Sunday, May 10, 2009

Murder 101 ~ Maggie Barbieri


Safely outside the New York City limits, St. Thomas College was supposed to promise peace and quiet. Unfortunately, English professor Alison Bergeron has found it to be anything but. She recently divorced a fellow faculty member and, more recently, her car was stolen. Then one evening, she gets a visit from two homicide detectives from the NYPD. The good news is that they found Alison's beat-up Volvo; the bad news is that the body of one of the students in her Shakespeare seminar was in the trunk. Now, not only must Alison continue to hoof it to campus (a fate almost worse than death), she's become a prime suspect for a murder she did not commit—and her efforts to clear her name have landed her in hot water with an even hotter Detective Bobby Crawford, who happens to be a former altar boy, and the sinfully suspicious nuns of St. Thomas. All hell's about to break loose if Alison can't find the real killer…before it's too late.

Maggie Barbieri's debut has a nice blend of mystery, romance & humor.

Alison Bergeron is a charming character that is not written in the stale, rehashed, cutesy cookie cutter fashion so many writer's try too hard to create.

Maggie Barbieri made it a point not to veer in the opposite direction & make Alison Bergeron a bumbling amateur who just "happens" to stumble upon the "body".

Alison has smarts & is just a regular woman going through the day to day trials & tribulations on this roller coaster we call life. Alison actually has emotions... get this she actually expresses them!

Shocking, huh, to have a female protagonist cry, faint and throw up. Definitely no botox Barbie here or wannabe Stephanie Plum. Kudos x's 2 to Maggie. Heck, let me toss in a NYC whistle. Alison actually has human foibles.

Bobby Crawford is not your typical in your face pompas, overexaggerated, bloated New York police detective. He is a down-to-earth pleasurable hero. Bravo, Ms. Barbieri.

Alison's best friend, Max is a fun, spunky friend you'd want to call your own. Love her.

Maggie Barbieri pulled no punches creating Alison's philandering ex-husband, Ray. He doesn't fall into the cliche category no matter how much his tail wags @ other fillies.

Toss in a nutty stoner student, a mafioso dad & you have a cast of zany enjoyable characters.

Ms. Barbieri does a fantastic job weaving in an amateur & professional texture to the investigation.

I must admit, I was hooked. I found this academic whodunit to be delightful. I was ticked when I was interrupted while reading it. Grrr... Murder 101 is definitely one for fans of all mysteries.

Murder 101 is the first of what hopefully will be a lengthy series.

Murder 101 leaves a bit of a cliff hanger that will make you want to rush out to pick up Alison Bergon's 2nd installment, Extracurricular Activities. Better to order it @ the same time.
Even better... grab # 3 Quick Study so you have them all @ the ready.

Murder 101 is an shimmering debut. Alison Bergeron is charming & Maggie Barbieri delivers the entertainment.

Just grab your chocolate & popcorn!!!


  1. It does sound very good though undoubtedly a cozy mystery, it doesn't seem to follow the old pattern at all! Great find!

  2. Thanks! It is a breath of fresh air. Thanks, Ladytink for stopping by :].

  3. This looks like a fun one for the Cozy Mystery Challenge.