Deadly Blessings

Julie A. Hyzy, Author . Five Star $25.95 (347p) ISBN 978-1-59414-290-1

In Hyzy's debut cozy, the latest assignment for 30ish researcher Alexandrine "Alex" St. James, who works for a Chicago TV news show, leads to an exposé of area hair salons, one of which turns out to be a front for a prostitution ring. Meanwhile, Alex's live-in lover proves to be a cad, but a new hunk at work seems interested in keeping company with her after office hours. Some of the details we learn about Alex feel extraneous, as if Hyzy plopped a writing-workshop character development exercise in the middle of the book (why we're introduced to her sister with Williams syndrome, for example, is never made entirely clear). While the ultimate (titular) connections between the prostitution ring and the Catholic Church are timely, the hints of anti-Catholic propaganda, à la Maria Monk, may leave a bad taste in some readers' mouths. Blurbs from Carolyn Hart and Annette Meyers, however, will alert their fans to a new author who, hopefully, will improve with practice. (June 10)

Reviewed on: 05/23/2005
Release date: 06/01/2005
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