With the Battle Lake Public Library shut down for two weeks over the Christmas holiday, Mira James is left with no other op-tions but to return home to her childhood home in Paynesville. Juggling her painful memories of childhood, private investigator classes, and living with her mother, the last thing Mira needs is a serial killer on the loose. When the murders hit close to home, though, Mira and trusty side-kick Mrs. Berns are on the case. Can they catch the killer before it's too late?
The innocuous Christmas candy cane assumes monstrous connotations when it becomes the calling card of a serial killer in Lourey's wryly comic eighth Murder-by-Month mystery (after November Hunt). Librarian Mira James discovers to her dismay that not only is she temporarily unemployed but also she fits the profile-same age, weight, and hair color-of the victims the killer is now targeting in small Minnesota towns. Afraid she's being stalked, Mira continues to pursue her PI license and self-defense classes, and teams with an unlikely ally, feisty 80-year-old Mrs. Berns, whose salty wisecracks and poor judgment keep the story humming. Despite amateurish bungling and annoying the FBI in major ways, determined Mira is able to gather invaluable leads from her local connections that go back to grade school. Lourey, who keeps her secrets well, delivers a breathtaking finale. Agent: Victoria Skurnick, Levine Greenberg Literary. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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October 08, 2012
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