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Hazardous Duty by Christy Barritt

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Review of Hazardous Duty

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The Advocate

Hazardous Duty
by Christy Barritt

Reviewed by Heather R. Hunt

"...an action-packed, romance-tinged, who-dunit with suspenseful moments, comic relief and some nifty surprises."

Christy Barritt’s Hazardous Duty announces a promising new writer for the chick lit mystery lover. Mixing Kristin Billerbeck’s attitude with Lorena McCourtney’s plots, Barritt’s new novel has plenty to please readers of either author.

Heroine Gabby St. Claire has an unusual profession: crime scene cleaner. Strange, yes, but not so much when you realize that it’s as close as she could get to her preferred profession: forensic specialist. Which she would’ve been if she’d stuck out that last semester of college despite the family problems that intervened. She’s determined to finish her degree someday, but in the mean time she’s got rent to pay and her alcoholic father to support.

Despite these delays in achieving her dream job, Gabby manages to do what she can after the experts have gathered their evidence and called her in to clean up the clueless mess. Like Ivy Malone, Gabby has a nose for nasty clues that the professionals overlook. She’s frustrated, however, by the local policeman on the case, Hollywood glamorous though he may be, who doesn’t take her evidence or her theories seriously.

Adding to the confusion is the romantic triangle that begins when Gabby finds herself attracted to this handsome though patronizing law officer. Then a new roommate moves in across the hall, who is boyishly charming AND supportive of her crazy investigations, though clearly hiding some mysteries of his own. Gabby soon finds herself vacillating between two very different men.

Hazardous Duty is an action-packed, romance-tinged, who-dunnit with suspenseful moments, comic relief, and some nifty surprises. While Barritt’s characterizations don’t yet have the smooth naturalness of Billerbeck’s or McCourtney’s, she’s certainly set the scene for more exploits and character revelations to come. Unfortunately, there’s no indication on the book jacket that there will be more stories. Let’s hope there are.

In the mean time, check out this page turner. You won’t find it “hazardous” or a “duty” to follow the misadventures of Gabby St. Claire.

Heather R. HuntHeather R. Hunt is a business editor in Connecticut. For fun she reads, writes, cheers on the Red Sox, and enjoys tennis and cycling. She also co-leads a local tea party and enjoys holding government officials and media outlets accountable. Check out her blogs, The View from Stonewater and Connecticut for Sarah Palin.