Jess Lourey writes about secrets.

She is the bestselling Lefty, Agatha, and Anthony-nominated author of the critically-acclaimed Mira James mysteries, which have earned multiple starred reviews from Library Journal and Booklist, the latter calling her writing "a splendid mix of humor and suspense." Jess also writes nonfiction, edge-of-your-seat YA adventure, magical realism, and feminist thrillers. 
 
She is a tenured professor of writing and sociology, a recipient of The Loft's Excellence in Teaching fellowship, a Psychology Today blogger, and a TEDx presenter (check out her TEDx Talk to discover the surprising inspiration behind May Day). You can find out more at jessicalourey.com or on her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/jessloureyauthor/?modal=admin_todo_tour

Also, May Day is a free BookFunnel download with a newsletter sign-up: https://dl.bookfunnel.com/dio6scd2ar.



Mira James Mysteries Summer Bundle, Books 1-4 (May, June, July, and August)
Mira James Mysteries Fall Bundle, Books 5-7 (September, October, November)
Mira James Mysteries Winter Bundle, Books 8-10 (December, January, February)


May Day: Humor and Hijinks (A Mira James Mystery Book 1)May Day: Humor and Hijinks (A Mira James Mystery Book 1)  kindle unlimited logo $4.99 to buy

 

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Big fish. Little pond. Dead body?!? Yeah, don't worry about me. I'll be fine...

The not-so-proud owner of a dead-end job and a cheating boyfriend, cosmopolitan Mira James jumps at the chance for a fresh start in rural Battle Lake, Minnesota. She immediately regrets her move. That is, until she crosses paths with Jeff, the ultimate sexy nerd. When their romance heats up, she thinks she has it made.

And she does, right up until Jeff turns up dead.

Anxious to learn more about the man who briefly stole her heart, Mira delves into Battle Lake's mysteries, including an old land deed obscuring ancient Ojibwe secrets, an octogenarian crowd with freaky social lives, and a handful of thirty-something high school buddies who hold bitter, decades-old grudges.

Mira soon discovers that unknown dangers are concealed under the polite exterior of this quirky town, and revenge is a hotdish best served cold.

May Day is a laugh-out-loud romantic comic caper mystery, perfect for readers who enjoy the humorous mysteries of Liliana Hart, Chelsea Field, Gina LaManna, Janet Evanovich, Denise Grover Swank, Amy Vansant, and Stephanie Bond. If you love to laugh while reading a page-turning mystery, this series is for you!

PRAISE FOR MAY DAY

"A hilarious and sexy small-town mystery!! Loved it!!" ―Anniereader (Amazon reviewer, five stars)

"Tight plot and funny." ―Betti (Amazon reviewer, five stars)

"Read this now! I had a hard time putting this one down...Good thing there are more in the series I haven't yet read. I'm looking forward to devouring them!" ―S. Waters (Amazon reviewer, five stars)

"This trade paperback packed a punch...I loved it from the get-go!" ―Tulsa World

"What a romp this is! I found myself laughing out loud..." ―Crimespree Magazine

"Mira is the strength of the book. She has a unique voice, full of irreverent humor...I couldn't help rooting for [her]." ―All about Romance

"Meet this witty heroine in Lourey's engaging new series." ―Mystery Scene Magazine

"May Day starts the action rolling with a clever mystery and some snappy writing . . . These pages are filled with fresh dialogue!" ―In the Library

"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." ―Kirkus

 


June Bug: Humor and Hijinks (A Mira James Mystery Book 2) June Bug: Humor and Hijinks (A Mira James Mystery Book 2)  kindle unlimited logo $4.99 to buy

 

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Diamonds, dives, and dead bodies...oh my?

Mira James never imagined life after Minneapolis would be a doublewide trailer outside Battle Lake, Minnesota. Then again, maybe the North Country has more to offer than mosquitoes and broasted chicken. Maybe it has earthy, sexy Johnny Leeson and... jewels?

