The wet kisses that cover my face at daybreak? I’d love to say that they are compliments of my husband, Detective Bobby Crawford, homicide investigator extraordinaire, but really, they come from a voluptuous, hairy, canine whose fidelity to me is well known and respected by all. Her name is Trixie Bergeron-Crawford and although she would die for me, she is also an inveterate shoe thief. Today’s target? A pair of three-inch high black suede pumps, a gift from my very rich and very shoe-addicted friend, Max Rayfield, a woman known for her fashion sense if not her tact.

Crawford and I usually part ways a little after seven in the morning that is if he hasn’t had a court appearance or decided to pull some overtime. He usually admonishes me to “mind my own business” and/or not “find any dead bodies” because I’ve been known to mind others’ business and find a dead body or two since we’ve been together. We met while he was investigating the murder of a co-ed—a student at the university where I teach—and I was a person of interest, aforementioned co-ed having had an affair with my dear, departed, ex-husband. Being married to a cop has its advantages, I think…wait, I’ll come up with something…oh, yeah, I can usually talk my way out of speeding tickets…but we do spend a lot of time apart and that is definitely a disadvantage. So far, we’ve managed to make things work but let me tell you, it isn’t easy. Trying to keep the flame burning with a guy who often smells like things I don’t even want to imagine and wears a gun at both his hip and his ankle is definitely a challenge.

I need a lot of coffee to start my day. My job teaching college students isn’t particularly taxing in a physical way, but mentally, it would challenge the most intellectual of souls. Your garden variety creative writing course is made up of equal parts kids who think it’s an easy A, writers of future Great American Novels, and others who need three more credits in English to graduate. See where I’m going here? I manage to stay engaged because I think I was born to teach, even if I show some impatience every now and again with the teenagers I encounter every day.

What I wasn’t born to do was sleuth, even though the last several years have shown me that I’m pretty darned good at it and that of late, trouble has a way of finding me. There was the body in the trunk of my stolen car, my missing neighbor who turned up dead in her back yard, the death of the poor kid who painted my dining room, the drugs that were found in my toilet, and the guy who came into a coffee shop while I was minding my own business and dropped dead in front of me. I’m no smarter than your average college professor but I find that by asking the right questions, the right answers are usually given to me. I call it my “gift.” Crawford calls it “annoying.”

Then again, he would. No one likes a smartypants, particularly when they come to the right conclusion before the professionals do.

So that’s my story. My latest adventure has me involved with Crawford’s ex-wife, her late brother, and another woman named Sassy Du Pris, who is becoming a giant pain in my behind, not to mention a person of interest in a couple of burglaries and possibly a murder.

I hope I find her before she finds me.

You can read more about Maggie in PHYSICAL EDUCATION, the sixth book in the “Murder 101” mystery series. The first book in the series is MURDER 101.

Maggie Barbieri is the author of the Murder 101 mystery series featuring college professor Alison Bergeron, a modern-day Nancy Drew with a nose for murder and mayhem. The sixth book in the series–PHYSICAL EDUCATION–will be published on November 22nd. When Maggie isn’t writing mysteries, she is editing college textbooks. Maggie lives in the Hudson Valley with her husband, daughter, son, needy and emotional West Highland Terrier, and domineering Maine Coon cat. Visit Maggie at

** Maggie has generously offered to give away one copy of PHYSICAL EDUCATION. To enter, you must leave a valid e-mail address in the comment box with your comment. One entry per person and this is open to anyone with a U.S. mailing address. Contest ends on November 23rd at 6pm EST. The winner will be chosen using a random number generator and will be notified by e-mail and has 2 days to respond. Book will be shipped directly from the author. **

Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

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