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A Fashionable Murder

Ellen Byerrum is fantastic.  She’s a novelist, playwright, reporter, Washington journalist, and a graduate of private investigator school in Virginia. Her Crime of Fashion mysteries star a savvy, stylish female sleuth named Lacey Smithsonian, a reluctant fashion reporter in Washington D.C.

Her books are fun, sassy and unexpected.  No wonder two of them have been made into Lifetime movies!

Below: Lacey Smithsonian and the ladies of

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From left: Katharine Isabelle (Lacey’s sister Cherise), Sadie LeBlanc (Stella Lake), Maggie Lawson (Lacey), Mary McDonnell (Lacey’s mother Rose), Sarah Edmondson (Brooke Barton).

Ellen sat down with me to talk about Washington style (which she calls “The City Fashion Forgot”), the stress of Cherry Blossom season, and a haunted Russian shawl inspired by the Hillwood Museum collection.

(If you cannot view the video, please update your Adobe.  For better quality, click the YouTube link on the bottom right of the video frame and then, once on YouTube, adjust resolution by clicking on the little tool cog wheel in the right bottom corner.)

Here is a blurb about Ellen’s latest book, Veiled Revenge


Washington, D.C., fashion reporter Lacey Smithsonian has always believed clothes can be magical, but she’s never thought they can be cursed. Until now. Lacey’s best friend, Stella, is finally getting married, and at her bachelorette party, fellow bridesmaid—and fortune-teller—Marie Largesse arrives with a stunning Russian shawl. A shawl, Marie warns, that can either bless or curse the wearer. When a party crasher who mocks the shawl is found dead the next day, the other guests fear the curse has been unleashed. But Lacey has her doubts, and she must employ all her Extra-Fashionary Perception to capture a villain who has vowed that nobody at this wedding will live happily ever after….

So, what do you think? Is Washington, D.C. the least fashionable city on earth or do you have your own nominee for that distinction?  What role do you think fashion plays in developing a character?  (To leave a comment please click on the title of this post and scroll to the bottom.)


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