cover image Extracurricular Activities: An Alison Bergeron Mystery

Extracurricular Activities: An Alison Bergeron Mystery

Maggie Barbieri, . . St. Martin's Minotaur, $23.95 (294pp) ISBN 978-0-312-35538-8

Barbieri's in top form as she delivers a smooth sequel to her witty debut (Murder 101 ). English professor Alison Bergeron wishes she'd stop getting uninvited visits from her ex-husband, Raymond Stark, “fornicator extraordinaire” and fellow professor at St. Thomas, a small Catholic university north of New York City. Ray's past conquests include Alison's slutty neighbor, Terri, and St. Thomas student Kathy Miceli, whose recent murder shocked the campus. Then Alison comes home one night to find Ray's body in her kitchen, hands and feet chopped off: the slaying signature of “chubby mobster” Peter Miceli, Kathy's father. Peter begins stalking Alison, showing up uninvited in her house to proclaim his innocence. Alison reluctantly turns to her soon-to-be-divorced former boyfriend, Bobby Crawford, an NYPD homicide detective, for help and comfort. The plot thickens when Terri disappears, leaving Alison in charge of Trixie, a scene-stealing golden retriever who makes a gruesome discovery. Barbieri juggles romance, murder and mayhem with stark realism and disarming charm. (Nov.)