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Murder in the Marais by Cara Black
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Murder in the Marais (original 1999; edition 2000)

by Cara Black

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7573612,258 (3.2)71
Member:christiguc
Title:Murder in the Marais
Authors:Cara Black
Info:New York: Soho Press, 2000.
Collections:Your library, To read
Rating:
Tags:fiction, female author, american, france, paris, marais, mystery, private investigator, female detective, aimee leduc, war, wwii, jewish, racism, series-1st, soho crime, soho press, bookshelf34

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Murder in the Marais by Cara Black (1999)

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2.5**

Aimee Leduc heads the Leduc Detective Agency; she does not typically deal with criminal matters, but specializes in computer security and investigation. When a rabbi asks her to break the encryption on a 50-year-old photograph she agrees only because the old man was a friend of her father’s. However, when she goes to deliver the information to an elderly woman living the Marais (the old Jewish quarter) she finds a dead woman – strangled and with a swastika carved into her forehead.

Nothing is as it seems and everything, and everyone, seems shrouded in mystery. Black draws on continued suspicion between the French and Germans, and bad feelings left over from the occupation during World War II. Neo-Nazi organizations just fuel the fires of resentment and promote fear and secrecy in both camps. Aimee and her trusted partner, Renee (who is a dwarf and a computer genius), must untangle numerous half-truths, untruths, and red herrings to find the solution.

Frankly, I think Black was trying to do too much in this book. There are too many subplots and wild chases, with the result that the story line lost momentum. I do like that Aimee is a strong woman, intelligent and resourceful. She never relies on some male to save her but takes matters into her own hands. Her relationship with Renee is barely explained and not really explored. Renee has little to do, except for one or two key scenes. Her Bichon fries puppy – Miles Davis – is a totally unnecessary distraction.

I’ve heard many good things about this series, so I will probably try at least one more Leduc mystery. I recognize the good parts of the book even though it didn’t really excite me.
( )
  BookConcierge | Jan 13, 2016 |
Murder in the Marais is blighted by some pretty kitschy prose, lackluster to caricature-like characterization and an annoying tendency to use French terms when they don't seem needed for either establishing the setting or mood. However, it is saved by the development of a couple of the characters (I hesitate to saw more because of not wanting to give away any thing) and the suspense. Granted it was pretty obvious who the murderer was by page 77,but kenning how it was going to play out, who was working for whom, and how it all tied back to the Nazi Occupation was fun, as was the moody use of the city of Paris. Granted based on this book alone I would never want to go there as it seems persistently damp, mouldy, drafty and run down. Other than the mentions of rather luscious foods and the possibility of turning up Hermes scarfs at the flea market, one cannot find much gay about gay Paris in this thriller. At first the detective Aimee LeDuc was a flimsy character, but gained some credibility as the novel developed, so I might read others in the series. ( )
  lucybrown | Sep 27, 2015 |
Murder in the Marais is blighted by some pretty kitschy prose, lackluster to caricature-like characterization and an annoying tendency to use French terms when they don't seem needed for either establishing the setting or mood. However, it is saved by the development of a couple of the characters (I hesitate to saw more because of not wanting to give away any thing) and the suspense. Granted it was pretty obvious who the murderer was by page 77,but kenning how it was going to play out, who was working for whom, and how it all tied back to the Nazi Occupation was fun, as was the moody use of the city of Paris. Granted based on this book alone I would never want to go there as it seems persistently damp, mouldy, drafty and run down. Other than the mentions of rather luscious foods and the possibility of turning up Hermes scarfs at the flea market, one cannot find much gay about gay Paris in this thriller. At first the detective Aimee LeDuc was a flimsy character, but gained some credibility as the novel developed, so I might read others in the series. ( )
  lucybrown | Sep 27, 2015 |
Murder in the Marais is blighted by some pretty kitschy prose, lackluster to caricature-like characterization and an annoying tendency to use French terms when they don't seem needed for either establishing the setting or mood. However, it is saved by the development of a couple of the characters (I hesitate to saw more because of not wanting to give away any thing) and the suspense. Granted it was pretty obvious who the murderer was by page 77,but kenning how it was going to play out, who was working for whom, and how it all tied back to the Nazi Occupation was fun, as was the moody use of the city of Paris. Granted based on this book alone I would never want to go there as it seems persistently damp, mouldy, drafty and run down. Other than the mentions of rather luscious foods and the possibility of turning up Hermes scarfs at the flea market, one cannot find much gay about gay Paris in this thriller. At first the detective Aimee LeDuc was a flimsy character, but gained some credibility as the novel developed, so I might read others in the series. ( )
  lucybrown | Sep 27, 2015 |
This was a difficult read. Part of the problem was the many references to streets and districts in Paris. Since I have never been there, most of them were lost on me. If you have been to Paris or are familiar with the city, you will probably enjoy this aspect of the book.

Another problem was the number of characters and how often they jump into the story briefly. At one point I had to go back an restart the book because I kept losing track of who these characters were and their relationship to the main character and the story.

Finally, the writing seemed choppy. There were several places where the story seemed to jump from one point to another with no connection.

Given all this, I thought the mystery itself was well crafted. I will try the next one in the series.

( )
  grandpahobo | Sep 24, 2015 |
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Fate knows no distance -- a French saying
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Aimée Leduc felt his presence before she saw him.
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Sleuth and computer expert Aimee Leduc, a Franco-American, hunts for neo-Nazis in Paris following the murder of a Jewish woman. As part of her investigation she becomes involved with an Aryan supremacist. First in a projected series.

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