Friday, February 18, 2011

What is Ellen Byerrum reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Ellen Byerrum, author of Shot Through Velvet: A Crime of Fashion Mystery.

Her entry begins:
When book deadlines crowd me, like right now, as I am supposed to be working on my next mystery, Death on Heels, I don’t have a lot of time to read books. And I don’t want to get too distracted from my work in progress. On the other hand, glossy magazines never fail to divert me, with their lovely shiny covers and dreamy full-page picture spreads. Mmmm, red carpet gowns! Ooooh, perfume

But I’ve also been re-reading my favorite short stories by Chandler.

The name is Chandler, Raymond Chandler. King of noir, crown prince of the quick-draw quip, the guy who sets you right down in the mean streets of sun-washed mid-century Los Angeles, where murder belongs. In the flickering neon, where all the women are heartbreakers or drudges and all the men are either noble (if a little run-down) knights errant, or brutal thugs. Chandler’s twisted morality plays...[read on]
Among the early praise for Shot Through Velvet:
"Blue velvet takes on a shocking shade of death in Byerrum's first-rate seventh Crime of Fashion mystery starring Washington, D.C., fashion reporter Lacey Smithsonian (after 2008's Armed and Glamorous). Lacey's boyfriend, Vic Donovan, a security expert (and former Sagebrush, Colo., police chief), accompanies Lacey to interview Rod Gibbs (aka Blue Devil), the hated company spokesperson and part owner of Dominion Velvet, a newly closed velvet factory in Black Martin, Va. When Rod turns up dead and stained midnight blue in a dye vat after having been hit on the head and shot, no one, neither employees nor Rod's estranged wife, mourns his demise. Complications ensue after Lacey learns that Claudia Darnell, her publisher, is a Dominion Velvet silent partner, along with politician Tazewell Flanders. A serious look at the decline of the U.S. textile and newspaper industries provides much food for thought."
--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Visit Ellen Byerrum's website and blog.

My Book, The Movie: Ellen Byerrum's Crimes of Fashion mysteries.

Writers Read: Ellen Byerrum.

--Marshal Zeringue