Little Black Dress by Kim Black doesn’t fit into one genre, and that’s great news for readers.
Though it’s a spy novel, it does not rely on many of the tropes that oftentimes accompany traditional espionage fiction. The most obvious difference is the gender of the protagonist—the beautiful Agent Evan Tyler.
And as we get to know Evan, we find out she’s much more than a Texas beauty queen with a modeling background. She’s a badass who loves her Springfield pistol almost as much as her secret weapon: the Little Black Dress.
The dress, which has technology that would impress a Double-0 Quartermaster but is beautiful enough to be distracting on its own, is one way Black writes Evan as a spy who’s more than capable physically, but who maintains her femininity among the men she’s working with in Paris.
The dress was built for her, and its inaugural mission finds Evan infiltrating the inner circle of a fashion designer suspected of aiding international terrorists.
As Evan interacts with the other members of her team, we see the hint of another genre—romance. The interplay between Evan and team leader Hedge Parker is a welcome romantic subplot amid the spycraft. Evan also deals with the come-ons of the fashion designer and other male members of her own team.
Little Black Dress is also an example of women’s fiction, as we see the interaction between Evan and several other models, and their mutual love for fashion and the world of modeling.
And no matter what genre you consider this novel, the bottom line is that it’s well-written and will keep you turning the pages. There are two more books in this series (so far), and this first installment has me looking forward to reading them.