Monday, January 16, 2012

Death On Heels-Ellen Byerrum

Death On Heels

Ellen Byerrum

Obsidian, Feb 7 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9780451236135

Lacey Smithsonian writes her column Crimes and Fashion for the Washington DC based Eye Street Observer. She left her hometown of Sagebrush after her boyfriend proposes; the temperature is way below freezing and her boss on the hometown newspaper gets on her last nerve.

Lacey learns that cattle rancher Cole Tucker, who once proposed to her, has been arrested for killing women over a two year period. She flies back to Sagebrush to learn whether the man she once loved is a serial killer. During a ten minute meeting at the courthouse, Cole takes Lacey hostage and escapes with her to a deserted cabin. He insists he has been framed by a sly adversary who wants his ranch for the water, mineral and oil rights. The rancher provides his former girlfriend a list of who he considers coveting his land and capable of such a diabolical ploy before freeing her. Believing Cole is innocent, Lacey vows to find the evidence that exonerates him. Whereas no female was murdered while Cole was in custody, another woman is abducted. However, this time Cole has an alibi in an ex-girlfriend reporter who also has solved homicide cases before (see Shot Through Velvet, Grave Apparel, and Armed and Glamorous).

The latest Smithsonian inquiry is a terrific entry as the heroine proves you can go home if you still have your cowboy attire especially the boots in this regional whodunit. The locals are quirky adding a Rocky Mountain high to the journalist’s investigation. Lacey and her current boyfriend, former Sagebrush Police Chief Vic Donovan the security expert care for one another deeply while having each other’s back as he helps her try to find the killer (which in the reporter’s case is an occupational hazard). Death On Heels is a fabulous Crime of Fashion Mystery.

Harriet Klausner

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