MURDER 101 written and directed by Bill Condon (who would later grab an Oscar for GODS AND MONSTERS) is a great little movie that I had never heard of. Suffice to say, Condon's neat little script gives us two big surprises at the end. The murderer is hard to spot and the ending is just "Wow, did I just see what I think I saw?"
At any rate, Pierce Brosnan in his pre Bond days stars as a best-selling crime writer who teaches a class in how to write the perfect crime novel. Brosnan gained famed writing a true crime thriller that sent his friend to prison for murdering his wife. Brosnan returns to teaching, to meet his estranged wife, played sweetly by Dey Young, who has taken up with another professor, played smarmily by Mark L. Taylor (Fangs). Another friend of his is Detective Mike Dowley (played with a surly masculinity by Antoni Carone). Soon, though, things take a demonic twist when Pierce is set up for murder by one of his students. Rachel Sbarge in a crafty performance seems to be the one who is setting him up.
The pace is good; the script witty and inventive; and overall, a tidy, surprising mystery.