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The Art of Vanishing

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Lefty Award Nominee, Best Humorous Mystery When Professor Lila Maclean is sent to interview celebrated author and notorious cad Damon Von Tussel, he disappears before her very eyes. The English department is thrown into chaos by the news, as Damon is supposed to headline Stonedale University’s upcoming Arts Week. The chancellor makes it clear that he expects Lila to locate t Lefty Award Nominee, Best Humorous Mystery When Professor Lila Maclean is sent to interview celebrated author and notorious cad Damon Von Tussel, he disappears before her very eyes. The English department is thrown into chaos by the news, as Damon is supposed to headline Stonedale University’s upcoming Arts Week. The chancellor makes it clear that he expects Lila to locate the writer and set events back on track immediately. But someone appears to have a different plan: strange warnings are received, valuable items go missing, and a series of dangerous incidents threaten the lives of Stonedale’s guests. After her beloved mother, who happens to be Damon’s ex, rushes onto campus and into harm’s way, Lila has even more reason to bring the culprit to light before anything—or anyone—else vanishes.


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Lefty Award Nominee, Best Humorous Mystery When Professor Lila Maclean is sent to interview celebrated author and notorious cad Damon Von Tussel, he disappears before her very eyes. The English department is thrown into chaos by the news, as Damon is supposed to headline Stonedale University’s upcoming Arts Week. The chancellor makes it clear that he expects Lila to locate t Lefty Award Nominee, Best Humorous Mystery When Professor Lila Maclean is sent to interview celebrated author and notorious cad Damon Von Tussel, he disappears before her very eyes. The English department is thrown into chaos by the news, as Damon is supposed to headline Stonedale University’s upcoming Arts Week. The chancellor makes it clear that he expects Lila to locate the writer and set events back on track immediately. But someone appears to have a different plan: strange warnings are received, valuable items go missing, and a series of dangerous incidents threaten the lives of Stonedale’s guests. After her beloved mother, who happens to be Damon’s ex, rushes onto campus and into harm’s way, Lila has even more reason to bring the culprit to light before anything—or anyone—else vanishes.

30 review for The Art of Vanishing

  1. 4 out of 5

    Tracey

    I'm a little surprised I requested this book from Netgalley. That cover looks an awful lot like the style used on so many not-to-my-taste cozy mysteries – I really don't like that style. It might have been the "Academic Mystery" that got me – and I'm glad it did, because I really enjoyed this. The main character, Professor Lila Maclean shares several of the characteristics cozy mystery authors often give to their characters – she's klutzy, smart, and beleaguered by her boss for no reason that is I'm a little surprised I requested this book from Netgalley. That cover looks an awful lot like the style used on so many not-to-my-taste cozy mysteries – I really don't like that style. It might have been the "Academic Mystery" that got me – and I'm glad it did, because I really enjoyed this. The main character, Professor Lila Maclean shares several of the characteristics cozy mystery authors often give to their characters – she's klutzy, smart, and beleaguered by her boss for no reason that is sensible to a sensible person. She has a colorful (to put it mildly) mother, with a past that serves as a great basis for this and future stories. What differentiates this book from others I've seen is that it's believable. It's – what's that really annoying adjective? Organic. Lila isn't klutzy to further the plot, or to make her an Extra Quirky Cozy Heroine – she just is. In fact, it makes sense that there's a psychological basis for it. Her boss's antagonism is somewhat out of the blue, but there is a seed of "because" in there. He hasn't taken against her randomly – and that antagonism feels really familiar. We've probably all known, and God help us worked for, people just like him. and beleaguered by her boss for no reason that is sensible to a sensible person. The story is twisty and – yay! – unpredictable. At one point I was just waiting for one character to get knocked off – I was sure of who the next victim was going to be – and I was completely wrong. And the author did that on purpose. It was a great fakeout. It was just a lot of fun. And I will absolutely read more by this author. This is Netgalley doing what Netgalley's supposed to do. "You should pat the gryphon too." "I’m not going to—" "Pat the gryphon, Lil," she commanded sternly. The usual disclaimer: I received this book via Netgalley for review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mark Baker

