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My Other
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Foreign Editions
I'm relaunching my new thriller!
is now available in
e-book and trade paperback
editions from Amazon.
My Crime of Fashion Mysteries relaunch continues with
my Christmas mystery.
The first three books in the series: 
are also available in new e-book and trade paperback editions with beautiful new covers. More new Crime of Fashion editions soon!
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The Crime of Fashion Series

Ellen Byerrum is a novelist, playwright, reporter, former Washington D.C. journalist, and a graduate of private investigator school in Virginia.
    The Woman in the Dollhouse is her first suspense thriller. It introduces a young woman named Tennyson Claxton, whose mind seems to hold the memories of two very different women.

    Ellen writes the Crime of Fashion Mysteries, starring that stylish female sleuth Lacey Smithsonian, a reluctant fashion reporter in Washington D.C., "The City Fashion Forgot." Two of these mysteries, Killer Hair and Hostile Makeover, were filmed for the Lifetime Movie Network. The latest in the series is Lethal Black Dress.

    Her novels, her middle-grade mystery, The Children Didn’t See Anything, and her spooky Halloween ghost story, The Last Goodbye of Harris Turner, are all available on Amazon.


Photo of Ellen Byerrum © Joe Henson


Lethal Black Dress

The Tenth Crime of Fashion Mystery


An innocent little black dress becomes a lethal black dress at the most secure event in Washington, D.C., the fabled White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

     There's something very strange about a TV reporter's vintage black gown and its stunning emerald lining. When the woman dies mysteriously, fashion reporter Lacey Smithsonian follows her sixth fashion sense about that lethal black dress. Lacey's investigation brings her face to face with spies, lies, danger and jealousy, the green-eyed monster.

     But will our fashionable style sleuth also discover that green is the color of death?

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The First Crime of Fashion Mystery
Lacey Smithsonian looked down at the unfortunate woman in the coffin and thought, "Oh my God, that is the worst haircut I've ever seen."
     And they say you can't die from a bad haircut...   
    Killer Hair is the book that began the entire Crime of Fashion Mystery series, and launched my stylish sleuth Lacey Smithsonian on her comic (yet romantic) adventures in crime-solving, couture, and love.
     It's also the book that began my career as a mystery novelist, and I'm proud to present it in a brand-new edition that reflects my original vision for Lacey and her world.
The Second Crime of Fashion Mystery
If you can't dress up for the United States Senate, what can you dress up for? Lacey wondered. Apparently not much. Poorly dressed, badly coiffed, regrettably groomed? Ah yes, the journalists...
    Designer Knockoff has always been, for me, the heart and soul of my series. This is the book where we first discover what Lacey's Aunt Mimi (and her trunk full of dusty old dress patterns) means to her, how they inspire her, and how that ancient steamer trunk leads her into a  decades-old mystery -- and helps her find the solution.
     Mimi's legacy of heart, soul and style lives on in Lacey Smithsonian.
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The Third Crime of Fashion Mystery
Hostile Makeover was inspired by the reality TV shows dealing in "extreme makeovers," from surgical to stylistic. I wondered what might happen when that outer “ugly duckling” becomes a beautiful swan. Might her soul suffer as radical a transformation? Would the dream of beauty and fame become a nightmare? How would an extreme makeover change the “lucky” girl and those around her in the celebrity world of high fashion modeling and design, as well as her loved ones?
     And how would Lacey be drawn into solving a mystery in which the inner self and the outer façades of both victim and killer seem to be at war?
The Fifth Crime of Fashion Mystery

Why is Lacey ruining Christmas?!

     The holidays are a season of joy in Our Nation’s Capital, but fashion reporter Lacey Smithsonian learns there’s no room at the inn for the hungry and homeless.

     Lacey is tangled up in a scandal called “Sweatergate,” the paper’s food editor is on a baking boycott, everyone seems to be mad at everyone else, and poor Lacey is (unfairly) getting blamed. When the office Grinch is brutally assaulted with a giant candy cane and a homeless child dressed in a stolen shepherd’s robe is the only witness, Lacey searches the snowy back alleys of D.C. on a rescue mission to keep a killer from ruining Christmas.

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A novel of suspense
What’s in a name? Shakespeare said “a rose by any other name...” And what’s in a book title? I’ve fought publishers for great titles that I’m proud I stuck with. But what about The Dollhouse in the Crawlspace? I think it's my best book so far, and reviewers agree that my new thriller is intense, gripping and affecting—yet my readers have resisted picking it up.
     It's been hard to get it placed online in the “right company,” books similar in style and theme, and perhaps the original title suggests it's a creepy horror story like Toys in the Attic, which it definitely is not.  But I'm very proud of my heroine Tennyson Claxton and her odyssey to discover who she really is and where she belongs in the world. She deserves another chance -- and a new title!
    Here it is: The Woman in the Dollhouse. Please join me (and Tennyson) on this journey, and let me know what you think.