Friday, December 31, 2010

Murder in the Marais by Cara Black

Title: Murder in the Marais
Author: Cara Black
ISBN: 9781569472125
Publisher: Soho Crime, 2003
Paperback, 360 pages
Genre: Private Investigator, #1 Aimée Leduc mystery
Rating: B
Source: Paperback Swap

First Line: Aimée Leduc felt his presence before she saw him.

Aimée Leduc lives in an inconvenient apartment in an ideal location (an island in the River Seine in Paris), and she's a private investigator specializing in computer forensics. She has an apparently mundane task: decipher an encrypted photograph from the 1940s and deliver it to an old woman living in the Marais, the historic Jewish quarter of Paris. When Aimée tries to deliver the photo, she finds the woman dead, a swastika carved in her forehead.

With the help of her partner, René, Aimée uncovers clues relating to a German war veteran, the Jewish girl he saved from Auschwitz, and other shadowy figures. In order to understand the real motive behind the killing, Aimée has to question reluctant older residents of the Marais and to go undercover in an Aryan supremacist group.

I loved reading this book for its bringing Paris to life, and for Black's inclusion of fascinating tidbits like this:

He referred to white and brown sugar, the metaphor for right-wing conservatives and leftist socialists. She knew that in many households political leanings were identified by the kind of sugar sitting in sugar bowls.

The plot line involving World War II collaborators was fascinating, and although I didn't feel as though I had a very good sense of Aimée or her partner René, I look forward to learning more about them as I read more of this series.


  1. I like this series a lot because it has a lot of energy and is set in Paris. I read the first one and then this one, somehow missing the second book in between. Thanks for the reminder to go back and fill in before moving forward.

  2. I have meant to read this series for a long time. Maybe 2011 will be the year to start it. Glad it worked for you.

  3. I would like to read this so much. I am reading a P D James right now with a private detective and it is so interesting as well. This one is set in Cambridge - a beautiful city and the author is very descriptive.

  4. I must consider this series.

    Happy New Year, Cathy!

  5. Ooooh, I love the setting of this one.

    Happy and HEALTHY new year, Cathy.

  6. Oooh, this sounds good. I'm always interested in WW II related stories.

  7. Gilion-- You're welcome. Always glad to be of help! :)

    Kay-- So am I. May 2011 be filled with top ten list books!

    Mystica-- England has so many perfect settings for mysteries!

    Dorte-- Happy New Year!

    Beth-- Thank you!

    Barbara-- Black did an excellent job with that. I learned quite a bit about the whole thing from the French point of view.


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