Thursday, 13 January 2011

Extracurricular Activities

After a few weeks of impatiently waiting, my Kindle arrived five days ago!! Needless to say I've been attached to it ever since. In short, I LOVE it! Very easy to use, easy to read, easy to keep track of books ... I was a little leary of using an ereader because I thought that I'd miss the feel of a 'real' book ... nope. Feels so similar that I don't mind at all. In fact, right now I'm reading a paper book and I miss being able to highlight a word and get the definition right away.

Plus, many books that are offered are very reasonably priced. As Canadians we're used to being gouged when it comes to buying books but since all Kindle books are bought through (and Americans pay less for books) even with the exchange I save money. Gotta love that!

The ease of buying a book in under 60 seconds (by using either it's 3G or Wifi) is pretty sweet too. I'm hoping that with the small amount of time it takes to buy an e-book I don't go hog wild and buy books with abandon. Must ... control ... myself! With great e-reader comes great responsibility. In short, there are so many positives (and no negatives as of yet) so, needless to say, I highly recommend it.

This was the first book that I read on my Kindle and I'm looking forward to reading many, many more.

Author: Maggie Barbieri
Genre: Mystery
Series: Murder 101
Series Order:
  1. Murder 101 (2006)
  2. Extracurricular Activities (2007)
  3. Quick Study (2008)
  4. Final Exam (2009)
  5. Third Degree (2010)

First Line: "I have two best friends; one is a nymphomaniac and the other is a priest."

Synopsis: The second book in the Murder 101 series begins shortly after the first book in the series, "Murder 101", ends. College professor Alison Bergeron is still teaching English in a small Bronx town. Alison is still not sure what to do with her potential boyfriend Bobby Crawford who is still technically and legally married to his wife. This, unfortunately, leaves Alison's love life in limbo. Alison is also kept busy by her cheating ex-husband, Ray who doesn't understand that Alison doesn't want anything to do with him.

When Alison finds a mutilated body in her kitchen she's advised by Crawford to keep her nose out of it ... which Alison doesn't heed. She dives into the investigation all the while trying to figure out her social life (or lack thereof)

My Thoughts: This was a decent read with a good amount of suspense but, unfortunately, not nearly as funny as the first book in the series. Now, it's been about 10 months since I read the first book in the series but it honestly felt like I was reading about another character. She wasn't as silly (nor nearly as funny) and didn't have her long list of nervous ailments that plagued her in the first book.

The tension created in the mystery was good (especially at the very end of the book) but the main focus of this book was on Alison's love life. She felt she should stay away from Detective Crawford (even though there was a definite chemistry between them) simply because he was technically married. Personally, I didn't understand what the big issue was. Yes, he's technically married but has been separated from his wife for many years. I just found the author was making a mountain out of a mole hill then dragging us through the mole hill over and over again.

I was also hoping for more involvement from the secondary characters. I've often found that secondary characters can help add humour and move the storyline along. I would have loved to see more of Alison's best friend, Father Kevin, as well as her best friend Max (the nympho).

Then there was an issue Crawford had involving an informant getting killed ... and it had absolutely nothing to do with the storyline. Why put it in the story in the first place? It left me feeling like I missed something.

The ending of the book had some decent tension but overall this was just an OK read. I'm hoping that the third book in the series will get better. I already have it waiting on my nightstand!

My Rating: 2.5/5 stars

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