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Jess Lourey

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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. 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, The Loft, and Lake Superior Writers, and serves on the national board of the Mystery Writers of America. Jess resides in Minnesota.

Genres: Cozy Mystery, Mystery, Young Adult Fantasy
Series contributed to
Anthony Awards Best Paperback original nominee (2017) : Salem's Cipher

Jess Lourey recommends
Scot Free (2018)
(Last Ditch Mystery, book 1)
Catriona McPherson
"McPherson gives the fish-out-of-water theme a hilarious and original spin with Lexy Campbell, a Scottish therapist who falls for and marries a sexy California dentist who turns out to be more horndog than hero. Throw in a sweet old lady accused of blowing up her pyrotechnic husband and a hilariously bumbling supporting cast, and you have the perfect comic caper. Lexy is my new favorite unwitting detective and her cultural observations and mistakes are laugh-out-loud funny. Scot Free is a little sexy and a lot funny, with a heart and a bang."
The Jean Harlow Bombshell (2019)
(Charlotte Donovan Mystery, book 1)
Mollie Cox Bryan
"The Jean Harlow Bombshell is a page-turner, a modern whodunit threaded with Golden Age Hollywood glamour. Its protagonist, Charlotte Donovan, is a sleuth for our times, flawed, bright, and eminently relatable. Factor in the delicious elements of romance, friendship, and family, and you have a mystery as captivating as Jean Harlow's (still missing) star sapphire ring."
The Desert's Share (2020)
(Michaela Sanchez, book 2)
Shannon Baker
"..a lyrical page-turner with dialogue that crackles, a vivid understanding of the shades of justice, and a strong and complex female lead. Don't miss this one."
The Monsters We Make (2020)
Kali White
"The Monsters We Make, inspired by true events and snapping with suspense, is a gripping novel, evocative of a time and place that should have been safe but was not. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough."
The Southland (2020)
Johnny Shaw
"Urgent, compulsively readable crime fiction that never takes the easy way out. While it's both a gripping page turner and a deft examination of justice and what it means to belong, it's the three complex women at the heart of this novel that make it unputdownable. I'll be thinking about Luz, Nadia, and Ostelinda for a long time."
Girls of Brackenhill (2020)
Kate Moretti
"This spine-chilling thriller has everything: mystery, a haunted castle, a dash of romance, and such glorious writing that the pages seem to turn themselves. The heart of the book, though, is Hannah, a strong and complex protagonist whose secrets are masterfully, agonizingly revealed until they reach a mind-bending crescendo. The only problem? You’ll have to read this one with the lights on."
Loss Lake (2020)
Amber Cowie
"With Loss Lake, Amber Cowie spins a web of unraveling family secrets, taut danger, and tragic love. Perfect for readers who like their suspense both eerie and atmospheric."
All That Fall (2021)
(Emma Lawson Mystery, book 1)
Kris Calvin
"Everything I look for in a thriller."
A Familiar Sight (2021)
(Dr. Gretchen White, book 1)
Brianna Labuskes
"A Familiar Sight has everything I crave in a thriller: a shocking, addictive female lead, unexpected twists that snapped off the page, and an ending that made me gasp out loud. I never saw it coming, but it was perfectly in sync with the razor-sharp balance between creepy and compelling that Labuskes carries throughout the novel. This is a one-sitting read."
The Receptionist (2021)
Kate Myles
"The Receptionist is compulsively readable and deliciously disturbing, perfect for readers who enjoyed Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects. Myles has written a genuinely unnerving thriller that I couldn’t put down."
These Toxic Things (2021)
Rachel Howzell Hall
"These Toxic Things is taut and terrifying, packed with page-turning suspense and breathtaking reveals. But what I loved most is the mother-daughter relationship at the heart of this gripping thriller. Plan on reading it twice: once because you won’t be able to stop, and the second time to savor the razor’s edge balance of plot and poetry that only Rachel Howzell Hall can pull off."
Someone Savage (2021)
Mike McCrary
"Someone Savage delivers. Its mix of violence and secrets beautifully balanced with emotional depth and gorgeous prose kept me up, turning pages, late into the night."
The Patient's Secret (2022)
Loreth Anne White
"The Patient's Secret is a must-read for fans of true crime-inspired fiction. It's so tightly plotted, the characters so fascinating, and the shocking secrets so expertly revealed that you won't be able to put it down."
Pay Dirt Road (2022)
(Annie McIntyre Mysteries, book 1)
Samantha Jayne Allen
"It's no mystery why Pay Dirt Road won the Tony Hillerman Prize for best debut novel: its heroine, Annie McIntyre, is smart and complex, the family and small-town dynamics are richly layered, and the evocative language drops you directly into the gritty Southwest. Samantha Jayne Allen is a writer to watch."
Kismet (2022)
Amina Akhtar
"The twists just keep coming in Kismet, Amina Akhtar's dark and delicious thriller. I can't imagine a better companion around these nail-biting curves than the novel's protagonist, Ronnie Khan, who is wide eyed yet smarter than she lets on, naive yet world weary. In a nutshell: she's the perfect heroine. I'd follow her anywhere."
Anywhere You Run (2022)
Wanda M Morris
"Anywhere You Run is a gripping crime novel centered around a cat-and-mouse chase featuring characters I came to love. It's also a riveting, moving, and deeply American story about the strength of sisters and the power of redemption. I couldn't put this one down."
The Blue Bar (2023)
(Blue Mumbai, book 1)
Damyanti Biswas
"The Blue Bar is one of those books that tattoos itself onto your bones - the luscious language, the glorious sense of place, a mystery that draws you in deep, so deep that you forget there's a world around you. Best of all is Inspector Arnav Singh Rajput, the tender, lionhearted man at the story's center who will stop at nothing to see that justice is done. I'll be thinking about this one for a long time."
Hide (2023)
(Detective Harriet Foster, book 1)
Tracy Clark
"Hide is an astonishing crime novel that broke my heart and then sewed it back together again, stronger than before. It hits all the right notes - a captivating protagonist up against a nightmarish serial killer, their hunt played out across a Chicago so immersive, so flawlessly rendered, that you can hear your own footsteps slapping the streets - while managing to create something completely unique. One of the best books I've read in years."

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