Published by Soho Crime,
14 June 2016.
ISBN: 978-1-616-95624-0 (HB)
14 June 2016.
ISBN: 978-1-616-95624-0 (HB)
After 15 Aimee Leduc mysteries, Cara Black turned her attention backward in time to the start of Aimee’s career, providing a back story to her beginnings as a detective, and introducing some of the basics which inhabit subsequent novels, namely how she met Rene Friant, her partner in Leduc
Detective*,* and acquired Miles Davis, her bichon frise. At the time, Aimee was a first-year medical student, hating every moment.
Then one day while Aimee was in her father’s office, as he was about to leave for Berlin to obtain the Stasi file on his renegade wife, who had disappeared years before, a distant relation asks him to find a young woman who perhaps was the last person to see her father before he was murdered. Instead, Aimee takes the case on herself as her father had refused to do so before he left.
From that point on, all the attributes of an Aimee Leduc mystery flow: Aimee getting into all kinds of danger; all the flavor and smells of Paris streets and neighborhoods; the give-and-take between Aimee and her godfather and high police official Morbier; Aimee’s passion for discounted fashion clothes; among other common features of the series. Since it was her first case, the progress is not as smooth as future investigations, as she stumbles and learns, but unquestionably the book is recommended as an introduction to her subsequent adventures.
Reviewer: Theodore Feit
Cara Black was born in Chicago but has lived in California’s Bay Area since she was five years old. Before turning to writing full-time, she tried her hand at a number of jobs: she was a barista in the Basel train station café in Switzerland, taught English in Japan, studied Buddhism in Dharamsala in Northern India, and worked as a bar girl in Bangkok (only pouring drinks!). After studying Chinese history at Sophia University in Tokyo—where she met her husband, Jun, a bookseller, potter, and amateur chef—she obtained her teaching credential at San Francisco State College, and went on to work as a preschool director and then as an agent of the federally funded Head Start program, which sent her into San Francisco’s Chinatown to help families there—often sweatshop workers—secure early care and early education for their children. Each of these jobs was amazing and educational in a different way, and the Aimée Leduc books are covered in fingerprints of Cara’s various experiences. She is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of 14 books in the Private Investigator Aimée Leduc series, which is set in Paris. With more than 400,000 books in print, the Aimée Leduc series has been translated into German, Norwegian, Japanese, French, Spanish, Italian, and Hebrew.
Her love of all things French was kindled by the French-speaking nuns at her Catholic high school, where Cara first encountered French literature and went crazy for the work of Prix Goncourt winner Romain Gary. Her junior year in high school, she wrote him a fan letter—which he answered, and which inspired her to make her first trip to Paris, where her idol took her out for coffee and a cigar. Since then, she has been to Paris many, many times. On each visit she entrenches herself in a different part of the city, learning its secret history. She has posed as a journalist to sneak into closed areas, trained at a firing range with real Paris flics, gotten locked in a bathroom at the Victor Hugo museum, and—just like Aimée—gone down into the sewers with the rats (she can never pass up an opportunity to see something new, even when the timing isn’t ideal—she was headed to a fancy dinner right afterwards and had a spot of bother with her shoes). For the scoop on real Paris crime, she takes the flics out for drinks and dinner to hear their stories—but it usually turns into a long evening, which is why she sticks with espresso.
Ted and Gloria Feit live in Long Beach, NY, a few miles outside New York City. For 26 years, Gloria was the manager of a medium-sized litigation firm in lower Manhattan. Her husband, Ted, is an attorney and former stock analyst, publicist and writer/editor for, over the years, several daily, weekly and monthly publications. Having always been avid mystery readers, and since they're now retired, they're able to indulge that passion. Their reviews appear online as well as in three print publications in the UK and US. On a more personal note: both having been widowed, Gloria and Ted have five children and nine grandchildren between them.
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