Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Book Review: Hazardous Duty by Christy Barritt

Hazardous Duty: Squeaky Clean Mysteries, Book 1
By Christy Barritt
Publisher: River Heights
Published: Jan. 5, 2014

Amazon Synopsis:

Buying a gun to kill your wife: $3,000 
Hiring Trauma Care to clean afterward: $1,500 
Having that same cleaner uncover evidence that frames you: Priceless 

On her way to completing a degree in forensic science, Gabby St. Claire drops out of school and 
starts her own crime scene cleaning business. “Yeah, that’s me,” she says, “a crime scene cleaner. People waiting in line behind me who strike up conversations always regret it.” 

When a routine cleaning job uncovers a murder weapon the police overlooked, she realizes that the wrong person is in jail. But the owner of the weapon is a powerful foe . . . and willing to do anything to keep Gabby quiet. 

With the help of her new neighbor, Riley Thomas, a man whose life and faith fascinate her, Gabby plays the detective to make sure the right person is put behind bars. Can Riley help her before another murder occurs? 

Book Links

My Thoughts:

Gabby St. quit school one semester shy of becoming a forensic scientist when she dropped out in order to support her father after the death of her mother. She decided to start her own business as a crime scene cleaner so that she could work in a job that was related to her field of interest. While on a call, she discovered evidence that could clear the accused of murder and point the finger at a very public figure. Unfortunately, Officer Parker won’t listen to her. That same day someone tried to burn her alive at the scene of the murder and frame her assistant, so Gabby decided to take matters into her own hands and work the case herself.

Hazardous Duty is a mystery/suspense novel with romantic and humorous elements. This is also classified as a Christian novel. I found the Christian element to be fairly understated. The main character is not a Christian and in fact is turned off of Christianity. I think that non-Christians will not find the book too preachy.

Gabby is very strong-willed and opinionated. Her opinions and strong will often put her in danger as she does the opposite of what others advise her to do or what common sense suggests.

We are not shown much of the science that Gabby loves so much as a forensic scientist, but I believe that is because this novel is intended to be a cozy mystery and a light read. I did find it curious that several of the comments that Officer Parker made to Gabby sounded very threatening, and I think she probably could have charged him with threatening her, yet she still finds herself attracted to him. What does that say about her judgement?

I enjoyed the main characters in Hazardous Duty and happy to know that this is only the first of several in this series. I look forward to getting to know the characters better in each of the books in this series.

This novel was totally clean in language and free from sexual scenes.

There are lots of plot twists and surprises in this book and lots of good fun. I gave Hazardous Duty 3 stars out of 5. Lovers of cozy mysteries will enjoy this novel.

I got this book on Amazon in order to review it.

About the Author:

Christy Barritt is an author, freelance writer and speaker who lives in Virginia. She’s married to her Prince Charming, a man who thinks she’s hilarious—but only when she’s not trying to be. Christy’s a self-proclaimed klutz, an avid music lover who’s known for spontaneously bursting into song, and a road trip aficionado. She’s only won one contest in her life—and her prize was kissing a pig (okay, okay… actually she did win the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Suspense and Mystery also). Her current claim to fame is showing off her mother, who looks just like former First Lady Barbara Bush.

When she’s not working or spending time with her family, she enjoys singing, playing the guitar, and exploring small, unsuspecting towns where people have no idea how accident prone she is.

Author Links
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