Publication Date: February 7, 2012
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: Paperback, 328pp
(Received for an honest review from Obsidian Mystery)
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound
Ellen Byerrum on the WEB: website, blog, facebook, twitter
Books in the series: The Killer Hair (2003), Designer Knockoff (2004), Hostile Makeover (2005), Raiders of the Lost Corset (2006), Grave Apparel (2007), Armed and Glamorous (2008), Shot Through Velvet (2011), Death on Heels (2012)
CoverArt: Click on the picture for a larger, clearer image of the covers in this image.
Excerpt from Death on Heels
Home of the helmet hairdo and congressional comb-over, Washington, D.C. is a hotbed of fashion faux pas. If anyone should know, it's "Crime of Fashion" columnist Lacey Smithsonian. She dishes out advice to the scandal-scorched and clothing-clueless doing her part to change this town - one fashion victim at a time...
MURDERS GOT NO SOLE
When fashion reporter Lacey Smithsonian moved to Washington, D.C. from the rugged small town of Sagebrush, Colorado, she thought she'd never look back. But when her former boyfriend cattle rancher Cole Tucker is arrested for the murders of three women Lacey digs her cowboy boots out of her closet and hops on the next plane. She is certain of Tucker's innocence - until he abducts her during a daring courthouse escape. Is Tucker capable of murder too? Or, is there a larger conspiracy? Lacey needs to rustle up all the help she can get for this case before her old flame is snuffed out for good...
LACEY'S FASHION TIP OF THE DAY
Beware of killer heels: the ones you wear and the ones you date. Choose high heels that fit and lift your spirits and kick those other heels to the curb!
The eighth Crime of Fashion novel, Death on Heels is a whodunit that will be extremely satisfying for fans of the series. Ellen Byerrum takes readers into heroine Lacey Smithsonian's past in this book and explores who Lacey was before she became a fashion reporter and top-notch amateur sleuth. Byerrum's quick wit and eccentric characters give this one an over-the-top atmosphere that will appeal readers new and old. Fans of the series will love it and new readers will be ready to jump on the band wagon.
Lacey Smithsonian has an eye for fashion and murder. She's quirky, full of passion for her work and extremely loyal to those she believes in. A long time ago she left Stagebrush, Colorado and rancher Cole Tucker behind, but now that he has been accused of three murders, Lacey returns to her old stomping grounds to prove Cole's innocence. Byerrum does such a wonderful job with characterization in her novels. The entire Crime of Fashion series, boasts a very realistic, multi-faceted cast and Death on Heels is a great example of that. Not only does the reader get to read about Lacey's normal gang, but some well written characters from her past as well.
The secondary cast of this novel is just as well thought out and developed as the main character. Everyone from Lacey's mom to her new latest boyfriend Vic are full of life and move the story along at a great pace. Cole is also a character that really shines. Here's a guy that's being wrongly accused of murder, someone who is desperate to prove he didn't do it. So desperate he kidnaps Lacey and makes a jail break. I just loved him. He was brassy and confident and had alpha male written all over him. I almost like him as much or better than Vic (I probably shouldn't have said that... LOL)
This is a long standing series that has a lot of fans and I think readers who have followed the series from the beginning will love this one. But new readers will also be able to pick this one up and read and enjoy it even if they haven't read any of the other seven. Byerrum always makes her books good stand alone's as well as a part of a series. She gives enough background to get the reader up to speed without ruining what has come before or bogging the reader down with too much information. There's something to be said for just the right balance.
The mystery aspect of this story was well written and very interesting. The list of suspects had reason and motive to want Cole out of the picture. Lacey had a darn good reason for investigating, as Cole is a former lover and still a good friend. The author throws in a few red herrings to throw readers off the track and keep them guessing til the final pages and then WHAM, she lets the reader have it full tilt in the last few chapters. I loved it and look forward to more from Byerrum. The Fashion Bites were also hilarious but I missed having a few of Felicities recipes to try out! Not one you want to miss if you are a cozy fan... this series rocks!
Death on Heels is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
Ellen Byerrum is a journalist in Washington, D.C., and a produced and published playwright. She holds a Virginia private investigator's registration. A Colorado native, she lives in Virginia with her husband.
The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Death on Heels by Ellen Byerrum.
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