The twelfth Aimée Leduc investigation set in Paris
Lost secrets of the Parisian Knights Templar, dangerous Chinatown sweatshops, dirty policemen, and botched affairs of the heart—the 12th Aimée Leduc mystery is the most exciting yet!
Aimée Leduc is happy her longtime business partner René has found a girlfriend. It’s not her fault if she can’t suppress her doubts about the relationship. And her misgivings may not be far off the mark: Meizi disappears during a Chinatown dinner to take a phone call and never returns to the restaurant. Minutes later, the body of a young man, a science prodigy and volunteer at the nearby Musée, is found shrink-wrapped in an alleyway—with Meizi’s photo in his wallet.
Aimée does not like this scenario one bit, but she can’t figure out how the murder is connected to Meizi’s disappearance. The dead genius was sitting on a discovery that has France’s secret service keeping tabs on him. Now they’re keeping tabs on Aimée. What has she gotten herself into? And can she get herself—and her friends—back out of it alive?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Like a lot of long time fans of the Aimee Le Duc series by Cara Black, I found the early books fresh, original and an irresistible armchair link to Paris. Somewhere along the way though, the stories took on a kind of repetitiveness: protagonist Aimee Le Duc became increasingly obsessed with designer clothing and feckless boyfriends; the steadfast business partner, Rene Friant was treated like a theater prop; and the circuits around Paris became more contrived. Author Cara Black got some heat for all of this from admirers of the series and, to her credit, this latest episode of the series, "Murder at the Lantern Rouge", seems like an attempt to get back on track.
There's an interesting opening plot gambit - a young academic, who was working on a 14th Century alchemy project, is murdered in a Chinatown street while Aimee, partner Rene and his Chinese immigrant girlfriend are having dinner nearby. From there, things get much more complicated. A large cast of characters,...
I've read all the Aimée LeDuc books, in order. As a francophile who visits Paris every year, I enjoyed the locales as well as the plots. However, I found this book to be tough going, in other words boring. There's a sameness to this story that I found difficult to capture my interest. The computerese, the bargain second-hand fashions, the pitiable partner René and his hip problems, the high heels catching in the cobbles, the mysterious and mind-entangling mother, the love-hate relationship with Morbier, the inevitably failed relationships with bad-boy men, the nicotine habit, and injuries-per-case that would leave most humans permanently disabled. Enough already! Give us some diversity, some movement and growth. It's getting stale.
I have read every one of your books. The last one was tough going. I wished then that you had somehow mixed up the formula a bit, freshened your approach, showcased your strengths. I hoped that the flatness of your last effort was only a temporary lull. But alas. This one is no improvement. It is yet more fatigued and fatiguing. I have ceased to care about the characters. Even Paris itself has begun to fade.
I'm not sure what needs fixing -- the tired characters who never change, the formulaic adventures (that are getting more and more unbelievable), the stuck-in-the-'90s time warp. How about unleashing your imagination and proven ability to plot and write on new characters, or a new formula, or a contemporary time? Think of it -- you could leave the Nazis, the deportations, the clunky cell phones all behind for a story that moves faster, and in unexpected directions? With characters who have more at risk, who learn and grow and get smarter?
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