An excellent first novel. This mystery winds through the streets of contemporary Paris. If you've been there, you may recognise the neighborhood (le Marais) and the streets -- I did! Aimee Leudc is a wonderful character and I know what I'll be reading next!
First Line: Aimée Leduc felt his presence before she saw him.
Aimée Leduc lives in an inconvenient apartment in an ideal location (an island in the River Seine in Paris), and she's a private investigator specializing in computer forensics. She has an apparently mundane task: decipher an encrypted photograph from the 1940s and deliver it to an old woman living in the Marais, the historic Jewish quarter of Paris. When Aimée tries to deliver the photo, she finds the woman dead, a swastika carved in her forehead.
With the help of her partner, René, Aimée uncovers clues relating to a German war veteran, the Jewish girl he saved from Auschwitz, and other shadowy figures. In order to understand the real motive behind the killing, Aimée has to question reluctant older residents of the Marais and to go undercover in an Aryan supremacist group.
I loved reading this book for its bringing Paris to life, and for Black's inclusion of fascinating tidbits like this:
"He referred to white and brown sugar, the metaphor for right-wing conservatives and leftist socialists. She knew that in many households political leanings were identified by the kind of sugar sitting in sugar bowls."
The plot line involving World War II collaborators was fascinating, and although I didn't feel as though I had a very good sense of Aimée or her partner René, I look forward to learning more about them as I read more of this series.
This book does not top my list of reads for this or any other year. It took me two-thirds of the way through the book to even get interested in the plot line. It leaves you completely unsatisfied. It seemed like a good place to end the action, but then she added an epilogue which gives you absolutely no information about what took place after the end of the action. So all the questions you would have been content to leave alone, you were given hope might be answered, but it just leaves them hanging and even opens up more questions than before. Honestly, if people hadn't continually talked about how great her books were, I would not be picking up another one. I think I will give her another chance, but jump to book 9 in this series because that is the one everyone was talking about. Marais was her first book, so maybe she has gotten better.
This is the first book of a series featuring Aimée Leduc, a private investigator specializing in computer investigation. The setting is Paris.
Ms. Black writing is in the tradition of "hard boiled" mysteries, with emphasis on action rather than the puzzle and there is lots of action. In the course of this book Aimée scrambles over roofs, gets hit on the head, shot at, and has her shoulder dislocated. She certainly earns her fee.
I was especially interested in the French background. I felt I really got a glimpse of what it is to live is Paris, though I doubt many Parisians spend this much time on roofs and in sewers.
Murder in the Marais is an interesting start to the series, and the French setting gives the book something special.
Love the main character Aimee Leduc. Picked the book up after having for a year, and found it to be very entertaining and suspenseful. I will definitely read more of these mysteries. I also liked the way Paris is described. I heard Cara Black on an NPR interview and wanted to read her books. She researches every detail in Paris.
My book group read this book for one of our summer selections, one of two mysteries set in Europe - this one and Donna Leon's Doctored Evidence. As a whole, our group preferred Leon's book and main character. However, many of us enjoyed the mystery at the center of Murder in the Marais, and thought of its contemporary application. I will look for additional books featuring Aimee Leduc and her sidekick. As an additional bonus, this book does give a nice feel for the area of the Marais, and inspires me to visit the home of Victor Hugo on my next visit to Paris!
The first in a series that may or may not be very good. I'm not sure yet. Sure,I understand that it's fiction, but the coincidences in the plot are a little too unbelievable. Also,I am getting tired of Nazi stories. What I do like about the series so far is the Paris setting and the spunky girl detective.