Suspicious Minds by Author Christy Barritt

I recently finished reading the second book in Christy Barritt’s Squeaky Clean Mystery Series, Suspicious Minds. What fun! I thoroughly enjoyed this novel.

Hazardous Duty, the first book in the series, introduced readers to crime scene cleaner Gabby St. Claire. In Suspicious Minds, Gabby takes on a job doing mold remediation in order to pay the bills. On her first day, she discovers a dead Elvis impersonator in the crawlspace under the house. Of course Gabby can’t resist trying to solve the murder. After all, she’s studying to be a forensic scientist. In the meantime her would-be rival, Chad Davis, turns on the charm. There’s also an ex-boyfriend and a current boyfriend in the mix to complicate Gabby’s life even more!

Gabby is a quick witted, fearless young woman. She’s not perfect, has baggage that she still carries, and struggles with the whole God thing. I’d like to hang out with Gabby and the assortment of quirky friends and people who live in her building.

The story is fast paced with a wonderful blend of humor, mystery, and romance. Christy has also done a wonderful job of weaving in a message that will be sure to touch every reader.

After reading Suspicious Minds, I asked Christy a few questions…

I’m a fan of the TV series, CSI. I’ve also enjoyed the alphabet mystery novel series by Susan Grafton, one being “H” is for Homicide. In Grafton’s books the main character, Kinsey Millhone, is a private investigator. Suspicious Minds is a wonderful blend of the two, but Suspicious Minds also includes the spiritual element. What inspired you to create Gabby’s character?

I was writing an article for a publication and one of the topics they were interested in was crime scene cleaners. Up until that point, I had no idea that crime scene cleaners even existed. I started chewing on the idea of having a protagonist in a mystery novel being a crime scene cleaner. Plus, I loved CSI and thought I could combine that aspect into the novel also. The ideas just grew from there! I can’t explain exactly how Gabby grew. I’ve always loved quirky characters and I love music. Readers can see some of that in Gabby!

How did you research the job of a crime scene cleaner?

I read tons and tons of articles. But the best research I did was sitting down for coffee with a real life crime scene cleaner. He had great stories to tell and answered my endless questions. I’m also friends with one of the medical examiners here in Virginia and she helps me with some of the forensic details. I’m NOT scientifically minded, at all, so I tried to be careful and make sure I got all of my details correct!

What would you like readers to take away from reading Suspicious Minds?

Number one, I want them to be entertained! I don’t write that to sound shallow, but isn’t that what every good story does? It draws people from their current world into someone else’s life, if just for a moment. But I also wanted people to reflect on the issues of loneliness and isolation. I feel like these two issues are only going to become more serious in the coming years, as technology makes it easier and easier for us to never really interact with people. People are even going to church online now! That’s just crazy to me. I know that loneliness is something I’ve dealt with myself as a writer. But as Christians—and as humans, for that matter—being around other people is so important. I hope the book makes people reexamine their own lives in that way.

I can’t wait to find out what happens next to Gabby and her friends. When can we look for the next book in the series to come out?

I wish I had a definite date to give you! I’m working on the book right now. It’s tentatively titled Organized Grime and I’m having a blast writing it. The mystery revolves around Gabby’s best friend, Sierra, who gets caught up in the wrong crowd. Things get pretty bad for her, especially when the FBI gets involved. I’m hoping to have a date for the book’s release from my publisher this fall. I’ll keep you updated!

Thanks, Christy!

Christy Barritt is the author of several books. She’s also a frequent speaker and freelance writer whose byline has appeared on hundreds of articles. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications and psychology from Cincinnati Christian University. She lives with her husband and son in Virginia.

To learn more about Christy Barritt and her work, please visit her website at
Have fun reading!

Why Do Writers Write?

Why do writers write?

Is it for fame?
Very few become “known.”

Is it for wealth?
Unless you’re J.K Rowling, Stephen King, or the newly acclaimed author of the Twilight series, Stephenie Meyer – you’ll probably never make a fortune. Most writers hold down other jobs in order to supplement their income.

Is it because of a deep-seeded need to leave a legacy? Possibly.

Then why?

After all . . . writers spend countless hours at their computers pouring out their stories, their thoughts, and their hearts . . . only to be often told their article or novel isn’t good enough, not marketable, or any number of reasons why the editor can’t or won’t publish the work.

Some deal with friends and family not understanding why they’d put so much time into a “hobby, or so much effort into something that doesn’t yield immediate financial rewards.

Ask any writer and they’ll tell you why.

It’s because we can’t not write.

It’s in our blood, our genetic make-up . . . our spiritual DNA.

I like how Diane Fromme - a writer in Fort Collins, Colorado - put it when she wrote a slogan for a bumper sticker.

Writer: One who brings life to words and words to life.

Why do writers write?

The truth is . . . deep down we have a desire to make a difference. We believe that if our stories – our words – can bring even one person to be:




brought to laughter

provoked to think about life and people differently

or given a reprieve from the day’s struggles

then we’ve done our job.

We’ve used our God-given gift and done what we’re called to do.

That’s why a writer writes.


Road Construction Ahead

Road construction here.
Road construction there.
Road construction everywhere!

It’s summer. And summer brings with it even slower traffic, torn up pavement, and the need to maneuver around orange barrels.

It seems to be worse this year. No matter which road I take to work, I’m forced to pay attention to signs telling me to stop, drive slowly, or take a detour.

I try not to become frustrated, but there are days when it’s very difficult not to arrive at my destination weary of the hassle.

One day I actually had to use my cell phone to reschedule an appointment – twice – because I was delayed by two hours!

Okay, maybe that’s the exception.

But, it seems to take forever to complete improvements to our roads and highways. In the meantime, we plod along.

Instead of grumbling, I know that I should focus on the end result, which will help make travel – and my life – more pleasant.

Like road construction, most things that are beneficial come from hard work and sacrifice. They also take time to come to fruition.

You can’t obtain a college education within a week.

You can’t lose ten pounds without sacrificing favorite foods and sticking to exercise, regardless of how much you’d like to.

You can’t find your dream job without exerting time and energy into preparing yourself, and then actually applying for that position.

If you have somewhere you want to go in life, think about road construction.

The road may be bumpy and it may take you a long time to arrive, but hang in there.

The end of the journey will be worth it.


Fire Rainbow

Isn’t this photo amazing!

On June 3, 2006, these clouds hung for about an hour across a several-hundred mile area of sky above northern Idaho (near the Washington border).

I'd never heard of fire rainbows before receiving an email this week that included the above photo. So, I did a little research...

Fire rainbows are the rarest of all occurring atmospheric phenomenon. They appear when the sun is higher than 58 degrees above the horizon and light passes through high altitude cirrus clouds made up of hexagonal plate crystals.

Sunlight enters the crystal’s vertical side faces and leaves through the bottom faces refracted, as it would through a prism. The light is separated into a rainbow of color.

An awesome display appears in the sky!

I believe God uses creation to share His glory and greatness.

I believe nature’s beauty is given out of love and is a reminder that God is always with us.

I believe the strength of an ocean wave, the wind of a thunderstorm, and a blizzard leaving people housebound, remind us that we don’t have to worry about being in control—because He is.

It’s easy to get distracted and miss God revealing Himself at every turn.

How often do you push through our day without thinking for a nanosecond about what’s around you?

The next time you start to feel down, discouraged, or hopeless...


And remember the fire rainbow…


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