books

Fiction/Mystery

the-semester-of-our-discontentThe Semester of Our Discontent (Lila Maclean Academic Mystery #1). Henery Press. April 5, 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.

“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.” — Catriona McPherson, multi-award-winning author of the Dandy Gilver series and The Child Garden

Available from Henery Press in bookstores and online:
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Large-print edition now available from Thorndike Press.

Book club discussion questions are available here.


the-art-of-vanishingThe Art of Vanishing (Lila Maclean Academic Mystery #2). Henery Press. February 28, 2017.

✦ Lefty Award nominee, Best Humorous Mystery

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! 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

Available from Henery Press in bookstores and online:
Amazon  Barnes & Noble  Bookshop  IndieBound  iTunes  Kobo

Large-print edition now available from Thorndike Press.


The Spirit in Question (Lila Maclean Academic Mystery #3). Henery Press. October 2, 2018.

✦ Lefty Award nominee, Best Humorous Mystery
✦ Foreword Indies Book of the Year Awards finalist, Mystery

English professor Lila Maclean knew drama would be involved when she agreed to consult on Stonedale University’s production of Puzzled: The Musical. But she didn’t expect to find herself cast into such chaos: the incomprehensible play is a disaster, the crumbling theater appears to be haunted, and, before long, murder takes center stage.

The show must go on—yet as they speed toward opening night, it becomes clear that other members of the company may be targeted as well. Lila searches for answers while contending with a tenacious historical society, an eccentric playwright, an unsettling psychic, an enigmatic apparition, and a paranormal search squad. With all of this in play, will she be able to identify who killed her colleague…or will it soon be curtains for Lila too?

“Lila Maclean returns with theatrical hilarity and otherworldly suspense. A fabulous backstage whodunit.” — Gretchen Archer, USA Today bestselling and Agatha Award-nominated author of the Davis Way Crime Caper Series

Available from Henery Press in bookstores and online:
Amazon  Barnes & Noble  Bookshop  IndieBound  iTunes  Kobo

Large-print edition now available from Thorndike Press.


The Subject of Malice (Lila Maclean Academic Mystery #4). Henery Press. July 23, 2019.

✦ Lefty Award nominee, Best Humorous Mystery

The organizers have rustled up plenty of surprises for the literary conference at Tattered Star Ranch. But the murder of an influential scholar wasn’t on the program—someone has clearly taken the theme of Malice in the Mountains to heart. This shocking crime is only the beginning: other dangers and deceptions are soon revealed.

English professor Lila Maclean has a full agenda: she must convince a press to publish her book (possibly), ace her panel presentations (hopefully), and deal with her nemesis (regrettably). However, when Detective Lex Archer requests Lila’s academic expertise, she agrees to consult on the case. While her contributions earn high marks from her partner, it could be too late; the killer is already taking aim at the next subject. As Lila races to keep her colleagues alive, publish or perish takes on new meaning.

“A pure delight from page one. Cynthia Kuhn’s Lila Maclean mysteries will cure what ails you. Funny and fantastic.” — Becky Clark, author of the Mystery Writer’s Mysteries

Available from Henery Press in bookstores and online:
Amazon  Barnes & Noble  Bookshop  IndieBound  iTunes  Kobo

Large-print edition now available from Thorndike Press.


The Study of Secrets (Lila Maclean Academic Mystery #5). Henery Press. May 26, 2020.

There could be nowhere more fitting for English professor Lila Maclean to spend her sabbatical than in a proper Victorian mansion. The whimsical Callahan House seems to have materialized from the pages of the mystery novels she is researching, with its enchanting towers, cozy nooks, and charming library. Unfortunately, it also features a body in the study.

Residents of Larkston have long believed that the Callahan family is cursed—the murder on the estate sets the town buzzing. Wild rumors are fueled by a gossipy blogger who delights in speculation, and further crimes only intensify the whispers and suspicions. A newly discovered manuscript, however, appears to expose startling facts beneath the fictions. When Lila steps in to sort the truth from the lies, it may cost her everything, as someone wants to make dead certain that their secrets stay hidden.

“Kuhn earns top marks with The Study of Secrets, her best academic mystery yet. Heroine Lila Maclean uncovers secrets both old and new, the most exciting revealed to her at the very end. Outstanding!” — Margaret Mizushima, author of the award-winning Timber Creek K-9 Mysteries

Available from Henery Press in bookstores and online:
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(contributor) “The Blue Ribbon” in Parnell Hall Presents Malice Domestic: Mystery Most Edible. Edited by Verena Rose, Rita Owen, and Shawn Reilly Simmons. Wildside Press. June 19, 2019.

✦ Agatha Award nominee, Best Short Story

The Malice Domestic anthology series returns with a new take on mysteries in the Agatha Christie tradition — 36 original tales with a culinary bent!

Available from Wildside Press in bookstores and online:
Amazon  Barnes & Noble  Bookshop  Indiebound


Nonfiction/Academic

selffashioningSelf-Fashioning in Margaret Atwood’s Fiction: Dress, Culture, and Identity. Peter Lang, 2005.

✦ Margaret Atwood Society Award, Best Book on Atwood and Her Work

This study examines the associations between dressing and storytelling in Margaret Atwood’s fiction, focusing particularly on The Robber Bride and Alias Grace.

 


stylingtextsStyling Texts: Dress and Fashion in Literature. Edited with Cindy Carlson. Cambria Press, 2007.

The essays collected here demonstrate how scholarly attention to literary fashioning can contribute to a deeper understanding of texts, their contexts, and their innovations.

 

 


readingcpReading Chuck Palahniuk: American Monsters and Literary Mayhem. Edited with Lance Rubin. Routledge, 2009.

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.

 

 


(contributor) “Momifesto: Affirmations for the Academic Mother” (with Josie Mills, Christy Rowe, and Erin Webster Garrett) in Mama, Ph.D: Women Write About Motherhood and Academic Life.  Edited by Caroline Grant and Elrena Evans. Rutgers University Press, 2008.

Candid, provocative, and sometimes with a wry sense of humor, the thirty-five essays in this anthology speak to and offer support for any woman attempting to combine work and family.