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michellesutton.netIf you like murder mysteries and suspense with a chick-lit feel, you'll want to read this one!
— Michelle Sutton
As an author and writing instructor, I tend to be a very critical reader, but this book passed every test. Christy Barritt is an extremely talented writer, capturing my attention with her opening line and retaining it until the conclusion of her noteworthy novel, Hazardous Duty. I adored the characters, enjoyed the fast-paced, intricately-woven murder mystery, and appreciated the perfect amount of well-written dialogue. Her protagonist is strong, yet lovable, with a unique career, and the author¿s voice is distinctive and wonderful. I cannot wait to read more of her works. This book belongs at the top of any fiction reader¿s list.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 12, 2007
I loved this book! Christy's debut mystery is witty, kooky, and gripping all at the same time. Gabby is an intriquing amateur sleuth with a bizarre vocation. Lots of great characters and unexpected twists hooked me from the first line. It kept me turning the pages until the end. I sure hope there is a sequel in the oven. HAZARDOUS DUTY is a delicious recipe for spine-tingling fun.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 11, 2007
Christy Barritt has written a wonderful pager turning book. It is very difficult to put down. A few things could have been written better or explained further, but it is easy to look past those things and delve right into the plot. Overall I would read this book again in a heartbeat and probably will! As a big fan of Dee Henderson and Susan Mae Warren, I highly recommend this book!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 17, 2006
Gabby took me by surprise. I'm used to reading more serious Christian fiction, so Gabby's dry & witty humor took a bit of getting used to. But it didn't take long before she felt like a friend and I became immersed in her story. Hazordous Duty is fast paced, light hearted, and keeps you guessing. Gabby moves from one tribulation to another, barely getting out of one scrape, before landing in another. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series, to find out what Gabby decides, on several fronts. I'd recommend this to anyone who enjoys a mystery without the intensity of the 'darker side' details, and especially for those who love tongue in cheek humor, mixed with a very good story.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 14, 2006
'Hazardous Duty' engaged me from the first page. Gabby St. Claire, who studied forensics in college but dropped out before finishing her degree, now works as a crime scene cleaner. At a murder scene, she uncovers a clue that the police missed. That sends her on a wild adventure, along with a doubting detective and two friendly neighbors who stand by her through it all. I loved this wise-cracking, musical-loving narrator heroine. I enjoyed watching her outwit the crime solving 'experts.' I appreciated the details about the Tidewater area. Most of all, I just had fun reading it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 13, 2007
Some women have interesting careers. Some women have interesting neighbors and friends. Then there are the women with active imaginations and creative minds. And very few women face a murderer and find God. Gabby St. Claire has all that and more. For Gabby, life as a crime-scene cleaner is far from glamorous. her days are spent cleaning up other people's messes and trying to think of a jingle to advertise her business. How exactly does one advertise cleaning up a murder scene? When a routine cleanup uncovers a murder weapon her inquisitive nature takes over. Lessons learned in forensics school become invaluable as she becomes self-made sleuth. Sure she knows who the murderer is and equally sure Detective parker does not care she noses around on her own. With the help of a good looking new neighbor she uncovers a trail pointing directly to her suspect. And he is not the man the police have in custody. Her perseverance almost causes her to be the next victim. Will Riley, the neighbor or Detective parker save her? If you want a calm, peaceful read, this is not the book. The action begins on page one and continues until the end. The characters grab. The mystery intrigues. And gabby's mixture of stubborn boldness and humor compel you to read more. Clear your calendar, you won't stop reading.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 4, 2007
Gabby St. Claire dropped out of school to be a forensic criminologist and starts, for her what seems the closest occupation to her dreams, a crime-scene cleaner. When she is assigned to clean the house of a powerful senator whose wife has been brutally murdered, she finds evidence that convinces her that the senator himself is guilty of the crime. But another man has already been arrested and jailed. She confronts the investigating detective who is bent on disbelieving her theories. Gabby¿s resolve is heightened when her assistant is charged with burglarizing the crime scene. In her pursuit of truth, her own life is threatened. When Gabby meets her new neighbor, the attractive Riley Thomas, her atheistic beliefs are challenged. Riley, an attorney and a man of faith, helps Gabby in her determination to spring her innocent assistant and to nail the right suspect for the crime. Both adventurous and humorous, Christy Barret has woven a fun tale of suspense through the eyes of a spunky CSI wannabe. Recommended reading for anyone.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 14, 2006
When Gabby St. Claire's Crime Scene Clean-up business takes on a job, you might be getting more than you bargained for...and so does she in Hazardous Duty. A mystery/suspense with a chick-lit, smart aleck - but engaging character, who will keep you riveted to the very end!!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 22, 2006
