Murder in Marais

This is the 1999 debut novel featuring Aimee Leduc as a French private detective. Cara Black is American with strong French ties. She spends weeks living in the section of Paris that serves as the home base for each particular story.

In this book, Marais had been home to thousands of Jews before the war. As this story opens, it is 1999 and Leduc spends most of her time on her computer breaking into other computers to find the information she has been hired to find. She is not a gumshoe. But her father was and she does know most of the moves when needed.

An old Jewish woman, one who was missed in the war roundups for the camps, is found by Leduc, murdered and with a swastika carved into her forehead. In her efforts to solve the murder, the police having been called off, she receives numerous threats and attempts on her life. As she gathers evidence, she moves higher up the chain of power, even to the center of both the French government and the fledgling European Union.

Black does a good job of putting we readers into the streets of Paris. The story is well told at a fast pace. My only complaint is that Black is an American who lives in San Francisco, so is not as immersed in Parisian life as a Parisian would be. Still, she does well.

High marks.

Mike Lawrence

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