September Fair by Jess Lourey

Leaving Mrs. Berns in charge of the library, Mira James packs her press badge and heads to the city to report on Battle Lakes’ representation at the Minnesota State Fair.  As part of her coverage of the Milkfed Mary contest, Mira’s snapping photos of Battle Lakes bad girl Ashley Pederson as she has her head sculpted in butter.  Mira has a moment to wonder what’s wrong with Ashley before the lights go out.  When the lights come back on, Ashley is a strange shade of red and quite dead.

Never one to wait for the results of a police investigation, Mira determines to solve Ashley’s murder.  As she digs for information, she uncovers secret love affairs, embezzlement rumors, freaky compulsions and a big business cover-up.  On the lighter side of things, she’ll find herself sharing a trailer with Mrs. Berns and Kennie Rogers, throwing granny-panties at Neil Diamond and indulging in the ultimate decadence, the deep-fried Nut-Goodie on a stick.

I’m really enjoying this series!  In addition to crafting a good mystery, Lourey offers quirky, eccentric characters and laugh-out-loud humor.  Mrs. Berns and Kennie may be a bit over the top (particularly Kennie) but oh, they are fun.  In this series installment, Lourey adds a touch of seriousness as she draws attention to dark side of the dairy industry—I have to admit, I’m a still a bit squeamish.

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