Definitely a fun read. While Gabby St. Claire is cleaning a crime scene, she uncovers evidence pointing toward someone other than the suspect being held in jail. The closer she gets to the truth, the more suspenseful, and dangerous, things become. As if trying to avoid being killed isn't enough, she finds herself torn between two men who are interested in her. One of whom practices a faith in God that intrigues her and the other looks like Brad Pitt in a police uniform. Christy Barritt has written the first in what I hope is many Gabby adventures. I look forward to seeing where her interest in Christianity, and her love life, takes her. - Cynthia Hickey, authorWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 29, 2009
I didn't know you could make such a difficult subject so funny. I guess it would be like writing comedy from an undertaker's perspective. You'd have to find something amusing about your icky job to make it bearable. Gabby begins the story cleaning a crime scene and picking up fragments of the murder victim's skull while mentally composing jingles to promote her business. Then she discovers evidence that the crime scene investigators missed and everything goes downhill from there. She keeps feeling ignored by the people who were supposed to be solving the crime and thus decides to figure it out herself, making matters worse for herself with each new discovery. The romantic tension in the story is fabulous as well. I felt for Gabby when she finally started feeling close to a man and then a monkey wrench was thrown in. Poor Gabby felt like a 'project' and not a person when her hopes were dashed. And that near-kiss was amazingly-well done. The best part of this story (besides the amazing sarcastic humor and hot guys) was that I wasn't any more sure of the true killer's identity than Gabby was. Her conclusions made sense, but then little tidbits of evidence detracted from her conclusions and made her more confused. Then when the killer is revealed, it makes sense, but I never suspected the person whodunit! So though this story had suspense/thriller moments, it also had a cozy chick-lit feel to me because an amateur was trying to solve a murder. The author did a fantastic job engaging the reader and thickening the plot. This was a top-notch suspense, in my opinion. It had all of the elements of the perfect novel. The fact that I kept feeling drawn to read it and stayed up to the wee hours last night to finish the story tells me it's at the top of my list. In fact, I dare say I enjoyed it even more than Hell in a Briefcase. If you like murder mysteries and suspense with a chick-lit feel, you'll want to read this one!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 1, 2007
Posted January 2, 2007
This story is told in first person from the perspective of Gabby St. Claire, a slightly off-beat, lyric spouting free spirit who lives in the Virginia Beach area. Her voice is slightly sarcastic and direct with a clear love for all kinds of lyrics. She lives in an apartment surrounded by equally unique free-spirits who keep her life interesting. The book opens with Gabby and her assistant Harold at the home of an attorney who is running for senate ¿ it isn¿t clear whether it¿s for state or US. The reason they are there is that his wife was murdered there and someone needs to clean up the mess. After her assistant leaves for the night, Gabby finishes cleaning up and in the process discovers a gun that she¿s convinced is the murder weapon. Before she can get out of the house, someone sets it on fire and she has to fight for her life. From that point on, her desire to be a Nancy Drew, CSI expert trumps Gabby¿s ability to stay out of the way of the police investigation. Her neighbors help her with her investigation when her assistant is arrested for arson and attempted murder ¿ hers. The book is well written with a plot that moves quickly from mishap to attempted murder to run in with the detective assigned to the case. In the middle of everything else, Gabby finds herself interested in one of her neighbors. Even that can¿t go smoothly though. I really enjoyed this book. It was well written, but there were a couple points where research snafus caused me to stop reading for a minute as I argued with the character. If you're looking for a first person whodunit, you'll enjoy this book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 29, 2009
I knew this book was going to be interesting when I sat down to lunch with the book, opened up the first page, read the first line and promptly had to spit out my lunch. Fragments of skull and grilled chicken do not mix. Gaby St. Clair is a crime scene cleaner. During one of her jobs, she discovers what appears to be the real murder weapon. Since the police don't believe her at first, Gaby tries to find the real killer on her own. Along the way, amid several death attempts, she and her cute neighbor try to unravel whose actually behind all these sinister doings. I knew knew there was such a job as a crime scene cleaner. Well obviously I realized that someone had to clean up the mess, but I didn't think that there could be such a profitable business doing it. I definitely couldn't do that job, my stomach couldn't handle it. This book ended up being a quick read because I couldn't put it down. This book isn't preachy at all. I felt it showed accurately how a frustrated a non-Christian could get with trying to understand how and why God acts. Why is though that guys always have perfect ex-girlfriends? Sure, they may saw she has a lot of flaws, but you never get to see them. I liked Gaby's reaction, because it's exactly how I would have acted. Something else I personally enjoyed was the fact that I was familiar with all the settings in the book because I'm from that area! Normally books take place in New York, Chicago, LA, places where I have to use my imagination just to picture the setting. This time, I've been to Freemason Abbey, the Bier Garten, Scope, ODU Gaby even takes a trip to my city. So it was great to see local places keep popping up. I'm looking forward to Gaby's next adventure and also seeing how her relationships are going to end up.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 12, 2009
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