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Killer Hair (Crime of Fashion #1)

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  1,537 Ratings  ·  115 Reviews
Lacey Smithsonian reports weekly "Crimes of Fashion" in Washington DC, home of helmet hairdo and Congressional comb-over. Her hairstylist Stella gets her to investigate 'suicides', stylists Angie and Tammi both had long hair razored off, missing, and connections to sex scandal gal Marcia. Radford security Vic and crime reporter Tony compete.
Paperback, 276 pages
Published August 2003 by Signet New American Library Penguin
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Jun 23, 2015 Bridget rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015-reads
This is one of those books that was exactly what I needed when I read it. Life was stressful, and I wanted to read something but nothing that required tons of attention and concentration. This filled the bill and was entertaining as well.

Lacey Smithsonian (her grandfather changed the name from simply Smith) writes a fashion column for a relatively unknown Washington DC newspaper. When a stylist at the salon she goes to is found dead, the police are content to think it's suicide, but Lacey's styl
Aug 20, 2010 Natalee rated it liked it
Killer Hair was the reason I picked up the book. Me, a hairdresser and all things lover of hair...was HOOKED with catch phrases like "A Shear Delight" on the cover and made me even more excited to read it. I liked the main character, but was sad how cliche the hairdresser characters were. Yes we are arrogant, and Dizzy, but dammit we could solve crimes too if asked?? We are smart can read between the lines, AND WE CAN READ. The part about the hairdressers loving Coke was right on. At least the m ...more
Ann aka Iftcan
Apr 19, 2011 Ann aka Iftcan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, cozy-mystery
Nice easy read. Fun mix of zany characters. The main difficulty I had with this book was--the killer was barely mentioned in the book.

And, as a resident of the DC metropolitan area--I really hate to agree with her description of the area as being "fashion challenged." Altho, I do admit, there are quite a few politicos who ARE.
Nov 29, 2010 Nicole rated it really liked it
I am addicted to this series. It's a guilty pleasure. The mystery isn't terribly complex, but it is enjoyable none-the-less. The characters are wonderfully vivid; they make the book. Lacey's humor makes the book laugh-out-loud funny. The vintage clothing descriptions are fun too.
May 01, 2013 Ellen rated it it was amazing
Fun way to begin the Lacey Smithsonian series. Love the DC setting and the intrepid curious reporter Lacey Smithsonian.
Adrianna Kowalska
Zacznijmy od tego, że ‘Zabójcze cięcie’ nie jest zaliczane do lektury obowiązkowej. Z pewnością ta książka nie zmieni waszego życia i nie spowoduje nagłych przemyśleń (no chyba, że uwielbiacie modę). Ta książka przede wszystkim ma nas rozluźnić i oderwać nasze myśli od spraw codziennego życia.
Lacey poznajemy podczas uroczystości pogrzebowej niejakiej Angie Woods, fryzjerki, która odmieniła wizerunek pracownicy Kongresu zamieszanej w nie mały skandal. Jest tylko jeden problem Angie nie żyje. Pol
Mar 19, 2017 Kristen rated it liked it
Shelves: serial-cozy, 2017
In Ellen Byerrum's Killer Hair, the first installment in the Crime of Fashion cozy mystery, get ready to read a scintillating tale on scandals and a fashion faux pas. It all started, when Lacey Smithsonian attended the funeral of Angela Woods, a hair stylist that the cops believed it was suicide. But with Lacey's best friend, Stella Lake's instance, she didn't think so otherwise, including with the razor-cut hair. As for the fashion beat columnist for the Eye Observer newspaper, she decided to s ...more
Mary Kennedy
Jul 02, 2010 Mary Kennedy rated it it was amazing
Ellen Byerrum writes smart, funny, sophisticated mysteries, the kind of books that would be perfect for a movie. Don’t take my word for it, two A-list Hollywood producers thought exactly the same thing.
When the vivacious Ms. Byerrum pitched KILLER HAIR and HOSTILE MAKEOVER to Rona Edward and Monika Skerbelis of Lifetime Television, she had only five minutes to plead her case. Luckily, Ms. Byrerrum, a Washington DC reporter and novelist, is both charming and persuasive, a woman who can think on
Jun 13, 2016 Aparna rated it liked it
Stars: 3.5 / 5
Recommendation: An easy mystery read that is weaved through the world of fashion, style and dressing from the view point of a fashion stylist.

I watched Killer Hair when it aired in 2009 on Lifetime Movie Network before I ended up reading the book and eventually the series. What attracted me to the series was the portrayal of Lacey Smithsonian by Maggie Lawson, her passion towards becoming a fashion stylist on a grander scale and her Aunt Mimi's magical bottomless trunk, filled with
Mar 07, 2017 Jeanne added it
Very light reading, but enjoyable none the less.
An Odd1
Jan 15, 2015 An Odd1 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
"Don't real women deserve pockets?" p 100.

