Tuesday, October 22, 2013

IT Can Be Dangerous / Ita Ryan

Reviewed by: BigAl

Genre: Mystery

Approximate word count: 80-85,000 words

Kindle  US: YES  UK: YES  Nook: NO  Smashwords: NO  Paper: NO
Click on a YES above to go to appropriate page in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords store


“Ita Ryan was born in Dublin before the iPad was invented.

In her earlier youth she had to meet people at pre-arranged locations at pre-determined times because no-one had a mobile phone.

She managed to scrape through University without the aid of Google, and became a computer programmer because she was so bored.

She started writing once she could touch-type fast enough.

Now all is well. She has Facebook and Twitter accounts and a Samsung Galaxy SIII.

She is toying with the idea of joining Pinterest, but she's not a very good cook.”

For more, visit Ryan’s website.


“Cynthia's had a rough day.

And now she's found Nathan's body.

This could impact negatively on her performance review. Not to mention that the police obviously suspect her, seeing as how she has no alibi and was sitting outside his office when he was murdered.

There's only one thing to do before she's arrested and banged up - find the killer herself. How hard can that be? Her friends offer to help, and she has a hotline to Nathan's son. No bother.

Soon Cynthia's exploits arouse the ire of the enigmatic Superintendent in charge of the case. She can handle that, but then she attracts the murderer's attention...”


If you look at the title and wonder what IT is and whether there is a typo, IT is Information Technology (computers), not the word it in all caps. I work in IT in my day job, yet kept looking at the title (even after I figured it out) and getting confused again, so I suspect others will make the same mistake.

Cynthia is a programmer in the IT department. After working late one day she discovers Nathan, her boss, was murdered while she was sitting at her desk, just outside his office door. Although notorious among her co-workers for being oblivious to what is happening in the office when she’s focused on a problem, Cynthia is convinced the police are going to try pinning the murder on her, unless she can find the culprit first.

IT Can Be Dangerous should appeal to fans of cozy mysteries. With several viable suspects (Nathan wasn’t a very popular person) Cynthia has a plethora of people to investigate and try to rule out.

I had a few nitpicky issues with the story - the way a poker tournament in one scene is described was, at a minimum, unconventional, and there was at least one technical error in the author’s description of the play of poker. But those were minor and more than offset by getting the details right in other areas, for example how an IT department functions. The characters, even the more minor office mates, were well drawn and realistic.

As for whodunit, the clues were all there, but I never suspected until the culprit was revealed at the climax. For me, that is the acid test of a good murder mystery, to keep me guessing until the end while feeling that the clues I needed to solve the puzzle were there, if only I’d managed putting them together.


Some adult language.

Uses UK spelling conventions and a significant amount of UK (or possibly Irish) slang.

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues.

Rating: **** Four stars

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