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Murder in Passy

Cover of Murder in Passy

Murder in Passy

Aimee Leduc Series, Book 11
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The eleventh Aimée Leduc investigation set in Paris
Business is booming for Parisian private investigator Aimée Leduc. But she finds time to do a favor for her godfather, Commissaire Morbier, who asks her to drop by the gorgeous Passy home of his girlfriend, Xavierre d'Eslay, a haut bourgeois matron of Basque origin. Xavierre has been so busy with her daughter's upcoming wedding that she has stopped taking Morbier's calls, and he's worried something serious is going on. When Aimée crashes the rehearsal dinner, Xavierre is discovered strangled in her own yard, and circumstantial evidence makes Morbier the prime suspect. To vindicate her godfather, Aimée must find the real killer. Her investigation leads her to police corruption, radical Basque terrorists, and a kidnapped Spanish princess.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
The eleventh Aimée Leduc investigation set in Paris
Business is booming for Parisian private investigator Aimée Leduc. But she finds time to do a favor for her godfather, Commissaire Morbier, who asks her to drop by the gorgeous Passy home of his girlfriend, Xavierre d'Eslay, a haut bourgeois matron of Basque origin. Xavierre has been so busy with her daughter's upcoming wedding that she has stopped taking Morbier's calls, and he's worried something serious is going on. When Aimée crashes the rehearsal dinner, Xavierre is discovered strangled in her own yard, and circumstantial evidence makes Morbier the prime suspect. To vindicate her godfather, Aimée must find the real killer. Her investigation leads her to police corruption, radical Basque terrorists, and a kidnapped Spanish princess.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Excerpts-
  • 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.

    "Her...

About the Author-
  • Cara Black is the author of sixteen books in the New York Times bestselling Aimée Leduc series. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and visits Paris frequently.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    January 24, 2011
    Full of French political intrigue, Black's atmospheric 11th Aimée Leduc investigation (after 2010's Murder in the Palais Royal) finds the Paris PI's world turned upside down with the arrest of her godfather and longtime mentor, Commissaire Morbier, for murder. Worse yet, the victim—Morbier's inamorata, Xavierre d'Eslay—was with Aimée minutes before her death by strangulation. To clear Morbier, Aimée must dig deep as his fellow officers close rank and refuse to cooperate. Helping Aimée are her detective agency partner, René; her cousin, Sebastian; and her former policeman lover, Melac, who may or may not have an agenda of his own during the investigation. Though Xavierre lived a life of privilege in the posh suburb of Passy, Aimée discovers her past is shrouded in secrecy, linked to Basque separatists and terrorist acts. While the characters and their motivations can sometimes be hard to follow, the plot builds to a satisfying conclusion.

  • 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."
  • 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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Aimee Leduc Series, Book 11
Cara Black
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