Extra Credit by Maggie Barbieri is the seventh book in the traditional mystery series featuring English professor Alison Bergeron (available December 11, 2012).
I read a ton of traditional mysteries, and while there’s a lot I like about the genre, I must confess: I hate the Stereotypical Traditional Mystery Heroine. Sure, she’s smart, she’s loyal, and she’s dedicated to truth, justice, and the American way. But she’s also bland, boring, and bears a strong resemblance to a doormat, and despite the fact that she’s probably seen more dead bodies than your average coroner and has undoubtedly survived multiple attempts on her life, she remains sweet and kind and doesn’t contain a single ounce of bitterness or self-doubt. She has no snark, no sass, no hint of what my mother calls “attitude.” And to be honest, I find that kind of fishy. Because nobody lives the life of a Stereotypical Traditional Mystery Heroine without picking up baggage. Hell, nobody lives ANY kind of life without picking up baggage. And if you claim otherwise, well, you’re either sheltered, or you’re lying, or you’re too young to know any better.
That’s why I’m always so delighted to stumble across a traditional mystery heroine with whom I can identify. Someone with verve. Someone with pluck. Someone who’s a little jaded, and a little bitter, and who’s been kicked around, sure, but still has some fight in her. A heroine, for example, like English professor Alison Bergeron, star of Maggie Barbieri’s Murder 101 Mysteries.
[Can’t say enough about verve and pluck...]