Axelle Anderson doesn’t care about fashion, in spite of her pushy fashionista aunt, Venetia. All Axelle wants to do in life is solve mysteries. But when top fashion designer Belle La Lune goes missing and Aunt Venetia becomes a prime suspect, Axelle must go undercover as a model to bring the truth into the spotlight.
Model Undercover is an adorable read – we have Axelle, the wannabe Sherlock, who is more interested in finding the next mystery to solve than anything else. She is, however, coaxed into attending the Paris Fashion Week along with the aunt, by her mom. There is a lot of subtle image issues behind her mom and her best friend (et tu?) always breathing down her neck about taking care of her looks. It’s a fashion and aesthetics obsessed environment she grew up in, but it definitely strained credulity when her parents would rather have her strut down a runway than let her pursue her own interests. Anyway, when she arrives in Paris, the detective gods bless her with a missing person case – a big one that could help her show her parents how good she is.
But Axelle gets roped into being a model (again a little too stretched imagination) and then along with Sebastian (the chief of police’s son, who becomes the Watson to her Sherlock) starts to unravel the mystery behind the case. The case itself isn’t that interesting but the way Axelle goes about solving it, makes it a little less incredulous. She has a smart brain, and coupled with her ability to think on her feet, she has the makings of a good detective. Someone should, however, instill a healthy sense of self preservation in this girl, because she goes down chasing leads without even involving the police. Plus, she keeps things close to her heart, enjoying the thrill of unwrapping the mystery rather than, I don’t know, saving the person?
Overall, Axelle is a fine protagonist and the fashion aspect of the book is also well set up. The series definitely has promise.
Received a free galley from Sourcebooks Jabberwocky via Netgalley; this does not influence my opinion or the review.