Books by Brights
Mira James, the Bright heroine of Jess Lourey's Murder-by-Month series, is not only a great amateur sleuth; she's an out-of-the-closet freethinker as well. Mira is a librarian stuck in the Red part of Blue state Minnesota. She can't quite escape the quirky little town of Battle Lake, "where the women are churchgoers, the men like to hunt, and the body count is above average."
In August Moon, the latest book in the series, Mira tangles with passive-aggressive fundamentalists who have developed harassment to a fine art and are eager to flex their muscles against the headstrong librarian. Mira becomes troubled by an increasingly menacing atmosphere around town as their influence grows over her neighbors and friends: When a local is found murdered, she's convinced the sinister evangelical ministry is hiding some sinister goings-on...
Brights who enjoy mysteries will love the endearing characters, humor, genuine suspense and Mira's wry, refreshingly unapologetic comments on religion and critical thinking; (Her response when a preacher assures her that science and faith are compatible: "Compatible, maybe. Interchangeable, no.")
You'll roar at her dead-on send-up of a Creationist Science Fair, with exhibits like "My Great Great Grandpa Was a Christian, Not a Monkey," and "Biology Proves Women Designed for Housework." But the best thing about the book is that Mira is such an appealing spokesperson for the non-religious community, making the book a great gift for your non-bright friends who might resist your other book suggestions.
About the author:
Jess Lourey, like her heroine, is sly, sharp, observant, and ornery, a charming Minnesotan freethinker with little patience and no mercy for the fundies. She is author of the Murder-by-Month mysteries (May Day, June Bug, Knee High by the Fourth of July, August Moon, and the forthcoming September Mourn). She currently lives in St. Cloud, Minnesota and teaches Literature and Sociology. When not raising her wonderful kids, teaching, or writing, she gardens and navigates the niceties and meanities of small-town life. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, The Loft, and Lake Superior Writers.