Local legend claims that a diamond necklace was lost nearly a century ago in Whiskey Lake, near the bank of the present-day Shangri-La resort. Mira, a part-time reporter, goes fishing for the story behind the legend. Her exhilarating treasure hunt uncovers a new mystery and puts her face to face with a menacing foe from her past.

Can she avoid his deadly advances long enough to lock lips with Johnny?

PRAISE FOR JUNE BUG


"Loved this book. Keeps you guessing til the end!" ―Diana Martinez (Amazon reviewer, five stars)

"So funny! I loved the refreshing humor that was brought to life in the character of Mira. Didn't know what to expect with this book, but very glad that I read it, left me wanting more." ―justen.murray (Amazon reviewer, five stars)

"Enjoyable and entertaining read... Jess Lourey has penned a very well written series and a good murder mystery with a touch of humor. Her characters are well developed and believable. If you are looking for a highly enjoyable readlook no further, this one is great and is highly recommended." ―Terry South (Amazon reviewer, five stars)

"Really enjoyed the characters and community of misfits that make you feel like your small town is maybe not strange after all." ―Diana Martinez (Amazon reviewer, five stars)

"So fun! Jess Lourey is a great find! Her novels are funny and fun, with quirky characters who will charm and delight you! I'm already into Nov Hunt, and it will be a cold Dec when I run out of books! Write fast, Jess!" ―Jennifer A. Cornell (Amazon reviewer, five stars)

"Move over, Stephanie Plum. There's a new bad girl in town, and her name is Mira James." ―New York Times Bestselling Author William Kent Krueger


Knee High by the Fourth of July: Humor and Hijinks (A Mira James Mystery Book 3) Knee High by the Fourth of July: Humor and Hijinks (A Mira James Mystery Book 3) kindle unlimited logo $4.99 to buy

 

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Finalist for The Lefty Award for best humorous mystery!
Chosen as a Killer Book by the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association!


What's so wrong with admiring from a distance? After all, Mira's quirky attraction to Chief Wenonga, a well-muscled fiberglass statue, might be a safer love pursuit than online dating. But when the 23-foot Chief goes missing and a human scalp is discovered at his cement base, Mira's not the only Battle Lake citizen to be crushed.

Things get impossibly worse when her second-biggest-hunk, organic gardening god Johnny Leeson, disappears and the police think she's involved. With her luck with men running out and the cops closing in, Mira has no choice but to roll up her sleeves and start investigating.

But is she trailing a statue-thief, a kidnapper, or a cold-blooded killer?

PRAISE FOR KNEE HIGH BY THE FOURTH OF JULY

Finalist for The Lefty Award for best humorous mystery!
Chosen as a Killer Book by the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association!

"Must read! This series is so great..." ―Johnna Neugent (Amazon reviewer, five stars)

"Electric reading...Spellbinding. Didn't want to stop reading to do daily chores but had to. Will begin August book soon. What happens when the year is completed? I don't want the series to stop after 12 stories." ―kay killelea (Amazon reviewer, five stars)

"Mira James is a quirky, likeable, and realistic protagonist / heroine. Her turns of phrase and sense of humor (especially when directed at herself) are laugh-out-loudable. Who knew that life in rural Minnesota could be so intriguing and so funny? Habitual mystery readers must leap into this series with both feet." ―Corinne H. Smith (Amazon reviewer, five stars)

"[The] humor transcends genders and makes for a delightful romp."―Fergus Falls Journal

"Lourey's rollicking good cozy planted me in the heat of a Minnesota summer for a laugh-out-loud mystery ride."―bestselling author Leann Sweeney

"Knee High by the Fourth of July kept me hooked from beginning to end. I enjoyed every page!"―Sammi Carter, author of the Candy Shop Mysteries


August Moon: Humor and Hijinks (A Mira James Mystery Book 4) August Moon: Humor and Hijinks (A Mira James Mystery Book 4) kindle unlimited logo $4.99 to buy

 

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"[H]ilarious, fast paced, and madcap!"―Booklist (starred review)

Furious after being stood up by local hottie Johnny Leeson, Mira decides to abandon Battle Lake, Minnesota, where the women are churchgoers, the men like to hunt, and the body count is above average. But when a cheerleader bites the dust, Mira is called back to the town that has done her wrong.

