Parisian P.I. Aimée Leduc finds herself caring for an abandoned infant while trying to track down the child’s missing mother
Aimée Leduc is on a tight work deadline when an anonymous call leads her to an abandoned infant in her building's courtyard. Aimée's search for little Stella's mother that will soon have her on the run from a cold-hearted killer and embroiled in a conflict between oil tycoons and environmental protesters.
Parisian private investigator Aimée Leduc is working on a tight deadline for a cybersecurity contract when she gets a phone call that disrupts all her progress. The female voice on the other end begs Aimée to go out into her courtyard, insists that her life is in danger, that Aimée must not call the police, then hangs up. Aimée’s project is in jeopardy, and her partner, René, will be furious if she botches this assignment, but she can’t ignore the distress in the mysterious caller’s voice. That doesn’t mean she’s prepared for what she finds in the courtyard, though: a newborn baby, wrapped in a blood-stained beaded jacket.
Aimée wants to track down the baby’s mother, but when a young woman’s body washes up in the Seine on the shores of the Ile Saint-Louis, the little island where Aimée herself lives, she realizes the situation is very dangerous. Paris has been rife with bomb threats linked to protesting environmental groups, and with a little investigating Aimée becomes convinced the baby, the body in the Seine, and the protests are somehow linked. Not that Aimée can afford distraction from her paying work right now--Leduc Detective is in bad financial straits. But despite themselves, Aimée and René have both fallen in love with the baby girl, whom Aimee nicknames Stella. Taking care of Stella’s needs—and protecting her from whoever hurt or killed her missing mother—must take priority over their computer security contract with a big publicity firm. Meanwhile, she’s following leads to the infant’s mother that take her to a radical dispossessed Polish prince, a community of homeless people who live in the sewer caves of the Seine, and a sexy documentary film maker. Can Aimée finish her security job, figure out who Stella belongs to, track down the missing mother, and protect herself and her friends from the danger that is circling them, all while juggling a newborn infant?
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The Paris locale is evoked beautifully but the plots of the novels in this series have become more disjointed as time goes by. Supposedly set in the 1990s, the technological sophistication of LeDuc's computer security business is pure 2000s. In 1995, lap tops weighed a ton and cell phones were the size of a loaf of bread. There is no real reason for the 1995 date and the mis-timed cultural references are distracting. I keep wanting to shout "Continuity!" The sub-plot involving her mother is wesring thin.