Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Great Escapes Blog Tour, Review, and Giveaway: The Spirit in Question by Cynthia Kuhn


Today I'm participating in the The Spirit in Question Blog Tour.  In this post you will find book and author information along with my review.

About the book . . .
The Spirit in Question (A Lila Maclean Academic Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Henery Press (October 2, 2018)
Trade Paperback | 252 pages
ISBN 9781635114065, 1635114063
Digital ASIN: B07FDL54HG
Synopsis . . .
English professor Lila Maclean knew drama would be involved when she agreed to consult on Stonedale University’s production of Puzzled: The Musical.

But she didn’t expect to find herself cast into such chaos: the incomprehensible play is a disaster, the crumbling theater appears to be haunted, and, before long, murder takes center stage.

The show must go on—yet as they speed toward opening night, it becomes clear that other members of the company may be targeted as well. Lila searches for answers while contending with a tenacious historical society, an eccentric playwright, an unsettling psychic, an enigmatic apparition, and a paranormal search squad.

With all of this in play, will she be able to identify who killed her colleague…or will it soon be curtains for Lila too?

My review . . . Competing forces and agendas collide over the staging of a play at the Stonedale Opera House, the historic college theater in Stonedale, Colorado. On one side is the college faculty led by the outspoken Jean Claude Lestronge, the visiting professor directing the musical written by another professor.  On the other side are members of the Stonedale Historical Society represented by its equally outspoken president, Mrs. Clara Worthingham.  The Society fears the fragile facility will be further compromised by going forward with the play and seems willing to stop it by any means.  And there is another interested party: developer Chip Turner who has offered to purchase the aging theater from the college, with plans to replace it with a state-of-the-art performance space.

With such a backdrop, is it any wonder that Puzzled: The Musical, a post-modern murder mystery featuring iconic sleuths and their authors seems doomed from the start?  A series of accidents and mishaps ensue during its production, most troubling of which is the onstage death of the play's director during a rehearsal.

Who killed Jean Claude?  Professor Lila Maclean, the play's assistant director and Detective Lex Archer are determined to find out.  There are plenty of people with motive and opportunity.  Is someone with evil intent in their midst, or are otherworldly forces responsible?  Some believe the theater is haunted by the ghost of a former professor who died there years before.  Instances of flickering lights, unexplained noises, and moved objects during rehearsals lend credence to such a theory.  As Lila and Lex concentrate on credible facts, a psychic and a paranormal team pursue the supernatural aspect.

Beyond their search for the killer,  Lila and Lex also come closer to unravelling a mystery from the past that has significance to several of Stonedale's citizens, and deepen their own relationship as well.

In The Spirit in Question, author Cynthia Kuhn has woven an eccentric cast of characters and humorous scenes into an entertaining madcap read.  The story's insider look at the larger-than-life egos, creativity, and passions involved in staging a play made this reader feel a part of the production.

The book is the third entry in the Lila Maclean Academic Mystery Series, but can be read as a stand alone.  I find Lila's adventures in academia intriguing, and will now immerse myself in the series' previous novels -- The Semester of Our Discontent, winner of an Agatha Award for Best New Novel in 2016, and The Art of Vanishing, Lefty Award Nominee for Best Humorous Novel in 2017 -- while awaiting the next installment.

Giveaway . . . Enter the The Spirit in Question giveaway by clicking on this link.  

About the author . . . 
Cynthia Kuhn writes the Lila Maclean Academic Mystery series: The Semester of Our Discontent, an Agatha Award recipient for Best First Novel; The Art of Vanishing, a Lefty Award nominee for Best Humorous Mystery; and The Spirit in Question. She teaches in Denver, serves as president of Sisters in Crime-Colorado, and blogs with Chicks on the Case. For more information, please visit cynthiakuhn.net.

Author links . . .

Webpage: cynthiakuhn.wordpress.com
Blog: mysteristas.wordpress.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/cynthiakuhnwriter
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/cynthiakuhn  
Twitter: @cynthiakuhn

Purchase links . . .

Amazon   B&N     Kobo  BookBub 


Tour participants . . .
October 8 – Island Confidential – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
October 8 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
October 8 – Books Direct – SPOTLIGHT
October 9 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
October 9 – Varietats – SPOTLIGHT
October 9 – Handcrafted Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
October 10 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
October 10 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
October 11 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
October 11 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – SPOTLIGHT
October 12 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
October 13 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
October 14 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
October 15 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
October 15 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT  
October 16 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW  
October 16 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
October 17 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
October 17 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW
October 18 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – GUEST POST
October 18 – A Cozy Experience– REVIEW
October 19 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – REVIEW
October 19 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
October 20 – Jane Reads

Note . . . I received a complimentary copy of The Spirit in Question from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

This Blog Tour, Review, and Giveaway post was originally composed and/or compiled and published by Catherine for the blog, bookclublibrarian.com.  It cannot be republished without attribution.  Sharing this original post on Twitter, Google+ and/or other blogs with appropriate recognition is appreciated.



  1. Hi Catherine: Just wanted to say thank you so much for reading and sharing your thoughts--and for hosting SPIRIT today! Very much appreciated.

  2. Thank you for your review on "The Spirit in Question" by Cynthia Kuhn and for being part of the book tour.

    Love the style and content of this cover! Can't wait for the opportunity to read the book which is on my TBR list.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  3. Oh I have meant to start this series since the first book! Need to do that - putting it on my list for next year - my year of series. I was in the audience when Cynthia Kuhn won her Agatha Award. She was so excited. And well done to her! I love books set at schools or connected to them. Can't wait to start this series!!

  4. Oh this sounds fun! I have had this series on my TBR since the first book came out but I really need to go get the first one!