DESIGNER KNOCKOFF

Author(s): 

Fashion writer Lacey Smithsonian has a penchant for hard news but is stuck writing fashion columns. Byerrum sprinkles these fluffy news nuggets throughout the story and also stirs in newsroom backstabbing, D.C. political intrigue and vintage fashion folklore.

Lacey gets her wish to cover hard news when fashion and murder collide in a cold missing-person case. A story about a new fashion museum brings Lacey together with a famous designer who has eyes for a vintage suit of hers from his very first line. Lacey can't part with the suit, and she's beginning to suspect the pattern was stolen from a woman who disappeared from the famous designer's factory years ago.

The supporting characters—a hairdresser, a fortune teller and a lawyer with a jones for conspiracy theories— are humorous accomplices to Lacey's sleuthing. It's a pleasure to watch Lacey, stunningly attired in various vintage outfits, skillfully uncover what looks like a deadly deception. Clever wordplay, snappy patter and intriguing clues make this politics-meets-high-fashion whodunit a cut above the ordinary. (Aug., 336 pp., $5.99)
Reviewed by: 
Cindy Harrison