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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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7663812,088 (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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Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
Murder in the Marais is the first Aimee Leduc mystery by Cara Black. It’s filled with the scares of modern day terrorism, the horrors of history, and the sights, smells and sounds of a Paris suburb, specifically of the Marais. There, Jewish families were once betrayed, children starved, and Nazis strode. But now, new white supremacists carry a half-blind torch for the past, and an old woman dies a gruesome death with her secrets undisclosed.

Aimee Leduc is a fascinating character in her own right, with her mother’s disappearance and her father’s death offering equal depth to her skills. A wealth of disguises, smooth physical prowess, a talent for asking the right, or seriously wrong questions, and enviable computer skills, all help her with the case. Meanwhile her partner Rene surely hides many mysteries of his own.

Together, the intrepid duo navigate taxes owed, dangerous allies, awkward politics, and unexpected deaths. Bullets pepper the Paris streets. The European Union advances its cause. And history tries to repeat itself. It’s heady stuff, convincingly told, with detailed facts nicely hidden in evocative description, and disparate viewpoints that gradually gel into complex threads of revelation. And it’s great fun. I’m eager to read more.

Disclosure: It was a Christmas present and I offer my honest review. ( )
  SheilaDeeth | Mar 31, 2016 |
3/15/14 ( )
  magerber | Feb 22, 2016 |
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 |
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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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