Cynthia Kuhn, author of the Lila Maclean Academic Mysteries, launches the Starlit Bookshop Mystery series.
Author Interview + Book & Author Info + Author Pet Corner!
How To Book a Murder by Cynthia Kuhn
Perfect for fans of Jenn McKinlay and Kate Carlisle, in award-winning author Cynthia Kuhn’s series debut, small-town bookseller and literary event planner Emma Starrs is out to close the book on a killer intent on crashing the party.
To help save her family’s floundering Colorado bookstore, Starlit Bookshop, newly minted Ph.D. Emma Starrs agrees to plan a mystery-themed dinner party for her wealthy, well-connected high school classmate Tabitha Baxter. It’s a delightful evening of cocktails and conjecture until Tabitha’s husband, Tip—hosting the affair in the guise of Edgar Allan Poe’s detective C. Auguste Dupin—winds up murdered.
In a heartbeat, Emma and her aunt Nora, a famous mystery writer, become suspects. Emma is sure the party’s over for Starlit events, until celebrated author Calliope Nightfall, whose gothic sensibilities are intrigued by the circumstances, implores the bookseller to create a Poe-themed launch event for her latest tome. Throwing a bash to die for while searching for additional clues is already enough to drive Emma stark raven mad, but another shocking crime soon reveals that Silvercrest has not yet reached the final chapter of the puzzling case.
Someone in this charming artistic community has murder on the mind, and if Emma cannot outwit the killer, she and her beloved aunt will land behind bars, to walk free nevermore.
To purchase How to Book a Murder from multiple outlets, click on the link here.
Don’t miss my review of this wonderful new series. Check back on December 18 for my post on its Great Escapes Book Tour!
Author Interview with Cynthia Kuhn
What should readers know about about Emma Starrs?
Emma juggles a lot! She is fiercely loyal and would do anything for her family—right away, she gives up a tenure-track-job offer, which is what she thinks she wants, to try and help save their bookstore. However, coming home reminds her of how much she loves being a bookseller, too.
She discovers that working at the bookstore and working on her mystery-novel-in-progress actually fit quite well together, so she’s being taken in different directions than she anticipated.
On top of that, she is more than willing to take on the role of amateur sleuth—mostly to protect her aunt in the first book—which adds a whole new layer to everything.
How to Book a Murder is set in Colorado. Tell us about the environment where the mystery takes place.
Silvercrest is an imaginary town with hints of the real Colorado towns of Morrison and Estes Park in the sense that both have a river running alongside the main street, which I think is glorious!
Silvercrest also is a haven to artists of all kinds, which gives it a special vibe.
Your work is a mix of literary references, hijinks, and a twisty set of clues. How has your own background as a professor of English informed your fiction?
My first series focused on an English professor who solves mysteries, and this series features another PhD as a sleuth, so I guess you could say that my background has been a steady influence.
I am addicted to academic mysteries, so my novels tend to slide into that territory as well. Even though the Starlit Bookshop mysteries are set in a bookstore, there are close ties to the local college in the mix.
And as a reader, there’s nothing I like more than literary references (and twists), so they have found their way into the books.
Tell us about Chicks on the Case:
The multi-author blog Chicks on the Case is comprised of mystery writers who write humorous mysteries.
The regular post schedule is Monday, Wednesday, and Friday—and we have such amazing guests (like you, Elena!). (Love this blog!! and Love being a guest) I so admire and adore everyone and highly recommend all the books of Chicks past and present: Ellen Byron, Jennifer J. Chow, Becky Clark, Marla Cooper, Vickie Fee, Kellye Garrett, Leslie Karst, Lisa Q. Mathews, and Kathleen Valenti!
What are you reading these days?
Always reading a mystery—and especially love buying/reading books written by friends. Everyone is so prolific that my TBR pile is robust, happily.
What are you working on now?
First draft of a new mystery set at a school (big surprise, ha). It’s not a cozy so I’m a little out of my comfort zone…it’s tempting to wrestle it into cozyville. We’ll see.
Words of Wisdom for Aspiring Writers:
Read widely in your genre, welcome learning opportunities (conferences, classes, workshops), join relevant professional writing organizations, and never give up!
Fabulous advice! Thanks for hanging out with us and celebrating the launch of your new book!
Author Pet Corner!
Our beloved Lucy is an English Springer Spaniel and queen of the house.
She is always available for cuddles, long walks, and never-ending games of fetch.
Wyatt has the same toy!
Cynthia Kuhn writes the Starlit Bookshop Mysteries and the Agatha-Award-winning Lila Maclean Academic Mysteries.
Her work has also appeared in Mystery Most Diabolical, Mystery Most Edible, McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, Copper Nickel, Prick of the Spindle, Mama PhD, and other publications.
She is past president of Sisters in Crime-Colorado and currently serves on the national board.
Originally from upstate New York, she lives in Denver with her family.
To learn more about Cynthia, click on her name, photo, or any of the following links: Twitter, Chicks on the Case & Newsletter
Elena Taylor is the author of All We Buried, available now in print, e-book, and audio book format at all your favorite bookstores and on-line retailers.
For more information on All We Buried, click on the link here to visit the home page.
Silver Falchion Award Finalist, Best Investigator 2020
Foreword INDIE Award Finalist, Best Mystery 2020