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Safely away from the chaos of Manhattan, St. Thomas, a small college on the banks of the Hudson River in the Bronx, is supposed to be tranquil, bucolic, and serene. Unfortunately, English professor Alison Bergeron has found it to be anything but. Recently divorced from a fellow professor and even more recently without a car---it was stolen---she has been hoofing it to school. One Friday evening, two NYPD homicide detectives drop by her office. The good news is that they found her beat-up Volvo; the bad news is that the body of one of the students in her Shakespeare seminar was in the trunk.


Not only are Alison's chances of getting the car back bleak, but suddenly she's the primary suspect on a list that includes, among others, the murdered student's drug-dealing boyfriend, Vince, and the girl's father's business rivals (he's head of an old Italian family . . .).


Accused of a crime that she didn't commit, Alison enlists her best friend, Max's, emotional support and services as an amateur sleuth. Their fumbling efforts to clear Alison's name could land her in even hotter water with Detective Bobby Crawford, the handsome investigating officer (and former altar boy)---not to mention the nuns at St. Thomas. . . .


Maggie Barbieri's charming professor and down-to-earth detective make an unlikely but lovable team in her delightful debut mystery.

Published: Macmillan Publishers on
ISBN: 9781429950640
List price: $7.99
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Couldn't finish. Starts too slowly. Unappealing characters. Poorly constructed—at least as much as I read. more
This a light, easy read. Much of it is vastly entertaining and I'll go looking for the second book in series. That said, why do authors insist on giving a character some traits that make them weak, then keep showing and showing and showing it? As the protagonist in this book, Alison seems to both vomit and cry at the drop of hat. The first instance I understood but after that it just got annoying. Hopefully in the next book Alison will be portrayed as the intelligent and experienced person she is in every other way.more
These are very quick reads - I read them all over the course of a couple of afternoons. They don't really have any depth or emotional content - but they do settle very nicely into the cozy mystery/romance niche. If you're a fan of those types of books (think Stephanie Plum) than these are definitely worth taking a look at.I say they don't have any emotional depth - but what I mean is that the author doesn't do a very good job of making you feel the characters. She has to settle for just telling us. Throughout the first book, I read the words describing the increasing romantic feelings between the main characters, Alison and Crawford, but I never felt the chemistry vibes. As the series progressed and I got used to their characters, I appreciated their relationship more. The same goes for all the characters - when they're introduced in the first book they all feel a little stale or just "on the page" (if that makes sense)...but if you stick with the books you become used to them and it makes the reading much more enjoyable.One thing the author, without a doubt, does get right is the humor. I absolutely love Alison's character and the way she interacts with everyone. She is a real piece of work. She transitions throughout the books: she is originally very nervous and weak-minded...but give her a couple of books and there isn't much she is willing to back down from. But regardless - she is always hilarious.The mysteries are pretty engaging for the most part. The least enjoyable for me was definitely book three, Quick Study. The best part of the books, for me, is learning more about the characters. Barbieri might not be the most accomplished writer, but even though she isn't good at bringing emotions to life - she found a way to hook me in anyway! I'm definitely looking forward to seeing where life takes Alison and Crawford next!So, even though this series doesn't, by any means, top my favorites list - I think they're worth reading if you enjoy the genre. For the most part, Barbieri does the mixed bag mystery/romance/humor genre proud!more
In the span of a week, Alison Bergeron's divorce became final and her car was stolen. Just when things couldn't get any worse, two NYPD detectives come to her office to inform her that they found her car... with a dead body in the trunk. Alison quickly becomes the number one suspect in this case despite her numerous vomiting and fainting spells whenever she comes in close contact with the police.Alison is an English professor at St. Thomas, located in the Bronx. The college campus is small and lacks any drama. Suddenly the news media and police have invaded the campus and brings classes and activities to a stand still. The question everyone is thinking: who killed Kathy and why?Alison begins her own investigation, not only to clear her name, but to find out why Kathy was killed. During the course of the investigation, Alison becomes extremely close with Detective Crawford. Not sure if she's ready for another relationship, she decides to take things slowly with him and soon discovers his feelings for her mirrors her own. As soon as she begins to let her guard down, she learns Crawford has been hiding a secret. A secret that could cause their relationship to be over before it even starts.I really liked this book and read it in one day. The mystery was light, with a touch of romance. What I liked best was Alison's character. She considers herself to be "nothing special". Just someone who is trying to move on from a divorce, pick up the pieces and wants to remain hopeful for her future. She's not flashy or snobby or conceited. She has her moments when she's not perfect and doesn't always say the right things.This is the first book in the series. The ending left somewhat of a cliff hanger. I can't wait to read book two, Extracurricular Activities to find out what happens next.more
Charming first mystery in which recently-divorced college professor Alison Bergeron becomes a suspect in a murder case when the body of a student is found in the trunk of her recently stolen vehicle. While the eventual resolution of the mystery is a little far-fetched, the real enjoyment comes from the developing relationship between Alison and Bobby Crawford, one of the detectives assigned to the case. Alison's scenes with her ex-husband Ray, also a professor at the college, are another highlight of the novel. Well-written, with only a few minor glitches.more
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Reviews

