The first book reviewed on this blog a year ago was Cara Black’s MURDER IN THE PALAIS ROYAL. Today is Bastille Day, a day in France comparable to Independence Day in the United States. So in honor of the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789. one on the events that set off the French Revolution, Aimee Leduc (and Cara) bring us to Paris.
MURDER IN THE PALAIS ROYAL begins when Aimee Leduc, sharing some quiet moments with her newest boyfriend, Mathieu, receives a call from her partner, Rene Friant. One hundred thousand francs have been deposited into the Leduc Detective Agency bank account. Regrettably, no one owes them so much money and Rene is afraid Aimee has done something less than legal. A short time later, Rene is shot and Aimee is the principal suspect.
Using her connections at the Surete, Aimee escapes arrest and begins her own investigation, a move that requires she cancel her trip to New York City where she is expecting to meet the brother she never knew she had.
Fans of the series know that, with Aimee, nothing is simple or straightforward, and this adventure is no different. There is another large deposit of money into the Leduc Agency bank account leaving the Agency to be investigated for money laundering, Rene is taken to an undisclosed location to protect him from Aimee, Aimee receives a pass to visit a man who is in prison as a result of Aimee’s testimony about the burning of a synagogue, a contact is murdered seconds before she and Aimee meet, and a man with a brilliant future in politics finds that future in jeopardy. There is some blackmail thrown in to make sure readers aren’t bored and, just maybe, Aimee’s long missing mother might have a hand in her problems.
Readers are never bored by Cara Black’s series. Aimee lives a charmed life in so many ways. She invariably finds herself in tunnels or on rooftops but she is rarely out of breath and she has enviable good luck in finding couture fashions in rummage sales. The stories move as fast as Aimee and each book offers the reader a taste of the arrondissements (sounds so much better than zip codes) that make up the city of Paris.
Rene Friant, her business partner, Commissaire Morbier, her godfather, and a few girlfriends are the constants in Aimee’s life as they are constants in the 10 books of the series. I always think that it is best to start a series at the beginning but the author has constructed the series so well that new readers can jump in anywhere and enjoy the story to the full.
Those who are familiar with Cara Black’s series already know they are in for another treat. Those who haven’t yet met Aimee should hurry to do so