November 13, 2012

Review: Hazardous Duty by Christy Barritt

Hazardous Duty
Hazardous Duty (Christian mystery) (Squeaky Clean Mysteries)

About the Book:

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?

My Thoughts:

You know a book will be pretty good when the first sentence is: "Whistling a tune from Fiddler on the Roof, I used my tweezers to work a piece of Gloria Cunningham's skull out of the sky blue wall." Gabby is hilarious! She has an insatiable curiosity for mysteries and finding out what really happened. She's never afraid to venture into scary territory in order to find her answers either. And let me tell you, she ventures all kinds of places and meets all kinds of people. When the building she's cleaning is set on fire right after she finds some evidence the police missed and she barely makes it out in time, she's sure that something is amiss. Of course the police don't want to listen to someone who 'fancies herself Nancy Drew', so Gabby begins investigating on her own (always telling the police what she finds out of course...well, sometimes). From her only employee getting arrested to a pipe bomb left at her front door, Gabby has a lot on her plate in just a few days time. And certainly the crime scene cleaning must go on, a girls gotta eat, right? With a cast of characters for neighbors, such as Sierra the vegan animal rights' activist, Mrs. Morgan the mystery writer who hardly ever leaves her apartment, Bill newly divorced and mad at women when he's drunk, and new guy Riley who says he's between jobs, Gabby has plenty of mystery and mayhem at home also. One thing that helps make crime and being accused of it easier, is having good friends around who will believe in you no matter what.

I don't normally read mysteries, but this one caught my eye and I decided to try it. Gabby is so likeable and so funny that it made the tension of the mystery easier to bear. And it never ceased to amuse me that Gabby kept finding pieces of evidence that the police somehow overlooked. No wonder they were frustrated with her, she made me them look bad! A good mystery, great characters, and a bad-guys-lose ending, with just a smidgen of unanswered questions to make you want to read the next book. Because yes, this is a trilogy. But no huge cliff-hangers! So yay for that. :) Read it!

A couple passages for you:

I'd always had a penchant for mysteries, starting in seventh grade when I deduced that old lady Jones across the street had sneaked a dead body from her house under the guise of rolled carpet. I decided to keep an eye on her and quickly discovered she had a habit of cleaning in the nude. I concluded spying was better left to the professionals.

I could hear Harry Connick Jr. singing it now...no, better yet, Julie Andrews. I closed my eyes as a melody that sounded vaguely reminiscent of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" came to mind.
"If you've been shot, if you've been stabbed, if blood on your walls says, "Someone's been bad." Trauma Care is the-e-ere for you."

And guess what? Right now, the ebook version is $2.99 on Amazon! That's a great deal! :)




Toodle-loo kangaroos! Happy reading!

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