The Semester of Our Discontent

The Semester of Our Discontent

by Cynthia Kuhn
4.3 6

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The Semester of Our Discontent by Cynthia Kuhn

"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 Bestselling Author of the Readaholics Book Club Mysteries

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 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.

AGATHA AWARD-WINNER for Best First Novel

"The Semester of Our Discontent leads the reader on a journey worthy of any crime mystery and serves up an ending you are unlikely to see coming regardless of how long you have studied the mystery genre...It may take place in the world of certificates and tweed suits, but it is sharp." – Criminal Element

"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. Roll on book two!" – Catriona McPherson, Multi-Award-Winning Author of the Dandy Gilver Series

"A very intricate, cool story featuring the depth of an institution where everyone is dying to climb the ladder of success." – Suspense Magazine

"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!" – Maggie Barbieri, Author of the Murder 101 Series

"Cynthia Kuhn takes readers on a mind-boggling safari into the wilds of academia...Only an insider like Kuhn can reveal the savagery behind the mask of scholarship and collegiality with such acuity and grace." – Lev Raphael, Author of Assault With a Deadly Lie

"I have a real fondness for academic mysteries and this one is first rate." – For the Love of Books

"Takes the reader into higher education's secrets and shadows, where the real lesson is for the new professor--how to stay alive. If you're smart, you'll read this book." – Lori Rader-Day, Anthony Award-Winning Author of The Black Hour

"Binge reading this first novel in a new series will be almost impossible to resist. The wealth of suspects will keep readers cramming just a few more pages in before bedtime." – BOLO Books

"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

Related subjects include: women sleuths, cozy mysteries, amateur sleuth books, murder mysteries, whodunit mysteries (whodunnit), academic mysteries, book club recommendations.

Books in the Lila Maclean Academic Mystery Series:


Part of the Henery Press Mystery Series Collection, if you like one, you'll probably like them all.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940157908720
Publisher: Henery Press
Publication date: 04/05/2016
Series: A Lila Maclean Mystery , #1
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 9,192
File size: 483 KB

About the Author

Cynthia Kuhn is professor of English at MSU Denver, where she teaches literature and writing. Her work has appeared in McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, Literary Mama, Copper Nickel, Prick of the Spindle, Mama, PhD and other publications; she also blogs with Mysteristas. The first book in the Lila Maclean series received a William F. Deeck-Malice Domestic Grant.

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The Semester of Our Discontent 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous 6 months ago
All the way to the last page I hoped for something exciting to vain. Lovely setting but too many characters drifted in & out & I could not connect with the plot or heroine who displays no real emotion. C-
Anonymous 10 months ago
Excellent read. Nothing better than a little terror and tenure. Off to see if there is a book 2.
Anonymous 10 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I saw this had won an Agatha and I can see why although I did guess who dun it. Fun and literary
KrisAnderson_TAR More than 1 year ago
The Semester of our Discontent by Cynthia Kuhn is the first book in the new Lila Maclean Mystery series. Lila Maclean is a new assistant professor at Stonedale University in Stonedale, Colorado. Lila just graduated from NYU the previous spring. Lila is going to a faculty meeting with her faculty mentor, Judith Westerly. They enter the conference room to find Roland Higgins dead on the table! He was stabbed with a knife with a pattern on it. Roland Higgins was not well liked (he was pompous, egotistical, rude, and down on women) so the suspect list is long. However, Detective Lexington Archer (Stonedale Police Department) seems to have narrowed it down to Calista James, Lila’s cousin (Lila’s mom raised both girls). The knife (decorative) belonged to Calista. Then Judith Westerly, English professor and Lila’s faculty mentor, is attacked with a book (a very big and heavy book). The book has the same decorative pattern as the knife. The police find the pattern on Calista’s computer and she is arrested. Lila knows Calista did not commit the murder (or attack Judith) and sets out to prove her innocence. Someone, though, does not like her poking around. Lila’s office is trashed and then bookshelves are sent tumbling down upon her in the library. The killer means business. Then Eldon Higgins (Roland’s brother and has the same attitude problems) is murdered (and Calista has a great alibi). Can the killer be apprehended before more people are murdered? The Semester of our Discontent was not as good as I was hoping it would be. The book contained too much about academic life. Professors have to publish or perish which was repeated a few times in the novel. It also discusses the politics of academia which dominated the book. The murder occurred in the first chapter (within the first few pages) of the book which was too early. There was really no lead in to it and then we have the whole novel to get through as the main character tries to find the killer. I thought the killer was extremely obvious. I knew the identity of the killer when the body was discovered. The writer did try to distract the reader and lead them down the wrong path with different theories. The Semester of our Discontent contains many literary references and quotes (from classic literature). I think the book was a little overdone (with the academic life and literary references). The average reader might not enjoy all the references to classic books. I give The Semester of our Discontent 3 out of 5 stars. I think the series has potential. I will be interested to read the next book in the Lila Maclean Mystery series to see if there is improvement. I received a complimentary copy of The Semester of our Discontent from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review of the novel.
weluvdopey More than 1 year ago
Great Book! This is a great book; this is the first book in the Lila Maclean Mystery series by Cynthia Kuhn. Lila Maclean is an English professor and is excited about her new job at the prestigious Stonedale University that is until she finds one of her colleagues dead. When the police believes that Lila is protecting the killer she is determined to find the killer herself. If you are looking for a great book then you need to read this one. I am looking forward to the next book by this great author. A Review copy was provided to me in exchange for a fair and honest review. The free book held no determination on my personal review.
ArizonaJo More than 1 year ago
Lila Maclean cozy mystery series. I found this book to be an easy read with great character development. This is my first book by this author but I will definitely be looking forward to the next one in the series. I enjoyed meeting Lila who has graduated with her doctorate degree and is now a professor at Stonedale College. I liked her and enjoyed getting to know her background and unconventional upbringing. She was smart and wasn't afraid to ask questions when she didn't understand a situation. She knew her limitations and asked for help when she needed it. Ms. Kuhn's story was paced to cover Lila's first semester at Stonedale which made sense to me as not all murders are solved in a few days - especially when the murderer was as diabolical as this one. The secondary characters were also likable and contributed a lot to the story line. Department rivalries, publish or perish for tenure, friendships, murder, and plot twists kept me reading until the end. I received an ARC from Henery Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed in the review are strictly my own.