked Mira and the other characters. And I enjoy any book that makes me want to pack my bags and go visit that part of the country. She makes small town life in Minnesota sound delightful, but not all sunshine and light. There are some creepy people, too. I didn't love it, but I did like it fairly well, and I look forward to reading the next one in the series.
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Jess Lourey is the author of the Lefty-nominated Murder-by-Month mysteries set in Battle Lake, Minnesota and featuring amateur sleuth, Mira James. October Fest, the sixth in the star-reviewed series, hits shelves May 2011. Kirkus Reviews calls it "...funny, ribald, and full of small-town eccentrics."

Jess has been teaching writing and sociology at the college level since 1998. When not raising her...more
More about Jess Lourey...
September Fair (Murder-by-Month Mystery #5) June Bug (Murder-by-Month Mystery #2) Knee High by the Fourth of July (Murder-by-Month Mystery #3) August Moon (Murder-by-Month Mystery #4) October Fest (Murder-by-Month Mystery #6)

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