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Politics in academia can be cutthroat, and the route to tenure - murder
April 13, 2016
THE SEMESTER OF OUR DISCONTENT A Lila Maclean Mystery by Cynthia Kuhn
Henery Press Mystery & Thrillers Pub Date: April 5, 2016
Politics in academia can be cutthroat, and the route to tenure - murder. Normally this is a metaphor, but in The Semester of our Discontent, it sets the scene for the death of an old-school administrator whose behavior gives more than one person a motive for murder.
The realistic depiction of academic life is a reminder that publish or perish is more than an idiom. Also, it is true that many still underrate or deny the literary contributions of female and minority authors. Lila is a new adjunct in American Literature at Stonedale University. As a new professor, her position is tenuous, but she isn't a shrinking violet. She stands up for what she believes in despite it leading to her being considered a suspect. I was fascinated by the idea that her area of concentration is a little known author of mysteries. When the police concentrate on her cousin, Lila starts her own investigation.
Lila is an engaging heroine who is smart, but willing to admit when she needs help. Unlike some of the other professors, she does not have an agenda other than finding the truth. Like many universities, Cynthia Kuhn's Stonedale is filled with a variety of personalities, some kind and caring, others derisive and irascible. Reading The Semester of our Discontent brought back many memories from my own days at university.
The Semester of Our Discontent is an enthralling cozy featuring a delightful and intelligent heroine. If you enjoy cozy mysteries and have a desire to walk the old school grounds, The Semester of Our Discontent is a wonderful choice. I can't wait to see what Cynthia Kuhn has in store for Lila next.
I received a copy of The Semester of Our Discontent from the publisher and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
“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
“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
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.