Post by Director of Suspense Molly Odintz
I’ve adored Cara Black’s ever-so-stylish Aimée Leduc Investigations ever since I first picked up my sister’s well-worn copy of Murder in the Marais over ten years ago. My Francophile sister and I read everything we could about France, so of course we would fall in love with a series that started in Paris’ historic Jewish quarter, wherein we have wandered, thought about the past and eaten falafel, while appreciating the neighborhood’s mélange of old and new, gay and cis, Jewish and Muslim, and global and local. The reasons I initially fell in love with the series are personal and simple, but the series itself portrays a complex and richly detailed world, full of evolving relationships, tie-ins to French politics, and some seriously chic style.
Cara Black has just released Aimée Leduc’s 17th investigation, Murder in Saint-Germain, and while her life has been complicated from her first appearance, Aimée spends much of Murder in Saint-Germain juggling intrigue with the needs of her new bebe, the fallout from her father’s death, and new challenges in her always-difficult love life, for a very French, and very detective novel, twist on having it all. Black has set the majority of her Leduc Investigations in the 90s, with the exception of her previous installment in the series, Murder on the Quai, a story that took us back to Aimée’s early days as a medical student and takes us through her first case. Murder in Saint-Germain takes us right back to where we left off at the end of Murder in the Champ du Mars – once again, we can appreciate Black’s mastery of her historical moment, as well as admire her character’s elegant style and commitment to social justice.
In her latest, Black puts Aimée to work on three different cases, while carefully updating us on all the loose ends in Aimée ‘s personal life. Leduc Investigations, let by Réné, is hard at work on a business security investigation, while Aimee is recruited informally to track down a Serbian war criminal and find out why members of a French task force previously stationed in the Balkans are now disappearing. She also is still in pursuit of more details surrounding the shocking denouement of Murder on the Champ de Mars, and is hard at work avoiding the inevitable confrontation between herself and her father’s killer, who also happens to be a surrogate parent to her, and one of her oldest confidants.