To help save her family’s floundering Colorado bookstore, Starlit Bookshop, newly minted PhD 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 raving 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.
Cynthia Kuhn recently spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing her latest mystery, HOW TO BOOK A MURDER:
What attracts you to this book’s genre?
I grew up reading amateur sleuth mysteries, and I adore the humor in many cozy mysteries. Yes please to solving mysteries while laughing!
What was the biggest challenge this book presented? What about the biggest opportunity?
HOW TO BOOK A MURDER began during the early days of the pandemic; the news was so grim and the future so uncertain that it was very hard at first to find a lighthearted tone…or even to write at all! But I kept going and was grateful for the opportunity to be able to immerse myself in the creative work and cozy world.
No spoilers, but what can you tell us about your book that we won’t find in the jacket copy or the PR material?
I reached out to a number of independent booksellers to ask if they’d be willing to answer some questions about their work and perspectives on the business. Some incredibly kind people agreed—so very thankful for them and the time they took to share! It made all the difference.
Cynthia Kuhn is author of the Agatha-Award-winning Lila Maclean Academic Mysteries and Starlit Bookshop Mysteries. She lives in Colorado with her family and serves on the national board of Sisters in Crime.
To learn more about the author and her work, please visit her website.