The Semester of our DiscontentWhen I dreamed of becoming an English professor, I didn’t realize that I was essentially assigning myself homework for the rest of my life. It’s too late now, though: I’ve just begun a new job at Stonedale University. It’s a lovely campus, in a wrought-iron-gates-and-statues kind of way. But the first month has been a bit of a roller coaster.

To be honest, things aren’t going so well.

Most days are spent turning pages of one kind or another, which sounds serene, but it’s actually a panicked, never-ending flurry of prepping and grading; there’s always a new assignment waiting in the wings. And that’s just the teaching part—profs must also attend all kinds of meetings, advise students, and perform research because: publish or perish. There just aren’t enough hours.

At least I know where my classrooms are and have managed to show up on time every day with enthusiastically planned activities. As far as being a new faculty member, that’s been far more difficult. My colleagues have been rather standoffish. My cousin Calista advises me not to worry—she says that Stonedale is slow to embrace change. But I think it may have more to do with the fact that I was the one who found a dead body in our department library.

My boss, to be exact. Right after we had an argument.

The detective talking to me every two seconds isn’t enhancing my reputation much, either.

So in order to make it through my first semester, I need to figure out the identity of the killer. And all I have to go on right now is the knowledge that it’s not me. . .


Semester Of Our Discontent is the first book in the NEW Lila Maclean mystery series, published by Henery Press, April 2016.

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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Meet the author
Cynthia Kuhn writes the Lila Maclean mystery series. Her work has appeared in McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, Literary Mama, Copper Nickel, Prick of the Spindle, Mama PhD and other publications. Originally from upstate New York, she now teaches and writes in Colorado. Connect with her at cynthiakuhn.net, @cynthiakuhn and Facebook.

GIVEAWAY: Leave comment below for your chance to win either a print (US entries only, please) or e-book (open to everyone) of Semester Of Our Discontent. The giveaway will end April 11, 2016 at 12 AM EST. Good luck everyone!

All comments are welcomed.

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