Lourey has created a Midwestern version of the original Jersey shore queen, Stephanie Plum. (1994, One for the Money by Janet Evanovich)
May Day (2006)
Minneapolitan Mira James has been taking it easy since college graduation—too easy. Due to a dead-end job and a cheating boyfriend, the Twin Cities have lost their charm, and Mira decides to begin a new life in rural Battle Lake. Right away she is offered jobs as an assistant librarian and part-time reporter, and falls into an unexpected romance with a guy who seems to be the perfect man until he turns up dead between the reference stacks her tenth day on the job. Anxious to learn more about the man who had briefly stolen her heart, Mira delves into the hidden mysteries of Battle Lake, including a old land deed with ancient Ojibwe secrets, an obscure octogenarian crowd with freaky social lives, and a handful of thirtysomething high school buddies who hold bitter, decades-old grudges. Mira soon discovers that unknown dangers are concealed under the polite exterior of this quirky small town, and revenge is a tator-tot hotdish best served cold. A hip, humorous, and gripping account of small-town murder, this novel is the first in a series of cozies featuring Mira James, an urban woman with rural Minnesota roots.
June Bug (2007)
Mira James never imagined life after college would be a doublewide trailer outside Battle Lake, Minnesota. Then again, maybe the North Country has more to offer than mosquitoes and broasted chicken [You had me at broasted chicken. I LOVE broasted chicken, our church picks it up for all of our socials]. Local legend claims that a diamond necklace was lost nearly a century ago in Whiskey Lake, not far from the present day Shangri-La resort. Mira, a part-time reporter, goes fishing for the story behind the legend, but her dives turn up more than missing jewelry. Buoyed by frozen Nut Goodies and a diminutive circus performer, the exhilarating search leads to a new mystery to unravel, and puts her face to face with the surfacing of a menacing foe from her past.
Knee High By the Fourth of July (2007)
What's so wrong with admiring from a distance? Mira's quirky puppy love for Chief Wenonga, a well-muscled fiberglass statue in her Minnesota small town, might be a safer love pursuit than online dating. But when the 23-foot Chief goes missing from his cement base, Mira's not the only citizen to be crushed. The town of Battle Lake is celebrating their statue's 25th anniversary and no amount of blue, sugar-soaked popcorn balls at Wenonga Days can uplift their gloomy mood. But when Mira runs into a dead body, the town has more pressing issues. Mira's second biggest crush, organic gardening god and dead ringer for Brad Pitt–Johnny Leeson–has disappeared. Her luck with men is running out, and a killer might be moving in. With something of her own to hide, Mira hopes she can avoid the police long enough to track down the object of her mega-crush–but is Mira trailing a statue-thief, a kidnapper, or a murderer?
August Moon (2008)
Maybe it's time for me to leave this crazy town, hightail it back to Minneapolis, and become a cat-collecting, fist-shaking, asexual English professor...
Furious after being stood up by local hottie Johnny Leeson, Mira decides to abandon Battle Lake, Minnesota, where the women are churchgoers, the men like to hunt, and the body count is above average. But when a cheerleader bites the dust, Mira loiters long enough to snoop.
Mira is highly suspicious of the New Millennium Bible Camp, a disturbing place with a Stepford Wives meets Hee Haw vibe. Before ditching Battle Lake, Mira is hell-bent on confronting her own demons and catching a killer.
September Fair (2009)
The Minnesota State Fair-the beloved home of 4H exhibits, Midway rides, and everything on a stick. The festival fun is riding high until the recently crowned Milkfed Mary, Queen of the Dairy, a Battle Lake native, is brutally murdered while her regal likeness is carved in butter. Can Mira James, covering the fair for the Battle Lake Recall, expose a deadly State Fair secret and win a blue ribbon for caging a killer? You bet your last deep-fried Nut Goodie!
October Fest (2011)
Beer and polka music reign supreme at Octoberfest, Battle Lake's premier fall festival. To kick off the celebrations, the town hosts a public debate between the two congressional candidates: straight-laced Arnold Swydecker, and slippery incumbent, Sarah Glokkmann. As a reporter for the Battle Lake Recall, Mira James is roped into writing up the word war. But the festive mood sours when a well-known Glokkmann-bashing blogger is found dead . . . and the congresswoman herself meets a gruesome fate.To keep the heat off her best friend's fiancé—an ex-con reporter—Mira wades through the candidates' dirty laundry, their unsavory secrets, and some murderous mudslinging to expose the killer.