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Dead Is the New Black

(Laura Carnegie Murder Mysteries #1)

3.31  ·  Rating details ·  752 Ratings  ·  120 Reviews

Laura Carnegie gave up on the man of her dreams a long time ago. He's fashion designer Jeremy St. James, and not only is he her boss, everyone knows he's gay.
When he's arrested for murder, secrets come to light and nothing is what it seems. If Laura can just solve this crime, keep the cops off her tail, break up a
Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published September 9th 2011 by Createspace (first published September 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

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♥ Jx PinkLady Reviews ♥

I discovered CD Reiss late last year and she’s very quickly become a firm favourite; a MUST read. Dead is the New Black is a book with NO smut….. That’s right no smut, no sex and practically no romance….. So completely out of my reading comfort zone, I nervously began the first book in the Laura Carnegie Mysteries. I was in the mood for some intrigue...

It’s about the world of Fashion......
Murder, intrigue, revelations and great characters with various platonic relationships, and a tiny glimpse o
Deanna❤Pink Lady❤️
Feb 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
4 Couture Stars
 photo Deadisthenewblack_zps2229c3b7.jpg

Well, Well.....CD Reiss is a master manipulator of writing!! I was first introduced to her writing style in her Songs of Submission Series. That entire series blew me away and I quickly became a super fan. She has the ability to write such beautiful words with the most heartfelt meaning. I can feel what she is writing through the power of her pen(I guess computer now).

So, this book is a mystery. That is right, a mystery with no sex. It almost made me shiver with that thought- No
Claire - The Coffeeholic Bookworm
4 stars

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 & mentions of designer labels:) All that’s missing is Tim Gunn saying “Make it work!” while clapping his hands. (Okay, that was totally irrelevant, but I just felt like adding it, LOL).

I like the mystery that surrounded the death of Gracie Pomerantz, the financial backer of fashion mogul, Jeremy St. James. It’s up to pattern ma
Aug 05, 2012 rated it did not like it
If you love sewing, "The Devil Wears Prada" or just want to know how clothes are made from the ground up (and I really mean from the ground up)...then this may be your book. If you want to know what a pattern maker does, then you will most likely enjoy this book.
BUT if you are looking for a mystery that makes sense, then you may want to take a pass.

The mystery in this book takes second stage to all the folderol that goes on behind the scenes of a fashion show. It can be interesting to read wha
Sep 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Overall Feedback: The author of this book contacted me on Facebook to see if I would be interested in reviewing it. She did caution me that "I hope it is not too girly for you". Understandable seeing that my favorite author is Stephen King and well I am a guy (last I checked). Well first and foremost Christine, it was not too girly and thank you for the gift of a well woven tale of mystery in the fashion world. I was entertained and I learned something to boot. This one will have the reader thin ...more
Sep 01, 2012 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Elle the ClosetRomanceReader aka Leftie aka Shoebelle

If Devil Wears Prada gave you the inside feel of what goes on in fashion mag biz, this will do the same but in the fashion industry itself. I happen to love fashion so I really enjoyed all the details that CDR wrote in this one. I even pictured Laura, the h, and her sis like the Mulleavy sisters of the Rodarte label. And yes, this is fiction but the whole time I was reading it, l was wondering who the characters can be IRL.

Anyhoot, enough of that rambling. I thought the story itself mov
May 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: b-favorites
This book is beautifully baffling. It is filled with rich, and sometimes confusing details about the fashion industry. But rather than giving "for dummies" explanations of everything, the author just throws them at you figuring you'll get it eventually. It works. I felt like an observer to something I wasn't fully a party to.

It reminded me of the best Agatha Christie books, and maybe just a little of Alfred Hitchcock. It definitely requires a commitment and I don't think it's for everyone but I
Sarah Billington
Jul 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this. The voice reminded me if Stephanie Plum, only different. I'm in awe of mystery writers. How do they do that?? A LOT of research has gone into this book, or it draws on expert knowledge of the fashion industry or both. Well done!
Cresta McGowan
Jun 18, 2012 rated it liked it
Before I launch into this review I want to share a little anecdote: I had just finished reading The Green Shore by Natalie Bakopoulous (who emailed me just the other day!) and was looking for something a little lighter. I try to alternate my literary fiction with some "chick-lit" or easy reads, just to give my brain a break. I had stock-piled many books downloaded on my Kindle for free and was excited to dive into the selection. I started and stopped FIVE DIFFERENT BOOKS before stumbling upon De ...more
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
A garment show in a week, late hours, working on the weekends, and then a dead body shows up. Oh no…..a very unwelcome setback.

