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    Review of MURDER 101 by Maggie Barbieri

    St. Martin's Minotaur, November 2006

    College professor Alison Bergeron has got papers to grade and classes to teach. She doesn't have time for a stolen car. But when one of her student's bodies turns up in her car, murdered, Alison's problems get a whole lot worse. Two police detectives make it clear that she's a suspect--and she barfs all over their shoes. The murdered woman turned out to be Mafia-connected, and her father is quick to threaten Alison for results. And Alison's ex-husband seems to be involved too.

    MURDER 101 by Maggie Barbieri can't quite seem to make its mind whether it's a comedy, a romance, or a who-dunnit mystery. Attempting to be all three weakens a well-written and high-potential story. Barbieri's writing is quick and fun, and making the protagonist a murder suspect increases reader sympathy, but Barbieri is a bit too obvious with the clues, relies too much on coincidence, and can't quite decide whether the tears and vomiting are supposed to be funny or pathetic.

    MURDER 101 shows a lot of potential and is certainly engaging enoug to keep my interest through the story. I'll be looking for more books by Barbieri. With the talent she shows for wordsmithing in this story, I have hopes that she'll be able to put together a more sympathetic protagonist and a mystery that doesn't involve the reader practically shouting--just read the darned papers already, Alison.

    See more reviews of mysteries by Maggie Barbieri.

    Two Stars

    Reviewed 3/01/07

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