Book Review & Giveaway: The Semester of Our Discontent

semester-discontent-large-banner640About the book:
Title/Author: The Semester of Our Discontent (Lila Maclean Mystery #1) / Cynthia Kuhn
Genre: Cozy/ Mystery
Publisher: Henery Press
Date of publish: April 2016
Pages: 246
Book Links: Amazon The Semester of Our Discontent (A Lila Maclean Mystery) (Volume 1) / Goodreads / Barnes & Noble / Riffle / IndieBound / Kobo / ITunes

About The Book:

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.


What Others Are Saying:

The Semester of Our Discontent was an enjoyable well-written mystery with entertaining characters that will delight readers.
~Moonlight Rendezvous

Lila did not always have every hair in place, but that makes her a very approachable character. She works hard and forges her own way in the academic jungle. I hope she has a long career!
~Back Porchervations

My Review:

Also See Lian Asks: 5 Questions with Cynthia Kuhn

Lila is learning the hard way way that being a junior professor at an exclusive college isn’t all that it is cracked up to be. Her department head is an elitist misogynist. Academic politics are more politics than academia, and, oh yeah, someone is attacking professors at the college with items emblazoned with the symbol of secret society that, of course, no one will talk about. When Lila’s fellow professor, and cousin, is accused of the crimes, Lila sets out to find out who the real culprit is. Of course now the police think she knows more than she does and her boss has indicated that being the first to come across a dead body, is not really behavior appropriate to someone who wishes to gain tenure at some point down the road. I mean really, who does that?

Okay so this was a great novel. I dearly loved reading about the staff discussing their pet authors. The setting was fantastic and the insight into the life of the average college professor was profound. The characters, even the unlikable ones, were quirky and fun to read. One has to wonder though why it took so long for someone to do something about the department head, (okay not really, but he was insufferable). The dialogue was witty and the relationships between characters was fun to unravel. I loved that it had a feminist slant without becoming feminazi.  It was a fast easy read that was quite enjoyable.

This story is a mystery and Lila is a pretty good sleuth, but I have to admit that this mystery had a Poe-like finish. Though I was beginning to suspect the actual killer, it was only because this person seemed to be written as a more important character than made sense in the story. I read it twice (just as good the second time around) and I still don’t see how the clues tied together to end up at that person. Plus lets face it, This “secret” society wasn’t really worth going to jail over and keeping it secret hampered the investigation more than it should have.

I am looking forward to more from this author and Dr. Maclean. This story was interesting and kept me reading to the end.


4 stars

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review


About The Author:

Cynthia Kuhn teaches and writes in Colorado. Her work has appeared in McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, Literary Mama, Copper Nickel, Prick of the Spindle, Mama PhD and other publications. She is the current president of Sisters in Crime-Colorado and blogs with Mysteristas. Visit her at her website  or on Twitter


Author Links: Website / Mysteristas / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Amazon

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March 14 – Moonlight Rendezvous – Review

March 14 – Leigh Anderson Romance – Guest Post

March 15 – Editing Pen – Guest Post

March 16 –  Back Porchervations – Review

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  1. Seriously, didn’t everyone wonder what went on behind the scenes at their college. I know I did. Sometimes the tension between profs was so thick you didn’t want to go to class. This book sounds like a fun mystery…and a peek beneath the mortarboard!

    Liked by 1 person

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