Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Designer Knockoff (Crime of Fashion Series #2)

Designer Knockoff (Crime of Fashion Series #2)

4.5 16
by Ellen Byerrum

When fashion columnist Lacey Smithsonian learns that a new fashion museum will soon grace decidedly unfashionable D.C., it's more than a good story-it's a chance to show off her vintage Hugh Bentley suit. And it's not long before the dapper designer himself spots Lacey in the crowd. A reporter at heart, she manages to get all the juicy details about his


When fashion columnist Lacey Smithsonian learns that a new fashion museum will soon grace decidedly unfashionable D.C., it's more than a good story-it's a chance to show off her vintage Hugh Bentley suit. And it's not long before the dapper designer himself spots Lacey in the crowd. A reporter at heart, she manages to get all the juicy details about his past-including a long-unsolved mystery about a missing employee. Could it be linked to the disappearance of a Washington intern or the recent Bentley boutique robbery? Lacey sets out to unravel the murderous details in a fabric of lies, greed-and (gasp!) very bad taste...

Editorial Reviews

The Barnes & Noble Review
Ever since reading Killer Hair, the debut volume in Ellen Byerrum's Crime of Fashion mystery series, I've been eager to see what the wily and whimsical author would invent for her likable protagonist, fashion reporter Lacey Smithsonian, to investigate as the latest crime trend in Washington, D.C.

Lacey is quick to claim that she never wanted to cover the fashion beat, but she can't deny that she enjoys the power -- over politicians, lobbyists, socialites and D.C. wannabes -- that her column, "Crimes of Fashion," gives her. Nonetheless, covering plans for the capital's new Bentley Museum of American Fashion seems like a pleasant diversion from reporting on the pros and cons of "Power Suits" versus "Capital Camo" or offering fashion tips for the "Prematurely Serious." She's thrilled when her vintage-chic style catches the eye of Hugh Bentley himself, the roguish patriarch of what the local press calls the Royal Family of American Fashion. She's quick to use her unexpected access to the powerful designer to gain the inside track on the story; then a trio of well-dressed bandits target a pricey Bentley boutique.

The more she learns about Bentley, the more Lacey senses a scoop in the making. Her incurable curiosity soon leads her into danger as she explores the chilling parallels between the case of a missing congressional intern who hoped to become Bentley's new spokesmodel and the long-unsolved mystery of a talented young fashion apprentice who had also disappeared while working for the fledgling fashion house during WWII. Lacey calls in favors from sources as varied as an online conspiracy clearinghouse, a top-flight Washington lawyer, and a retired seamstress -- as she pieces together a story that could make her reputation…dead or alive. Sue Stone

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Crime of Fashion Series , #2
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
4.25(w) x 6.90(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

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. Visit her Web site at www.ellenbyerrum.com.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Designer Knockoff (Crime of Fashion Series #2) 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Slim20 More than 1 year ago
This was a lot better than the 1st book in the series. The plot was done alot better. There are still some adjustments that need to be made, but overall I was a lot more into this book than the 1st.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
mysterybuffMS More than 1 year ago
This is the first one I read and I thought is was pretty darn good. It had an interesting plot and kept me on the edge of my seat. Great!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read this book in a few days. Very engaging - especially if you enjoy fashion. Nice mix of romance, mystery and old fashioned chick flick style
Guest More than 1 year ago
As Chekhov might have said, don&#8217 t put Lacey Smithsonian in the opening of your story unless you&#8217 re planning for a murder to happen. Well, Armed and Dangerous not only provides us and Lacey a murder-slash-robbery, its mise en scene is a Northern Virginia academy for private investigators whose motto is NO LOADED WEAPONS IN THE CLASSROOM. Mixed in with the crimes, Byerrum provides a frothy frappe of fashionista fun. In addition to Lacey&#8217 s usual sidekicks 'blonde attorney Brooke, starlicious Stella, and Damon Newhouse, who&#8217 s made paranoia into a business', we are reintroduced to ex-KGB spy Gregor Kepelov and New Orleans psychic Marie Largesse, and meet a classroomful of private investigator wannabees and their teacher. After society divorcee Cecily Ashton is murdered-slash-robbed, Lacey, Brooke, and Stella take to the shooting range, and form a no-boys-allowed club, the PCC 'sorry, you&#8217 ll have to read the book for translation of all acronyms'. Speaking of acronyms, there are a couple of other new Inside the Beltway 'ITB' pearls of acronymous fun waiting to be discovered: PDA 'no, not that PDA' and PWIP. Getting more serious, Armed & Dangerous has a chapter later in the book which explicates Lacey&#8217 s internal conflict over being a fashion reporter as well as it has ever been stated. Lacey Smithsonian doesn&#8217 t really want to be a fashion reporter, but because she is, murder 'with a little help from Our Lady of Fortuitous Coincidence' seems to find her, not only when she&#8217 s investigating fashion stories, but also, as we find out in Armed & Dangerous, when she&#8217 s engaged in extracurricular activities. Fashion is how Lacey understands a lot of the world around her. She parses Hansen the photographer, to name one character, by means of a thorough analysis of his fashion choices: &#8220 His fashion accessories consisted of half a dozen press passes to government buildings, including one for Congress and one for the White House.&#8221 We understand Hansen&#8217 s psyche as well as we might were a psychoanalyst to psychoanalyze: &#8220 If you loved Hansen, it wasn&#8217 t for his wardrobe. It was for the inner Hansen.&#8221 And in so doing, we come away with an understanding of what makes Lacey tick. On the food front, Stella and Nigel create the new drink sensation, the Washington Wintry Mix. And Felicity contributes to the baking arts with an almond cake with lemon filling and glaze, topped with whipped cream. Oh, and before I forget 'Department of Local Color': One out of every six people in DC is a spy. I&#8217 m not going to give away the ending. I HATE spoilers. Let&#8217 s just say Armed & Dangerous ends on a suitably Chekhovian note.
Guest More than 1 year ago
it's a very good book i totally love it i have to tell my friends!
Guest More than 1 year ago