I started this series because I liked #4, will keep on. Though written in 2003, political sex scandal plot seems eternal In 1998, intern Monica Lewinsky started dumpy and got professionally primped for photos. Here a missing videotape of high-rollers doin' the nasty causes murders. The ubiquitous "helmet head" is like this, federal "comb-over" like Donald Trump https://je
Aug 15, 2008 Norabee rated it liked it
Recommends it for: mystery lovers
This story introduces the world to Lacey Smithsonian and we witness her metamorphosis from simple fashion reporter into a murder mystery detective. Lacey learns from her stylist, Stella, that there’s been a murder in the upscale Washington beauty salon (Stylettos) of a young stylist, Angela Woods. Unfortunately, Angie is found dead in her chair with her throat slit and a vicious buzz cut – all of her beautiful long hair has been cut off and is missing. As Lacey points out at the crime scene - “A ...more
Donald Scott
Apr 17, 2014 Donald Scott rated it really liked it
Book one of the "Crimes of Fashion" mystery series (and Byerrum's first mystery novel) is set in Washington, D.C. - a city not exactly known as a stylish mecca, which can be confirmed by Lacey Smithsonian (no relation to the Institute), fashion reporter for The Eye Street Observer hell-bent on moving up in the journalistic world. Her chance comes early in the novel, when hairstylist Angie Woods - a co-worker of Lacey's friend Stella - is found dead one morning sitting in her stylist's chair, her ...more
Nov 23, 2009 Kimberlin rated it it was amazing
When i first started this book it seemed boring to me so i put it down for a while but picked it up again trying to figure it. This book has so many issues that the characters have to solve, internal and external. It kept me interested by adding more tension into the setting. I would always want to know what would happen to him/her.
Stella Lake asks her friend Lacey Smithsonian to attend a viewing, she goes. The dead woman is a young hairdresser named Angie who has a bald do and cut wrists. The
Maryann Lucero
Dec 14, 2015 Maryann Lucero rated it really liked it
I have a problem reading books written by people I know, especially if I like them: what if the book sucks? I'd put off starting Ellen Byerrum's Crimes of Fashion mystery series for just this reason.

I met Ellen just about the time Lethal Black Dress came, and bought it (because that's what you do when someone you know writes a book). But before starting it, I figured I should begin the series at the beginning.

I procrastinated. What if it's boring? Or clichéd? I knew the writing itself would be
Nov 12, 2016 Deb rated it liked it
Although I began reading this series about six years ago, I had somehow missed the very first one. Lacey Smithsonian relocated from Sagebrush, Colorado, to Washington, D.C., in order to make it in journalism at a higher level, yet somehow she finds herself writing the fashion column instead offing the investigative journalism she envisioned. Her best friend is a lawyer with a head full of conspiracy theories. Her hair stylist is a leather clad Goth girl. She works at a desk where the previous fa ...more
Nov 29, 2014 cloudyskye rated it liked it
Quite nice, liked the story and the heroine, her little sarcastic observations and especially her 40s wardrobe. Also the insight into life and people of Washington, D.C. I'm not sure if it was the writing or my reading (mostly on a long boring train journey, Berlin-Stuttgart - enjoy your strike, GermanWings, I'll avoid you in the future!) that felt a tiny bit awkward and disjointed, and unlike with e.g. Stephanie Plum or Nora Blackbird there was, I don't know, more of a distance between Lacey Sm ...more
Dec 26, 2010 Sara rated it liked it
Mi aspettavo di meglio

Lo sto ancora finendo di leggere ma con un pò di sforzo. Ci sono dei punti in cui non capisco se è la traduzione ad ammosciare e banalizzare lo scritto o la versione originale non è stata rivista da qualche bravo editor.
In altri punti invece scorre bene ed è carina.
Il fatto è che a tratti mi ricorda un pò la serie Armony, rivista e corretta.
Oh dio lo sto ammazzando...


Ecco finito.
Da metà si riprende abbastanza e il ritmo si fa pi veloce
Jul 13, 2013 Catherine rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cozy-mystery
I did not think I would like this Crime of Fashion Mystery because it seems to focus on fashion, but there is so much more to the story! Lacey Smithsonian is stuck with the fashion advice column at a Washington DC newspaper. When a young hair stylist at the salon Lacey frequents dies, her own stylist urges her to investigate the supposed suicide. Plenty of suspense mixes with a touch of romance, and a liberal dose of political humor. Plus Byerrum's frustrated reporter Lacey gives fashion tips th ...more
Mar 20, 2013 C.A. rated it really liked it
The first book in any series has a lot of work to do. It has to introduce the detective, their milieu, the people who occupy their lives on a daily basis, and the hook of the series. This one, staring Lacey Smithsonian (no relation), had a doozie of a set-up. Lacey works as a fashion columnist in Washington D.C., the city that fashion forgot. In the starter, good friend Stella ropes Lacey to investigate the death of a fellow beautician. This leads her to a madam under investigation, a messy divo ...more
Feb 06, 2012 DeAnne rated it it was amazing
I originally found out about this series because the title of the fourth book "Raiders of the Lost Corset" jumped out at me from a shelf in a book store. I immediately purchased the three books they had after reading the back of each (sadly they were 2, 3 and 4 in the series) then had to hunt down Killer Hair. I absolutely adore this series. Quirky and light, yet with wonderful plots and characters. I love that Lacey has a vintage style and makes it her own. I wish that her large trunk of patter ...more
Katie Miller
Feb 09, 2011 Katie Miller rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Maria Mitchell
Sep 23, 2013 Maria Mitchell rated it it was ok
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book for free from Goodreads First Reads to review.

