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Extra Credit (Murder 101 Mysteries) Hardcover – December 11, 2012


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Product Details

  • Series: Murder 101 Mysteries (Book 7)
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books (December 11, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250001889
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250001887
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,273,937 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Barbieri's diverting seventh mystery featuring English professor Alison Bergeron (after 2011's Physical Education) finds Alison juggling her teaching duties at St. Thomas University in the Bronx with far more dangerous pursuits. Second marriages for both Alison and her new husband, NYPD homicide cop Bobby Crawford, create a spate of complex and delicate family relationships. Alison's 19-year-old twin stepdaughters bring resentment and some wild romantic entanglements, while Bobby is a little too friendly with ex-wife Christine. But when Christine's brother, Chick, is found dead in his sleazy apartment with ,000 tucked into his mattress, events spin out of control. Alison, sarcastic and brash, wins no friends in pursuing the source of the money, as well as losing the trust of her best friend and the seriously annoying Bobby. Quirky characters complement a plot that offers a number of entertaining if sometimes illogical surprises. An irresistible hook at the conclusion will draw readers to the next installment. Agent: Deborah Schneider, Gelfman Schneider. (Dec.)

From Booklist

Nothing good comes from being involved with a spouse’s ex-inlaws, college professor and amateur sleuth Alison Bergeron discovers. The birthday party she hosts for husband NYPD Detective Bobby Crawford’s twin 19-year-old daughters turns bizarre when the girls’ long-lost uncle, Chick Stepkowski, presents an unseemly monetary gift. When Crawford returns it, he finds Chick dying, an apparent suicide, in a decrepit apartment with $250,000 in cash in his mattress. Convinced that her brother’s death is murder, Crawford’s ex, Christine, turns to Alison, who’s neglecting her best friend, Max, and suspecting a stepdaughter of cheating on an exam. Meanwhile Alison’s beloved dog is poisoned, followed by home and car break-ins, and the only bright spot in Alison’s life seems to be her new creative-writing student, a stylish woman who offers pastries and sympathy. Crawford and Max repeatedly urge Alison to give up sleuthing but to no avail. Barbieri continues her characters’ development in the sixth of her series of entertaining chick-lit cozies. --Michele Leber

Customer Reviews

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Love how she is developing the characters throughout the series.
READER
I like that Maggie Barbieri keeps the charachters progressing and changing while still remaining interesting and true to the first novel.
Lisa B
If you haven't read any books in this series, you are in for a treat.
Carrie Brandon

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By E. Bukowsky HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Maggie Barbieri's "Extra Credit" is the seventh in her Murder 101 mysteries featuring first-person narrator Alison Bergeron, who teaches English at a Catholic college. Alison is married to NYPD Detective Bobby Crawford. Max, Alison's best friend, is the wife of Bobby's partner, Fred Wyatt, and the proud producer of a trashy but successful television show. All would be well if Bobby's ex-wife, Christine (who recently returned from a few years in London), would stay out of their lives. Now that she is back in the states with her new husband, Tim, and four young stepchildren, Christine is far too needy, especially when one of her siblings is found dead.

It is extremely difficult to keep a series fresh, especially when both Max and Alison have settled down with their significant others. So how does Barbieri hold our interest? She creates perplexing circumstances that might tempt a nosy individual such as Alison to snoop around where she should not. Christine's brother, Jaroslav "Chick" Stepkowski, disappeared for a decade and then mysteriously reappeared--only to die under mysterious circumstances. His life and death would be nothing more than a family tragedy, if a very large amount of cash had not been left behind in Chick's seedy apartment. Instead of focusing on her husband, job, and stepdaughters, Alison puts herself in harm's way by looking into Chick's past and asking one too many intrusive questions.

"Extra Credit" is a lackluster entry from the usually reliable Barbieri, whose earlier books were witty, delightfully sarcastic, and charmingly offbeat.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on January 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have read most of these Murder101 books. Some I have liked and some not. This was enjoyable. These are very light mysteries--no heavy stuff here. My main complaint is her relationship with her so-called best friend, who is just a pain in the rear. I can't imagine why anyone would want this Max as a friend, let alone a "best friend." and so it rings so false and shallow to me that I can never give one of these books 5 stars. Beyond this irritation, the book is enjoyable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Carrie Brandon on December 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Once again, Barbieri writes an engaging and addicting addition to the Murder 101 series. I LOVE Alison and feel like I know her well. If you haven't read any books in this series, you are in for a treat. I wish I was new to the series so I could enjoy them all over again. Thanks Ms. Barbieri for the nice Christmas present to myself.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on December 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover
In Westchester County, New York, NYPD Detective Bobby Crawford and his ex-wife Christine celebrate their twin daughters' nineteenth birthday. Family attending the bash is Bobby's wife Professor Alison Bergeron and Christine's husband and his four children. Christine's brother Uncle Chick, who no one has seen or heard from in years, makes a surprise visit. He gives $5,000 each to the twins.

After the shock wears off, Bobby and Christine agree to return the loot to Uncle Chick. Bobby and Alison visit Chick only to find him near death. The police arrive and find $250,000 inside the mattress. The cops conclude suicide, but Christine believes someone murdered her sibling. While her friends (Max, Fred and ex-priest Kevin) warn Alison to not investigate, they assist her when she does.

The latest Murder 101 amateur sleuth (see Physical Education, Third Degree, Final Exam and Quick Study) is an engaging extended family affair that reflects the complex relationships. The cast is solid in support of the heroine who feels out of her element hosting a teen bash but in her element detecting; while explaining to Max and fans why she obsessively must investigate. Readers will enjoy this entertaining whodunit

Harriet Klausner
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lisa B on December 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Another great book in the series. I feel like I'm catching up with my good friend Allison and her hunky husband Crawford. Interesting story. I like that Maggie Barbieri keeps the charachters progressing and changing while still remaining interesting and true to the first novel.
My biggest complaint is that we only get one new Murder 101 book a year. Please keep up the good work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rogan on December 26, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Maggie does it again. Once a year with these characters are not enough. Maggie writes with such effortless that it always is an I can't put it down. Thanks again Maggie
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By socprof on January 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Another triumph for Barbieri. Having read all the books, I find some of the reviewers comments to be rooted in perhaps, a lack of understanding related to the characters. The book kept my interest and did a great job in developing these characters into a fine winters read! Highly recommend it~!
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I tend to purchase this series as soon as it is published and then save it...treasure the coming read...until I know that it is time for a never to disappoint you time. So, although many have read this book timely...it was 'my' time the past two days.

Professor Alison Bergeron, is a character that is likeable. Alison, in prior novels (six) got married to a Homicide Detective, Bobby Crawford. This was a second marriage for both. Bobby didn't come alone...he came with two older daughters, both now in colleges.

Alison decides to throw the girls a Birthday party! Simple, right? Wrong, the ex-family is more than a handful and will lead Alison, Bobby, and Trixie, the Golden Retriever into danger, intrigue, kidnapping and more. Who? Why? How? When...immediately it seems to begin.

Ms. Barbieri is able to weave a gentle loving family story and lace it with danger and finally we have the completed craft...an afghan of of a victim, and why they became a victim, worthy of draping on your walls.

The writing is tight, strong dialog, funny situations, and a story worth remembering. Hopefully the next novel will be out soon as I have a spot waiting for it on my TBR (to be read) pile.
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More About the Author

Maggie Barbieri is a freelance writer and textbook editor who lives in the Hudson Valley. She is also the author of the Murder 101 series, the fourth installment of which--Final Exam--will be published in December 2009.

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