We meet up with Mira James in Battle Lake Minnesota today. She is the part time reporter for the local paper and the head librarian at the local library. While those two jobs don’t keep her busy enough, she takes on solving crimes she gets involved in without knowing it. While visiting Prospect House, one of the oldest homes in Battle Lake, for a story for the paper, Mira nearly gets run over by Mrs. Berns, sees a ghost, and discovers a dead body near an ice fishing hole. Immediately she is not on favorable ground with Chief Gary Wohnt. After teaming up together to solve the case, they discover new ground together.
Title: January Thaw
Series: Murder by Month Mysteries
Author: Jess Lourey
Publish Date: January 8, 2014
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Source: eARC from Publisher via Netgalley
This is the second book I’ve read in this series and yet again Mrs. Berns is my favorite character. She hits it right off in the first few paragraphs and you remember how wild and crazy she can be.
The author creates a myriad of characters who complement each other and the story. They are all made up to be all different types of people. I think this is one of the reasons I enjoy this series so much. With this being only my second book, and not reading in order, I have missed a few stories about Mira and her now boyfriend Johnny Leeson. There’s also more to the story of Chief Wohnt and Mira so I can’t wait to read more about both of those developments.
The crime was very intriguing and well crafted. The importance of the old landmarks, out of town visitors, and paranormal happenings made for a very interesting story. Mira is a great sleuth and she isn’t forced into the situations of obtaining information and solving the crime.
Romance is very much a hot topic in this story. Mira and her boyfriend, Johnny, are finding themselves with some ups and downs. Interested to see what the next book involved in this relationship highway.
One of the most interesting things is that Mira is always trying to gather recipes to go along with her story in the local paper. This book she is able to obtain a recipe similar to a Salted Nut Roll made by Nut Goodies. Definitely an enjoyable treat.
Thinking About Books
Mrs. Berns' Pondering by Jess Lourey at Dru's Musings
Jess Lourey is the author of the Lefty-nominated Murder-by-Month mysteries set in Battle Lake, Minnesota, and featuring amateur sleuth, Mira James. Jess has been teaching writing and sociology at the college level since 1998.
When not raising her wonderful kids, teaching, or writing, you can find her gardening, traveling, and navigating the niceties and meanities of small-town life. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and The Loft, and serves on the national board of Mystery Writers of America.