Mystery, romance and humor blend seamlessly
in this third in the Murder 101 series. Characters are vivid without being stereotypes, with divorced Catholic college professor Alison a particular delight as she balances a wry look at life, a complicated romance and murder. Her banter with her boyfriend is funny, and also very human, as Alison keeps messing up. Her affection for her home in the Bronx, the Church, the Rangers and her friends is heartwarming. Reminiscent of the Plum series, this
one is not to be missed.
As community service, English professor Alison Bergeron is assigned to serve dinner weekly at a soup kitchen. There, she meets an illegal-immigrant Hispanic family, and when the nephew ends up dead, her warm heart prompts her to help investigate his death. Her NYPD detective boyfriend orders her to butt out, but of course she doesn't! A flashy condo going up on the river, an interfering priest and a super-tall model are all part of the puzzle. (ST. MARTIN'S MINOTAUR, Dec., 304 pp., $24.95)