Cover Reveal: The Spirit in Question

Unveiled for the first time anywhere, here’s the cover of the next Lila Maclean Academic Mystery: The Spirit in Question!*

As you can probably guess from the orange and black, it’s set during Halloween.

If you’ve read the first two books, you already know that there are holiday celebrations depicted within–(also) Halloween for The Semester of Our Discontent and Valentine’s Day for The Art of Vanishing.

However, this time around, it’s officially a holiday book. (I mean, I didn’t apply for a license or anything, but it’s definitely holiday themed. That’s official, right?)

Here’s the description:

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 while contending with a tenacious historical society, an eccentric playwright, an unsettling psychic, an enigmatic apparition, and a paranormal search squad. With all of this in play, will she be able to identify who killed her colleague…or will it soon be curtains for Lila too?

The Spirit in Question is coming to a bookstore near you on October 2, 2018…and you are hereby invited to the online launch party, where there will be special guests and prizes and fun. Details will be posted on Facebook ( as the date gets closer. Until then, maybe start thinking about this year’s costume? It’s never too early…

*Special thanks to Henery Press!

Dear readers, the question of the day is: what are some of your favorite holiday-themed mysteries?


40 thoughts on “Cover Reveal: The Spirit in Question

  1. I’m drawing a blank on holiday mysteries, but I did want to say I recently read your first book and really enjoyed it. Love your voice, and I could just picture all those quirky academics. So thank you for the fun read. And congrats on your upcoming book! It sounds fantastic.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Cynthia, the characters of your new book sound fascinating. How do you think of those?
    Third book coming out, you have a good thing going. Congrats!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Hi Mary Lou–thanks so much! And that’s a great question about the characters. Usually I do a lot of thinking about the story and who will be populating it ahead of time, and then as I’m writing the first draft, they are developed further. But sometimes, someone walks into a scene unannounced and that’s always fun!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I LOVE this cover and the book! I’m super-fortunate to be reading an advance copy right now and am enjoying every twist and turn! Congratulations on another A+ academic mystery, Cynthia!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I don’t really like Halloween, but I love costumes. I’ve always created them. I’ve been a stressed out mom with a baby (when I was 12!), an M&M, Top Gun, Danny Zuko, my own version of superheroes, The Blues Brothers, Jimmy Olsen, you get the point. And of course at Malice this year I was Bertha Cool.

      Liked by 4 people

  4. Another great cover, Cynthia! I’m really excited about this one! Holiday themed mysteries are fun. I’ve had Liv and Di books set at Halloween and the Fourth of July. And I’m also looking forward to the Mardis Gras setting in Ellen’s next book, coming out this fall!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Yay! Another book to my 3 foot TBR pile! Love the cover! Congrats, and keep them coming girl!
    Fav holiday themed books?
    Culinary based murder books would have to be Christmas or Valentine’s.
    A specific setting if there’s a holiday that matches (such as DC and July 4th, New Orleans Mardi Gras). No wait, that one has been done, I think? LOL!
    Anything dealing with books or education I think a Halloween theme fits perfectly. Costumes and murder go hand in hand.
    New York and New Years Eve is a classic, but there are so many ways that could be refreshed.
    I think the Chicks should do some research, and find out if there’s an unofficial holiday or festival event in the area where their real or faux towns are set, and do a mystery based on that. I’d be more than happy to help with the research. That’s my forte after all. Or I’d be willing to research and create a faux holiday just for you.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks, Hestia–we Chicks may just take you up on that! (Also, maybe we can come up with a fab new holiday we can all celebrate together!)

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Cynthia, what a truly gorgeous cover! It’s orange and black but the “mutedness” (is that a word) makes it especially moody and chilling–very unique. Can’t wait for the book!

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I find Hallowe’en (the British spelling, since she is an English prof) to be a bit creepy, so it’s a great set-up for a murder mystery! Is the title a quote from something? Looking forward to number three–yay!!

    Who ya gonna call? Paranormal Search Squad!!

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Love the cover and can’t wait for the book!! SO excited!!

    As for costumes, I follow the Wednesday Addams approach and go as a homicidal maniac in my regular clothes.

    Hugs and congrats!
    Kathy (aka Kathleen)

    Liked by 2 people

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