MURDER IN PASSY by Cara Black, Book Review

Murder in Passy by Cara Black - Book ReviewMurder in Passy Synopsis

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. 

(Penguin Books)

“The ideal mix of the personal, the political, the puzzling and the Parisian make Aimée’s latest a perfect pleasure.”—Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

“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 travelling to the City of Light never see. Back streets and alleys, smoky bistros and Paris mansions set the backdrop for this mystery.”
—New York Journal of Books

Genre: Mystery, Crime-Detective

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Murder in Passy Review

This was my first outing with Cara Black and her feisty protagonist Aimee Leduc. Based on the obvious success of this series, Murder in Passy being the 11th instalment, and the Parisian setting, I had high hopes.

Black’s charming descriptions of Paris steeped in history did not disappoint.

Rene turned onto a street canopied by trees. The next narrowed into a high-walled lane; no doubt it had been a cow path in the last century. It still amazed her how these enclaves existed, tucked away, the remnants of another world: the old villages of Auteuil and Passy, where once Roman vineyards had dotted the hills, thermal springs – celebrated for curative properties – had beckoned seventeenth-century Parisians, and where Balzac, penniless and in debt, had written while hiding from his creditors.

Protagonist Aimee Leduc is a strong-willed and very likeable female lead (with a wardrobe to be envious of) who just cannot seem to stay out of trouble. Her business partner Rene proves an interesting character also, but in my opinion was somewhat under-utilised by Black.

My other slight reservation with Murder in Passy was the number of characters Black introduced – I’ll admit I found it a little hard to keep track of who was who at times, what with all the different police forces involved and terrorists of different origins and motivations.

Although an enjoyable read, I would have preferred to see the highly plot-driven Murder in Passy in a movie format… a beautiful setting, a feisty and fashionable leading lady and lots of high-octane action sequences.

BOOK RATING: The Story 4 / 5 ; The Writing 3.5 / 5  –  Overall 3.75

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In this video, “A stroll in Paris with the writer Cara Black” she shows us where the actions of her detective heroine Aimée Leduc take place.

About the Author, Cara Black

Cara Black lives in Noe Valley with her bookseller husband, Jun, owner of Foto-Graphix Books, and her son, Tate. She’s a San Francisco Library Laureate, Macavity and three time Anthony award-nominee for her series, Aimée Leduc Investigations, set in Paris.

Other Reviews of Murder in Passy by Cara Black: Mysteries Etc ; Reviewing the Evidence ; Murder by Type