Killer Hair by Ellen Byerrum is the first book in the Crime of Fashion cozy mystery series. The books take place in Washington, DC and the protagonist is a journalist who writes a fashion column.
The thing about cozy mysteries for me is that, much like historicals, I either love them or hate them. Because some of them are fantastic, I keep trying to find gems by reading new authors and series, which is one of the reasons I picked up Killer Hair. Unfortunately, this is not one I fell in love with in the cozy genre.
Killer Hair features characters that are just too cliché for me to invest in - there is the small town police chief turned private security provider, the permanently rumpled, uber territorial beat reporter, the conspiracy theorist lawyer, the punk rocker pixie hair stylist, and the flamboyant psychic. The cast of characters didn't give me anyone to really feel for or want to know more about.
Lacey was supposed to be a smart, savvy reporter who got shoved into being the fashion columnist by her sexist editor. Yet, she repeatedly goes on fashion and style tirades so clearly it's something she should enjoy writing about. She is a complete pushover throughout the book and frankly often comes across as a moron. I couldn't cheer for her and honestly didn't think she had the investigative skills to solve any crime.
Vic, the small town cop turned private security guy, is the "romantic" male lead here. However, he is an utter asshole with no apparent redeeming qualities that I could see. He truly couldn't understand why Lacey would not have sex with him while he was still married since he was "getting a divorce" - because no guy in the history of the world has said that very same thing in order to have an affair, right?
As a murder mystery, I do give Byerrum credit for muddling the waters enough that I did not know who the killer was until the end of the book. There were several very good suspects and enough clues that could have fit more than one of them at any given time so that guessing whodunnit wasn't easy.
Overall, I did not enjoy Killer Hair and I doubt I'll read the next book in the series but if you enjoy a murder mystery that keeps you guessing and don't mind formulaic characters, you might want to pick up Killer Hair for a quick read.
Home of the helmet hairdo and Congressional comb-over, Washington, D.C. is a hotbed of fashion faux pas. If anyone should know, it's "Crimes of Fashion" columnist Lacey Smithsonian. She dishes out advice to the scandal-scorched and clothing-clueless, doing her part to change this town-one fashion victim at a time...
An up-and-coming stylist, Angie Woods had a reputation for rescuing down-and-out looks-and careers-all with a pair of scissors. But when Angie is found with a drastic haircut and a razor in her hand, the police assume she committed suicide. Lacey knew the stylist and suspects something more sinister-that the story may lie with Angie's star client, a White House staffer with a salacious website. With the help of a hunky ex-cop, Lacey must root out the truth...