NOVEMBER HUNT by Jess Lourey

Midnight Ink
Publication date: March 8th, 2012

Since Mira James moved to Battle Lake, Minnesota in May, there has not been a shortage of crimes and corpses popping up in the small, northern town. Mira has been caught up in the middle of the mess, helping to track down the killer each time.

Local beloved businessman Tom Kicker is the victim of a hunting accident at the hands of his long time friend, Clive Majors. Tom’s daughter is convinced that the shooting was not an accident and hires Mira to investigate. Even though she isn’t a licensed investigator yet, Mira needs the money and takes the case. Her investigation reveals a dark secret in Battle Lake’s history. It turns out that Mira’s adopted home isn’t as innocent as she thought. Author Jess Lourey has created a plot that twists and turns, never leading to obvious conclusions.

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. A tough, gutsy investigator, she isn’t afraid to snoop around her neighbor’s property or approach strangers for information. At the same time she is a woman with insecurities about her past and personal relationships. This book doesn’t delve into Mira’s past like other books, but it does explore her burgeoning romance with local “hottie,” Johnnie Gleason. Mira is starting to let down her guard, ever so slowly, and allow her self to fall for Johnnie.

November Hunt is a slight departure from the previous Murder-By-Month Mysteries in that the usual cast of characters in Battle Lake isn’t as prevalent in this book. Mira’s best friend Mrs. Berns goes to Sedona, or C-doe-nuh as Mrs. Berns pronounces it, and is absent for the entire crime solving adventure. Series regulars mayor Rogers and police chief Wohnt are in a handful of scenes, but we don’t hear from them as much as in the other books. This may be a sign that Mira is evolving as her own character and more confident in her mystery solving abilities.
Having enjoyed Mira’s adventures from the start of the series, you can really see the character develop over time. What started as a rather light-hearted series filled with a quirky mix of supporting characters that often had this reviewer chuckling out loud, has slowly and steadily become the home to a series of fully fleshed out friends and neighbors that I look forward to visiting again with each new book.

Battle Lake is the town where many of my literary friends live. It’s a good thing Mira is there to watch over them!

Kate Malmon