Couldn't finish. Starts too slowly. Unappealing characters. Poorly constructed—at least as much as I read. more
This a light, easy read. Much of it is vastly entertaining and I'll go looking for the second book in series. That said, why do authors insist on giving a character some traits that make them weak, then keep showing and showing and showing it? As the protagonist in this book, Alison seems to both vomit and cry at the drop of hat. The first instance I understood but after that it just got annoying. Hopefully in the next book Alison will be portrayed as the intelligent and experienced person she is in every other way.more
These are very quick reads - I read them all over the course of a couple of afternoons. They don't really have any depth or emotional content - but they do settle very nicely into the cozy mystery/romance niche. If you're a fan of those types of books (think Stephanie Plum) than these are definitely worth taking a look at.I say they don't have any emotional depth - but what I mean is that the author doesn't do a very good job of making you feel the characters. She has to settle for just telling us. Throughout the first book, I read the words describing the increasing romantic feelings between the main characters, Alison and Crawford, but I never felt the chemistry vibes. As the series progressed and I got used to their characters, I appreciated their relationship more. The same goes for all the characters - when they're introduced in the first book they all feel a little stale or just "on the page" (if that makes sense)...but if you stick with the books you become used to them and it makes the reading much more enjoyable.One thing the author, without a doubt, does get right is the humor. I absolutely love Alison's character and the way she interacts with everyone. She is a real piece of work. She transitions throughout the books: she is originally very nervous and weak-minded...but give her a couple of books and there isn't much she is willing to back down from. But regardless - she is always hilarious.The mysteries are pretty engaging for the most part. The least enjoyable for me was definitely book three, Quick Study. The best part of the books, for me, is learning more about the characters. Barbieri might not be the most accomplished writer, but even though she isn't good at bringing emotions to life - she found a way to hook me in anyway! I'm definitely looking forward to seeing where life takes Alison and Crawford next!So, even though this series doesn't, by any means, top my favorites list - I think they're worth reading if you enjoy the genre. For the most part, Barbieri does the mixed bag mystery/romance/humor genre proud!more
In the span of a week, Alison Bergeron's divorce became final and her car was stolen. Just when things couldn't get any worse, two NYPD detectives come to her office to inform her that they found her car... with a dead body in the trunk. Alison quickly becomes the number one suspect in this case despite her numerous vomiting and fainting spells whenever she comes in close contact with the police.Alison is an English professor at St. Thomas, located in the Bronx. The college campus is small and lacks any drama. Suddenly the news media and police have invaded the campus and brings classes and activities to a stand still. The question everyone is thinking: who killed Kathy and why?Alison begins her own investigation, not only to clear her name, but to find out why Kathy was killed. During the course of the investigation, Alison becomes extremely close with Detective Crawford. Not sure if she's ready for another relationship, she decides to take things slowly with him and soon discovers his feelings for her mirrors her own. As soon as she begins to let her guard down, she learns Crawford has been hiding a secret. A secret that could cause their relationship to be over before it even starts.I really liked this book and read it in one day. The mystery was light, with a touch of romance. What I liked best was Alison's character. She considers herself to be "nothing special". Just someone who is trying to move on from a divorce, pick up the pieces and wants to remain hopeful for her future. She's not flashy or snobby or conceited. She has her moments when she's not perfect and doesn't always say the right things.This is the first book in the series. The ending left somewhat of a cliff hanger. I can't wait to read book two, Extracurricular Activities to find out what happens next.more
Charming first mystery in which recently-divorced college professor Alison Bergeron becomes a suspect in a murder case when the body of a student is found in the trunk of her recently stolen vehicle. While the eventual resolution of the mystery is a little far-fetched, the real enjoyment comes from the developing relationship between Alison and Bobby Crawford, one of the detectives assigned to the case. Alison's scenes with her ex-husband Ray, also a professor at the college, are another highlight of the novel. Well-written, with only a few minor glitches.more
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