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Murder in the Marais (Aimee Leduc Investigations #1)

3.38  ·  Rating Details ·  4,101 Ratings  ·  699 Reviews
Aimee Leduc, a Parisian private investigator, has always sworn she would stick to tech investigation--no criminal cases for her. Especially since her father, the late police detective, was killed in the line of duty. But when an old Jewish man approaches Aimee with a top-secret decoding job on behalf of a woman in his synagogue, Aimee unwittingly takes on more than she was ...more
Paperback, 354 pages
Published July 1st 2003 by Soho Crime (first published 1999)
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Feb 07, 2010 Alline rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Cara Black reinforces the belief that it must be difficult indeed to write a good mystery; Murder in the Marais is eye-rollingly bad. Oh, I wanted to like it! It's Paris! It's the resistance! We get to learn about just how miserable life was in occupied Paris! But there are just so many problems. From the small ones - her dog, cloyingly named "Miles Davis" NEVER has to go out to pee, and seems to spend all day and night in her apartment or at the local news stand; to the simply annoying - she sl ...more
Mar 06, 2013 Claude rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I haven't finished this book and am quitting, 30% into the book. It is driving me crazy. There are all these pseudo-French expressions, to make it look more French. Only, I spend my time spotting things like pâté, spelt pâte, which is a totally different thing, or expressions like "la double morte" which is supposed for Parisians to refer to both police and taxes (?)
This one is one of Black's favourites obviously since she goes on and on about it.
I have been living in Paris for 68 years and hav
This book is the first novel in a series about an American/French investigator who takes over her father's agency after he's killed in a terrorist attack. This debut is set in 1993 Paris, and centers around a Jewish neighborhood and a murdered elderly woman who is found with a swastika carved on her forehead. The investigation touches on the sensitive issue of collaborators - Jews who denounced other Jews to the occupying Nazis.

Our intrepid detective in her debut appearance must find out why sh
Jul 11, 2013 Sally rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was a remarkably stupid book. Aimée Leduc is a nitwit and manages to pull off impossible stunts throughout the book. Cara Black should not attempt to speak French - she uses it incorrectly throughout the book. Hell, she should watch her English: she described someone as "beat red". Oh really? That is also the fault of her editors for not catching such a glaring and annoying error.

The story is disjointed and even after having read the whole damn book, (view spoiler)
This first novel in the Aimee Leduc PI series was flawed, but worth reading. I loved the idea of a private detective series set in Paris, and the plot--which begins with a murder of a Jewish woman, who had a swastika carved on her forehead--sounded interesting.

What made it flawed were the highly unrealistic plot elements (running across Paris rooftops in high heels, amazing recoveries from fights and injuries, a superhuman ability to crack computer systems) and the lack of characterization. Too
A thriller set in Paris featuring PI Aimee Leduc, who has decided to concentrate on technological crime but finds herself swayed to investigate the murder of a woman with a swastika carved on her. Aimee finds herself caught in a web of murder, and events that occurred in the 2nd world war and the Nazi era. The story and plot are not always that strong, but this did not stop me enjoying the novel and liking it. Thanks to Soho Press for an ARC.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 17, 2011 Jasmine rated it it was amazing
Shelves: american

sorry for yelling but that was important. This is a really coolly layered mystery novel set in france. you are dealing with nazi/conspirators/jews from the WWII era, but in a modern world filled with neo-nazis, so you get these great dynamics that ask us fundamentally would a nazi today agree with a neo-nazi, what power did people have, can a fundamentally good person be a fundamentally bad
Aug 01, 2008 Popvoid rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mystery fans
I enjoyed this book, although I must agree with some of the negative comments that others have made here. She does throw in too many characters too quickly making it difficult to keep track of everyone. At one point, I realized that a character I pictured as a young man, was actually in his fifties (although if I had thought about it, for a minute, I would have realized he had to be). The writing is a little shaky at times, but not terrible. As a first effort, I thought is was fine. It intrigued ...more
May 26, 2009 Diane rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book I have read in the Aimee Leduc series and it will be my last. Why are female detective characters so poorly written? Did the author really believe that it was a good idea in the first book in this series to have her detective involved in a torrid affair with a neo-Nazi? Are we supposed to find that mysterious or admirable or endearing?

