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Dead Is the New Black: (A Fashion Cozy Mystery) (Laura Carnegie Mysteries Book 1) by [Rice, Christine D.]
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Dead Is the New Black: (A Fashion Cozy Mystery) (Laura Carnegie Mysteries Book 1) Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Length: 306 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

Product Description


Fashion designer Jeremy St. James is everything Laura Carnegie could want in a man. He's gorgeous, rich, and talented. The fact that everyone says he's gay doesn't stop her from dreaming of being in her boss's arms. As a matter of fact, she suspects his inaccessibility is part of his charm.

When Jeremy's backer is found dead in his office and he's accused of the crime, he trusts Laura, and only Laura, with the keys to the design room. She wants him back and out of jail, and in the process of exposing a counterfeiting ring and finding the real killer, she uncovers the secretive man under the temperamental artist; a man who is most definitely not gay, and a man who might not be that inaccessible after all.

If you love Project Runway, or enjoyed The Devil Wears Prada, try Dead Is the New Black.
If you love Project Runway, or enjoyed The Devil Wears Prada, try Dead Is the New Black.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 730 KB
  • Print Length: 306 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005MEG38C
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #298,207 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Kindle Edition
I had no idea what to expect when I started this book. I found I couldn't wait to pick it up and continue my reading. I work in the fashion industry, and was very amused with some of the situations that the main characters found themselves in. The main character, her family and her coworkers dynamics are very true to life. It is a fun read with some unexpected twists. I will be looking forward to reading the sequel.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xb37250a8) out of 5 stars 285 reviews
53 of 56 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2357d5c) out of 5 stars Fantastic read! Sept. 12 2011
By Bookish Witch - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
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 one notices in real-life, but that rarely make it into books. It shines with Rice's in-depth knowledge of the fashion industry - I felt smarter after reading it. Dead is the New Black is laugh-out-loud funny. If this author is anything like her wry, witty protagonist, I want to be her friend.
36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2357db0) out of 5 stars A Refreshing, Witty Read Jan. 15 2012
By Silver's Reviews - Published on
Format: Paperback
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 Jeremy killed Gracie, and since Laura was in love with him she tried to find out who really did strangle Gracie.

Regardless, the police arrested Jeremy, and their investigation continued while he was in jail. Laura also was conducting her own investigation, but it wasn't going very well for her. She kept trying to figure out who besides Jeremy would have a reason to kill Gracie. Perhaps Carmella killed him and not Jeremy for no other motive than a good old-fashioned garment district reason? Or how about her husband who found out about her affair. Or more likely what about Mario who may have done it out of sheer jealousy. And....there definitely was a lot of jealousy and competition in the office and throughout the entire garment industry from what I could see.

The book allows a glimpse into what goes into the preparation for a garment show and the mindset of the garment industry's men and women. If you are a "fashionista" you will definitely enjoy this book. The clothes sound marvelous. There are also funny particular one was when Laura and her sister were trying to get into an upscale restaurant without reservations.

Miss Demaio-Rice is a talented story teller. She will make you laugh, have you sympathizing with the characters, make you wonder about some of them and what they are thinking, make you believe that you have the mystery solved, and then she throws something in to get you off track.

She will definitely make you want to be part of the craziness and fun going on in her book and make you want to be friends with all of characters or at least work with them.

The book was first-rate in terms of humor, characters, and plot. DEAD IS THE NEW BLACK is a witty, entertaining book you won't want to miss. 5/5
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2359204) out of 5 stars Classic Crime Jan. 19 2012
By G. McCullough - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
Dead is the New Black fulfils all my requirements for a classic detective story.

Set in the New York fashion world, it immediately attracted my attention. Christine DeMaio-Rice knows a lot about her background, and this makes the book especially fascinating and enjoyable to read. The sophisticated atmosphere takes us by the throat from the first page.

Then there are the characters. Laura and her work mates, particularly Jeremy St James, are vividly drawn. Laura, we learn straightaway, is hopelessly attracted to Jeremy. (She wonders herself if she would have dared to allow their relationship to develop if she hadn't believed he was gay - because then there would have been a risk that it might become serious.) So we feel sympathy for her from the start, and at the same time realise that we are in the hands of a writer who can give us characters with depth. Laura's sister Ruby is a bright contrast. Stu becomes more likeable the more we see of him. And Cangemi, the cop, is a much cleverer detective than we are led to expect at the beginning.

The handling of the plot is all we could ask for. The clues are thrust at us in a way we should be able to pick up - but almost certainly won't. The murderer appears in the first few chapters. When Laura arrives at her desk to find coffee waiting for her, she tells us, she knows that Jeremy must be already there, because he is in the habit of buying coffee for them both on his way to work. The coffee, unusually, is spilt - which is not like Jeremy, she thinks. But when she goes to his office, she sees that he is in a state of extreme distress - he has found a dead body there. Laura spends the next hours ringing the police, talking to the cop who arrives to take over, Cangemi, and assuring other members of the company who turn up for work that Jeremy is not guilty and that work will continue as normal. And I wonder how many of DeMaio-Rice's readers will be able to pick out the important clues, and identify the murderer, from what they have by now been told? The motive, also, has already been trailed before us, even earlier in the action.