    Every spring semester, Stonedale University puts on an arts festival, and Lila has been roped into serving on the committee. The big name for the week is author Damon Von Tussel, who has just released his second book decades after his critically acclaimed debut. Lila is sent to interview him before the big event to gain some publicity, but before she can talk to him, he disappears. Then everyone on the committee starts to get threatening e-mails. What is going on? I don’t read too many mysteries Every spring semester, Stonedale University puts on an arts festival, and Lila has been roped into serving on the committee. The big name for the week is author Damon Von Tussel, who has just released his second book decades after his critically acclaimed debut. Lila is sent to interview him before the big event to gain some publicity, but before she can talk to him, he disappears. Then everyone on the committee starts to get threatening e-mails. What is going on? I don’t read too many mysteries set in the academic world, so I enjoyed changing that with this book. The internal politics of the college and Lila’s worries since this is her first-year teaching there overshadowed the mystery at times. The mystery itself is a little different than many of the books I read, and I found it a refreshing break. The characters are fun, especially Lila’s mother, and I am curious how some of these relationships will develop in the future. Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Libby Klein

    I loved the Art of Vanishing. so well-written so clever. if you like your cozies with a little more intelligence, and a higher level of intellectual difficulty you will love this. My favorite parts, as always, revolve around the wit and romance.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    What a way to kick of the new year with the second installment in the Lila Maclean Academic Mystery series! Lila finds herself at the center of another mysterious situation, this time concerning world-famous author Damon Von Tussel whose scandalous lifestyle makes every day an adventure at prestigious Stonedale University in the foothills of Colorado. Fascinating characters keep the story going and keeps the reader engaged and always wondering, "Who did it?!" More Lila Maclean! What a way to kick of the new year with the second installment in the Lila Maclean Academic Mystery series! Lila finds herself at the center of another mysterious situation, this time concerning world-famous author Damon Von Tussel whose scandalous lifestyle makes every day an adventure at prestigious Stonedale University in the foothills of Colorado. Fascinating characters keep the story going and keeps the reader engaged and always wondering, "Who did it?!" More Lila Maclean!

  5. 5 out of 5

    JoAn

    The Art of Vanishing by Cynthia Kuhn is the second book in her Lila Maclean Academic Mystery series. I was excited when this book came out and I'm happy to report that I was not disappointed. It was an enjoyable read that I could not put down. I like Lila and her independent nature but she seems to be a little too naive considering her worldly upbringing with her mother, Violet O. She should have been more aware of Simone and her wily ways. Lila is also kind and supportive of her friends and her The Art of Vanishing by Cynthia Kuhn is the second book in her Lila Maclean Academic Mystery series. I was excited when this book came out and I'm happy to report that I was not disappointed. It was an enjoyable read that I could not put down. I like Lila and her independent nature but she seems to be a little too naive considering her worldly upbringing with her mother, Violet O. She should have been more aware of Simone and her wily ways. Lila is also kind and supportive of her friends and her colleagues. In this book we get to know more about her and the secondary characters that were introduced in the first. I also got a kick out of finally meeting Lila's mom. She is definitely in a class all by herself and made a memorable appearance in this book. It was especially nice to meet Lex when he is off duty and begin to know him personally as we only met him professionally in the first book. More academic politics, a cranky author, unsuccessful attempts to prevent the author from appearing at Stonedale and enough twists to keep you guessing until the reveals (yes, reveals!) There was also a hint at a possible romantic triangle which I hope does not happen as I really have enjoyed this series. I dislike romantic triangles as they often add nothing to the mystery and make the female protagonist seem indecisive. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book from Henery Press via NetGalley.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lghiggins

    Cynthia Kuhn has done it again! The second book in the Lila McClean Academic Mystery Series is as good as the first. This cozy mystery emphasizes the pressure placed on assistant professors to publish, receive high administrative approval, and achieve tenure. The main focus of The Art of Vanishing, however, is the mystery itself which evolves into multiple mysteries. Thematic elements are great. Characters in a cozy should be interesting and developed. An appealing setting is always a plus. A li Cynthia Kuhn has done it again! The second book in the Lila McClean Academic Mystery Series is as good as the first. This cozy mystery emphasizes the pressure placed on assistant professors to publish, receive high administrative approval, and achieve tenure. The main focus of The Art of Vanishing, however, is the mystery itself which evolves into multiple mysteries. Thematic elements are great. Characters in a cozy should be interesting and developed. An appealing setting is always a plus. A little romance gives extra spice to the story. I will give The Art of Vanishing an “A” in all those categories, but Cynthia Kuhn receives an “A+” for the mystery at the heart of the book. Just when it seems that there will be resolution, the waters are muddied and everything has to be viewed in a new light. At the conclusion, all loose ends are tied up satisfactorily. The reader is not left hanging, but would certainly look forward to another book in the series. I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Henery Press for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

