The Semester of Our Discontent (Lila Maclean Academic Mystery #1). Henery Press, 2016.
Agatha Award, Best First Novel
William F. Deeck-Malice Domestic Grant
English professor Lila Maclean is thrilled about her new job at prestigious Stonedale University until she finds one of her colleagues dead. She soon learns that everyone, from the chancellor to the detective working the case, believes Lila—or someone she is protecting—may be responsible for the horrific event, so she assigns herself the task of identifying the killer.
More attacks on professors follow, the only connection a curious symbol found at each of the crime scenes. Putting her scholarly skills to the test, Lila gathers evidence, but her search is complicated by an unexpected nemesis, a suspicious investigator, and an ominous secret society. Rather than earning an “A” for effort, she receives a threat featuring the mysterious emblem and must act quickly to avoid failing her assignment…and becoming the next victim.
“A very intricate, cool story featuring the depth of an institution where everyone is dying to climb the ladder of success.” — Suspense Magazine
“Kuhn earns a solid A+ with the best cozy debut I’ve read this year. An engaging heroine, a college setting that will have you aching to go back to school, and a puzzler of a mystery make this a must-read for cozy lovers.” — Laura DiSilverio, national best-selling author of the Readaholics Book Club mysteries and the Lefty-nominated Swift Investigations series
“The first sentence grabbed me, the ending surprised me and, in between, The Semester of Our Discontent was a box of delights. A pitch-perfect portrayal of academic life with a beguiling cast of anxious newbies, tweedy old troublemakers and scholars as sharp as they’re wise. Lila’s Stonedale is a world I’m thrilled to have found.” — Catriona McPherson, multi-award-winning author of the Dandy Gilver series and The Child Garden
“Author Cynthia Kuhn is phenomenal at conveying the tension-filled atmosphere that inundates higher institutions, where one’s fate rests entirely on a few out-of-touch, pompous faculty members.” — Kings River Life Magazine
“The characters are vibrantly portrayed with quirky personalities, fleshed out histories, and intriguing relationships. The murder(s) are well-plotted and the action fast and steadily-paced. I was fascinated from the first until the final page. This is a mystery-fan’s dream read. I highly recommend this book.” — Book Review Crew
“Murder is on the syllabus in The Semester of Our Discontent and college professor Lila Maclean gets an A+ for her detecting skills in this twisty mystery set at a Colorado university. With suspects and motives galore, solving the murder of department chair Roland Higgins won’t be easy, but Lila’s got brains and guts to spare. A great book…I can’t wait to see what author Cynthia Kuhn does next!” — Maggie Barbieri, author of the Murder 101 series and the Maeve Conlon mysteries
Available in bookstores and online:
The Art of Vanishing (Lila Maclean Academic Mystery #2). Henery Press, 2017.
When Professor Lila Maclean is sent to interview celebrated author and notorious cad Damon Von Tussel, he disappears before her very eyes. The English department is thrown into chaos by the news, as Damon is supposed to headline Stonedale University’s upcoming Arts Week.
The chancellor makes it clear that he expects Lila to locate the writer and set events back on track immediately. But someone appears to have a different plan: strange warnings are received, valuable items go missing, and a series of dangerous incidents threaten the lives of Stonedale’s guests. After her beloved mother, who happens to be Damon’s ex, rushes onto campus and into harm’s way, Lila has even more reason to bring the culprit to light before anything—or anyone—else vanishes.
“Entertaining, intricate, and oh-so-smart! The talented Cynthia Kuhn treats mystery lovers to an insider’s look at the treacherous world of academia—seething with manipulation, jealousy, and relentless ambition. A terrific plot—with a surprise around every corner.” — Hank Phillippi Ryan, Agatha, Anthony and Mary Higgins Clark award-winning author of Say No More
“The Lila Maclean Academic Mystery series should be required reading for anyone who loves a great mystery! Tightly plotted with a deliciously memorable cast of characters, The Art of Vanishing kept me guessing from start to finish, and Kuhn’s smart sense of humor made every page a pleasure.” – Marla Cooper, author of the Kelsey McKenna Destination Wedding Mysteries
“The Art of Vanishing is cozy perfection! This engaging mystery is a must read for cozy lovers everywhere. Author Cynthia Kuhn takes readers to the sometimes-treacherous academic world and proves once again that protagonist Lila Maclean is not just educated, she’s smart. This is the ideal book for a lazy afternoon and the best cozy I’ve read in a long time.” — Jennifer Kincheloe, award-winning author of the Anna Blanc mystery series
“Whether Stonedale University English professor Lila is confronting a backstabbing colleague or investigating a murder attempt on a cantankerous bestselling author, readers will root for this enormously likeable heroine. The Art of Vanishing is an engrossing, erudite cozy that pulls back the curtain on the less-than-hallowed halls of academia. I feel smarter simply for having read it.” — Ellen Byron, Agatha nominee and USA Today Bestselling author of the Cajun Country Mysteries
“I love Lila! She’s smart and relatable, with engaging friends, fun family, and some decidedly un-collegial colleagues. This academic mystery kept me on the edge of my seat.” — Ann Myers, author of the Santa Fe Café Mysteries
“Incomparable manuscripts and competitive colleagues unfold into a surprising mystery about love, loss, and betrayal. Author Cynthia Kuhn schools us in the art of duplicity, and the grade is A+.” — Diane Vallere, National Bestselling Author of the Costume Shop Mystery Series
Available in bookstores and online:
Best Book on Atwood and Her Work — Margaret Atwood Society Award (2005)
This study examines the associations between dressing and storytelling in Margaret Atwood’s fiction, focusing particularly on The Robber Bride and Alias Grace.
The essays collected here demonstrate how scholarly attention to literary fashioning can contribute to a deeper understanding of texts, their contexts, and their innovations.
Reading Chuck Palahniuk examines how the author pushes through a variety of boundaries to shape fiction and to question American identity in powerful and important ways.