Thursday, August 16, 2007

Have You Seen the Size of My Wenonga?

by Jess Lourey

Knee High by the Fourth of July, the third book in my Murder-by-Month Mystery series, has hit bookshelves one month early. Whee! I feel like a bumblebee that had its eye on a nice zinnia over yonder, flew toward it, and got smacked by a four-door sedan. As I scurry to set up book signings, get postcards created and sent out to bookstores and libraries, and set up media events, I wonder, how did this happen?

I should mention that I just moved--houses, jobs, kids--two weeks ago. I'm thinking of knocking over a Wal-Mart to get at the Valium in their pharmacy. Oh, and to make a political statement.

The good news is that I'm proud of Knee High. It's fun, long on humor, romance, and red herrings. Here's Kirkus Review's review:

"When the town mascot of Battle Lake, Minn., a 23-foot fiberglass statue of Chief Wenonga, goes missing, the town librarian/reporter/sleuth springs into action.

Truth be told, Mira James, recent refugee from the Twin Cities, has a bit of a crush on the Chief, especially since most of her love life with living males is in shambles. Her last boyfriend was murdered; now she has the hots for handsome gardening instructor Johnny Leeson. In the blazing midsummer, the town has been preparing for Wenonga Days when Prof. Dolly Castle heats up a town meeting with her objections to the stereotyping of American Indians, and Les Pastner, a local militia wannabe, demands that the festival be renamed White Man Days. The next morning the Chief is gone, leaving only a bit of blood and hair at the statue's base as a clue. Dolly and Les, the likely candidates, are joined by the enigmatic Brando Erikkson, whose company built the statue, which he offers to replace with an irregular woodchuck. Things go from bad to worse when a corpse missing a patch of hair turns up in Johnny's lakeside cabin and he's arrested for murder, forcing Mira to put herself in jeopardy to save him.

...Mira (June Bug, 2007, May Day, 2006) is an amusing heroine in a town full of quirky characters."

I'll let you fill in the ellipsis. :) Or ask me in person what I ellipsised over, if I'm coming to a town near you.

In more good news, Resort to Murder comes out in a week. My short story, "The Locked Fish-Cleaning-House Mystery," set in Battle Lake, Minnesota, is included, as are stories by the amazing William Kent Krueger, Carl Brookins, and Ellen Hart, among others, along with an introduction by Lorna Landvik, one of my favorite authors.

Good times. Hectic, crazy, good times. Look for me on the Channel 7 news, hands cuffed behind my back in front of the St. Cloud Wal-Mart with a serene smile on my face.


Mark Terry said...

So there's your first blog contest:

Show me photographs of your big Wenonga.

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...


May your sales be bigger than Wenonga himself!

Joe Moore said...

I've never seen one that big, Jess. Maybe size does matter. Congratulations and best wishes on KNEE HIGH!!

Candy Calvert said...

Hilarious--but please don't scare that sweet old WM greeter with the sizeable Wenonga!

Congratulations, and here's to incredible sales!


Felicia Donovan said...

Best of luck, Jess and "Welcome to WalMart..."

Kathryn Lilley said...

The statue of Venus in my post today over at Killer Hobbies definitely has her eye on your Chief Wenonga, lol!

Bill Cameron said...

hehe. Mega congrats, Jess!

Jess Lourey said...

Thank you for the wonderful support! :) You're a great bunch.

The Imaginary Blog said...

I'll be at your signing in Fargo--see you there!

Janet, who's been wandering around northern Minnesota today. Yes, the area with a certain big blue ox...