This book was recommended by various book-y blogs, and I'm delighted I picked it up. A breezy, fun mystery set in rural Minnesota, May Day is the first in a planned series of (presumably) twelve "Murder by Month Mysteries."
Twenty-nine-year-old Mira is an assistant librarian at the Battle Lake Library, having fled Minneapolis after an unfortunate breakup. Mira's a rural girl herself, though her childhood in nearby Paynesville was forever marred by her alcoholic father, whose death in a car accident that also killed a mother and baby earned Mira the nickname "Manslaughter Mark's daughter." She's isolated and a bit lonely in Battle Creek, so when dashing Jeff Wilson comes to town to survey some land for possible development, Mira is smitten. When that same Jeff shows up dead in her library just a few days later, the mystery is on. Who killed Jeff, and why? And what does it have to do with the Battle Creek High School Class of 1982, whose members include the highly-lacquered former beauty queen mayor, the pencil-thin-mustache-sporting chief of police, and Mira's absent boss, who may or may not be a cross-dresser?
This is a quick, fun read, a good choice for the beach or a rainy night. My quibbles are minor: the usual "are you KIDDING me, you IDIOT?!" moments in many mysteries, wherein the heroine embarks on some incredibly stupid and risky adventure instead of, oh I don't know, CALLING THE POLICE; and the strange hours and policies of the Battle Creek Library, which seems to have only one staff member present at any one time, and which can apparently close at the drop of a hat or the whim of a would-be crimefighter.
Nonetheless, a satisfying little treat. Can't wait for June Bug, the next in the series.
May Day by Jess Lourey. Midnight Ink, 2006, 209 pages.