  7. 5 out of 5

    DelAnne Frazee

    Title: The Art of Vanishing - A Lila Maclean Academic Mystery Book 2 Author: Cynthia Kuhn Publisher: Henery Press Published: 2-28-2017 Pages: 262 Genre: Mystery & Thrillers Sub-Genre: Suspense, Amateur Sleuths. Women's Fiction, Cozy Mystery ISBN: 978163511699 ASIN: B01NBHR7Y6 Reviewed For NetGalley and Henery Press Reviewer: DelAnne Rating: 4.5 Stars When Professor Lila Maclean is sent to interview celebrated author and notorious cad Damon Von Tussel, he disappears before her very eyes. The English departme Title: The Art of Vanishing - A Lila Maclean Academic Mystery Book 2 Author: Cynthia Kuhn Publisher: Henery Press Published: 2-28-2017 Pages: 262 Genre: Mystery & Thrillers Sub-Genre: Suspense, Amateur Sleuths. Women's Fiction, Cozy Mystery ISBN: 978163511699 ASIN: B01NBHR7Y6 Reviewed For NetGalley and Henery Press Reviewer: DelAnne Rating: 4.5 Stars When Professor Lila Maclean is sent to interview celebrated author and notorious cad Damon Von Tussel, he disappears before her very eyes. The English department is thrown into chaos by the news, as Damon is supposed to headline Stonedale University’s upcoming Arts Week. The chancellor makes it clear that he expects Lila to locate the writer and set events back on track immediately. But someone appears to have a different plan: strange warnings are received, valuable items go missing, and a series of dangerous incidents threaten the lives of Stonedale’s guests. After her beloved mother, who happens to be Damon’s ex, rushes onto campus and into harm’s way, Lila has even more reason to bring the culprit to light before anything—or anyone—else vanishes. Books in the Lila Maclean Academic Mystery Series: THE SEMESTER OF OUR DISCONTENT (#1) THE ART OF VANISHING (#2) Lila Maclean is a strong intelligent woman who does not the world walk on her. When she is given lemons she makes lemonade and then sweetens it with the joys she has built in her life. The novel is well written and flows smoothly and quickly as the story unfolds. The newest characters add to the overall balance of the story, yet lead to future possibilities. A good cozy mystery well worth the time to read. My rating of "The Art of Vanishing - A Lila Maclean Academic Mystery Book 2" is 4.5 out of 5 stars. Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01NBHR7Y6/... B&N Link: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-... Books-A-Million Link: http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Art-Va... Google Play Link: Not Available Indigo Link: Not Available GoodReads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3... Kobo Link: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-... The Reading Room Link: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.ph... Twitter Link: https://twitter.com/DelAnne531/status...

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mary Angela

    Cynthia Kuhn expertly portrays academic life, and I loved snooping around the Stonedale campus with her protagonist, Professor Lila Maclean, in this second book of the series. So many lines made me smile—and laugh out loud—at the familiar campus politics (muckety mucks, ha!). Maclean’s quirky mother was also a fun addition to this neat cast of characters. I can’t wait to see what Kuhn has in store for book three!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Nichole

    Wow! The Art of Vanishing was an intellectual feast! It was a startling and complex whodunit layered with cultural history, family betrayal, secrets, and - most importantly - plenty of dark academia. Surprisingly, not a single murder took place in this story, but that novelty turned out to be fitting for this truly heartbreaking tale of multigenerational curse (greed) and its consequences in a famous and talented family. I enjoyed the literary theory bits, too, and I nodded my head and smiled at Wow! The Art of Vanishing was an intellectual feast! It was a startling and complex whodunit layered with cultural history, family betrayal, secrets, and - most importantly - plenty of dark academia. Surprisingly, not a single murder took place in this story, but that novelty turned out to be fitting for this truly heartbreaking tale of multigenerational curse (greed) and its consequences in a famous and talented family. I enjoyed the literary theory bits, too, and I nodded my head and smiled at the diverse new main and supporting characters. I am intrigued by this series, and I will definitely read more from it. 4 stars