I was so excited to see the new Byerrum book last week at my local B&N, right in the top row of new paperbacks, I could hardly wait to buy my copy. Now, having read it, I'm even more enthusiastic. Ellen Byerrum has created a series with characters I now know I love to come back to-and that is the very essence of this kind of writing. Lots of mysteries have very competent plots (and Ellen Byerrum is no slouch, plotwise), but they don't all have characters you care about.

I suspected from reading the first book, KILLER HAIR, that I was going to like Lacey Smithsonian, her boss, her quasi-boyfriends, her hairdresser Stella, her friend Brooke-and best of all, Aunt Mimi's trunk. And with DESIGNER KNOCKOFF, my prediction proves true. I like Ellen's characters just as much as Janet Evanovich's (I'm from NJ, and I appreciate a character who, like Stephanie Plum, appreciates a good pork roll sandwich). And I like Lacey and co. even more than Marsha Muller's or Sue Grafton's characters. I can hardly wait for the next book in the series.

I imagine the next one's going to cost more, however. I don't think the publishers can keep Ellen Byerrum a paperback writer exclusively after this great new book, DESIGNER KNOCKOFF.

But that's okay. I'll pay the extra ca-ching to catch the latest happenings with Lacey, Vic, Tony, Stella, and the rest of the gang. One more thing: I think CIA agent Bradley is a much better romantic pairing for Lacey. So far, Vic is too much an 'unavailable man' for someone as together as Lacey.

Guest More than 1 year ago
Lacey Smithsonian is a fashion columnist. Her column ¿Crimes of fashion¿ gives fashion advice to unfashionable D.C. She didn¿t choose to be a fashion columnist, it was chosen for her by her boss. She learns that a new fashion museum will soon open in D.C. Designer Hugh Bentley spots her at one of the events. He tries to get her vintage Hugh Bentley suit, but Lacey won¿t swap. The suit was her aunt Mimi¿s, along with many other vintage clothes and patterns she left behind. Lacey is a reporter at heart. An intern that she knows goes missing and she is hot on the story. She is also working to get the scoop on Bentley and his past. In doing so she uncovers a mystery that¿s never been solved about a missing Bentley employee, Gloria Adams. Lacey finds letters from Gloria to Mimi as well as some from Mimi to Gloria. These letters help give her a sense of what might have happened and some more background on Bentley. Lacey begins to try to put the pieces together about both disappearances and see if there is any connection, as well as any connection to Bentley. In doing so, she finds herself in many sticky situations and puts herself and others in danger more than once. I love this series. Lacey is such a fun character. I had trouble putting this book down. Make sure you read where you can laugh out loud. Lacey¿s best friend and hairdresser Stella and Miguel who worked for the Bentley¿s are terrific characters as well. They add a lot of fun to this story. Ms. Byerrum has a real handle on fashion in D.C. Lacey¿s columns are right on the mark! If you like cozies, you will love this book. I highly recommend it Killer Hair, the first in this series.
harstan More than 1 year ago
The column ¿Crimes of Fashion¿ of fashion reporter for the Eye Street Observer Lacey Smithsonian Chase has more to do with crime than fashion. She is at the capital building covering a $40 million dollar appropriation to the National Building Museum but the committee members do not how that item got into the bill that was passed. While observing the proceedings, Lacey notices that Washington Staffer Esme Fairchild who is always around in a high profile manner surprisingly is nowhere in sight.......................... Lacey cannot get Esme off her mind and as the days go by, the police start to believe she is dead. Esme serves as liaison between fashion designer Hugh Bentley and the committee who wanted to revoke the museum findings. Coincidentally, Lacey wore a premier design from Bentley¿s first collection. He offers her more money to sell her the suit. She does not give in to his demand because her great aunt believed that he was responsible for the disappearance of factory girl Gloria Adams during WWII who was having an affair with him. Lacey, who wants off the fashion beat decides to investigate Esme and Gloria¿s disappearance. ......................... Ellen Byerrum is a very talented writer with an offbeat sense of humor and talent for creating quirky and eccentric characters that will have readers laughing at their antics. There are some very good fashion tips spread throughout DESIGNER KNOCKOFF. This is a great beach read because it is the perfect way to relax and enjoy the water. It will be hard to wait for the next book in this ¿hate crime¿ series.................... Harriet Klausner
Guest More than 1 year ago
very good book !!!!