Aparna (inspirethoughts) wrote,

Book Critique 2016 – 03/26/2016: Death on Heels (A Crime of Fashion Mystery #8)

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.

Death on Heels is the eighth installment in the Crime of Fashion series by Ellen Byerrum published in February of 2012. This time around Lacey Smithsonian gets involved with her ex-boyfriend, cattle rancher Cole Tucker when he is arrested.

Lacey Smithsonian had moved from her hometown Sagebrush, Colorado to Washington, D.C. not only for her career but also to get away from the small town gossip, Vic Donovan (at that time she wanted to get away) and vowed never to look back.  However when her ex-boyfriend who had wanted to marry her was arrested for murders of three women, she takes it upon herself to go back to that town and help Tucker. She didn’t believe that Tucker could be a killer at all. And to prove that she not only needed a lot of guts, courage and sheer determination but also her best, dandified, make-a-statement cowboy boots.

Seventeen years old Rae Fowler, a pretty run-away from Denver was the first alleged victim. This brought back memories for Sean Victor "Vic" Donovan as well. This was the case that Vic had investigated when he was working a the Chief of Police for Sagebrush. For Vic, this was one of those cases that haunts cops and he was heading back to help the current chief a closure to the case - which means even if he unearth clues that would hang Tucker eventually. For Lacey, this was not just helping an ex-boyfriend but also a murder with fashion clues written all over it - all three girls were found mostly dressed but with no shoes on. Why would anyone take the shoes from the victims? And also to prove to herself that she wasn’t a bad judge of character as well. Despite Vic objecting her going to Sagebrush - not just because she gets tangled with murders always but also his doubt that Lacey might still hold a candle to Tucker - Lacey joins Vic and heads to Sagebrush.

The list of suspects was not long but it did include Dodd Muldoon - Lacey's old boss when she worked for Sagebrush daily newspaper - which surprised her very much.  Then there is Montana McCandless Donovan Schmidt - Vic's ex-wife - still living around Sagebrush. Lacey dreaded that Montana might try again to get Vic back just she had done a year ago. Braving herself, Lacey joins Vic in Sagebrush to tackle all these and help Tucker. What will she uncover? Is Tucker really a killer? Had Lacey never knew anything about him? Why Tucker being so adamant to speak what really happened? Is he still holding a candle to Lacey? Well, the adventure begins folks, brace yourself. :)

The sub-plots covered in the book are - wedding between Stella and Nigel and blooming love between Brooke and Damon - of Lacey's best friends. They add a comic relief and tie in well with the main plot. Lacey's mother and sister also join her in Sagebrush adding to the anxiety that Lacey already was going through. How does Lacey battle all these? Another good murder-mystery by Ellen with fashion clues. An easy read for those lazy days. Read further and enjoy.  And don’t forget the fashion bites. Here's a snippet from Lacey's Fashion Bites.

Lacey Smithsonian's Fashion Bites:  Hey There, Annie Oakley, It's Western Wear , Not a Costume

The key is to know what pieces to choose, not the entire Sedona Arizona collection. Remember, nothing screams outsider as much as putting on the whole little dogie. You don’t want to look like an extra in a cowboy film. Unless, of course, you are an extra in a film.
Tags: books, crime of fashion, critique by amateur, reviews

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