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kat Pegfred

    I adore Cynthia Kuhn's stories! A second delightful mystery from the Lila Maclean series - the plot of this one kept you guessing "whodunit??" and the reveal was both believable and satisfying! As an aspiring academic, I also utilize these as "manuals" for how to negotiate office politics in a university department. I'm eagerly awaiting the next mystery! I adore Cynthia Kuhn's stories! A second delightful mystery from the Lila Maclean series - the plot of this one kept you guessing "whodunit??" and the reveal was both believable and satisfying! As an aspiring academic, I also utilize these as "manuals" for how to negotiate office politics in a university department. I'm eagerly awaiting the next mystery!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jannelies

    After reading the first book in this series, with the wonderful title The Semester of our Discontent, I have been looking forward to the second book in this series. I was not disappointed! The Art of Vanishing is as funny and easily readable as the first title, and yet under the ‘fun’ lies a serious story. This time we meet with Lila’s mother and o dear, who wouldn’t want to have such a mother? For a few years anyway… not when you’re still little, I think. As a grownup, Lila has to deal with her After reading the first book in this series, with the wonderful title The Semester of our Discontent, I have been looking forward to the second book in this series. I was not disappointed! The Art of Vanishing is as funny and easily readable as the first title, and yet under the ‘fun’ lies a serious story. This time we meet with Lila’s mother and o dear, who wouldn’t want to have such a mother? For a few years anyway… not when you’re still little, I think. As a grownup, Lila has to deal with her famous mother and her even more famous friend, author Damon Von Tussel, a man loved and hated at the same time. Still, when documents disappear and people are trying to poison other people, there is nothing Lila can do but try and find the truth. And all this in between her submitting her first book, trying to find love and generally be overworked with all her tasks – especially when other people fail to do theirs, and blame it on Lila. I like Lila. I like her a lot. But I think she is still a little too friendly, too polite. I wish she would stand up a little more for herself. Maybe in the next book in this series I received this book through NetGalley for a honest review.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Brooke

    Oh how I love being transported to Stonedale for a Lila Maclean mystery! As always, Lila is in the thick of things during the university's Art Week and when their featured speaker disappears Lila is forced to track him down. Unfortunately, the famous speaker is an ex-boyfriend of Lila's mother and somehow Lila's quest for tenure seems to be linked in everyone's minds with her being able to produce the illusive author. The Art of Vanishing quickly immersed me in lovely Stonedale and all of the ch Oh how I love being transported to Stonedale for a Lila Maclean mystery! As always, Lila is in the thick of things during the university's Art Week and when their featured speaker disappears Lila is forced to track him down. Unfortunately, the famous speaker is an ex-boyfriend of Lila's mother and somehow Lila's quest for tenure seems to be linked in everyone's minds with her being able to produce the illusive author. The Art of Vanishing quickly immersed me in lovely Stonedale and all of the character's lives. It was nice to meet Lila's mother, the artist Violet O, who had been mentioned in the previous book and I think her presence really brought a great new character to the book. The author does a wonderful job of bringing Lila and company to life and I'm looking forward to Lila's next adventure!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Maureen Timerman

    Strange things begin to happen when Lila Maclean’s Mom old boyfriend is invited to discuss his famous book and best seller, but people start to get injured and you have to wonder what is going on. It becomes very personal to Lila when the Chancellor makes it a requirement that she get Damon Von Tussel to appear at the program or else. She even enlists her mother’s help, but will he even listen to her, or even care? People seem to go to strange extremes to stop this program from going on but why, Strange things begin to happen when Lila Maclean’s Mom old boyfriend is invited to discuss his famous book and best seller, but people start to get injured and you have to wonder what is going on. It becomes very personal to Lila when the Chancellor makes it a requirement that she get Damon Von Tussel to appear at the program or else. She even enlists her mother’s help, but will he even listen to her, or even care? People seem to go to strange extremes to stop this program from going on but why, and you sure are going to find out, but you are also going to be wondering just what is going on and who is the culprit. I received this book through Great Escapes Book Tours, and was not required to give a positive review.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Keenan Powell

