In bestseller Black’s fast-paced 18th Aimée Leduc investigation (after 2017’s Murder in Saint-Germain), Léo Solomon, an elderly retired accountant in poor health, insists that lawyer Éric Besson, whose late mother was a friend of Léo’s, deliver a notebook containing his handwritten confession and evidence of decades of police corruption to Paris’s chief prosecuting attorney. Éric asks his 18-year-old nephew, Marcus, to act as courier, but Marcus never reaches his destination. When the boy’s body turns up on the street two days later, the police rule the death a drug-related homicide. Éric asks his friend Aimée to investigate. Aimée, a new mother, reluctantly takes on the case only when she discovers that her late father is implicated by information in the now-missing notebook. When the killer threatens her daughter, Aimée is forced to accept help from the source she trusts least: her family. Once again Black combines a twist-filled mystery with a convincing look at the culture and politics of the City of Lights. Agent: Katherine Fausset, Curtis Brown. (June)
Aimée Leduc (Murder in Saint-Germain, 2017, etc.) chases across Paris' low-rent district in search of a World War II-era dossier.Attorney Éric Besson can't believe there might be anything of value in the notebook Holocaust survivor Léo Solomon brings him wrapped in old twine. But the aging accountant insists the document must be presented to la Procureur de la République that very day. To pacify the old coot, Besson gives the packet to his sister's kid Marcus, who serves as his office boy, for delivery. But Besson's nephew delays his mission to spend a couple of hours at a hotel with his girlfriend, Karine. A couple of thugs break in and cut his date short, and by the time Marcus' body is discovered, Karine and the diary are nowhere to be found. Though Besson doesn't want to spend any more effort on Solomon, his diary, or even finding Marcus' killer, the case is red meat to Aimée. She thrives on redressing old wrongs. And as she pokes into the first few layers of the puzzle, she begins to suspect that Solomon's diary may include incriminating evidence against members of "the Hand," a part-political, part-criminal organization that may have been complicit in her father's death. Her partner in Leduc Detectives René Friant, warns her that the case will put both Aimée and her 10-month-old daughter in the cross hairs of some very bad people. Of course Aimée ignores René, and of course she and Chloé end up running for their lives. How many times will readers watch Aimée try desperately to shield her bébé from the consequences of her off-the books investigations? On ne sait jamais.Like her earlier entries, Black's latest is refreshingly free from the focus on French food culture that marks provincial mysteries and gratifyingly full of local Parisian color. But a little more variation in the detection menu would be welcome.
Praise for Murder on the Left Bank
"Even after 17 books, Ms. Black has intriguing corners of Paris to reveal—from an enclave of ateliers once home to the likes of Gauguin and Rodin to a crime-ridden neighborhood where 'no one wanted to be witnessed witnessing.'"
—Tom Nolan, The Wall Street Journal
"One of [Black's] strongest mysteries . . . But the real joy of Murder on the Left Bank is in its familiar cast and its thoughtful, witty, occasionally melancholy evocation of Paris, the city where we keep so many of our most beautiful ideas about what life might mean."
—Charles Finch, USA Today
"Cara Black’s Aimée Leduc is a gem: a stylish, brave private detective (and new mom) who zips around Paris on a scooter . . . Black treats us to another of her beguiling tours of some of Paris’ little-known corners."
—Adam Woog, The Seattle Times
"Marvelous . . . Murder on the Left Bank boasts all of Black's trademark charms, including deft plotting, sharp dialog and colorful sights and sounds."
"Since 1998’s Murder in the Marais, I have looked forward to each new installment of Cara Black’s series featuring Paris-based private investigator Aimée Leduc. I’ve read them all, and there isn’t a clinker in the lot."
—Bruce Tierney, BookPage
"The atmospheric stories are so well-written that they make the reader believe they are in Paris."
—Deadly Pleasures Magazine
"Cara Black takes the classic ingredients of the genre and puts a new Gallic spin on them. The finest PI series now being written."
—Mick Herron, author of This Is What Happened and the Slough House series
“Always entertaining . . . This well-crafted mystery is set on Paris’s Left Bank, though not the chic environs of the fifth through seventh arrondissements; one of Black’s strengths is showing us the grittier, everyday Paris.”
"Gratifyingly full of local Parisian color."
"A quintessential author of crime fiction set in Paris . . . Not to be missed for readers of exacting heroines, and the crooked villains hiding along Paris’ picturesque boulevards."
—Elle Marr, Criminal Element
"A thrilling adventure, filled with colorful characters that will keep you turning the pages until the exciting finale."
"Black's plotting is intense and acutely paced, with twists in each chapter and a smooth and powerful narrative that sweeps through the book."
Praise for Murder in Saint-Germain
A Los Angeles Times National Bestseller
A BBC Best Summer Read of 2017
“The abiding pleasure of this series is the chance to ride with a cabdriver who wants to discuss Sartre or just tearing around Paris on Aimée’s pink Vespa, making stops at the Jardin du Luxembourg and the Île Saint-Louis, where Aimée has an apartment. Lucky girl.”
—The New York Times Book Review
“An atmospheric thriller with a savvy take on international arms dealing.”
—BBC's Between the Lines
“The pace is, as ever, lickety-split, the sleuthing complex and the small pauses to savour Saint-Germain’s glories delightfully educational.”
—The Toronto Star
“Black's detective is hitting her post-pregnancy stride, bringing up bébé while battling the bad guys with the best of them.”
Next in Black's always entertaining "Aimée Leduc" series (after Murder in Saint-Germain), this well-crafted mystery is set on Paris's Left Bank, though not the chic environs of the fifth through seventh arrondissements; one of Black's strengths is showing us the grittier, everyday Paris. When 13th-arrondissement lawyer Éric Besson receives a notebook from elderly accountant Léo Solomon detailing how he laundered dirty money for dirty cops, Besson quickly sends it to the authorities via his assistant/nephew Marcus. But Marcus has been murdered, the notebook has vanished, and for help Besson turns to Aimée, best friend of his second cousin. Though she's doing computer security work for the Bibliothèque François-Mitter and is warned by an especially huffy partner René to stay away from criminal cases, Aimée must investigate; Éric says that her father, a victim of police corruption, is mentioned in the book. Aimée leapfrogs from Paris's Cambodian neighborhood, where Marcus's girlfriend lives, to La Manufacture des Gobelins, where Léo worked and tapestries are still made in the medieval fashion. Her efforts put daughter Chloe in danger, upping the tension, and the surprise ending is especially satisfying. VERDICT Another great Aimée Leduc work; for all mystery fans. [See Prepub Alert, 12/8/17.]—Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal