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.
Bubby: At one point in my life I considered becoming a college English professor. It didn’t take long before I realized that I am not patient enough to be a teacher. After reading The Semester of Our Discontent I am glad I changed my mind. Just the descriptions of department politics make me cringe. Not to mention the expectation that somehow professors will be able to balance a class load plus ongoing research for publication. I am much happier being the saner half of Bubble Bath Books.
Sissy: You are much happier in your ignorance of your own insanity, and I am glad to protect you from reality in the literal bubble of Bubble Bath Books. In your madness, however, you make good points. I, too, was disgusted with the goings on in the world of academia. It is true there as well as in the corporate world that the glass ceiling is alive and well. My nurse friend says the old boys club is ever present in the medical field too. When will old, white men get it through their thick, balding heads that women are smart and have important things to say?
Bubby: I always love murder mysteries that end with a surprise. I was truly shocked when the identity of the killer was revealed. Who knew that it was…oh, wait, I can’t tell. I also loved the idea of a book embosser with a custom design. I’m totally getting one for myself. Maybe Sissy will quit stealing my books if they’re indelibly marked.
Sissy: Your books are marked by pen with your name and that has never stopped me. I will just admire the stamp and continue the light-fingered lift. The Semester of Our Discontent is the first in the new Lila Maclean series and the author’s début novel. I like it because it is clever and deep and has more of a “Da Vinci Code” flavor than many mystery series. I enjoyed each new discovery and twisty clue, and cared for the old fart victims not a bit. Nobody deserves to be murdered, I know. How do you silence truly horrid people? Intense therapy? Isolation? Separation from tongue? Something other than a knife to the chest.
Bubby: Let’s ship them all to their own deserted, rocky island. Then they can annoy each other to death.
Sissy: That’s the title of my new book, by the way–Death By Annoyance. It’s about you and me on a deserted island and one of us expires from sheer exasperation…
Bubby: I like it, if I get half the royalties. I found The Semester of Our Discontent to be witty and intelligent. A fantastic début effort by Cynthia Kuhn.
Sissy: Agreed. I am intrigued and ready to read more exploits of the intrepid English Professor Lila Maclean!
Click HERE to buy The Semester of Our Discontent by Cynthia Kuhn