First off, I adored the main character. Lacey was smart, funny, mildly eccentric, and loved old fashion and movies. She was great. However it was much of the story and other characters I had problems with. Vic was a great interesting love interest but he wasn't in the book very much at all. There would be whole chapters without him popping up. And then there was a lot of side characters popping up all the time and it was very har
Maritere Domínguez
Dec 17, 2014 Maritere Domínguez rated it really liked it
Shelves: mistery
3.5 stars. It was an entertaining crime novel but it's not in the level with the masterful creations if Doyle, Christie or even R. Galbraith.

The main character, Lacey Smithsonian is a fashion reporter and comes across a crime that has to do, in some way, with fashion, and people she knows.
What makes this story more enjoyable is the fact that Lacey could be any of us and she didn't need super pro detective equipment to solve the crime, she just has a trained fashion and hairstyle eye. Being able
Aug 05, 2011 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: readers of cozy mysteries, people who are into fashion, and people who are into retro 40's fashion
Shelves: mystery, humorous-fun
This is the first book in the Crimes of Fashion series. It was also the first book I read by Ellen Byerrum.

When cozy mystery series are recommended, Byerrum's Crimes of Fashion series seems to be less well known. And that is a shame. It was a quick read. There is some levity to keep the read fun and light. The murder(s) is(were) well thought out. Clues were presented interestingly and kept you guessing.

Okay, so there are no cookie recipes, knitting patterns, cross stitch grids or scrapbooking t
Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews
If I could give this book 3.5 stars I would. It seemed like a slow start and it took awhile for me to really get into the book and not want to put it down. I had debated putting it aside and reading something else, but I needed to finish it to pass along to someone else.

Lacey Smithsonian is the fashion reporter for The Eye Observer in DC, not quite the Washington Post but still read by some. Because of her affiliation with her stylist, she is on the hunt for the killer of two stylists that the p
Feb 20, 2010 Michelle rated it liked it
Shelves: cozy-mystery
this is a cute mystery. Nothing too intense or overdone, just a cute, quick read. I loved all of the references to places in DC, as I was able to recognize them and picture the scene in my head, but there was a bit too much time spent on explaining outfits for me. I get that fashion is what ties it together, but I just skimmed through the descriptions of the outfit Lacey chose each day and moved on. All in all, it was a good, easy read.
Jun 20, 2010 Leah rated it did not like it
Just started this with my book club this month! I'll let you know what I think!

I couldn't get into the characters on this one. I read the first about 4 chapters and then skipped to the end. The movie they did for TV was cute and I think told the story better than the book did. The movie changed the relationship of the characters quite a bit and I actually liked it better. If you like fashion and style you'll probably like this but it wasn't really my forte.
Dec 12, 2014 Diana rated it really liked it
Lacey Smithsonian is a fashion editor for a Washington, D.C. newspaper. She would rather be writing hard news, but has ended up doing fashion....many times with a quirky twist.
Lacey gets involved in solving crimes and a friend asks her to look at the "susicide" of a hair dresser friend.
This was a cozy mystery that was made very enjoyable to read. The characters were entertaining and the plot was witty.
Jun 04, 2015 Heather rated it liked it
Pretty good book, but I had a hard time getting into it. It seemed to take a while for the story to take off, which is not really what you want in a mystery. The characters were likable enough, but I almost think this is a little too "fluffy" for a fluffy mystery. I do have another couple in the series, so I'll at least read the next one to see if it gets better now that some of the characters are established.
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Cozy Mystery Corner : Crime of Fashion by Ellen Byerrum 4 27 Mar 24, 2016 09:28AM  
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  • Sit, Stay, Slay (Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter Mystery #1)
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Ellen Byerrum is a Washington, D.C., news reporter, novelist and playwright. She also holds a Virginia private investigator's registration. Her Crime of Fashion mysteries star a savvy, stylish sleuth: Lacey Smithsonian, a reluctant fashion reporter in Washington D.C., "The City Fashion Forgot."
Lacey would rather be working "hard news," but her nose for nuance, eye for a great story, and talent f
More about Ellen Byerrum...

Other Books in the Series

Crime of Fashion (10 books)
  • Designer Knockoff (Crime of Fashion, #2)
  • Hostile Makeover (Crime of Fashion, #3)
  • Raiders of the Lost Corset (Crime of Fashion, #4)
  • Grave Apparel (Crime of Fashion, #5)
  • Armed and Glamorous (Crime of Fashion, #6)
  • Shot Through Velvet (Crime of Fashion, #7)
  • Death on Heels (A Crime of Fashion Mystery #8)
  • Veiled Revenge (A Crime of Fashion Mystery, #9)
  • Lethal Black Dress (A Crime of Fashion Mystery, #10)

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