She begins investigating the New Millennium Bible Camp, a disturbing place with a Stepford Wives-meets-Hee-Hawvibe. She wants desperately to ditch Battle Lake, but before she does, Mira is hell-bent on confronting her own demons to catch a killer.

August Moon is a laugh-out-loud romantic comic caper, perfect for readers who love to escape into the humorous mysteries of Gina LaManna, Liliana Hart, Chelsea Field, Janet Evanovich, Denise Grover Swank, and Stephanie Bond. If you love to laugh while reading a page-turning mystery, this series is for you!

PRAISE FOR AUGUST MOON

"Lourey's mystery is hilarious, fast paced, and madcap."―Booklist (starred review)

"A refreshingly strong heroine steps into the role of detective in this scorching summer mystery." ―Seattle Press Online

"Hilarious, wonderfully funny cozy."―Crimespree Magazine

"Entertaining."―Library Journal (starred review)

"Another amusing tale set in the town full of over-the-top zanies who've endeared themselves to the engagingMira."―Kirkus Reviews

"A fun, fast-paced mystery with a heroine readers will enjoy."―The Mystery Reader

"Lourey has a gift for creating terrific characters. Her sly and witty take on small town USA is a sweet summer treat. Pull up a lawn chair, pour yourself a glass of lemonade, and enjoy."―bestselling author Denise Swanson


September Mourn: Humor and Hijinks (A Mira James Mystery Book 5) September Mourn: Humor and Hijinks (A Mira James Mystery Book 5) kindle unlimited logo $4.99 to buy

 

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 "Once again, the very funny Lourey serves up a delicious dish of murder, mayhem, and merriment." ―Booklist(starred review)

The Minnesota State Fair is the beloved home of 4H exhibits, Midway rides,and everything on a stick. The festival fun is riding high until the recently crowned Milkfed Mary, Queen of the Dairy, a Battle Lake native, is brutally murdered while her regal likeness is carved in butter.

Can Mira James, covering the fair for the Battle Lake Recall, manage make-out time with guitar-slinging Johnny Leeson while winning a blue ribbon for caging a killer?

You bet your last deep-fried Nut Goodie!

PRAISE FOR SEPTEMBER MOURN

"Janet Evanovich fans have a new reason to celebrate! September Mourn is fun, funny, and so cleverly written, you'll be guessing until the veryend." ―Gemma Halliday, best-selling author of Mayhem in High Heels

"Another amusing tale set in the town full of over-the-top zanies who've endeared themselves to the engaging Mira." ―Kirkus Reviews

"...an entirely engaging novel with pathos, plot twists, and quirky characters galore. Beautifully written and wickedly funny." ―Harley Jane Kozak, American actress and author

"Lourey has a talent for creating hilarious characters in bizarre, laugh-out-loud situations, while at the same time capturing the honest and endearing subtleties of human life." ―The Strand


October Fest: Humor and Hijinks (A Mira James Mystery Book 6) October Fest: Humor and Hijinks (A Mira James Mystery Book 6)kindle unlimited logo $4.99 to buy

 

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Finalist for the Lefty Award for Best Humorous Mystery!

There's big trouble brewing in little Battle Lake...

