Synopses & Reviews
The world knows Aimée Leduc, heroine of 15 mysteries in this New York Times bestselling series, as a très chic, no-nonsense private investigator — the toughest and most relentless in Paris. Now, author Cara Black dips back in time to reveal how Aimée first became a detective...
November 1989: Aimée Leduc is in her first year of college at Paris’s preeminent medical school. She lives in a 17th-century apartment that overlooks the Seine with her father, who runs the family detective agency.
But the week the Berlin Wall crumbles, so does Aimée’s life as she knows it. First, someone has sabotaged her lab work, putting her at risk of failing out of the program. Then, she finds out her aristo boyfriend is getting engaged to another woman. And finally, Aimée’s father takes off to Berlin on a mysterious errand. He asks Aimée to help out at the detective agency while he’s gone — as if she doesn’t already have enough to do. But the case Aimée finds herself investigating—a murder linked to a transport truck of Nazi gold that disappeared in the French countryside during the height of World War II — has gotten under her skin. Her heart may not lie in medicine after all—maybe it’s time to think harder about the family business.
Set in 1989 bestseller Black’s 16th Aimée Leduc investigation (after 2015’s Murder on the Champs des Mars) is a prequel that tells the intriguing story of Aimée’s debut as a detective. When Aimée’s father Jean Claude travels to Germany on business around the time of the fall of the Berlin Wall he leaves Aimée a first year medical student who’s struggling with academic failure and her boyfriend leaving her for another woman temporarily in charge of the family owned detective agency in Paris. Elise Pelletier who claims to be Jean Claude’s second cousin brings Aimée her first case. Elise wants to find the woman whose name and phone number were on a matchbook in the pocket of her dead father Bruno who was discovered tied and bound with a bullet in his head under the Pont des Invalides. As Aimée investigates she becomes enmeshed in the murky history of the murder of four German soldiers in Vichy France during WWII. Series fans will enjoy learning more about Aimée’s mysterious past. Agent: Katherine Fausset Curtis Brown. (June) " Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
"Wry, complex, sophisticated, intensely Parisian ... One of the very best heroines in crime fiction today." Lee Child
"Transcendently, seductively, irresistibly French." Alan Furst
"A winning mystery, as stylish and sexy as the city Cara Black knows so well." George Pelecanos
"So begins the arc of Aimée's story: the first corpse, the first clue, the first shattered love affair, the first meeting with René, her eventual partner, and the reader's first glimpse of Leduc Detectives." Kirkus Reviews
"Finally we have the prequel we’ve been craving... A treat for series fans." Booklist
About the Author
Cara Black is the author of thirteen books in the New York Times bestselling Aimée Leduc series. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and son and visits Paris frequently.