The last velvet factory in Virginia is shutting down for good, a victim of the recession, the global economy, and changing styles. Fashion reporter Lacey Smithsonian is there to cover their last day on the job. But with her newspaper in deep financial trouble and her own job in danger, this story hits a little too close to home. And the centerpiece of Lacey's factory tour? A dead body in the velvet, a "Blue Devil" in a vat of blue dye. Motives, suspects and rumors run riot as murder follows murder. Is this a killer on a purely personal vendetta, or a mysterious "Velvet Avenger" bent on revenge for the velvet workers' shuttered factory and lost jobs? And is the killer just using Lacey for publicity--or is she too on the Avenger's list? Only the murderer's calling card is chillingly clear: a blue velvet ribbon. As the killer strikes ever nearer, Lacey finds she has more at stake in this story than just her job...
On Death and Dyeing
The body was blue.

            Not merely wearing blue, he was blue—and not the blue pallor of death. He was sapphire from head to toe, a deep shade of mood indigo.

           Oh, that’s taking the matchy-match thing way too far, thought Lacey Smithsonian, fashion reporter for The Eye Street Observer. No, Lacey, she told herself. This is not What Not to Wear. This is how not to be caught dead....

[Read the rest of Chapter 1 here.]



Lacey's Fashion Bite of the Day:
Recession Depression got you down? Don’t give in to the blues.
Resolve to dress up in the downturn! When your ship finally does come in,
you'll be the chicest woman on the dock...
Shot Through Velvet
The Seventh Crime of Fashion Mystery
OBSIDIAN MYSTERY   ISBN 978-0-451-23250-2   $7.99
Publishers Weekly  gave it a starred review, their highest distinction for books of exceptional merit. PW calls Shot Through Velvet  "first-rate" and says it "provides much food for thought."
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