Aparna (inspirethoughts) wrote,

Book Critique 2016 – 03/20/2016: Raiders of the Lost Corset (Crime of Fashion, #4)

Continuing with the critiques I started in 2015, here is the next in series – a book review.
Prologue: Go here.
For review of books in the entire series: Go here.

Stars: 3.5 / 5
Recommendation: An easy mystery read that is weaved through the world of fashion, style and dressing from the view point of a fashion stylist.

Raiders of the Lost Corset is the fourth instalment in the Crime of Fashion Series by Ellen Byerrum published in July of 2006. Lacey Smithsonian - the heroine of the series - works for the paper The Eye Street Observer as a fashion reporter in Washington, D.C. - a city she keeps calling as "The City Fashion Forgot". She tangles herself again in a mystery involving a lost corset stolen from a Russian princess in the 1912 massacre and murder of her good friend. Lacey sounds more and more like Jessica Fletcher from Murder, She Wrote - wherever Jessica goes, a murder happens and promptly she gets involved in solving it. Interesting life, this Lacey leads. :)

Magda Rousseau was a master corsetiere, one of the last practicing almost dying art of accentuating (or creating) the alluring curves of the female form with laces and stays. However, Lacey finds her in between all her baubles lying on her sofa mumbling and commanding her to "Find the corset" even though she is poisoned. Shortly after she dies taking a promise from Lacey that he would indeed find the corset. Later when Detective Broadway Lamont arrives on the scene - whom she constantly runs into - notices that Magda is stabbed as well.

Who wants to poison and stab Magda? Who have taken the corset - one that is worth millions as it is infamous for being sewn with hidden imperial jewels, lost since 1912? Where is Analiza Zarina - a Latvian and co-owner of the shop? What happened to her? What happened to the missing broach that Magda always wore? Is there any hidden meaning to the quirky theatrical expressions that Magda always used - "Bloody thread, knock 'em dead"; "Bloody stitch,  all get rich"; "Bloody dress, get good press"? Has this have to do anything with Magda's search for a legendry jewel-filled corset worn by one of the Russian imperial princesses during the execution of the entire Romanov family in July of 1917 in Ekaterinburg, Russia?

Magda had mentioned to Lacey that one of the corset was spirited away on that bloody night by a Latvian solder named Juris Akmentins , who was her maternal grandfather and later on moved to France and hid the corset there. Since Magda couldn’t afford to go to France and wanted it to be found, she had asked Lacey to do the search instead. And Mac, her editor had approved her trip to France, completely funded by the paper. With Magda's demise her determination to find the corset and find the murderer increases ten-fold. And now she is off to Paris, France with her friend Brooke Barton to unravel all the mystery behind the infamous corset. It would be a good break for her from Vic as well considering their puzzling end to their romance.

Another easy murder-mystery read tying up all the elements of fashion together beautifully. And the fashion bites and columns by Lacey continue to spur interest in me. Signing-off with the tidbit from Lacey's Fashion Bites that she writes for The Eye.

Lacey Smithsonian's Fashion Bites:  Welcome to Tonight's Thrilling Episode of What Will I Wear Tomorrow?

We all need fewer clothes that work better and harder (Or bigger closets.) Always thin the herd of the weaker specimens. Be ruthless. One way to be sure you'll always know what to wear tomorrow is to get rid of the clothes that don’t work for you today, especially the sneaky ones that turn on you in the middle of the afternoon.
Tags: books, crime of fashion, critique by amateur, reviews

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