- Series: A Fashion Avenue Mysteries
- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 1, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1466338121
- ISBN-13: 978-1466338128
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 286 customer reviews
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#4,960,451 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #59327 in Women Sleuths (Books)
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Dead Is the New Black: Fashion Avenue Mysteries (A Fashion Avenue Mysteries) Paperback – September 1, 2011
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...I really enjoyed this book. It's been polished to perfection by the author and that really shows. The careful crafting and layering of details made me feel like a part of the novel. That characters were well developed and the setting is fabulous. --Quirky Gurl Media
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I also didn't like that the cops were portrayed as lazy. To the author's credit, I did appreciate that relying on hero "out there" to solve a crime is so "mainstream". I liked the protagonist's sense of adventure and inquisitiveness, not to mention her growth. Maybe it would have been more PC to portray the detectives as overworked.
I also didn't care for people trying to constantly shut her up. I didn't find Laura excessively chatty. And when people do ramble it's usually because their nervous, which was the case for Laura a majority of the time. I lean towards women being empowered, so "be seen and not heard" doesn't work for me.
Would I read more books in this series? Probably not. I downloaded this book for free through Bookbub notification (if memory serves correct). I definitely would not pay to read more books in this series. I would not necessarily be opposed to reading the other books for free.
Dead is the New Black by Christine DeMaio-Rice is a great story that combines the fashion industry with a kicky murder mystery all set in The Big Apple. Laura, the novel's protagonist, is a pattern-maker for Jeremy St. James, a fashion mogul (whom in all respects, is gay). She worships the ground Jeremy walks on knowing there is no way he'll ever return her affection; love is blind. And, much to Laura's delight, she is the only member of Jeremy's staff that he doesn't treat like scum beneath his feet. It has something to do with her immense talent as a pattern-maker. I didn't even know what this was until I read this book. A pattern-maker takes the design and perfects it on paper and then recreates it on a mannequin until it is absolute. Apparently, this is a career that takes a lot of skill and is quite literally the backbone of major designers entire lives. Who knew? I guess it's always the "little people" that make the biggest difference in most situations.
One morning, as Laura is arriving extra early at the office so she can have coffee with Jeremy and no one else, things take a nasty turn. Her coffee is spilled over her desk, the place is in disarray, and Jeremy St. James is standing over Gracie, his financial baker, holding a piece of material that was used to strangle her. OOPS! A dead body, and of course, an important person being literally over-shadowed by another important person. Jeremy St. James looks as guilty as O.J. Simpson (we all know he did it!), but Laura just can't believe the man she loves would do something like this. Thus begins her quest to prove the man she most admires innocent of the murder charge that sends him to jail.
Demaio-Rice tells a great story. The characters are fleshed-out and realistic. She throws in just enough twists and turns to steer you away from the killer's identity, and although I figured it out long before the end of the book, I kept reading for two reasons: 1) It was well written and a good story. 2) I had to be sure I was right.
The book is fully of witty writing with lines that made me laugh out loud: "You were supposed to take off the label when you got home. Those people were just too stupid." Seriously, how many times do you want to say this to someone?
I learned a lot about the fashion industry in this book, too. There is so much work that goes into a runway show, more than you could even imagine. I have a newfound respect for people that work in the garment industry.
Dead is the New Black is a book I'd recommend others to read. While it falls predominately into the "chick-lit" category, it has enough grit to be a great detective story, too. I would give this book 3 out of 5 stars, and the only reason I pull back to 3 is because I thought the killer was a bit obvious; but that's just me. I look forward to other books by this author.
Christine Deamaio-Rice has worked in the fashion industry for 20+ years. She is a graduate of the USC Screen Writing program, but has decided novels are her genre. I look forward to other books by her; if I understand what I'm reading correctly, this book is the first in a series.
I love this picture of the author, too. The main character, Laura, is obsessed with getting her scissors back throughout the entire book. A quirky, fun little detail.
As I've come to expect with her other writing, Ms Reiss dives head first into the research and detail behind her characters' lives. Dead is the New Black provided some very interesting detail in the fashion industry including what it would be like to work in a "design house". The rich detail makes the story come alive.
I really enjoyed this story. It had sort of 1940s gum-shoe feel to it, and I could envision Humphrey Bogart playing the part of Detective Cangemi. Laura Carnegie is a pattern maker for a relatively new design house, and her world is turned upside down when one of the major investors is found dead.
With every plot twist I changed my opinion about who was the murderer, and I was completely surprised in the end. Dead Is the New Black is a fun whodunit that any fashionista or reader who appreciates good writing will enjoy.