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Murder in Passy

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Murder in Passy

Aimee Leduc Series, Book 11
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The village-like neighborhood of Passy, home to many of Paris's wealthiest residents, is the last place one would expect a murder. But when Aimée Leduc's godfather, Morbier, a police...
The village-like neighborhood of Passy, home to many of Paris's wealthiest residents, is the last place one would expect a murder. But when Aimée Leduc's godfather, Morbier, a police...
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  • The village-like neighborhood of Passy, home to many of Paris's wealthiest residents, is the last place one would expect a murder. But when Aimée Leduc's godfather, Morbier, a police commissaire, asks her to check on his girlfriend at her home there, that's exactly what Aimée finds. Xavierre, a haut bourgeois matron of Basque origin, is strangled in her garden while Aimée waits inside. Circumstantial evidence makes Morbier the prime suspect, and to vindicate him, Aimée must identify the real killer. Her investigation leads her to police corruption; the radical Basque terrorist group, ETA; and a kidnapped Spanish princess.

  • From the book

    Monday Early EveningThe doorbells tinkled as Aimée Leduc stepped inside the cheese shop from the cold and inhaled the warm, pungent odors. A radio blared the evening news: ". . . evading seven roadblocks erected after the shootout in the Imprimerie Nationale documents heist. In other breaking news, a radical faction. . . ."

    She shivered, nodding to pink-faced, rotund Victor, standing in his white apron behind the counter. Bombings, shoot-outs, she hated to think what else--and to make it worse, just before the holidays.

    "World's gone crazy." Victor shook his head. "The usual?" He gestured to a runny rind on grape leaves standing on the marbletopped counter: "Or this?"

    Aimée tasted the Brie dripping on the white waxed paper. "C'est parfait."

    She emerged from the shop into the evening mist and rounded the corner toward her office on rue du Louvre. The reflections of the furred yellow orbs of streetlights glowed on the wet pavement.

    "About time, Leduc." Morbier, her godfather and a police commissaire, his black wool coat beaded with moisture, paced before her building door. An unmarked Peugeot with a driver, engine thrumming, waited at the curb.

    "More like five minutes early, Morbier." The chill autumn wind cut a swathe through the street of nineteenth-century buildings. Passersby hurried along, bundled in overcoats.

    A look she couldn't read crossed his face. "We've got a situation in Lyon. I'm late. You've got the file, Leduc?"

    Forget the apéritif she'd expected in the corner café! She brushed away her disappointment. So they would do the exchange in the cold, wet street. She handed Morbier a manila envelope containing the supposed ten-year-old letters and photo of her "brother" Julian. It was time to let the professionals handle the only copies she had, so she could find out once and for all if they were genuine. "A week for lab authentication, Morbier?"

    In return, he showed her an engraved business card reading police paper forensics division head paul bert. "Bert's the leading forgery expert. That's all I know."

    She nodded; she couldn't push it. He was doing her a favor. "Time for a quick espresso?" She pointed to the lit windows under the café's awning, which was now whipping in the wind.

    Morbier shook his head. Under the thick salt-and-pepper hair, his face appeared more lined in the streetlight; dark circles showed under his eyes. "You think life finally makes sense, then . . . alors," he shrugged. "Pouff, it turns upside down."

    "What's wrong, Morbier?" She wished they were inside the warm café with its fogged-up window instead of standing in the wind. A siren whined in the distance. "A case?"

    "Can't talk about it, Leduc."

    As usual. The streetlight revealed his cuffed corduroys, his mismatched socks, one brown, one black. Morbier was no fashion plate. He hadn't made a move toward his car. Unlike him.

    She sensed something else bothering him. His health? "Did you have that checkup like you promised?"

    "Something's going on with Xavierre," he said. "I'm worried."

    Taken aback, Aimée fumbled for something to say. She remembered him with his arm around Xavierre, an attractive older woman with dark hair. Xavierre's laughter, warm smile, and scent of gardenias came back to her.

    "Worried over what?"

    "She doesn't answer her phone," he said.

    "Zut! I don't either, half the time," she said. "You're reading too much into it."

    "I need to know what's going on."

    She'd never seen him like this, like a lovelorn shaggy dog. It was not often that he shared his personal feelings.


About the Author-
  • Cara Black is the author of ten previous books in the bestselling Aimée Leduc series, all of which are available from the Soho Crime imprint. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and son and visits Paris frequently.

  • Seattle Times

    "Addictive ... Leduc is always a reliable and charming guide to the city's lesser-known corners."

  • Sacramento News and Review "A staccato tour de force, it's as action- and intrigue packed as others in the series.... Also typically, while chasing the bad guys Aimée not only pounds the Parisian pavement, but also boldly scales rooftops and climbs in sewers. All this, while wearing heals and vintage clothing; Aimée is as bold and classy as ever."
  • Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review "The ideal mix of the personal, the political, the puzzling and the Parisian make Aimée's latest a perfect pleasure."
  • New York Journal of Books "Aimée is a fantastic guide as she invites the reader along on an excursion of Paris on the back of her scooter, which most tourists traveling to the City of Light never see. Back streets and alleys, smoky bistros and Paris mansions set the backdrop for this mystery."
  • Sacramento Bee "Cara Black of San Francisco is one of our favorite mystery authors."
  • Lincoln Journal Star "Black knows how to build up real suspense.... Go to Paris. Follow Aimée. Bon soir."
  • Booklist "The rest of us will follow Aimee anywhere, the blinder the alley the better, thrilled to hitch a ride on the back of her scooter."
  • Publishers Weekly "Full of French political intrigue ... atmospheric."
  • Mystery Series Examiner "By blending a murder investigation with a tale of political intrigue, Cara Black's newest book effectively combines elements of both mystery and thriller. Murder in Passy retains all the emotional excitement of a thriller, but it also manages to provide a logically satisfying, yet still surprising, solution to Xavierre's murder."
  • USA Today "No contemporary writer of noir mysteries evokes the spirit of Paris more than Cara Black in her atmospheric series starring P.I. Aimée Leduc.... Fearless, risk-taking Aimée is constantly running, hiding, fighting and risking her life--all while dressed in vintage Chanel and Dior and Louboutin heels."
  • Linda Fairstein "If you've never been to Paris, or you'd like to go back soon, let Cara Black transport you there."
  • Plain Dealer (Cleveland) "Black does for Paris what Dashiell Hammett did for San Francisco. She makes the city shimmer."
  • The New York Times Book Review "Charming.... Aimée is one of those blithe spirits who can walk you through the city's historical streets and byways with their eyes closed."
  • San Francisco Chronicle "Leduc has such a thorough grasp of the practicalities of investigation, plus a penchant for undercover work that will have readers on pins and needles."
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Murder in Passy
Murder in Passy
Aimee Leduc Series, Book 11
Cara Black
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Aimee Leduc Series, Book 11
Cara Black
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