Monday, 31 December 2012

Review: 'Death on Heels' by Ellen Byerrum

Death on Heels by Ellen Byerrum, 2002, Obsidian, $7.99, softbound, 328 pages. Category/Genre: mystery. Cover: colorful and clever. Where we got it: publisher. Where you can get it: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million.

Lacey Smithsonian, fashion reporter for the Eye Street Observer, is returning to Sagebrush, Colorado to talk to Cole Tucker, a rancher and Lacey's ex-boyfriend, who's been arrested for murder. Her current boyfriend, Vic Donovan, is also going, because he was the Sagebrush chief of police when the first murder victim disappeared. There have been 3 victims total, all found with bare feet -- a fact which strikes Lacey, who seems to have a penchant for solving murders with her fashion sense.
One of the victims was dating Cole; however, there are other suspects for the disappearance of the first girl, and Lacey just can't believe Cole is responsible for the murders.
There are other things for Lacey to contend with, too, including her old boss, Dodd Muldoon, whom Lacey suspects of skullduggery. Lacey's mother and sister also don't make life easy for her since they've gotten on a crime-solving kick.
This book is less formulaic than some cozies, in that Lacey doesn't live in a small town, but in Washington, DC (although Sagebrush, where the novel takes place, is small), and she doesn't find a body. The ending is unusual, though a bit unlikely, & unfortunately, the police don't see the obvious connection between the murder victims. Lacey's ability to solve murders using fashion sounds ludicrous, but Byerrum pulls it off. 
The book includes fashion tips from Lacey's column. 
Note: some strong language.   

If you like this one, try: A Fitting End by Melissa Bourbon. 

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