Shot Through Velvet: A Crime of Fashion Mystery
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Fashion reporter Lacey Smithsonian is touring a failing velvet factory in Virginia on its final day of operations-and finds one of the factory owners dead, lashed to a spool of velvet and soaked in blue dye. The workers are delighted, since they blamed the "Blue Devil" for killing their jobs.
But when another nickname, the "Velvet Avenger", makes the rounds, and ribbons of blue velvet start popping up, it could be more than Lacey's job at stake-it could be her life...
planned the final scenario in her head repeatedly before actually having to complete the task. “I heard you moved out of this house,” Lacey said. “But now you’re back?” The Victorian home Honey occupied offered a dramatic contrast to Blythe’s little shoebox of a house. A large oak stairway dominated the two-story entryway, and rooms fanned out on either side. “It’s far more mine than it ever was Rod’s. I moved back in last night. Yeah, I know, he was barely cold. But my little apartment wasn’t
Lacey placed it on the table while the men watched. She waited a beat. She had their attention. “Claudia Darnell, my publisher, got this in the mail today. No note. Just the ribbon.” Vic looked grim. Turtledove inspected it closely through the plastic bag. “It’s the same color as the velvet and Rod Gibbs. Midnight Blue.” “Fashion clue?” Vic scratched his head. He looked side-long at Lacey. “It could be a warning. A prank. It was sent from Black Martin, just before my story appeared. You can see
wearer and her belief in those transformative powers. Today Lacey needed something fabulous. She pulled out a cropped black velvet jacket, with generous sleeves and frogs instead of buttons. She paired it with a red wool skirt and a white ruffled silk blouse, and she finished it with high-heeled black leather boots. All that was missing from her look was a whip. Lacey would be ready for anything today. She would need to be. Exquisitely bad timing found her arriving at the front door of The Eye
Harlan Wiedemeyer to go all purple prose for the homicide detective. But Wiedemeyer lacked certain filters that most reporters had. “That true, Smithsonian?” Lamont said. “You just like saying my name, don’t you?” He favored her with the big Broadway grin. It was rather like that of a devouring lion. “Yep. It’s museum quality. Now?” “The paper’s going through some changes. Earlier this week, Pojack told me I should polish my résumé.” “I’d say you’ve got yourself a motive.” “You think I’d
Vic. Hemingway, hickeys, and hookups.” Lacey checked her watch. Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong were singing “Under a Blanket of Blue” on the CD player. “Why did Rod Gibbs derail the security cameras the night he died?” “He disabled the cameras because he was up to no good,” Vic laughed. “He was an up-to-no-good kind of guy. But what specifically was he after? If we narrow that down, we might narrow down his killer’s motives.” “You said motive is misleading,” Lacey said. “Not always.” “In