Shot Through Velvet (Crime of Fashion Series #7)

( 20 )

Overview

Fashion reporter Lacey Smithsonian is touring a failing velvet factory in Virginia on its final day of operations-and finds one of the factory owners dead, lashed to a spool of velvet and soaked in blue dye. The workers are delighted, since they blamed the "Blue Devil" for killing their jobs.

But when another nickname, the "Velvet Avenger", makes the rounds, and ribbons of blue velvet start popping up, it could be more than Lacey's job at ...

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Shot Through Velvet (Crime of Fashion Series #7)

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Overview

Fashion reporter Lacey Smithsonian is touring a failing velvet factory in Virginia on its final day of operations-and finds one of the factory owners dead, lashed to a spool of velvet and soaked in blue dye. The workers are delighted, since they blamed the "Blue Devil" for killing their jobs.

But when another nickname, the "Velvet Avenger", makes the rounds, and ribbons of blue velvet start popping up, it could be more than Lacey's job at stake-it could be her life...

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Blue velvet takes on a shocking shade of death in Byerrum's first-rate seventh Crime of Fashion mystery starring Washington, D.C., fashion reporter Lacey Smithsonian (after 2008's Armed and Glamorous). Lacey's boyfriend, Vic Donovan, a security expert (and former Sagebrush, Colo., police chief), accompanies Lacey to interview Rod Gibbs (aka Blue Devil), the hated company spokesperson and part owner of Dominion Velvet, a newly closed velvet factory in Black Martin, Va. When Rod turns up dead and stained midnight blue in a dye vat after having been hit on the head and shot, no one, neither employees nor Rod's estranged wife, mourns his demise. Complications ensue after Lacey learns that Claudia Darnell, her publisher, is a Dominion Velvet silent partner, along with politician Tazewell Flanders. A serious look at the decline of the U.S. textile and newspaper industries provides much food for thought. (Feb.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451232502
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/1/2011
  • Series: Crime of Fashion Series , #7
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 323
  • Sales rank: 714,765
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 6.60 (h) x 1.10 (d)

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.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 20 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 20 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 31, 2011

    Lushious velvet or a reason for murder

    Lacey does it again. This is was a quick read. I love the continuing development of the supporting cast. Stella, Brooke, and Vic are cooky in their own right and keep getting better. The mystery itself was pretty cut and dry, developing like any mystery should. Lacey did have another spectacular resolution catching the killer in a photo worthy way. And on a side night I have always had a love affair with velvet even though it isn't very practical in the desert. Fashion and murder hit a high note again.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 25, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    it was ok

    It was OK. It felt kind of rushed at the end. I just hope that they will do a few more books in the series and will wrap it up nice and neat.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 3, 2011

    Quick. What's your favorite color?

    Quick. What's your favorite color? If you answered blue, I have a must-read for you, especially if you're into vintage fashion, snappy dialogue and the softest, most sensuous fabric in the world. Did you guess? Well, it's velvet, of course.
    Lacey Smithsonian, intrepid fashion reporter for that other Washington D.C. newspaper, The Eye, has a dream assignment. She's to cover the final days of the last remaining velvet factory in Virginia. The assignment is even more appealing because her main man, Vic Donovan, has been hired to coordinate factory security in the sleepy little town of Black Martin, Virginia. Lacey's first scheduled interview is with company official Ron Gibbs. Touring the factory on the final day of operation, Lacey finds more than fabric-she finds a body. A very blue body.as in dyed blue. All over. Sheesh. Workers nicknamed Ron Gibbs the Blue Devil and now he's very blue indeed. There goes the interview.
    Rumors spread like wildfire that Ron's killer is the "Velvet Avenger", whose calling card is a length of blue, velvet ribbon left in the victim's hand. Heeding Vic's advice for once, Lacey tries to stay out of the investigation, but when the Velvet Avenger strikes on her own turf, at the offices of The Eye and the paper's publisher asks for her help in solving the crimes, Lacey has no choice but to get involved.
    Great fun, with lots of interesting tidbits about the history of the U.S. fashion industry. I don't think I'll take that cute, little, black, velvet jacket in my closet for granted again.
    Reviewed by Susan Santangelo, Author of "Retirement Can Be Murder" for Suspense Magazine

