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Murder by Death

I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.

The Semester of Our Discontent

The Semester of Our Discontent - Cynthia Kuhn

This is a shorter-length novel, coming in at only 227 pages, but it was a great read; rather than feeling like it was too short or sparsely detailed, it felt tightly written and evenly paced.


Lila is a newly-minted Ph.D. starting her first semester as a junior English Lit professor at a posh University in Colorado.  Her desire to introduce a course focusing on the Mystery genre brings her the ire of her department chair - a man so far up his own backside he makes Entitled White Males look tolerant.  So of course, he ends up dead.  But soon there are more attacks and more deaths, and the wrong person(s) arrested, so Lila finds herself searching for answers.


This is the kind of mystery I like best: the protagonist doesn't go all Nancy Drew on our butts, but just does what she does best.  She listens, she researches, she might, possibly, go down in the basement, but in fairness, it wasn't in the middle of the night. 


The author did a fantastic job with the setting and with the characters; I could keep track of them all and I could see the story unfolding movie-like through bonfires, costume parties, jails, etc.  So far there's no love triangle, although I was a smidgen disappointed with the direction the almost non-existent romance went in.


The murder plot was fun (if you know what I mean); it was well done and I SO did not see that ending coming, but there were some elements here that were a homage to old-style murder mysteries.  The throwbacks are what made the story fun.


Really an excellent start from a new author and I'm really looking forward to getting the second one.


(This is my New to You Author on my Summer Book Bingo card.)