An English professor waits for her married boyfriend’s freedom, dates a New York Ranger and finds dead bodies.
What’s a girl to do? Although Alison Bergeron’s main man, NYPD Detective Bobby Crawford, has been separated for years from his wife Christine, separated isn’t divorced. So until he’s legally free, Alison (Murder 101, 2006) is left with only her teaching duties and committee work. The former don’t merit description, and the latter has her raging at Sister Calista, who won’t surrender her American lit syllabus for perusal by the diversity committee. It’s almost a relief when Alison finds ex-husband Ray Stark’s dismembered body in her kitchen. For one thing, it gives her an excuse to call Crawford. For another, it provokes a series of bizarre but amusing encounters with her next-door neighbors, Terri and Jackson, ultimately leading her to possession of their dog Trixie. It also leads to the unwanted attention of mobster Peter Miceli, whose wife Gianna was Alison’s college classmate. Between dodging kisses from Peter and her deli man Tony, Alison finds time for more welcome smooches with Jack McManus, brother of her colleague Kevin, who’s handsome, erudite and employed by her favorite hockey team. Still, Crawford’s always in the background, as unresolved as he is undivorced.
Alison’s still a charmer, but Barbieri’s second is long on romance and short on mystery.