Beer and polka music reign supreme at October Fest, Battle Lake's premier fall festival. To kick off the celebrations, the town hosts a public debate between the two congressional candidates: straight-laced Arnold Swydecker, and slippery incumbent, Sarah Glokkmann. As a reporter for the Battle Lake Recall, Mira James is roped into writing up the word war. But the festive mood sours when a well-known Glokkmann-bashing blogger is found dead...and the congress woman herself meets a gruesome fate.
To keep the heat off her best friend's fiancé―an ex-con reporter―Mira wades through the candidates' dirty laundry, their unsavory secrets, and some murderous mudslinging to expose the killer.

PRAISE FOR OCTOBER FEST

"Snappy jokes...edgy dialog...and the classic romance setup enhance a clever plot. More spunky than sweet; get started on this Lefty-nominated series if you've previously missed it."―Library Journal (starred review)

"Lourey has cleverly created an entertaining murder mystery with the most unlikely murder accomplice ever. Her latest is loaded with humor, and many of the descriptions are downright poetic."―Booklist (starred review)

"The story is funny, ribald, and brimming with small-town eccentrics."―Kirkus Reviews

"I loved Lourey's quirky, appealing sleuth and her wry yet affectionate look at small town life. I hope Mira's misfortune of stumbling over a dead body every month lasts for many years!"―Donna Andrews, New York Times bestselling author of Stork Raving Mad


November Hunt: Humor and Hijinks (A Mira James Mystery Book 7) November Hunt: Humor and Hijinks (A Mira James Mystery Book 7) kindle unlimited logo $4.99 to buy

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"It's not easy to make people laugh while they're on the edge of their seats, but Lourey pulls it off!"―Booklist, (starred review)

November in Battle Lake, Minnesota, is cold enough to freeze the balls off a pool table. lt's also deer hunting season. When Tom Kicker is killed in a hunting accident, Mira James is hired to investigate―a job that brings her closer to her P.I. license.

Braving subzero temps and shrieking blizzards, Mira uncovers a decades-old scandal that has never quite died, unlike the cold stiffs who are piling up in the town morgue. As she pieces together the clues, Mira discovers that Battle Lake's good-old boys have been up to some bad business. But with threats and enemies around every icy corner, she may not live long enough to expose the truth.

PRAISE FOR NOVEMBER HUNT


"Lourey has a knack for wholesome sexual innuendo, and she gets plenty of mileage out of Minnesota."―The Boston Globe

"Lourey's seventh cozy featuring PI wannabe Mira James successfully combines humor, an intriguing mystery, and quirky small-town characters."―Publishers Weekly

"A good story told well, with solid writing."―Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine

"Lourey has successfully created an independent, relatable heroine in Mira James. Mira's wit and fearlessness enable her to overcome the many challenges she faces as she tries to unravel the murder."―Crimespree Magazine

"Clever, quirky and completely original!"―Hank Phillippi Ryan, Anthony, Agatha and Macavity Award-winning author

"A masterful mix of mayhem and mirth."―Reed Farrel Coleman, three-time Shamus Award-winning author of Hurt Machine


December Dread: Humor and Hijnks (A Mira James Mystery Book 8) December Dread: Humor and Hijnks (A Mira James Mystery Book 8) kindle unlimited logo $4.99 to buy

 

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Finalist for The Lefty Award for Best Humorous Mystery!

Silent Night, Deadly Night

With Christmas just over a week away, 'tis the season for grinning elves, maddeningly jolly Muzak, and a guilty Nut Goodie addiction. But the holidays are marred by something far worse―a serial killer leaving candy canes as his calling card.

His target? Thirty-something brunettes who look just like Mira James. When a woman from her high school graduating class becomes his latest victim, Mira plows through a case of online dating turned deadly with Mrs. Berns at her side. 

Will she earn her detective stripes...or end up deader than the Ghost of Christmas Past?


