The Semester of our Discontent, by Cynthia Kuhn

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For bibliophiles, book nerds, and die-hard readers, books set in the world of academia are kind of like a double bonus. Like a donut with cream filling and sprinkles; or going for your booked massage only to find that the client before you paid for a double session in an effort to “pay it forward.” Even more so with the academic realm is literature. It’s a book about people who teach and write books! Queue the bonus round!

The Semester of Our Discontent is the first in a new cozy series from Cynthia Kuhn. Professor Lila Maclean is still finding her footing at Stonedale University when she stumbles upon the body of one of her colleagues. While she can’t quite say she’s sorry to see him dead – the man was combative, acerbic, and chauvinist – she is stunned to find herself suddenly thrown into the middle of a fire storm of investigations and continuing attacks on members of the English department. Lila can’t imagine any of her new colleagues being a murderer, but when the suspicion lands squarely on her cousin’s shoulders, she will do whatever she can to figure out who is wreaking havoc on campus.

I really enjoyed this story. Aside from the fact that it’s set in an English department at a university (kid, meet candy store), the characters were intriguing, as was the mystery of the rose and thorn symbols that kept turning up on every corner. I was trying to puzzle it out and was as confused as Lila! And the descriptions of her forays into the creepy dark basement? I’m shivering just thinking about it! The Semester of Our Discontent is a great read; I’m looking forward to more from this series.

The Semester of our Discontent6x9
The Semester of Our Discontent
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Henery Press (April 5, 2016)
Paperback: 256 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1635110098
E-Book ASIN: B01A7BH83S


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.

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ck2x3Cynthia 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 or @cynthiakuhn.

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2 thoughts on “The Semester of our Discontent, by Cynthia Kuhn

  1. Pingback: Great Escapes Tour: The Semester of Our Discontent – Guest Post and Review | Booklady's Booknotes

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