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    Review of FINAL EXAM by Maggie Barbieri (see her website)


    Minotaur, December 2009

    When a dorm's resident director goes missing, English professor Alison Bergeron--who is hoping for tenure and being manipulated by this goal--gets drafted to filling his place. But when she discovers a load of drugs in the missing man's room, she wonders if there's something more complicated going on than an extended vacation. One thing she knows for long as the missing man remains simply missing, she's stuck doing his job, stuck on a dry campus with no boyfriend visitations, and stuck away from her own home, where her best friend is taking care of her newly semi-single status by going on a decorating tear.

    Finding the missing man isn't especially difficult--he seems to pop up all over the campus. But he's a lot faster than Alison, and he doesn't seem to mind a bit of violence if that's what it takes to get away. Meanwhile, dangerous-looking men are showing up, looking for the missing resident director (and maybe for the drugs, too). And then there is the beautiful co-ed who was having an affair with the man. Alison, along with her cop-boyfriend, try to follow every lead, sometimes with discouraging results.

    Author Maggie Barbieri (see more reviews of mysteries by Barbieri) writes with light touch that kept me smiling as I read. Alison occasionally does silly things, but she's well-motivated and it's not hard to sympathize with her impulsive decisions. This is the second book I've read in the Murder 101 series and Barbieri shows strong growth from her first effort.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 2/23/10

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