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Murder 101 (Murder 101 Mystery #1)

3.68  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,421 Ratings  ·  150 Reviews
English Professor Alison Bergeron is not having a very good day. Her car has been stolen so she has to walk to the train station to get to her office at St. Thomas, a college in the Bronx, New York. When she arrived she finds two homicide detectives waiting for her. The good news is that they found her car; the bad news is that in the trunk was the body of one of the stude ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published October 31st 2006 by Minotaur Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Meredith Galman
Jan 03, 2008 Meredith Galman rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
Stupid heroine, unprofessional cop. Author clearly has no clue about what working in academia is like. I still want to know what kind of course a Joyce scholar and a biology professor would be team-teaching.
Jul 21, 2009 Stephanie rated it it was ok
This was seriously bad, and I only finished it out of a desire to be done with it. (I have this thing about giving up on books--I've only not finished two in my life. Come to think of it, it would probably have been just fine if this had joined that list...)

First, I enjoy mysteries as a sort of brain-in-neutral endeavor, and I am not very good at guessing whodunnit before the big reveal. However, this book was so poorly constructed that it was glaringly obvious to even me long before the protago
So I ended up really enjoying this story. It started out kind of slow and I didn't know if it was going to be something I would get into but I don't know if that is because I was making assumptions as to how the story would go. Alison turned out to be a very likable character - at first I thought she was going to be cookie cutter mystery lead - you know clumsy, signature drink (martini) and blabbers on when nervous - and while she was all those things she had more going for her that made me like ...more
Dec 09, 2015 Carmen rated it it was amazing
Alison Bergeron is living through a rough patch. Her lying and cheating husband is gone but not out of her life. Her car has been stolen, only to turn up with the body of a missing student in the trunk. She's the number one suspect on the list and put under scrutiny from detective sexy. Alison is certainly living through a hellish rough patch.

This book is absolutely amazing. I love Alison and her shenanigans. She's such a realistic protagonist that I wish she was real so that we could be friends
Feb 06, 2012 Hannah rated it liked it
Shelves: cozy-mystery
Murder 101 is a decent, quick cozy read (of the lighter, chick lit-ish variety rather than your traditional type). I liked certain aspects of it and wasn't fond of others, so I found myself floating between a critical mindset and pure enjoyment while I read it. In the end, I think I'm more or less on the fence.

Firstly, for the things I liked. I (mostly) liked the romance between Alison and Detective Crawford, which took up a great deal of time in this book - more so than the actual mystery, I th
Diane  Morasco

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 r
Dec 26, 2010 Lisa rated it it was ok
Well, I think I'd give this a not quite "it's okay" rating.... I found it to be really slow-going at first (regarding moving the mystery plot along), and the more I read, the more I disliked the main character, Alison Bergeron. Her attitude/lack of intelligence (she has a PhD?) created a not-so-likeable character that made me start to skim pages. (And why, on page 46, does Max [main character's friend] start the car a second time while driving [after having started the car a first time just a fe ...more
Sep 10, 2013 Deanna rated it it was amazing
I went to a used book store, actually looking for a different author - which they had none of. I saw a bunch of Maggie Barbieri's books, I was hesitant. There had to be a reason why there were a lot of her books on the shelf. Right? I picked up "Murder 101", opened it up to the first page and read "Your ass looks great in that dress." I was hooked. I continued to read it, standing there in front of her other books and knew I had it get it.

I read the book in three days. It was that good. Not only
Sommer Marsden
Jan 27, 2011 Sommer Marsden rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. There was nothing at all I didn't like about it! I have been off the mystery bandwagon for a while now, barring some gritty darker crime books. But something about this book drew me in so I gave it a shot. Boy, am I glad I did.

Loved Alison, loved the premise, adored the writing, the tone and the style and as for Crawford...hey, can I get his number?

