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October Fest (Murder-by-Month Series #6)

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Overview

Beer and polka music reign supreme at Octoberfest, 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 congresswoman herself meets...

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October Fest (Murder-by-Month Series #6)

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Overview

Beer and polka music reign supreme at Octoberfest, 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 congresswoman 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.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Smart-alecky Minnesota newspaper reporter Mira James reluctantly attends a congressional political debate. Things are heated between the slick incumbent, Sarah Glokkmann, and her challenger, mousy Arnold Swydecker, but even more contentious is the press. When Bob Webber, an anti-Glokkmann blogger, is found murdered the next morning, the local police are baffled. Who would kill him, and is the motivation some sort of silencing effort? Mira has plenty of other concerns—she also runs Battle Lake's public library; tries to keep up with her octogenarian best friend, Mrs. Berns; struggles with romantic issues; and works valiantly at staying sober. Known locally as the gal who's always around when there's a dead body, Mira does it again in her sixth outing. VERDICT With snappy jokes and edgy dialog, Lourey brings a Gen-X tone to a traditional mystery. The classic romance setup and her effective handling of eldercare issues enhance a clever plot. More spunky than sweet; get started on this Lefty-nominated series if you've previously missed it.
Kirkus Reviews

Marriage in the ninth decade.

Mrs. Berns, irascible 86-year-old resident of the Senior Sunset home, has decided she will marry Bernard Mink, a nogoodnik with a record for assault and a vocabulary rivaling Mrs. Malaprop's, in order to stymie her son from resettling her in a maximum-security nursing home. The problem is that Bernard may he a murder suspect in the death of political blogger Bob Webber, who either gassed himself or was asphyxiated in a bedroom at the Big Chief Motor Lodge. Mrs. Berns, laid up in a hospital bed with broken ribs, contusions and a bent leg from a suspicious car accident, asks her best friend Mira James, part-time librarian/part-time reporter for the Battle Lake, Minn.,Gazette (September Fair,2009, etc.), to prove Bernard innocent so that her wedding can go on as planned. Mira's snooping wends past two candidates vying for office, a boring do-gooder and a caustic opportunist, and turns up marital infidelity, a wacky daughter devoted to a gerbil, and many opportunities for Mira to fall off the wagon, which she resists with slightly less enthusiasm than the messages beaming from the big blue eyes of her sometime boyfriend Johnny. When the opportunistic candidate is shot, Mira must corral the killer by executing a sting with the help of her ex, Brad, in time for Mrs. Berns' beautifully staged non-wedding at the church.

The murders aren't very interesting, and the plotting self-destructs at the end, but along the way, the story is funny, ribald and brimming with small-town eccentrics.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780738726236
  • Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
  • Publication date: 5/8/2011
  • Series: Murder-by-Month Series , #6
  • Pages: 229
  • Sales rank: 846,011
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Jess Lourey is the author of the Lefty-nominated Murder-by-Month mysteries set in Battle Lake, Minn. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, The Loft, and a founding faculty member of the Mystery Writers of America’s MWA University. Lourey resides in St. Cloud, Minn., where she is a professor of writing and sociology. For more information, visit her online at JessLourey.com.

Watch Jess on Showcase Minnesota (08/26/09).

Watch Jess on Twin Cities Live (09/02/09).

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 8 )
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(4)

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 20, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    A thoroughly enjoyable mystery set in small town Minnesota. This

    A thoroughly enjoyable mystery set in small town Minnesota. This is the sixth book in the series, but the first one I've read. Fans of Lake Wobegon and residents of the Midwest will recognize the cozy setting immediately.

    The author does a fine job of getting new readers up-to-speed and into the story world without belaboring the point. This sort of story needs plenty of quirky characters, interesting settings, and seemingly mundane activity surrounding a viable mystery-to-be-solved with multiple suspects. October Fest provides all of these in a highly readable, fast moving volume.

    I did find myself wanting a bit more Oktoberfest activity, though, since that is the title of the book. But beyond the immediate context of the murder, much of the story delved into other happenings in town.

    I am looking forward to many happy returns to Battle Lake, Minnesota.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 4, 2012

    Charmingly Entertaining

    Politics and murder does not mix in this story that finds Mira trying to help a friend which lands her in between some interesting suspects. This is my first adventure with Mira and I loved it. Not only does she solve the case, but changes are afoot and I couldn’t be more pleased. I enjoyed this page-turning mystery that kept me on my toes as to the identity of the killer until it was revealed. I love the quirky characters that inhabit Battle Lake, Minnesota and their interactions and conversations kept me entertained. This well-written and character driven tale is a delightful read and I look forward to my return back to this small town for the next adventures that awaits Mira and her friends.

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  • Posted October 12, 2011

    Ocober Fest by Jess Louray

    Maria James is an investigator-okay so she is a part time journalist and part time librarian, but she has investigated her fair share of mysteries. She is in her home town of Battle Lakes for October Fest but she's mainly there to cover the debate between two congressional candidates. Sarah Glokkman is the incumbent and her opponent, Arnold Swydecker seems to have more support.
    Maria meets a blogger that is very much against Glokkman and writes a critical blog about her. The next day, he's dead! Maria just happens to be staying in the same hotel as the blogger and her interest is piqued. She begins to investigate and suddenly there are more suspects than she can keep up with.
    While all this is going on, Maria is dealing with her best friend's-an older lady, Mrs. Berns'-love life. Mrs. Berns is getting married and Maria doesn't like the man one bit, not to mention he is a suspect in all of this!
    Quirky and entertaining to the last page, this book is a fun cozy mystery.

    Reviewed by Ashley Wintters for Suspense Magazine

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  • Posted July 31, 2011

    Can't Wait to Read the Whole Series!

    I laughed out loud. 'Nuff said? :)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2011

    Funny!

    I like my mysteries clever and funny with strong female characters, and this book's got that.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2012

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews

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