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The Brim Reaper by Diane Vallere
When an over-the-top collection of vintage Hollywood costumes comes to Samantha Kidd’s hometown, it brings a hat box full of hype. Close friend Eddie is in charge of the exhibit, but when hype turns to homicide, he turns to Samantha for help. Brimming with good intentions, she loops in the cops, but after one too many cloche calls, she’s soon in over her head. If she can tear the lid off the investigation, it might mean a feather in her fedora. And if she can’t? She might get capped.
In THE BRIM REAPER, Samantha finds herself helping her friend Eddie with an exhibit of hats on loan from Hollywood. And hats, I found, are an interesting accessory, because there was a time when a woman wouldn’t leave home without one, but now they’re almost as extinct as the hairpieces women wore in the late sixties! But since Samantha is a fashion history major and clearly has an appreciation for all things fashion, she’s the perfect person to help—especially when things take a turn toward the dark side.
Samantha and I had a chance to talk about hats while I was working on the book, and here are a couple of her favorite images in fashion. Images where the hat looks so right, you almost can’t imagine it without one.
1. Coco Chanel, 1930
Coco Chanel redefined fashion. Before her, there was no little black dress, no spectator pumps, and no designer perfumes. But did you know before she got her start with fashion she sold hats?
2. Marlene Dietrich, 1933
Before there was a beret on Faye Dunaway in Bonnie and Clyde, before there was a beret on Monica Lewinsky, and before there was a beret on Samantha on the cover of BUYER, BEWARE, there was a beret on Marlene Dietrich.
3. Dior New look, 1947
This single image from Christian Dior launched a shift in the fashion industry. It was shocking in the face of wartime conservativism, but brought back a feminine silhouette not seen since the turn of the century.
5. YSL, 1967, 1969
Known for making menswear sexy (a trick Samantha employs in THE BRIM REAPER to keep her relationship with Nick strictly business), Yves St. Laurent shows two looks that remain heavily copied in the fashion world today. Trouser suit, 1967, and Safari suit, 1969.
About the Author
Diane Vallere is living proof that you can redesign your life with a little know how and a lot of determination! After close to two decades working for a top luxury retailer, she traded fashion accessories for accessories to murder, now juggling three different mystery series: Style & Error, featuring former fashion buyer Samantha Kidd; Mad for Mod, featuring Doris Day-loving interior decorator Madison Night; and the upcoming Material Witness series, featuring Polyester Monroe and the fabric shop she inherited. Diane started her own detective agency at age ten and has maintained a passion for shoes, clues, and clothes ever since. Find her at http://www.dianevallere.com/.
Connect with Diane!
The Brim Reaper by Diane Vallere is a fun entry in her Style & Error mystery series. I have enjoyed the books in this series. It is a really fun mix of mystery and fashion. I love the fashion info throughout the story!