The first of Ellen Byerrum’s Crime of Fashion series is full of enough twists to make Medusa’s hair stylist proud. Lacey Smithsonian (love the name) is one of the most down to earth, lovable and fun amateur sleuths created. Byerrum glides throughout Killer Hair with the grace and skill of Yamaguchi.
When hair stylist on the rise Angela Woods gave White House Staffer Marcia Robinson a makeover, Angie was quickly thrust into the limelight. Marcia was being interrogated by an area prosecutor over her bawdy website and her questionable association with congressmen.
A Washington DC., fashion reporter, Lacey Smithsonian has been asked by Stylettos manager and stylist, Stella Lake, to explore Angie’s suspicious death. Angie was found at her work station with her waist length hair chopped off and her wrists slashed. The cops are quick to call it a suicide and are not interested in delving deeper.
Lacey suspects something sinister is at the root of Angie’s premature demise and dons her investigative cap to get to the bottom of things when events start to smell as foul as a discounted perm. Kudos to Byerrum for not writing Lacey as an airheaded bimbo or an unbelievable risk taker when bodies start to pile up.
Byerrum’s protagonist is a cut above the usual ho-hum sleuths lining mystery shelves and is an absolute delight. The secondary players are a whimsical addition and enhance Byerrum’s debut rather than smother it with inane antics. Hallelujah!
Although Killer Hair starts a bit slow, it flows along gracefully once it secures its stiletto jeweled footing. Lacey artfully interrogates and with that little move, Byerrum gains an edge and revitalizes the genre.
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