    The Art of Vanishing is a delightful escape to Stonedale University and the joys, plights and perplexities in the life of Professor Lila Maclean, a lovely person who you'd want for your best friend. No spoilers here! Suffice it to say, I'd be happy to leave this world behind and visit Stonedale and hang out with Prof. Maclean again. The Art of Vanishing is a delightful escape to Stonedale University and the joys, plights and perplexities in the life of Professor Lila Maclean, a lovely person who you'd want for your best friend. No spoilers here! Suffice it to say, I'd be happy to leave this world behind and visit Stonedale and hang out with Prof. Maclean again.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mia

    Great addition to a fun, well-written cozy series. A fast, easy read

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jeanne

    In a parallel universe, I would have been an English professor. The treacherous culture of academe certainly lends itself to means, opportunity and motive. Lila is likeable and believable, surrounded by a interesting circle of friends, family and colleagues. I intend to follow the series however long it lasts - and I, for one, am glad there's a hint of romance in the arc. I was the one who suggested my public library purchase the series and will continue to do so. In a parallel universe, I would have been an English professor. The treacherous culture of academe certainly lends itself to means, opportunity and motive. Lila is likeable and believable, surrounded by a interesting circle of friends, family and colleagues. I intend to follow the series however long it lasts - and I, for one, am glad there's a hint of romance in the arc. I was the one who suggested my public library purchase the series and will continue to do so.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Leslie Karst

    THE ART OF VANISHING IS another terrific read in the Lila Maclean Academic Mystery Series. Anyone who’s ever set foot on a college campus will recognize and relish the colorful cast of characters Kuhn brings to life in this fast-paced and witty sequel to The Semester of Our Discontent. Can’t wait for number three!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Hanan Buhadana

    I was a little disappointed compared to the first one, but I liked it.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews

    I think this is the first time in a long time that I have ready a mystery and no one has died! There is still a mystery to solve, but not why someone was killed. This time they are trying to figure out what the scoop is behind celebrated author Damon Von Tussel. Is he really just a recluse or is there more to his story? Lila puts up with a lot where she works, mostly from the Chancellor, but also from a fellow professor, Simone, who has it out for her. I never knew the world of academia could be I think this is the first time in a long time that I have ready a mystery and no one has died! There is still a mystery to solve, but not why someone was killed. This time they are trying to figure out what the scoop is behind celebrated author Damon Von Tussel. Is he really just a recluse or is there more to his story? Lila puts up with a lot where she works, mostly from the Chancellor, but also from a fellow professor, Simone, who has it out for her. I never knew the world of academia could be so competitive. The Chancellor is a bit of a jerk expecting Lila to do all these things with no care for her life or if she has a conflict and can't jump and fill his demands. But at least she has her cousin, Calista, on her side. The actual mystery was quite a shock when all was revealed. I never expected it to turn out the way it did and for some people to reveal their true intentions. There are a few clues to point you in the right direction, but not many. There is also a potential love interest between Lila and Lex (the police detective). But there is also Nate, but even though Lila sees him as a friend, could he be interested in more? I did find one inconsistency (and it may have been fixed by the final printing of the book, I had an ARC). At an event, Lex asks Lila if he can take her to dinner the next night. She said no because of an author reading that was happening. However, the following text seems to span a few days before the actual event. It is a minor thing that I noticed but it threw me off as I read that section. I still enjoyed the book and am curious to see what the author has in store for the next installment.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Piepie

    Received this arc from Netgalley. Thank you! I really like Lila, I do, but I was disappointed in this mystery because (view spoiler)[there was no murder (hide spoiler)] . I feel a little cheated!! Received this arc from Netgalley. Thank you! I really like Lila, I do, but I was disappointed in this mystery because (view spoiler)[there was no murder (hide spoiler)] . I feel a little cheated!!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Hestia Athena