The title of this book tells us at once that here is a witty, clever writer, and the cover backs this up. The book is full of amusing one liners and funny situations. As an example of the one liners, when Laura tells Stu, `I'm not pissed off with you,' Stu says, looking at Laura slyly, `You're honesty-challenged right now.' Laura thinks, on hearing that Jeremy is in prison in Rikers, `If Central Park was the city's backyard, Rikers was the haunted house down the block that your mother told you to stay away from.' And Ruby and Laura decide to call their fashion business `Sartorial Sandwich.' How about that?

And as an example of funny situations, the description of the sisters' housing problems, with Ruby always coming out on top compared to Laura, is consistently amusing.

Laura's tangled love life finally works out, just as her career does; and the murder mystery element is solved in a satisfying way which is clearly believable. This is one of a series, I'm told. If the other books are as excellent as this one, I'll look forward to reading them.
60 of 77 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa23595b8) out of 5 stars Where is the mystery?? Sept. 1 2012
By Aklay1206 - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I feel bad for giving it a terrible review, especially since it looks like most peope loved it. I absolutely hated this book, almost didn't finish, but I try not to start something I don't finish.

The main character is so unlikeable, it is difficult to care what she has to say, and boy, does she have a lot to say. I like fashion as much as the next person, but the detailed descriptions on EVERYTHING almost put me to sleep. My lil' sister is a fashion designer, and even she couldn't finish the book. I find Laura very stuck up, a bit racist. Her fantasy about Jeremy and the way she keeps Stu around as the "second best" as she describes it makes it even harder to like her and makes Stu look like a stupid guy pining for someone out of her league, which she thinks she is. Her relationship with her sister is superficial, I wonder why they even "like" each other since she spends a lot of time talking badly about her. I do like her sister better than Laura, with all her flaws and perfection, she just seems like more of an interesting character.

Laura's self righteousness is bugging. Again, sister is in Fashion so I understand how they feel about counterfeits and such, and not to mention the legality of it, but the way she looks down on people who wear fakes makes me want to bury her in fakes.

The mystery aspect of it is boring I would not categorize this book as mystery at all. I guess half way through the book who the killer was and who was involved with what.

I am glad I downloaded this book for free when Amazon listed it under free section. I wouldn't be happy if I had spent $$ on it.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2359564) out of 5 stars A great read! July 2 2012
By C. McGowan - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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 Dead is the New Black. The other five books, of which I won't name, were so terrible I couldn't read more than one chapter. The ending was obvious, the writing was poor, and the cliche's were endless. I wanted some light reading, not bad writing! Anyway, when I started Dead is the New Black, my hopes weren't high, but I found myself in for a nice surprise. I kept reading.

Dead is the New Black by Christine DeMaio-Rice is a great story that combines the fashion industry with a kicky murder mystery all set in The Big Apple. Laura, the novel's protagonist, is a pattern-maker for Jeremy St. James, a fashion mogul (whom in all respects, is gay). She worships the ground Jeremy walks on knowing there is no way he'll ever return her affection; love is blind. And, much to Laura's delight, she is the only member of Jeremy's staff that he doesn't treat like scum beneath his feet. It has something to do with her immense talent as a pattern-maker. I didn't even know what this was until I read this book. A pattern-maker takes the design and perfects it on paper and then recreates it on a mannequin until it is absolute. Apparently, this is a career that takes a lot of skill and is quite literally the backbone of major designers entire lives. Who knew? I guess it's always the "little people" that make the biggest difference in most situations.

One morning, as Laura is arriving extra early at the office so she can have coffee with Jeremy and no one else, things take a nasty turn. Her coffee is spilled over her desk, the place is in disarray, and Jeremy St. James is standing over Gracie, his financial baker, holding a piece of material that was used to strangle her. OOPS! A dead body, and of course, an important person being literally over-shadowed by another important person. Jeremy St. James looks as guilty as O.J. Simpson (we all know he did it!), but Laura just can't believe the man she loves would do something like this. Thus begins her quest to prove the man she most admires innocent of the murder charge that sends him to jail.

Demaio-Rice tells a great story. The characters are fleshed-out and realistic. She throws in just enough twists and turns to steer you away from the killer's identity, and although I figured it out long before the end of the book, I kept reading for two reasons: 1) It was well written and a good story. 2) I had to be sure I was right.

The book is fully of witty writing with lines that made me laugh out loud: "You were supposed to take off the label when you got home. Those people were just too stupid." Seriously, how many times do you want to say this to someone?

I learned a lot about the fashion industry in this book, too. There is so much work that goes into a runway show, more than you could even imagine. I have a newfound respect for people that work in the garment industry.

Dead is the New Black is a book I'd recommend others to read. While it falls predominately into the "chick-lit" category, it has enough grit to be a great detective story, too. I would give this book 3 out of 5 stars, and the only reason I pull back to 3 is because I thought the killer was a bit obvious; but that's just me. I look forward to other books by this author.

Christine Deamaio-Rice has worked in the fashion industry for 20+ years. She is a graduate of the USC Screen Writing program, but has decided novels are her genre. I look forward to other books by her; if I understand what I'm reading correctly, this book is the first in a series.

I love this picture of the author, too. The main character, Laura, is obsessed with getting her scissors back throughout the entire book. A quirky, fun little detail.