Murder 101 by Maggie Barbieri
Booklist called this "a gentle academic mystery".
I guess it's "academic" because the protagonist, Allison Bergeron, is a professor of English literature at a small Catholic college in the Bronx.
I'm not sure about "gentle", either. The book begins with Allison having to take the train to work because her car has been stolen. A visit from a pair of detectives informs her that the car has been recovered.... with the body of one of her students in the trunk. Allison is kidnapped at gunpoint more than once during the course of the novel, and suffers cuts, scrapes and concussions.
Despite Booklist's appellation, it's a good read. (And a quick read; I finished it in a day.) Allison is a likeable protagonist. My clumsy self especially identifies with her.
I found the ending a little disappointing, but apparently this is the first book in a new series, so hopefully it's a set-up for the sequel.