PRAISE FOR DECEMBER DREAD

"Awesome read! Even with threat of a hurricane, nothing could make me put this book down." ―Dru Love (Amazon reviewer, five stars)

"Loved it! 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."―Deborah Jackson (Amazon reviewer, five stars)

"Excellent mystery. Can't wait to read more by this author. Loved the characters. It was a page turner -very easy to read." ―Maggie Hubbard (Amazon reviewer, five stars)

"Lourey pulls out all the stops in this eighth case."―Library Journal

"Lourey creates a splendid mix of humor and suspense."―Booklist

"Lourey, who keeps her secrets well, delivers a breathtaking finale."―Publishers Weekly


January Thaw: Humor and Hijinks (A Mira James Mystery Book 9) January Thaw: Humor and Hijinks (A Mira James Mystery Book 9) kindle unlimited logo $4.99 to buy

 

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January Thaw is a laugh-out-loud romantic comic caper, perfect for readers who enjoy the humorous mysteries of Liliana Hart, Chelsea Field, Gina LaManna, Janet Evanovich, Denise Grover Swank, Amy Vansant, and Stephanie Bond!

The Ice Man Succumbeth

Private-eye-in-training Mira James loves Minnesota's crisp January days, as long as she can spend them in the arms of hunky Johnny Leeson. But when Mrs. Berns' erratic Zamboni driving uncovers an icebound dead man, Mira's cold-weather tranquility threatens to melt away.

With a frozen corpse in the lake and a freak January thaw descending on town, neither Johnny nor generous portions of high-octane comfort food are enough to ease Mira's frazzled nerves. If Mira can't figure out who's behind the murder, the next time she feels sub-zero temperatures, it may be because she's sporting a toe tag in the town morgue.

If you love to laugh while reading a page-turning mystery, this book is for you!

PRAISE FOR JANUARY THAW

"The best mysteries I have read in a long time! When one ends I wait patiently for the next. Then I can't put it down until I finish it!" ―Amazon reviewer (five stars)

"Those looking for an engaging, multi-generational small-town mystery that tackles contemporary issues can't misswith this entry." ―Library Journal

"Who can resist a mystery that includes a daredevil octogenarian sidekick; a flashy,plant-whispering mayor; some really bad villains; and a little girl ghost?" ―Booklist

"Good, high-calorie fun." ―Mystery Scene

"Fans of small-town mysteries will be charmed." ―Publishers Weekly


February Fever: Humor and Hijinks (A Mira James Mystery Book 10) February Fever: Humor and Hijinks (A Mira James Mystery Book 10)  $4.99

 

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WARNING: This book has all the feels: laughter and suspense, but also tears.

All Aboard the Murder Express!

Mira James' hot and heavy relationship with Johnny Leeson is definitely warming up her winter. But when Johnny has to travel to Portland, Oregon, for a month-long internship, airplane-averse Mira lets Mrs. Berns talk her into a visit. On the plus side, Mira can make the trip a tax write-off by attending the International Private Investigator Conference. On the down side, Mrs. Berns books them―much to Mira's dismay―on the Valentine Train, a place for singles to mix and mingle.

After a few glasses of champagne and Mrs. Berns' encouragement, Mira begins to relax and enjoy herself . . . until a fellow passenger is murdered and a snowstorm traps the train in the Rockies. If Mira can't track down the killer, she may end up derailed--permanently.

PRAISE FOR FEBRUARY FEVER

"Great!!! I will never get tired of reading these books! Keep them coming! They are so fun to read. I highly recommend all of them!"―Nancy Webster (Amazon reviewer, five stars)

"Excellent read. Lourey does it again." ―Nath Drouin (Amazon reviewer, five stars)

"I loved this book, just as much as the others in the series. Very entertaining!" ―Elizabeth Rein (Amazon reviewer, five stars)

"MIND BLOWN. Unbelievable so good twists and turns loved it..." ―Amazon reviewer, five stars

"Lourey skillfully mixes humor and suspense . . . the characters are wonderful and wacky, and the mile-a-minute pace never falters."―Booklist (starred review)

"[An] incredible series...."―Suspense Magazine

"I can't wait to see what Mira does next."―Crimespree Magazine