Aimée Léduc

Created by Cara Black

Parisian AIMÉE LÉDUC is one P.I. who really gets into it, be it surfing the web, traveling through sewers, or going undercover among neo-Nazis. That's just the kinda hands-on kinda half-American, half-French gal she is.

Aimée makes her living as a private investigator in the Paris, aided by her partner, René Friant, a "handsome dwarf" with green eyes, a goatee and considerable computer skills. Which comes in handy, because they specialize in computer forensics and corporate security.

In their first recorded case (and Black's first novel), 1998's Murder in the Marais, nominated for both an Anthony and a Macavity, they're hired by a rabbi to decipher a fifty-year-old photo and soon find themselves mixed up in Nazis, past and present, old war crimes, and some very recent murders.

In the follow-up, Murder in Belleville, Aimée Leduc helps out a pal, a Defence Minister's wife. The path leads to Belleville, the working-class neighbourhood where Edith Piaf lived, and a ragout of intrigue, featuring a car bombing, Islamic fundamentalists, a hunger strike and murder.

And so it goes throughout this "consistently satisfying" (Booklist) series, now up to eight novels (and counting) with the 2013 publication of Murder in the Pigalle (like her hero, Léo Malet, Black seems intent on investing every nook and cranny of the City of Light with murder and mayhem).

But it's not just her setting (although few have done it better) -- Black also manages to invest the series with a defiant hipness that may acknowledge the past traditions of the genre, but never caves in to slavish devotion. Aimée's her own woman; definitely one of a kind, a thoroughly modern gumshoe with a thoroughly modern outlook and a penchant for retro clothing, She may bill herself as a computer/security expert, but don't kid yourself -- she's the real deal. And Black's not just one of the best women P.I. writers currently working the mean streets, but one of the best P.I. writers around, period.

Point final.

Cara Black currently lives in San Francisco.

STRAIGHT RFROM THE AUTHOR'S MOUTH

  • "I've read and enjoyed Simenon's Inspector Maigret detective series and the lesser-known Léo Malet's detective Nestor Burma, whose cases take him to the forgotten pockets and quartiers of Paris. I've liked them so much I hope to do the same with Aimée, so she and the reader can discover an off-the tourist track Paris, real and sometimes gritty."

-- Cara Black

UNDER OATH

  • "Murder in the Marais provides a richly textured journey into the dark side of the City of Light. With its engaging characters, terrific setting, and absorbing and satisfying plot, this powerful debut left me anxiously awaiting Aimé Leduc's next adventures."

-- Linda Grant

  • “Gripping. . . . A wonderfully complex plot is lent immediacy by environmental activists agitating against a proposed oil agreement. . . . This Paris has a gritty, edgy feel, and Black’s prose evokes the sound of the Seine rising with the spring thaw. Aimée makes an engaging protagonist.”

--Publishers Weekly (starred review); on Murder on the Ile Saint-Louis

NOVELS

RELATED LINKS

The author's official site.

A listing of French eyes.

Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith. Merci, Cara, for the little tip, entre nous. Puis, aussi à Jan.


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