I'm raring for book #2 since Barbieri left me hanging and nosy at the end of book 1. Highly recommended for mystery fans who like
Mar 02, 2015 Emmie rated it liked it

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-u
Nov 02, 2011 Hmr28 rated it it was amazing
I LOVE this entire series. Can't wait for Physical Education due out this month. I actually pre-buy this series as soon as I see it up at Barnes and noble for my Nook. Alison is sooo funny, the relationship is great, and the mystery's are very good as well. All around a solid 5 for every book in the series, and that doesn't happen often!
Sep 23, 2014 Jessica rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cozy

My four-sentence or less take on the plot: Ally is a professor at a Catholic University and is very much in the style of Stephanie Plum--which I mean as a huge compliment. The books are all charming and fun and I totally recommend them (all of them--this is a review for the entire series!)

Rating: 10

What worked: Everything. I loved this book. The writing was really solid, the plot was funny, she's awkward without being annoying, and I loved the side characters.

What didn't: I liked the whole thin
Allison (The Allure of Books)
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
Aug 30, 2011 Sarah rated it liked it
Shelves: 2007, reviewed
The front cover screams chicklit. The inner flap promises me a comedic murder mystery, with nuns. I love nuns, so I pick it up. What we actually end up with is closer to the (admittedly honest) advertising on the cover and sorely lacking in nuns.

Set in a small catholic college just outside New York City, Alison is an English professor with a sassy best friend, annoying ex-husband (also a professor at the college,) and the dead body of a student in the trunk of her car. Alison is implicated in th
Apr 27, 2013 ♥Jamie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This author was suggested in my recommended reading section. I am so happy that it was. I was totally hooked after the first chapter.

English professor Alison Bergeron is recently divorced and works alongside her ex-husband most days at a private college, St. Thomas. With finalizing her divorce, Alison has been having a bad time of it, and it's only about to get worse. Unfortunately, her shitty old car was stolen so she's forced to walk everywhere, and most recent a visit from two New Yor
Recomended to me by goodreads based on my reading history.
Spoiler at end

I have read several ameture detective novels. It is standard in the first books to set up character background and explain relationships. The mystery is usaully easy to sleuth out and mediocre. In this novel the set up was a good start. The body of a college girl with mob cinnections is found in her stolen car. She is a suspect. Then the author couldn't decide how to move the story along.

I liked the heroine Alison when she'
Dec 31, 2008 Emma rated it really liked it
My mom reads a lot of mysteries. I don't, but I do pick up and bring home all of her books so I have some familiarity with the genre. Along the way I also have become interesting in a few series. When Mom finished Murder 101--Maggie Barbieri's debut mystery novel released in 2006--and recommended it to me, after laughing through most of it, I decided to give the book a try.

Alison Bergeron is an English professor at St. Thomas College, a small Catholic school located just outside New York City li
Feb 06, 2014 Melissa rated it liked it
I got to the end and wished the book had been better. I liked the characters of Alison and the policeman Crawford, and the setting of the Catholic university was great. I'm no detective, but I found the solution to the mystery was completely obvious a long way back, and it annoys me when characters do things they really shouldn't and then bad things happen as a result. The writing (and the jokes) was also quite repetitive. However, I will give Book #2 a chance :)
Jun 29, 2014 Moondance rated it liked it
"Your ass looks great in that dress."

Alison Bergeron is having a bad week. Her divorce is final, someone stole her car and one of her students is found dead in the trunk of that car when it is located. Enter two NY detectives, one of which Alison falls for.

This is a easy quick read with plenty of humor, madcap abductions and a little romance. The twist at the end was unexpected. I need to read the next book to see where it is going.
Oct 31, 2014 JoAnne rated it really liked it
Cute read, cozy mystery. Main character Alison, a college professor in NY, always in the thick of things especially the murder of a student whose dead body is found in her stolen car. Her and one of the lead detectives, Crawford, have chemistry and seem to get each other but there are a few surprises along the way. Looking forward to reading the next book in the series since the epilogue definitely didn't provide closure!
Dec 26, 2009 Jennifer rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of Jennifer Crusie and light chick-lit mysteries
Recommended to Jennifer by: Daily Dose, maybe?
Shelves: read-2009
Mystery? English professor? I'm there.

