What if a radical plastic surgery makeover changed its subject's personality for the worse? Byerrum asks in her playful third Crime of Fashion mystery. Street-smart D.C. fashion reporter Lacey Smithsonian meets uber diva Amanda Manville (a former ugly duckling whose appearance on TV's The Chrysalis Factor made her a supermodel overnight), while covering Amanda's new clothing line for the Eye Street Observer. Amanda's tendencies to slap assistants and take credit for her sister Zoe's designs are no big sin compared to the death threats Amanda receives daily-and she asks Lacey to investigate. After a murder occurs, Lacey's sheltered mother and sister drop in, putting the brakes on Lacey's romantic weekend with protective cop Vic Donovan and making the case a family affair. A revolving door of quirky characters like donut-scarfing "death-and-dismemberment" reporter Harlan Wiedemeyer keep the plot skipping happily along, and inside jokes about Burberry accessories in Washington are snicker-worthy. The unsurprising conclusion is a bit silly, but the read is as smooth as fine-grade cashmere on an autumn day in the Federal City. Agent, Donald Maass. (Aug.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.