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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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Top Customer Reviews
Jeremy was the one who was standing over Gracie when Laura walked into the office that Sunday morning. Could he have killed her or just found her on the floor with a scarf wrapped around her neck? Hmmmmm.....with material fragments on his hands and clothes, and his being the only one in the office, who else could they suspect? No one for now, but Laura couldn't believe Jeremy killed Gracie, and since Laura was in love with him she tried to find out who really did strangle Gracie.
Regardless, the police arrested Jeremy, and their investigation continued while he was in jail. Laura also was conducting her own investigation, but it wasn't going very well for her. She kept trying to figure out who besides Jeremy would have a reason to kill Gracie. Perhaps Carmella killed him and not Jeremy for no other motive than a good old-fashioned garment district reason? Or how about her husband who found out about her affair. Or more likely what about Mario who may have done it out of sheer jealousy. And....there definitely was a lot of jealousy and competition in the office and throughout the entire garment industry from what I could see.
The book allows a glimpse into what goes into the preparation for a garment show and the mindset of the garment industry's men and women. If you are a "fashionista" you will definitely enjoy this book. The clothes sound marvelous. There are also funny scenes...one particular one was when Laura and her sister were trying to get into an upscale restaurant without reservations.
Miss Demaio-Rice is a talented story teller. She will make you laugh, have you sympathizing with the characters, make you wonder about some of them and what they are thinking, make you believe that you have the mystery solved, and then she throws something in to get you off track.
She will definitely make you want to be part of the craziness and fun going on in her book and make you want to be friends with all of characters or at least work with them.
The book was first-rate in terms of humor, characters, and plot. DEAD IS THE NEW BLACK is a witty, entertaining book you won't want to miss. 5/5
Set in the New York fashion world, it immediately attracted my attention. Christine DeMaio-Rice knows a lot about her background, and this makes the book especially fascinating and enjoyable to read. The sophisticated atmosphere takes us by the throat from the first page.
Then there are the characters. Laura and her work mates, particularly Jeremy St James, are vividly drawn. Laura, we learn straightaway, is hopelessly attracted to Jeremy. (She wonders herself if she would have dared to allow their relationship to develop if she hadn't believed he was gay - because then there would have been a risk that it might become serious.) So we feel sympathy for her from the start, and at the same time realise that we are in the hands of a writer who can give us characters with depth. Laura's sister Ruby is a bright contrast. Stu becomes more likeable the more we see of him. And Cangemi, the cop, is a much cleverer detective than we are led to expect at the beginning.
The handling of the plot is all we could ask for. The clues are thrust at us in a way we should be able to pick up - but almost certainly won't. The murderer appears in the first few chapters. When Laura arrives at her desk to find coffee waiting for her, she tells us, she knows that Jeremy must be already there, because he is in the habit of buying coffee for them both on his way to work. The coffee, unusually, is spilt - which is not like Jeremy, she thinks. But when she goes to his office, she sees that he is in a state of extreme distress - he has found a dead body there. Laura spends the next hours ringing the police, talking to the cop who arrives to take over, Cangemi, and assuring other members of the company who turn up for work that Jeremy is not guilty and that work will continue as normal. And I wonder how many of DeMaio-Rice's readers will be able to pick out the important clues, and identify the murderer, from what they have by now been told? The motive, also, has already been trailed before us, even earlier in the action.
The title of this book tells us at once that here is a witty, clever writer, and the cover backs this up. The book is full of amusing one liners and funny situations. As an example of the one liners, when Laura tells Stu, `I'm not pissed off with you,' Stu says, looking at Laura slyly, `You're honesty-challenged right now.' Laura thinks, on hearing that Jeremy is in prison in Rikers, `If Central Park was the city's backyard, Rikers was the haunted house down the block that your mother told you to stay away from.' And Ruby and Laura decide to call their fashion business `Sartorial Sandwich.' How about that?
And as an example of funny situations, the description of the sisters' housing problems, with Ruby always coming out on top compared to Laura, is consistently amusing.
Laura's tangled love life finally works out, just as her career does; and the murder mystery element is solved in a satisfying way which is clearly believable. This is one of a series, I'm told. If the other books are as excellent as this one, I'll look forward to reading them.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book reminded me of a lot of subjects: Heidi Klum, Devil Wears Prada and Rebecca Bloomwood from the Shopaholic series, because of all the fashion jargons &...Read more