    The Art of Vanishing by Cynthia Kuhn was twisted as f*$k, but in a good way. Lila is at it again with another mystery falling in her lap. The settings were short and sweet, but there was enough detail in the 2-3 sentences that you got the idea of where they were. Even descriptions like the windy mountain roads in dialogue. Now that’s something you don’t see too often, description in dialogue. Quite refreshing. The characters are continuing to grow on me. I like how you can tell the difference betwe The Art of Vanishing by Cynthia Kuhn was twisted as f*$k, but in a good way. Lila is at it again with another mystery falling in her lap. The settings were short and sweet, but there was enough detail in the 2-3 sentences that you got the idea of where they were. Even descriptions like the windy mountain roads in dialogue. Now that’s something you don’t see too often, description in dialogue. Quite refreshing. The characters are continuing to grow on me. I like how you can tell the difference between the characters by the language used. If someone is scholarly, they talk scholarly. If someone was a student or a common person, they talked like I do. Even Violet talked like the artist she is. I wish Nate had been in the story more, but maybe the next one. The one character who disappointed me was Lex (not Cynthia’s fault, it’s just a pet peeve of mine). There were hints of potential romance between the amateur sleuth and the cop (Lex). Not again! Lila does mystery solving so well on her own, can’t we let the cop romance angle go in this series? Just MHO, anyway. I didn’t feel there were too many new characters, I could keep them all straight. There was not a lot of exposition, just enough to make the mandatory stuff available to the readers. The plot was outrageous! I loved all the twists and turns. Every time there was breathing room, Cynthia threw something else at you immediately after, to start the roller coaster again. But like I said, the pace was good, because of all the breathers then the actions. The clues were there, but they were not seen as real clues at the time. But in the end, when the clues were revealed, you say “Oh yeah, I remember that! Dang that was slick!” I want more of the subplot of the struggle being a beginning teacher, and can’t wait for that in the future books. It makes for interesting reading, and makes one think back to their high school dates or college days and see what our educators went through to be a success. I don’t know if there was closure with Gilles and Alonzo (the 2 visitors). They seemed to be secretive about something, but it didn’t come out in the ending. At least not that I noticed (I apologize if I missed it). And even at the resolution, you were wondering who did what, because everyone was pointing fingers at everyone. But it was wrapped up totally neatly. I give this 4.5 stars only because of me missing my Nate, and the one non-resolution party. I can’t wait to read #3!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kristi | Hidden Staircase |

    The Art of Vanishing has a great setting and characters. It’s set at a fictional University in Colorado, which is where I live – so that is really fun for me to read about. Most books I pick up that are set in the United States seem to be in New York or California. The University provides a nice backdrop for standard characters – professors, friends, even family – while setting the stage for other unknown characters to fit in as well. I really liked the characters and their relationships. Lila is The Art of Vanishing has a great setting and characters. It’s set at a fictional University in Colorado, which is where I live – so that is really fun for me to read about. Most books I pick up that are set in the United States seem to be in New York or California. The University provides a nice backdrop for standard characters – professors, friends, even family – while setting the stage for other unknown characters to fit in as well. I really liked the characters and their relationships. Lila is struggling a bit in her job – she feels the chancellor doesn’t like her and one of her fellow professors seems to try and sabotage Lila whenever she can. In addition to her work, Lila has two potential love interests (I liked Detective Lex myself), her cousin is a fellow professor and close friend, and her actress mother comes to town for a visit – all which help lighten the mood and make things interesting. Unfortunately, the mystery piece was missing for me on this book. I should point out that it’s the second in the series, and there were a few references to the first book throughout, and it sounds like THAT mystery is a good one. (I’m going to read it.) The Art of Vanishing sets us up for a few mysteries that ultimately fell flat. A manuscript goes missing, and a character’s life is threatened, but our sleuth Lila doesn’t really go digging into either of these mysteries. Her main concern to help keep her job is to ensure that writer Damon Von Tussel shows up to his events sober and on time, and she doesn’t have much time for snooping out clues. Overall, the setting and characters worked wonderfully, but in this outing the mystery fell flat for me. I do look forward to reading more of Lila and the rest of the Stonedale University crew. See my full review over at Hidden Staircase. Many thanks to NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Brian Greiner

