THE STUDY OF SECRETS
SERIES: Lila Maclean Academic Mystery #5
GENRE: Cozy Mystery
PUBLISHER: Henery Press
RELEASE DATE: May 26, 2020
There could be nowhere more fitting for English professor Lila Maclean to spend her sabbatical than in a proper Victorian mansion. The whimsical Callahan House seems to have materialized from the pages of the mystery novels she is researching, with its enchanting towers, cozy nooks, and charming library. Unfortunately, it also features a body in the study.
Residents of Larkston have long believed that the Callahan family is cursed–the murder on the estate sets the town buzzing. Wild rumors are fueled by a gossipy blogger who delights in speculation, and further crimes only intensify the whispers and suspicions. A newly discovered manuscript, however, appears to expose startling facts beneath the fictions. When Lila steps in to sort the truth from the lies, it may cost her everything, as someone wants to make dead certain that their secrets stay hidden.
Other Books In This Series
I’m not sure why I’m so late to the Lila Maclean mystery party, but this was a great book to jump in on! There was a bit of a learning curve at the very beginning as to why Lila was at Bibi’s house and how it came about, etc. But since the book is set away from her university, on her sabbatical, there was less trying to find my footing than there might have otherwise been.
The main cast of characters is eclectic, in true cozy mystery fashion, and I really enjoyed getting to know Bibi & her friends (and of course Lila) as the story progressed. However, I couldn’t get too comfortable around them, given the nature of the mystery Lila is trying to solve – technically, 3 mysteries that might all be connected: a murder, a theft, and a long ago disappearance – and the fact that the suspect pool is fairly small. This layered plot keeps you fully engaged all the way through and has your mind whirring with possibilities, trying to fit all the puzzle pieces together.
Bottom Line: This is a fun mystery with a great heroine and a well-crafted plot. The pace allows the story to move along smoothly and quickly, with a mix of suspects and theories to keep you guessing. If you haven’t started the Lila Maclean series yet, The Study of Secrets is a great launching point until you can go back and read the previous books. Cozy fans, mystery buffs, and book lovers alike will love the latest from Cynthia Kuhn!
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I bought for my own collection. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 4 stars / love it!
Cynthia Kuhn writes the Lila Maclean Academic Mysteries: The Semester of Our Discontent, The Art of Vanishing, The Spirit in Question, The Subject of Malice, and The Study of Secrets. Honors for the series include an Agatha Award for best first novel and Lefty Award nominations for best humorous mystery. For more information, please visit cynthiakuhn.net.
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