Murder 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. (Fantastic Fiction)
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
Genre: Mystery, Crime-Detective
– Cara Black’s Official Website: interview, map and photos of Paris and author biography.
– Watch Video: A stroll in Paris with the writer Cara Black. She shows where the actions of her detective heroine Aimée Leduc take place.