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 J
Jenna Anderson
Nov 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
I love cozy mysteries. When I heard that Dead is the New Black was about the fashion world and set in NY, I was all over it. I admit I've watched every season of Project Runway numerous times - thank goodness cable has a thing for reruns.

Ms. DeMaio-Rice knows the ins and outs of the fashion design world, this is apparent. The murder mystery is tightly wrapped up in this industry. I admit, some of it went over my head along with the NYC slag and customs, but I didn't mind. The story was rich, co
A Voracious Reader (a.k.a. Carol)
Laura Carnegie is a pattern maker for big fashion designer Jeremy St. James. She fell in love with him practically from the day she interviewed for the job and even though they work closely together and she’s still in love with him five years later, she’s done nothing about it because Jeremy is gay. However, she loves her job and the time in the early mornings that they spend together before everyone else arrives to work, so she continues to love him from afar. Until the morning she’s a little l ...more
Aug 22, 2012 rated it it was ok
Lauren is a fashionista turned amature sleuth. As a patternmaker in New York City's garment district, she gives us a close look at how high-end clothing is made, from cutting on the bias to picking the right thread to sew on a button. Think along the lines of "The Devil Wears Prada" or "Project Runway".

The story begins about a week before a major fashion show. Her whole office is in a whirl preparing. Hardworking Lauren comes into work on a weekend, only to find her boss (the dashing gay man sh
Dec 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: general-fiction
Laura is an amazing pattern maker with a crush on her boss. She arrives at work one morning to find him standing over a dead body. The cops think Jeremy killed his financial backer, but Laura just can't picture the man of her dreams doing something so terrible. She sets out to do a little investigating on her own and gets in way over her head. There isn't one person in her life who turns out to be what she thought they were, including her family.

This story was well written, fast paced and fun. I
Aug 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book is one that I am sure would appeal to a seamstress or someone in the garment industry. Secondly it is a book that females would like. Being neither I was left with too much detail on the fashion industry and too little on the mystery of the murder itself. In addition it was littered with "like a much neglected alley" type expressions that some editors deplore but that I was looking forward to reading the next one. I think sometimes something overdone just works and those worked for me ...more
Karen Fowler
Mar 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Although this novel is billed as a cozy mystery, it is far more than that. Dead Is the New Black is a complex novel, woven with delicate finesse by the author. At it's core is a heroine that underestimates herself on many different levels. She's smart, talented, and takes it upon herself to get to the bottom of everything. Which gets her into trouble. But I don't need to elaborate-- that's what book blurbs are for.

I will say that I really enjoyed this book. It's been polished to perfection by t
Sep 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is a very intelligent and well-written book. I love the fashion industry so learning even more about this very closed off industry was absolute magic.