Though once again a book featuring an English professor never shows her spending all nighters reading and commenting on student essays, I didn't mind too much. This was a light fluffy read, introducing college professor, Alison Bergeron, dealing with her first murder investigation. One of Alison's students, Kathy, daughter of a mob boss, not only ends up murdered but stuffed into the trunk of Alison's aging Volvo. This brings a pair of homicide detectives to
Nov 07, 2015 Becky rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
A funny, well-written protagonist and characters captures me every time. I enjoyed Allison's literary profession and the fact she was a book nerd. All of the characters were entertaining and added to the story. The romance between here and Crawford was also well crafted. Was it a literary masterpiece? No, it was a good mystery meets slight chick lit, and that was what I needed to bump me back into reading.
Susan Cantey
Apr 12, 2015 Susan Cantey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thoroughly enjoyable.

I enjoyed this story more than most books I've read lately. This author is right up there with Sue Grafton who produces my favorite style of writing. Not too heavy or esoteric. No wandering away from the story. Characters you like and care about. No twists for the sake of twists. Just an enjoyable light read.
Nov 12, 2014 Jeanne rated it liked it
Someone is stealing artwork from graveyards and mausoleums! But to leave the space empty would be a bit too noticeable, so very nice copies are put in place to keep it secret. When a local art student is murdered, it looks like she might've been the forger, but she's not the one, and certainly not the main one, raking in all the dough from the heists!
This book was fine. The plot was interesting enough, but, as other readers have pointed out, the author has no idea what working in a university is actually like. Who keeps track of when other professors are in/out of the office? Why would an English professor be team teaching with a biology professor?

Also, too much vomiting and passing out.
Ron Nurmi
Jan 18, 2016 Ron Nurmi rated it really liked it
the first in the Alison Bergeron mystery series. Alison is an English professor at St. Thomas in Manhattan. The body of one of her students is found in her car that had been stolen. She tries to help solve the death as she may be consider a suspect. I worked with Maggie Barbieri at Macmillan.
Aug 28, 2014 Homerun2 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

Uneven but entertaining debut mystery. At times the main character is funny, strong and wellspoken. At other times she alternates between tears and fainting. Nice relationship beginning to develop with a detective. I will try another because I find the heroine mostly appealing.
Dec 16, 2015 Sandra rated it it was ok
The actual mystery plot in this book is not bad but if I had a daughter who threw up, cried, ate poorly, fainted and dressed in an inappropriate way for a college professor the way this heroine did way too often, I would have her under psychiatric care ASAP.
Shonna Froebel
Dec 23, 2012 Shonna Froebel rated it liked it
This fast-moving mystery centers around Alison Bergeron, a literature professor at a small Catholic college in New York City. First Alison's old Volvo is stolen from the college parking lot. Then two NYPD homicide detectives show up to grill her. Her car has been found with the body of one of her students inside.
Alison is supported by her old school friend Max, yet still keeps getting into hot water. One of the detectives, Bobby Crawford, thinks she is an innocent victim, and tries to give her s
May 26, 2011 Lindsay rated it liked it
This book was pretty decent. It wasn't anything super wonderful, actually kind of makes me want to take a break from mysteries because they are all the same. Recently single girl somehow gets caught up in a murder, meets a hot detective/cop (because they are always hot), and they fall in love. Geez.
Allison is a teacher at a university and one day the cops show up at her office and inform her that her that the dead body of one of her students was found dead in her recently stolen car. For once sh
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Maggie Barbieri is the author of the Murder 101 series, which is comprised of Murder 101 (2006); Extracurricular Activities (2007), Quick Study (2008), Final Exam (2009) and Third Degree (due November 2010.) She lives in the New York metro area/Hudson Valley with her husband, and two children. By day she's a writer and editor of college textbooks. She is currently at work on the sixth book in the ...more
More about Maggie Barbieri...

Other Books in the Series

Murder 101 Mystery (7 books)
  • Extracurricular Activities (A Murder 101 Mystery, #2)
  • Quick Study (A Murder 101 Mystery, #3)
  • Final Exam (A Murder 101 Mystery, #4)
  • Third Degree (A Murder 101 Mystery, #5)
  • Physical Education (A Murder 101 Mystery, #6)
  • Extra Credit (A Murder 101 Mystery, #7)

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“You're an asshole, you know that?' I asked him. It figured he would pick today to be funny and personable, but I wasn't in the mood.

He smiled. 'I know. I work really hard at it.”
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