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 25, 2011

    Creative cozy with interesting characters

    "Shot Through Velvet" is the seventh book in the Ellen Byerrum's Crime of Fashion mystery series. I'm a newcomer to this series, but was interested to learn that two of the prior books in this series have been the basis for "Lifetime TV" movies. The series features Lacey Smithsonian, a fashion reporter for a Washington, DC newspaper. Lacey gets a tip for a story and visits a velvet factory about to close. During the tour, which she attends with her security consultant boyfriend Vic Donovan, the body of company official Rod Gibbs is discovered in a vat of blue dye tied to a huge spool of blue velvet. Lacey is curious about these unusual circumstances, as well as the fact that as workers in the factory hear the news, they are more concerned over the ruined velvet than Rod's death! The factory workers would like to think Rod was killed by "The Velvet Avenger" getting even with Rod for their lost jobs. However, Lacey learns that there are no shortages of more ordinary suspects including her own newspaper's publisher. During the investigation, Lacey finds a common bond with the factory workers when she learns that due to budget cuts at the newspaper, she may soon be joining them in the unemployment line. The title of this book comes from the term "shot through velvet" which is velvet whose color changes depending on the angle of the light. My feelings about the book are also different depending on what aspect of the book is being evaluated. The book begins a little awkwardly with a description of Rod's dead body, but then it backtracks a little to explain more about the circumstances. There are numerous jokes about Rod's death and comments about what a bad person he was before we actually see examples of some of the terrible things he did. It was a little jarring to read all the irreverent comments about Rod's body being blue when all we know at the beginning of the story is the man was a victim of a horrible crime. There are many things I like about the book. It gets much more interesting when Lacey begins interviewing the factory employees. The vivid, humorous stories Lacey hears during her interviews are wonderful. There are also many interesting characters both in the factory and in Lacey's large circle of friends and co-workers. Established readers of the series will enjoy catching up with these characters. Stella, an outgoing hair stylist, and Mac, Lacey's supportive editor Mac are especially likeable, and I wish there would have been more background information given about these characters for readers like me who are new to the series. My favorite thing about this book is the way the fashion angle is handled. It's more than just random name-dropping of designer labels; Lacey writes about how current events influence fashion and how fashion influences our lives. Lacey shares her fashion knowledge with other characters and through her column "Fashion Bites". We get to read some of her columns which are amusing and are related to the plot of the story. Ellen Byerrum is a very skilled writer, and I enjoyed this book. If you don't mind a mystery that's a little light on detecting, but full of interesting characters and amusing antidotes, then you will enjoy the book. This review was originally written for the "Season for Romance" E-Zine. The book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 5, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    complex journalist investigative tale

    Lacey Smithsonian writes her column Crimes and Fashion for the Washington DC based Eye Street Observer. The columnist is a murder magnet (see Grave Apparel, and Armed and Glamorous) so sometimes she writes about a homicide investigation. However murder is the last thing on Lacey's mind when she attends the Dominion Velvet Plant's closure due to the imports arriving from China and India.

    Everyone is horrified to see a corpse tied to a roll of blue velvet in a vat of dye. The section worker recognizes the victim as part owner Rid Gibbs. Listening to chatter, Lacey learns Gibbs made enemies in his personal life including his wife and at the firm when he cheated people and fired them without cause. To complicate the case, Lacey's boss is a part owner too. A strip of blue velvet is sent to her boss and at Gibb's funeral there is a strip in his hand. Lacey visits board member Walt only to find him dead and holding that same blue velvet strip in his hand. The killer targets the publisher while Lacey, knowing the danger she places herself in, targets ending the killer's reign of terror.

    Ellen Byerrum writes a clever, complex and obviously colorful journalist investigative tale that will have readings singing Bobby Vinton's tune Blue Velvet every time the protagonist trips over a murdered body. With a humorous romantic subplot to enhance the whodunit and filled with action, but character driven by Lacey, fans will enjoy her latest murder investigation.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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