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The Spirit in Question

(Lila Maclean Academic Mystery #3)

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4.30  ·  Rating details ·  83 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Lefty Award Nominee, Best Humorous Mystery
Foreword Indies Book of the Year Awards Finalist, Mystery

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 appe
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Paperback, 252 pages
Published October 2nd 2018
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Mark Baker
Oct 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, mystery
Lila has been talked into working on a play that her university is putting on this semester. The play is Puzzled: The Musical written by Tolliver Ingersoll, a fellow professor at Stonedale University, and it's being directed by Jean Claude Lestronge, who is visiting the college for the semester. Putting the play on is proving to be a struggle, but things get more interesting when someone is shot during a planned blackout. That's when Lila starts to hear some stories about the history of this par ...more
Ellen Byron
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Smart, witty, surprising - a great read!
Marie McNary
Oct 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This series has been on my radar for awhile now and I was excited to finally get the chance to read it. I enjoyed the style of writing. The author writes in clean and smart way I appreciated. The story was organized and well thought out. I enjoyed Lila as a protagonist and found her to be someone you wanted to root for. To make things even better, I loved that this had a supernatural feel to it, but not in an overt way where it overpowered the rest of the story, but enough to make you wonder if ...more
Mary Angela
Nov 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A ghost, a theater, and a fun professor sleuth! What more could you want from a cozy mystery this fall? I really enjoyed snooping around the opera house with Lila, looking for trap doors and ancient jewels. The mystery kept me guessing until the very end, and the hint of romance was nice. I look forward to seeing how the relationship progresses in book four!
Catherine
Oct 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
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 compro ...more
Lghiggins
Oct 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Having enjoyed the first two cozy mysteries in the Lila Maclean Academic Mystery Series, I was looking forward to another. This book has many good features. Readers are filled in on background quickly. The series branches out from the typical college professor tenure issues by focusing on Professor Lila Maclean’s role as dramatic consultant to a play written by one Stonydale professor and directed by a visiting professor from France. The play is embroiled in conflicts over changes the director w ...more
Kay Hudson
Dec 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, mystery
In The Spirit in Question, Lila has reached her third year on the Stonedale staff, and has taken on (or perhaps been dragooned into) helping with the production of another professor’s play, Puzzled: The Musical, a barely comprehensible mixture of detectives and dancers. The student actors and crew are having a ball—until murder mars the production.

At the request of Lex Archer, Lila stays (mostly) out of the hunt for the murderer, but there are enough other puzzles to keep her busy. The play is
...more
Vicki
Nov 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
As with other books I have read in the Lila Maclean Academic Mystery series by Cynthia Kuhn, I found that reading this book was a several day read. It isn’t that the book is difficult to read but rather, I think it is because the setting (a private small college) is foreign to me.

It took several chapters for me to understand why our sleuth (Lila) was involved in the production of a musical play. Once I understood that, I was able to relax and go with the flow.

The play sounds hysterical and I cou
...more
Susan Kirk
Apr 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Professor Lila Maclean agrees to be a consultant on the Stonedale play to be produced in the crumbling campus theatre. It is called “Puzzled: The Musical,” and that is exactly what it is: an incomprehensible muddle that will be a disaster. On top of that, the theatre appears to be haunted. Of course, like all crumbling theatre mysteries, there’s a dark history behind the theatre building. Murder, as might be predicted in a Kuhn mystery, happens center stage. Plenty of antagonists appear in this ...more
Alison McMahan
Dec 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Tammy
Jun 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Okay, just finished. This book threw me for a loop.
Pacing was awesome.
Action was good.setting was fun. I mean, a haunted theater? What could be better!
Dialogue moved quickly, but sometimes I did have trouble deciphering who said what.
Clues and red herring plentiful, and had me changing my mind constantly on who the killer was. Well placed.
The characters were delightful. Ones to love and ones to hate. Although I wish Nate was is this book more.
It’s part of a series, but can definitely read them
...more
Leslie Karst
Dec 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I adore Cynthia Kuhn’s smart and sassy sleuth, Lila Maclean, and am happy to report that THE SPIRIT IN QUESTION continues to delight. In this third book in the series, Lila has been convinced to act as consultant on the production of Puzzled: The Musical. The show is a mess, but things get far messier—and frightening—when a very real murder occurs onstage. With its colorful cast of characters—not to mention a resident ghost—as well as a fast-paced plot and truly puzzling whodunit, this is a terr ...more
 Reading Reindeer
Review: THE SPIRIT IN QUESTION by Cynthia Kuhn

I LOVED this cozy mystery! It's so well-written, the mysteries are multiple (present and past), there's a paranormal element, strong human emotions, gentle romance. The identity of the "Bad Guy" is well concealed, and when we do discover who is at fault--the revelation is just extraordinary, and the person's character is very scary! I found it so easy to relate to the characters, especially series protagonist Lila MacLean. This is a must-read, delect
...more
Keenan Powell
Oct 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy
I love Lila's voice, her wit, her grace, and uncanny ability to be in the right (or wrong?) place at the wrong (or right?) time. Reading her reminds me of that old bath salt commercial (Calgon, take me away) as I am gently transported to her story.
Homerun2
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.75 stars

Fun and quite readable cozy in an academic setting. Main character Lila MacLean teaches at a small university. In this outing she is advising a group putting on a play in a historic old theater when the director is murdered. There are a few loose ends but the overall read is enjoyable.
PWRL
Feb 05, 2020 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-new
SM
Megan
Oct 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Good October read with a mix of mysticism and realism, although I felt some of the story to be a bit ham-fisted.
Debi Emerson
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
Excellent!! I especially enjoyed the Opera House setting. I reminds me of the Opera House in myhome town of Woodstock IL - complete with ghost!
Kathy
Oct 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Cynthia Kuhn's 3rd book in her Lila Maclean series was well-worth waiting for! It was terrific! I loved it!
Ritter Ames
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Perfect atmosphere for an October read and a terrific mystery for year round. I couldn't wait to see how Lila Maclean handled this new challenge. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough!
wonderwomand
Sep 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Well writen as usual. Lila MacLean is a wonderful and likable character.

Fans of the Kate Fansler mysteries by Amanda Cross will enjoy the Lila Maclean series.

In this novel, Lila Maclean is asked to help a director of a new play at the Opera House. There are rumors of a ghost in the Opera House.

Wonderful story.
Elaine Kraft
rated it it was amazing
May 19, 2020
Gretchen Archer
rated it it was amazing
Aug 12, 2018
Kelly
rated it really liked it
Sep 06, 2019
Jeanne
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Mar 19, 2020
John
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Oct 15, 2018
robyn wilson
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Mar 26, 2019
Pamela
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Oct 07, 2018
Susan S. Jackson
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Dec 06, 2019
Tracy Owens
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Apr 03, 2020
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Cynthia Kuhn writes the Lila Maclean Academic Mystery series. Her work has also appeared in Mystery Most Edible, McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, Literary Mama, Copper Nickel, Prick of the Spindle, Mama PhD, and other publications. She blogs with Chicks on the Case and is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America. For more information, please visit cynthiakuhn.net.

Other books in the series

Lila Maclean Academic Mystery (5 books)
  • The Semester of Our Discontent (Lila Maclean Academic Mystery #1)
  • The Art of Vanishing (Lila Maclean Academic Mystery #2)
  • The Subject of Malice (Lila Maclean Academic Mystery #4)
  • The Study of Secrets (Lila Maclean Academic Mystery #5)

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