October Fest by Jess Lourey

Attendees of Battle Lakes’ October Fest have come to expect a beer-soaked, polka-driven, sausage-and-potato-eating good time.  Unfortunately one of the kickoff events this time around is a public debate between congressional candidates  Arnold Swydecker and Sarah Glokkmann.  Swydecker appears to be fairly straightlaced but Glokkmann has a few critics in the audience.  The following day one of those critics is found dead in a hotel room.

Mira James is among the first people to find the body (of course—the girl really does have the worst luck when it comes to this sort of thing).  Ever curious, she begins looking for answers.  This becomes even more important as  Mrs. Berns’ fiance is a likely suspect.  Mrs. Berns’ fiance?  That’s correct.  The feisty octogenarian is getting married so that there’s someone legally in place to thwart her son’s efforts to declare her mentally incompetent and send her to a maximum security nursing home.  Mira sets herself to the task of solving the murder, hoping to avoid blue-eyed Johnny and newly-buff Gary Wohnt in the process.

The mystery is well-plotted and, aside of the fact that I don’t like to think of Mrs. Berns with a lowlife like Bernard Minks, I enjoyed her side story.  I’m intrigued by the return of Gary Wohnt but I really wish Mira’s ex-boyfriend Brad would be sent back to her past—sure, he provided a convenient way for Mira to set up her “sting operation” but he’s a shallow character and just doesn’t seem to fit her life.  I would like to see more of Darcy and Cindy.

Love this series!  Please let there be a November title in the near future!

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