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Murder in the Latin Quarter (Aimee Leduc Investigation)by Cara Black
Synopses & Reviews
Yes, Cara Black fans, Aimee Leduc is back. This is the ninth of Black's novels about the chic, indomitable Parisian detective, and it has all the elements Black's readers have come to cherish: an engaging protagonist with a likable sidekick (her diminutive partner, Rene Friant), cops who hinder more than they help, villains with murky motives, grisly crimes and, above all, the unique Parisian atmosphere.-San Francisco Chronicle No contemporary writer of noir mysteries evokes the spirit of Paris more than Cara Black in her atmospheric series starring P.I. Aimee Leduc...The fearless, risk-taking Aimee is constantly running, hiding, fighting and risking her life-all while dressed in vintage Chanel and Dior and Louboutin heels.-USA Today
The ninth mystery in Cara Black's irresistible series set in Paris...might well be the book we've been waiting for. Aimee Leduc, Black's adorably punkish sleuth, is in her element...One of this colorful series's most scenic itineraries.-The New York Times Book Review
Kinsey Millhone turned loose in Before Sunset...In Leduc's ninth outing, Paris, as always, sparkles in all its gargoyled, dusty, cobblestoned glory.-Entertainment Weekly
A Haitian woman arrives at the office of Leduc Detective and announces that she is Aimee's sister, her father's illegitimate daughter. Aimee is thrilled. A virtual orphan since her mother's disappearance and her father's death, she has always wanted a sister. Her partner, Rene, is wary of this stranger, but Aimee embraces her and soon finds herself involved in murky Haitian politics leading to murder. The setting is the Latin Quarter on the Left Bank of the Seine, in the old university district of Paris.
Cara Black is the author of nine books in the Aimee Leduc series. She frequently visits Paris but lives in San Francisco with her husband and son. For more information, visit www.carablack.com
"They say the past is a foreign country," comments a character in "Murder in the Latin Quarter," this latest Aimee Leduc mystery set in Paris. Aimee finds herself exploring the suddenly alien continent of her own history after the abrupt appearance — and then disappearance — of a woman claiming to be her sister, Mireille Leduc, the daughter of a Haitian woman who'd known her father during his university... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review) days. Verifying the woman's story may lead Aimee to hidden truths about her family: "The truth. An elusive thing at best. Her father had never revealed Mireille's existence; she had a mother whose name her father had refused to mention after she'd left, as if she had never existed. Her life was entangled by the cobwebs of the unspoken past." But she's quickly drawn into another mystery when she discovers the body of a Haitian scientist with whom Mireille had been involved. Because Mireille's mother had been killed in Haiti by Papa Doc Duvalier's Tonton Macoutes, and because the motivations for the scientist's murder may also stretch back into that history, Aimee must look into the country's long saga of poverty, malnutrition and violence. As usual, Cara Black trains her tour guide's eye on architectural and historical detail as Aimee's search for Mireille leads through a Latin Quarter thick with "the whispers of ghosts" and deep into the catacombs. Realism is occasionally strained, as Aimee poses as a student reporter, pretends to be looking for a cellist for a birthday party and stumbles regularly into the right place at the wrong time (she's the Nancy Drew of the Fifth Arrondissement). But the unfolding drama remains appealing, and surprises lie in wait for Aimee right up to a cliffhanger ending urging us on to the next installment. "August Heat," the latest of Camilleri's novels translated into English, may seem a trifle in some ways. Certainly the book has its layers of darkness: the discovery of a corpse in a buried trunk, a 16-year-old girl who vanished six years earlier; rumors that one suspect has become a sex tourist, traveling abroad to sate his interest in underage girls; and hints of a conspiracy that may involve the local government, the local mobsters or both. But Camilleri often presents it all with curmudgeonly whimsy. While solving the disappearance of a young boy, Inspector Salvo Montalbano uncovers a hidden section of the house the child's family had been renting and finds a dead body within: "a cross between a mummy and a giant parcel ready for shipping." Reconstructing the past holds the key to the crime — literally so, when Montalbano places the dead girl's twin sister at the murder scene to unmask the killer. But the joys of "August Heat" arise less from the central plot than from its margins: Montalbano's never-flagging fondness for food, his ruminations on aging and his commentaries on Italian society. (In addition to capturing Camilleri's dialectal quirks, translator Stephen Sartarelli also provides notes that explain the book's many historical and political references.) Often, the investigation serves as a kind of scaffolding from which to hang skit-length romps: Montalbano posing as a "Plenipotentiary Minister" to trick the head of forensics or endlessly dressing and undressing in his office to fend off thick summer sweat, a running joke. Even that twin sister starts out as a gag, with Montalbano inventing the woman on a whim to tease an over-amorous prosecutor and then being surprised himself when she emerges as an actual person (and a romantic interest, despite the 33-year age difference between her and the detective). "Was this any way to carry on an investigation?" Montalbano muses to himself at one point. "It was starting to look like a comedy routine." That assessment might well apply to much of "August Heat," even as darker forces close in. But the occasional absurdity doesn't detract from the novel's myriad pleasures. Reviewed by Art Taylor, who regularly reviews mysteries and thrillers for The Washington Post., Washington Post Book World (Copyright 2006 Washington Post Book World Service/Washington Post Writers Group)
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"One of the best heroines in crime fiction" (Lee Child) returns in this latest entry in the Aimee Leduc series.
Aimée finds herself involved in murky Haitian politics and murders on the Left Bank.
Praise for the Aimée Leduc series:
“One of the best heroines in crime fiction.”—Lee Child
“If you’ve never been to Paris, or you’d like to go back soon, let Cara Black transport you there.”—Linda Fairstein
“Charming. . . . Aimée is one of those blithe spirits who can walk you through the city’s historical streets and byways with their eyes closed.”—The New York Times Book Review
A Haitian woman arrives at the office of Leduc Detective and announces that she is Aimée’s sister, her father’s illegitimate daughter. Aimée is thrilled. A virtual orphan since her mother’s disappearance and her father’s death, she has always wanted a sister. Her partner, René, is wary of this stranger, but Aimée embraces her and soon finds herself involved in murky Haitian politics leading to murder. The setting is the Latin Quarter on the Left Bank of the Seine, in the old university district of Paris.
Cara Blackis the author of nine books in the Aimée Leduc series. She frequently visits Paris but lives in San Francisco with her husband and son. For more information, visit www.carablack.com
About the Author
Cara Black is the author of eleven books in the New York Times bestselling Aimée Leduc series, all of which are available from Soho Crime. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and son and visits Paris frequently.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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