Laura isn't exactly a wall-flower but she is very much under-appreciated in her current position underneath the tutelage of Jeremy St. James. You see, she is a sewer and is very good at her job but her gay boss takes her for granted and she is just another employee until a tragic murder occurs at the office and all the sudden, everyone is a su
Dec 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle, read-2011
A murder mystery in the world of the New York fashion industry, "Dead is the New Black" has all the elements of a good mystery: unique characters, plentiful suspects, and several clues that seem to point in different directions until they are all fit together like puzzle pieces. The book also has all the elements of good chick lit: a good dose of humor and a protagonist who has some goals, in this case both romantic and professional, that are met in the end — not necessarily in the way they desi ...more
Oct 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Enjoyed this murder mystery story immensely! A murder occurs just before a major garment show and the big named designer is a suspect. This takes place in the garment district of Manhatten and the author does a wonderful job of explaining things from that type of job without sounding preachy or belittling via the main charactor. The story is mainly around one of two sisters who are twins and both work in the garment industry as does their mother. Lots of twist and turns and its hard to figure o ...more
Georgiann Hennelly
Feb 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Laura Carnegie works for Fashion Designer Jeremy St James as a pattern maker. She fell in love with him at first sight and even though she still loves him five years later. She has done nothing about it because Jeremy is Gay. She loves her job and the early morning time she gets to spend with him. Until one day she arrives a little late and finds Jeremy standing over the dead body of his financial backer with the murder weapon in his hand! The cops think Jeremy did it but Laura just can't believ ...more
May 17, 2012 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Good start to a series? I hope there will be more. It would be fun to see how Laura and Ruby could take the fashion world and have fun besides.
Jan 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book. It is an interesting mystery with an engaging main character, and is mostly well-paced. I have noticed that many other Goodreads reviewers either gave it five stars or one star--they either loved it or hated it. Both camps seemed to give the same reason for why they loved or hated it, that being the amount of detail included about how the garment industry works, what pattern-makers do, and the mechanics of the main character's job. I thought this wealth of detail gave the bo ...more
Jan 09, 2013 rated it it was ok
I had such high hopes for Dead is the New Black when I started reading it.

I've read and loved several light-hearted mysteries where the main character finds herself involved in a murder and despite having zero history with crime-solving, manages to solve the mystery before the police were able to (or just about the same time as the police do!). I kept holding out hope that I'd feel the same way about this one, but with no luck.

I did learn a lot about the behind the scenes happenings in the fas
I received this book for free from the author in exchange for a review.

Laura Carnegie (no relation, as Laura says) is in love with her boss, fashion designer Jeremy St James. When Laura finds a dead body in Jeremy's office she soon discovers that a lot of things in her life, including the people in it, are not what they seem.

When the police arrest Jeremy, Laura tries to prove his innocence. Her life becomes filled with suspense, intrigue, backstabbing, drama, love triangles galore, unrequited
Janna Mashburn
Nov 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
This review can also be found on The Indie Bookshelf

This book was like "Fashion Industry for Dummies" with a side of murder mystery, great characters, enjoyable dialogue and an interesting plot. The author does a very good job at explaining the fashion industry from the pattern maker to the runway show. It was so interesting to read how the fashion world unfolds.
This book is pretty fast faced getting right to the meat and potatoes of the plot, and very wel
P.J. Jones
Oct 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
After reading some of the reviews that this book was boggled down with fashion jargon, I was a bit hesitant to read Dead is the New Black. I'm so glad I did. Yes, there's a lot of fashion jargon, but the author explains it in a way that is interesting and relevant to the plot. Considering that Laura, the main character, designs clothing that costs more than my first car (actually more than my first four cars), and considering that I do most of my designer shopping at Target, I was also worried t ...more
Heather Adkins
Sep 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to be the formatter for this book and so I got to read it before it was published. FABULOUS! I was blown away by this book. Rice has penned a novel that is phenomenally well-written, real to the core, and just damned good. I was immediately sucked in to the plot and the character's life. This novel is full of original witticisms and some killer one-liners. Her description is spot-on and so eloquently put I'm jealous of her skills. The novel is littered with the kind of details ...more
Oct 06, 2012 rated it did not like it

I really had high hopes for this book. The story line was intriguing. A high profile backer of a designer company is murdered. The owner, Jeremy is suspected since he was found with the dead body and had a fiber from the scarf she was strangled with. Laura, Jeremy's boss, is a pattern maker, she is in love with Jeremy and yet he is gay and so the opportunity for a relationship has never developed but that hasn't stopped Laura from falling for him. She believes Jeremy is innocent and is tired of
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I moved to Los Angeles to study screenwriting at USC, and even though you couldn't drag me back into the screenwriting business with the promise of money or candy, I love screenplay structure. Use it all the time. It is the crowbar that removes my head from my rectum when such a procedure is required.

I love all types of speculative fiction, and yes I admit to reading vampire books and YA. However,

Other books in the series

Laura Carnegie Murder Mysteries (3 books)
  • Death of a Supermodel (Fashion Avenue Mysteries, #2)
  • A Dress to Die For (Fashion Avenue Mysteries, #3)

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