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Murder in Passy: An Aimee Leduc Investigation by Cara Black
Cover Artist: Photo: danielkrieger.com
Review by Mel Jacob
Soho Crime Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9781569478820
Date: 08 March 2011 List Price $25.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Author's Website / Show Official Info /

The eleventh Aimée Leduc mystery by Cara Black, Murder in Passy, puts Aimée on the trail of Basque separatist when she seeks the murderer of Xavierre d'Eslay, beloved of Morbier, Aimée's godfather and a police detective. The stakes rise when he is arrested for the crime and a princess is kidnapped.

Aimée heads a private detective agency more accustomed to dealing with fraud and computer crimes than murder. As daughter of a policeman and with lessons from her prior cases, however, she is well suited to the case. Dedicated and tenacious, she uses her knowledge and her many friends to gain any information she can. Morbier warns her off, but she persists.

More by Cara Black:
Aimee Leduc Investigation:
* Murder on the Ile Saint-Louis
* Murder in the Rue De Paradis
* Murder in the Latin Quarter
* Murder in the Latin Quarter
* Murder in Passy
Reasons for the efforts of the equivalent of an internal affairs squad to convict Morbier seem to focus on hiding something else, but Aimée has no idea what. He had been investigating the case of a policeman killed during a robbery of identity documents.

She finds her efforts blocked at every turn and the police refuse access to the evidence against Morbier. In addition, Xavierre's family distrusts her and agrees with the police. She senses they live in fear, but has no idea why or of what.

To catch the killer she must delve into Xavierre's student years and associates especially among the Basque separatists. Aimée believes Xavierre knew her killer.

She calls on her partner René Friant, a whiz at computer systems and data manipulation. He reminds her they have a business to run and they are not police or even ordinary private investigators. Eventually, his efforts make him a target of the group holding a kidnapped princess.

Black drops fashion product names with abandon, but uses her Paris setting to advantage. She builds her mystery in fascinating pieces that rise to an exciting climax. Some actions near the end strain credibility. In any event, another title is sure to follow Aimée's adventures. Black has indicated her intention of devoting other novels to the remaining nine of the twenty districts (arrondissements) of Paris she has not yet covered.

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