    This is lovely cozy mystery where nobody dies. Instead, there are shenanigans taking place in the cut-throat world of academia. The stakes are raised when the ivory tower intersects with personalities from the literary world. The book’s plucky hero is required to navigate the mine-field of campus politics and save the day—not to mention her career. This is an easy book to get absorbed into. The writing style is crisp, the story engaging, and the characterizations are nicely done. There’s a lot go This is lovely cozy mystery where nobody dies. Instead, there are shenanigans taking place in the cut-throat world of academia. The stakes are raised when the ivory tower intersects with personalities from the literary world. The book’s plucky hero is required to navigate the mine-field of campus politics and save the day—not to mention her career. This is an easy book to get absorbed into. The writing style is crisp, the story engaging, and the characterizations are nicely done. There’s a lot going on, and at times I was tempted to keep notes just to keep up with who was doing what to whom. Then I surrendered and simply let the story take me along for a most enjoyable ride and a satisfying conclusion. Recommended for lovers of cozies who want something little different. Why 4 stars instead of 5? To me, 3 stars indicates something worth reading, 4 stars indicates that a book that has something special going for it in addition to being a good read, and 5 stars is reserved for books with a richness and depth that totally blow me away (eg. "Dune" or "Lord of the Rings"). DISCLAIMER : I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review as part of Mystery Thriller Week.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tara (Spinatale Reviews)

    This review was originally published on Spinatale Reviews. Rating: 3.5 stars *Although this is the second book the series, it can be read as a standalone. When I first heard of this book, I absolutely loved the concept. An academic solving crimes in a small college town sounded great. And, except for one flaw (which honestly has more to do with my expectations), it was. Lila is a very relatable protagonist. I was able to connect with her from the very beginning. The secondary characters are all well This review was originally published on Spinatale Reviews. Rating: 3.5 stars *Although this is the second book the series, it can be read as a standalone. When I first heard of this book, I absolutely loved the concept. An academic solving crimes in a small college town sounded great. And, except for one flaw (which honestly has more to do with my expectations), it was. Lila is a very relatable protagonist. I was able to connect with her from the very beginning. The secondary characters are all well developed and have very distinctive personality traits. I adored how the author included Lila's mother and made their dynamic so entertaining. I also enjoyed the behind the scenes look into the politics of academia, it was fascinating. As for the romance aspect, I know who I'm going to be heartily rooting for the sequels! The romance was very well done, it didn't distract from the mystery at all and kept readers engaged without unnecessary drama. As for the plot, I really enjoyed it. I could never guess what would happen next, a hallmark of an enjoyable mystery for me. One slight spoiler: I was slightly distracted because I kept expecting a murder to occur (obviously I'm a very blood-thirsty mystery reader), but one never happened. This book is truly a mystery story, which I ended up enjoying as a change of pace. Overall, this was an enjoyable, well-written cozy mystery. I will definitely be continuing with the series and I can't wait to find out what happens next! *Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

  25. 5 out of 5

    Vinnie Hansen

    I read a lot of cozies because my friends write them, but it takes a little something extra for me to enjoy them. In The Art of Vanishing, the little extra is the academic world. As a retired English teacher, I could instantly relate to the just-starting-out Professor Lila Maclean. She's a literature professor, so literary allusions and authorial struggles form the weave and weft of the story. But don't leave this review thinking Lila is an aloof egghead; she's very down-to-earth and likable. In I read a lot of cozies because my friends write them, but it takes a little something extra for me to enjoy them. In The Art of Vanishing, the little extra is the academic world. As a retired English teacher, I could instantly relate to the just-starting-out Professor Lila Maclean. She's a literature professor, so literary allusions and authorial struggles form the weave and weft of the story. But don't leave this review thinking Lila is an aloof egghead; she's very down-to-earth and likable. In The Art of Vanishing, Lila has been tasked with interviewing a pompous author scheduled to be the guest of honor at Stonedale University's Art Week. The author disappears, launching a series of strange events that jeopardize Lila's career. Lila's mother, the author's former lover, appears. She's a colorful, narcissistic artist and a wonderfully drawn character. Her presence only complicates matters for Lila.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ken Finlay

