Jess Lourey Books

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Jess Lourey is American author of mystery, young adult and humor novels. She is famously known for her critically acclaimed work Murder by Month mysteries which have earned her multiple starred reviews from Booklist and Library Journal. Jess is also the author magical realism, sword and sorcery fantasy, feminist thrillers, and the edge of your seat young adult adventures. Besides from writing, Jess is also a professor of creative writing and sociology, the most sought-after workshop lead and speaker and a recipient of 2014 Excellence in Teaching Fellowship. The author is a member of Lake Superior Writers, Sisters in Crime, The Loft and served on the official board of the Mystery Writers of America.

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Order of Murder-By-Month Mystery Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 May Day 2006 Description / Buy
2 June Bug 2007 Description / Buy
3 Knee High by the Fourth of July 2007 Description / Buy
4 August Moon 2008 Description / Buy
5 September Fair / September Mourn 2009 Description / Buy
6 October Fest 2011 Description / Buy
7 November Hunt 2012 Description / Buy
8 December Dread 2012 Description / Buy
9 January Thaw 2014 Description / Buy
10 Death by Potato Salad (Short Story) 2014 Description / Buy
11 February Fever 2015 Description / Buy
12 March of Crime 2017 Description / Buy
13 April Fools 2019 Description / Buy
14 Monday Is Murder (Short Story) 2022 Description / Buy

Order of Salem's Cipher Mystery Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Salem's Cipher 2016 Description / Buy
2 The Adventure of the First Problem (Short Story) 2016 Description / Buy
3 Mercy's Chase 2018 Description / Buy

Order of The Catalain Book of Secrets Series as Jessica Lourey

# Read Title Published Details
1 Seven Daughters (Short Story) 2014 Description / Buy
2 The Catalain Book of Secrets 2014 Description / Buy

Order of Jess Lourey Standalone Novels

# Read Title Published Details
1 The Toadhouse Trilogy 2012 Description / Buy
2 Unspeakable Things 2020 Description / Buy
3 Bloodline 2021 Description / Buy
4 Litani 2021 Description / Buy
5 Quarry Girls 2022 Description / Buy
6 A Whisper of Poison 2025 Description / Buy

Order of Jess Lourey Short Stories/Novellas

# Read Title Published Details
1 Beauty Is in the Eye of the Newt (Short Story) 2014 Description / Buy
2 The Paper Frog (Short Story) 2014 Description / Buy
3 Give Her a Hand (Short Story) 2014 Description / Buy

Order of Jess Lourey Non-Fiction Books

# Read Title Published Details
1 Better Than Gin: A Coloring Book for Writers (Short Story) (As: Jessica Lourey, Tony Van Den Einde) 2016 Description / Buy
2 Rewrite Your Life: Discover Your Truth Through the Healing Power of Fiction (As: Jessica Lourey) 2017 Description / Buy

Order of Claudette's Interactive Children's Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Leave My Book Alone! 2021 Description / Buy

Order of Getaway Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Uncharted Waters ( By: Sally Hepworth) 2022 Description / Buy
2 His Happy Place ( By: Zakiya Dalila Harris) 2022 Description / Buy
3 Belle Mer ( By: Luanne Rice) 2022 Description / Buy
4 Stockholm (Short Story) ( By: Catherine Steadman) 2022 Description / Buy
5 Catch Her in a Lie 2022 Description / Buy
6 Shell Game ( By: Rumaan Alam) 2022 Description / Buy

Order of Steinbeck and Reed Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 The Taken Ones 2023 Description / Buy
2 The Reaping 2024 Description / Buy

Jess Lourey Anthologies

# Read Title Published Details
1 Resort to Murder 2007 Description / Buy
2 Writes of Spring 2012 Description / Buy
3 Shattering Glass 2020 Description / Buy
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Lourey became a published author in 2006 when May Day, the first book in Murder by Month Mystery series was published. In 2016, the author wrote, Salem’ Cipher which became the debut novel in a series by the same name. When not reading, teaching, writing, traveling or having a good time with her family, you will find Jess dreaming of her next story.


Jess Lourey has been nominated for several awards. She is a recipient of The Loft’s 2014 Excellence in Teaching Fellowship and has been nominated for Anthony Awards for the Best Paperback Original.


These are two best books by Jess Lourey, May Day and June Bug.

May Day: The Minneapolitan resident, Mira James has been taking it easy since her college graduation. Due to her boring job and unfaithful boyfriend, the Twin Cities have lost the true charm, and in response, she decides to start a new chapter in life in the rural area of Battle Lake.

Once in Battle Lake, she is offered a job as a librarian and also a reporter, and soon gets entangled in some romance with a local guy who appears to be the ideal man until the day he winds up dead between the references stacks on her second week on the job. Eager to learn more about the man who had soon stolen her heart, Mira dives into the mysteries of Battle Lake, including a group of high school friends who hold grudges, an ancient Ojibwe secret and a crowd with some weird social lives.
Mira soon discovers that unknown dangers, are hidden deep beneath the soft, and smooth surface of this small town and revenge is a very sweet dish served cold.

May Day, the first book in Murder by Month Mystery is a brilliant read. The main character is the witty Bachelor of Arts (English) graduate May. After having had it all, she settles in Battle Lake in order to have a new grip in her life. Once in Battle Lake, she meets Jeff Wilson, and from that instance- the two get an instant connection. He frequently visits the library with some questions about Jorgensen’s property, and since Mira writes for the local newspaper, she also intends to interview Jeff who is an archeologist.

From the first meetup, both Mira and Jeff seem to hit it off very well and become intimate. However, Jeff stands Mira for the second date, which angers her. The next day, as Mira goes through the stacks, she stumbles upon Jeff’s body, and from there onwards, the story follows Mira as she investigates and tracks down Jeff’s killer.

June Bug: In the second book in Murder by Month Mystery, we again meet the witty Mira James. Mira never thought that life after college would be a double-wide trailer in the small town of Battle Lake, Minnesota. However, maybe the small town has more to offer than breasted chicken and mosquitoes.

According to the rumors in this small town, a diamond necklace was lost nearly hundred years ago, in Whiskey Lake, a place not far from the Shangri-La resort. Mira, working as a part-time reporter for the local newspaper goes fishing for the stories behind this local legend. However, her dives turn out to be more than just missing jewelry. Accompanied by a local circus performer, the adventurous search leads them into a new mystery, one that puts her face to face with an adversary from the past.

The second book in Murder by Month Mystery is well crafted, with a smooth plotline and well-woven characters. Mira is a young, beautiful, and enthusiastic and just like any other amateur sleuth; she is forever doomed to stumble upon dead bodies, and even secrets darker than death. If you love mystery books, then you will like books by the talented, clever and witty writer Jess Lourey.

When Does The Next Jess Lourey book come out?

The next book by Jess Lourey is The Reaping and will be released on September, 3rd 2024. It is the newest book in the Steinbeck and Reed Series.

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