If you had warnings its probably the cables connecting the handle to the brakes.
If you didnt have any warning it might be bound up in the mechanism itself.
You can take the center console out pretty easily to access it, then its only a few of bolts (3 maybe?) to remove and inspect the mechanism...it should be pretty apparent when you get it in your hands if the problem is in the mechanism or not.
Cables are a relatively common failure because they can get corroded under the sheathing. Its a straightforward enough repair but you have to take a lot of the bottom of the car apart. Might be worth letting a shop do it unless you have a clean dry place to work and the ability to lift the car up for access.
Not sure how many hours a shop would charge but it shouldn't be more than two. In reality a competent mechanic with a lift could do it in one but two would be reasonable.
I highly recommend not blowing it off, as my e-brake has saved my life more than once when my car tried to kill me.
You can access most of the e-brake cabling from underneath if you can get the car on jack stands (always lift the car safely!) and you can drop the exhaust partially (pull the hangers, and support the rear), and loosen / remove the exhaust heat shielding. Like mm757 said, start from the console to see what's up, but if you need to replace cables, and you're comfortable raising and working under the car, it's a job you can do. (Don't over stress / bend the exhaust flex pipe if you need to work on the forward cable connecting the handle to the two rear cables.)
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