The school year’s almost over, and Madison, Park, and Lexington Hamilton are ready to trade in their Birkin bags for bikinis. But before vacation comes work, and the triplets have plenty of it. Cleopatra, the newest, hottest, and most expensive club in Manhattan, is opening–and it just happens to also be Hamilton Holdings’ latest business venture. The girls must throw the party to end all parties. But this is one opening the sisters won’t soon forget. Before the night ends, the body of a classmate is found with a bloody wound on the side of his head. At first glance, the case appears to be open-and-shut. But the girls smell trouble. They know the murderer is still out there, and they’re willing to bet their sizable inheritance that the police won’t be able to unravel the mystery. Murder is so out, but until this crime is solved, it’s arrivederci Italia. And the Hamilton sisters simply won’t accept that as an option.
This fun kick-off to Pagliarulo's (A Different Kind of Heat) Celebutantes series successfully mixes humor and suspense. Triplet New York City heiresses-Madison, Park and Lexington Hamilton-are at a gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art when they stumble upon the murdered body of controversial magazine editor, Zahara Bell. The sisters find themselves suspects, along with two of their beaus (one of whom is an actor with a dark secret, the other, the son of their family's rival). To clear their names, the Hamilton sisters must balance serious detective work with some clever PR maneuvering. Additionally, they must escape the killer, who is sending them threatening messages, and recover a diamond, stolen from Bell's neck. Proving that "together, they were a force not even a killer could stop," the triplets break into the editor's house, steal a taxi and, after discovering that Bell was about to publish a scandalous article about their family, deflect attention by launching Lex's fashion line. But they never lose their sense of style along the way (when the killer text messages the girls: "Go to the police and you die in fleece," designer Lex shrieks "This killer is a sick puppy!") The mystery takes a little while to unravel and it does so in familiar fashion, but there are enough twists and clever touches to keep readers engaged. Ages 14-up.