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.
A wonderful start to a new series, author Cynthia Kuhn has a hit on her hands!
If you’re iffy about starting a new series, and I know it’s a gamble, you’re going to be happy you chose to give this first book in the Starlit Bookshop Mysteries a try.
HOW TO BOOK A MURDER is a well written story from cover to cover. Author Kuhn has created a setting and group of characters that are really enjoyable to get lost in. There is one character that I couldn’t connect with, but that’s normal when being introduced to a group of characters. I look forward to giving him/her (I’m not telling you. J) another chance in book two.
The plot was a solid one and extremely well written. Once I started reading, I didn’t want to put the book down. I let each chapter pull me deeper into the story as each new situation arose making the mystery that much harder to solve. I was totally surprised by many of the twists that occurred!
While a great read for fans of all types of mysteries, HOW TO BOOK A MURDER is written in true cozy mystery fashion, which means it’s perfect for fans of all ages.
I’m highly looking forward to the next book in this series!
Lila Maclean Academic Mysteries
About Cynthia Kuhn
Cynthia Kuhn is an English professor and author of the Starlit Bookshop Mysteries and the Lila Maclean Academic Mysteries. Her work has also appeared in Mystery Most Edible, McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, Copper Nickel, Prick of the Spindle, Mama PhD, and other publications. Honors include an Agatha Award, a William F. Deeck-Malice Domestic Grant, and Lefty Award nominations. Originally from upstate New York, she lives in Colorado with her family. For more information, please visit cynthiakuhn.net.