    The first book in the series "The Summer of Our Discontent" was a great read and "The Art of Vanishing" does not disappoint. Again there is a almost a sense of claustrophobia as the cast is assembled within the closed world of the college. Lila, busy as ever with advancing her career, teaching, marking her students, finds herself embroiled in an escalating mystery involving a famous author, who by the by, was once her mother's boyfriend. Cynthia Kuhn writes with clarity and has a good ear for con The first book in the series "The Summer of Our Discontent" was a great read and "The Art of Vanishing" does not disappoint. Again there is a almost a sense of claustrophobia as the cast is assembled within the closed world of the college. Lila, busy as ever with advancing her career, teaching, marking her students, finds herself embroiled in an escalating mystery involving a famous author, who by the by, was once her mother's boyfriend. Cynthia Kuhn writes with clarity and has a good ear for conversation. Stonedale University seems very real and the continued 'almost relationship' with Lex seems more believable than relationships that go from 0-60 in a matter of pages. I'm enjoying the series a lot.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    This, the second in the series, was (I think) even better than the first--which I liked too. The mystery was interesting and, after multiple deaths in the first novel, refreshingly did not formulaically re-hash more murders here; instead we have a mystery with no (completed!) murders. The end bad-guy motivations could have been a bit crisper, which I also felt in the first novel of the series, but I enjoyed this a lot regardless of that small critique. These are short, fast reads. I would actual This, the second in the series, was (I think) even better than the first--which I liked too. The mystery was interesting and, after multiple deaths in the first novel, refreshingly did not formulaically re-hash more murders here; instead we have a mystery with no (completed!) murders. The end bad-guy motivations could have been a bit crisper, which I also felt in the first novel of the series, but I enjoyed this a lot regardless of that small critique. These are short, fast reads. I would actually like them to be a bit lengthier so I could sink my teeth into them for a while longer. Looking forward to entry #3.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Susan Van Kirk

    When author and serious womanizer, Damon Von Tussel, is selected to head Arts Week at Stonedale University, Lila is asked to interview him. Strangely, he vanishes right before her eyes. That’s when the sinister events begin. Where did he go? What will the English Department do since Von Tussel is their headliner? Strange messages, thefts, and unexpected events draw Lila into the middle of it all. Then, her mother, Violet, who is Von Tussel’s ex-, shows up to create even more chaos. Can Lila keep When author and serious womanizer, Damon Von Tussel, is selected to head Arts Week at Stonedale University, Lila is asked to interview him. Strangely, he vanishes right before her eyes. That’s when the sinister events begin. Where did he go? What will the English Department do since Von Tussel is their headliner? Strange messages, thefts, and unexpected events draw Lila into the middle of it all. Then, her mother, Violet, who is Von Tussel’s ex-, shows up to create even more chaos. Can Lila keep her own mother safe with people vanishing all around them? Written with Kuhn's hilarious and witty descriptions of academic warfare on the ivory-towered campus.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Romy

    The Art of Vanishing is another engaging mystery story in the Lila Maclean series. I continued to enjoy reading about Lila's life as a professor with an interesting and varied set of colleagues in a charming university setting. This story does not begin with a murder investigation, but rather a series of mysterious events. As the story unfolds, the mysteries continue until pieces are brought together at the end. I look forward to reading any additional books the author may write in this series. The Art of Vanishing is another engaging mystery story in the Lila Maclean series. I continued to enjoy reading about Lila's life as a professor with an interesting and varied set of colleagues in a charming university setting. This story does not begin with a murder investigation, but rather a series of mysterious events. As the story unfolds, the mysteries continue until pieces are brought together at the end. I look forward to reading any additional books the author may write in this series.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    This was a very enjoyable second installment in the Lila Maclean Academic Mysteries. The Art of Vanishing has a strong mystery, twists I didn't see coming, and characters that jump off the page. I particularly loved getting to meet Lila's mother (she’s a hoot!). There's also a wonderful balance between Lila’s academic life and focus on the mystery. I'm looking forward to book three! (Here’s hoping there’s more of Detective Archer. #TeamLex) This was a very enjoyable second installment in the Lila Maclean Academic Mysteries. The Art of Vanishing has a strong mystery, twists I didn't see coming, and characters that jump off the page. I particularly loved getting to meet Lila's mother (she’s a hoot!). There's also a wonderful balance between Lila’s academic life and focus on the mystery. I'm looking forward to book three! (Here’s hoping there’s more of Detective Archer. #TeamLex)

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