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On the Avenue: The Celebutantes    by Antonio Pagliarulo order for
On the Avenue
by Antonio Pagliarulo
Order:  USA  Can
Delacorte, 2007 (2007)
Hardcover, Softcover

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* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

YA series about the rich and famous have been popular lately, from Gossip Girls to The Nannies and The A-List. The Celebutantes stars three sixteen-year-old Hamilton triplets - Madison, Park, and Lexington. These rather shallow sophisticates are heiresses to billions and used to media attention. The twist on this series is that each episode presents a mystery for the sisters to solve.

As On the Avenue opens, Madison and Park have been asked by their absent father to attend a gala fundraiser at the Met. Park and Hollywood's golden boy Jeremy Bleu connect immediately. Madison is distressed to see Theo West, 'the forbidden object of her affection' (they have a Romeo & Juliet relationship going) snuggling closely with another. Lex, who was pointedly not invited, bribes her way to the event, determined to exploit it to introduce her own Triple Threat label to the most powerful fashion editor in New York City, Zahara Bell. Unfortunately, while fleeing a particularly aggressive paparazzo, the triplets - and Jeremy Bleu - stumble upon Zahara's body, clothed in one of Lex's unique dresses. Not only that, but the fabulous Avenue Diamond - which Zahara was wearing and which totally fascinates Park - has disappeared.

The Hamiltons are soon suspects in the murder - as are both Madison's and Park's boyfriends - the media is in a feeding frenzy, and corporate stocks are at risk. Then there's another death. What are celebutantes to do? Solve the mystery of course - using fashion sense to profile the killer! And they'd better do it fast, as the killer is threatening one of them (via cell phone messages of course). On the Avenue is frivolous, frothy fun.

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