Monday, April 13, 2009

Paris Mysteries

Since I'm soon heading for Paris, I'm exploring books set in that glorious city. Cara Black is a San Francisco writer who has a successful mystery series and I was delighted by her first book in the series. Murder in the Marais introduces Aimee Leduc, a half-French, half-American detective who is fearless and sometimes impulsive, which of course gets her into trouble. Her extraordinarily talented partner, Rene is a dwarf and computer genius who provides vital assistance. Aimee is approached by a rabbi to decipher an encrypted photo. As she enters an apartment to deliver it to an old woman in the old Jewish Quarter, she finds a corpse with a swastika carved on her forehead. From that point we move into an exploration of the SS, collaborators, neo-nazis, dark secrets and passions stemming from the German occupation. I found myself admiring a good story, deepening intrigue and strong physical actions and descriptions. This would make a good movie with it's strong physical sense of place, compelling characters, evil and good colliding, and a crescendo of action that keeps you reading late into the night.
I'm delighted to have discovered Aimee and look forward to following her exploits as I prepare to visit her city.

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