Title: Crime of Fashion
Author: Chautona Havig
Series: Hartfield Mysteries series, book 2
Major Themes: Murder Mysteries, Christian Fiction
Synopsis: Alexa, an author with an eccentric wardrobe, is given the opportunity to help a new clothing business get off the ground—but when someone starts trying to harm the venture and the manager is killed, can they catch the criminal before any more harm is done?
Sometimes, I’m terribly annoyed at Mom for introducing me to Mrs. Havig’s books. I’ve since exchanged too many of my hours to read them, and Crime of Fashion was no different in this regard. I can’t tell you when or where I was when I finished it, but I can almost guarantee it was either too late at night or when I should have been doing other work during the day. I do try to limit the amount of hers that I read, but sometimes it can be difficult—especially when I know another mystery needs to be solved!
Alexa Hartfield, now-famous author and known for her odd mix of clothing preferences, is faced with a new offer: To help fund a line of clothing that will share some of her love of different era’s styles with the wider public. She decides to take the plunge, excited about the possibilities that this could create for some of the women who have helped her add to her wardrobe in the past. However, someone seems to be intent on sabotaging the business—they have an expensive break-in, all the models for a show are suddenly unavailable, and somehow a tap got left on above the main showroom. Then, when her general manager is suddenly killed, things become even worse. Who could be doing everything, and why? With time running out, will they be able to find the criminal before anyone else is killed?
Besides just being a whodunit story, I loved witnessing Alexa’s relationships with other people. Not only with her favorite dressmaker, but also with her family and those she counted as close friends. Crime of Fashion is made rich by the different people she met with sometimes on a daily basis. I loved how her giving spirit came through, and how she took care of Joe when he needed food in his times off work. There was also quite a bit of humor in the story, which I appreciated as well—such as the time when Joe was supposed to read the morning paper, but he watched Alexa work instead.
One quote I liked was when Alexa was stopped on the street one day by teenage girls and asked why she wore the clothing she did.
“See, I’ve learned over the years that showing everything I have is a great way to get attention but a lousy way to keep it. If I want a guy to really see me—who I am—if I want to see him more than a few times, I have to keep him guessing, or he’ll just move on to the next girl with lots to show and little left to the imagination. I prefer to wait for guys who respect me—not just my body.”
If you like good Christian fiction, or enjoy the occasional mystery, I’d highly recommend this book. Like many of Mrs. Havig’s other books, this one is a great read.
WARNING: Being a murder mystery, there are two (fairly non-graphic) descriptions of people who were killed or someone attempted to kill them. Possibly a mention of blood at one point. And there is a building romance, as well, through the story, but never anything yucky.
Reading Independently—Ages 15 and Above, Adults