In Maggie Barbieri's fourth Murder 101 Mystery, Professor Alison Bergeron, a literature teacher at a small Catholic college in New York, finds herself neck deep in trouble when she's told she must replace the mysteriously missing Resident Director (RD) in one of the school's dormitories.
Alison is loathe to give up her home, her dog, and more importantly her steamy romantic evenings with NYPD Detective Bobby Crawford for the rest of the school year, but she grudgingly agrees when she's reminded that her chances of tenure depend on it. Minutes after arriving in the musty dormitory room her toilet explodes, and when Detective Crawford investigates--probing to his armpit in the drain beneath the toilet--he discovers a large cache of heroin.
Despite being warned off by faculty heads who fear her involvement in more campus mayhem and murder, Alison resolves to find the missing RD and connect him to the drugs. Being knocked unconscious, kidnapped, and nearly murdered doesn't stop her. Not even an encounter with the school's dreaded Sister Mary scares her off. Fearlessly, Alison pursues the miscreant, often involving her friends and students in hilarious, hare-brained role-playing schemes. Even the "hot pants" detective finds himself occasionally going along for the ride.
Final Exam is a fast moving, easy to read cozy, packed with laugh-out-loud humor, unpredictable scenarios, and quirky but likable characters. You can't even hate the bad guys. Returning characters, including a flamboyant roommate and a friendly golden retriever, add color, drama, and the occasional "in-the nick-of-time" assistance. A romp of a read that's enjoyable to the end.