Review: The Art of Vanishing by Cynthia Kuhn

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Overall Score: 7/10

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Series: Yes, Book 2

Publisher: Henery Press

Release Date: February 28, 2017

Source: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Book Summary (From GoodReads)

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.

Review

Note: 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!
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