If anyone knows a good female detective that I should be reading, please let me know.
Terri Lynn
I discovered this excellent mystery on Goodreads. This is author Cara Black's first novel and she got off to a rousing good start.

It is November of 1993 in Paris when private detective Aimee Leduc is stopped by a rabbi who asks her to decipher a 50-year old encrypted photograph and take the results to an older lady in the Marais (the old Jewish section of Paris). Aimee generally does not do this type of work anymore but Soli Hecht tells her that her late father assured him she would help him if
May 03, 2011 Besha rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
My mom sent me this so I had to read it. My mom usually has a pretty good handle on my taste. However. The main character is basically a French Cayce Pollard with no human failings and more awesome powers. For example, she manages to take a bath and sleep with a white supremacist without losing her mohawk wig or fake tattoos. I wish I had that power. Luckily, because the main character is perfect, it turns out he’s not really a white supremacist, he’s a journalist infiltrating the organization. ...more
Chris Lilly
Aug 01, 2013 Chris Lilly rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
There isn't a place for 'Read all you can bear' but that's what I should have ticked. 50 pages to decide I hated it, and a quick scan to see if it improved amazingly, which I don't think it did. Formulaic, styleless, banal. A book that dreams of being workmanlike or efficient. This is a thoroughly bad book, and I've read 2 Lee Child thrillers and some Dan Brown, so I know bad when I see it.
Apr 02, 2009 Virginia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a fabulous novel! So thoughtful and yet the book moves and is very complex. The ending actually had me squirming. I read this like I was starving! "Never forget" is the motto of Holocaust survivors. Cara Black's vivid book has added another voice! On to Belleville!
Fast-paced thriller that links to past dark days in Parisian history.

A confirmed Aimee Leduc fan, this stunning mystery casts its net around the life of Aimee Leduc and draws her (and me) ever more tightly into the centre of a dark web.
It starts when an elderly gentleman, with the look of a survivor searching for lost ones, presents himself at Aimee's office. He utters these words, 'I knew your father, an honourable man. He told me to come to you if I needed help.'
Aimee doesn't take investigati
I really wanted to like this book. I had heard good things about the series and thought I would try it. Books like this are the reason why I prefer to try out a new author or series in ebook format. They cost less than a paperback or hardback. I would NOT have wanted to spend more a couple dollars on this and I didn't, fortunately.

Aimee Leduc is a private investigator based in Paris. She does mostly security work on the computer. Her late father was a police detective who was killed in the line
May 15, 2016 Alan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I found that this was over-plotted with an enormous number of characters and subplots which had odd jumps in continuity. When investigator Aimée Leduc interviews a key figure about half way through the book (Wednesday morning) I had no idea where that lead had even come from. When one of the big bad's henchmen pops up towards the end I had no recollection of where they had appeared previously. That was aside from some of the other absurd situations (a rooftop escape in designer high-heels) and i ...more
Book Concierge

Aimee Leduc heads the Leduc Detective Agency; she does not typically deal with criminal matters, but specializes in computer security and investigation. When a rabbi asks her to break the encryption on a 50-year-old photograph she agrees only because the old man was a friend of her father’s. However, when she goes to deliver the information to an elderly woman living the Marais (the old Jewish quarter) she finds a dead woman – strangled and with a swastika carved into her forehead.

Apr 10, 2012 Jim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery fans, WWII readers
For the last couple of years I have been reading reviews of Paris-set mysteries by Cara Black. The other day while searching a bookstore for books by another author (not found), I came across Black’s books on a “Mystery “ shelf. I thought “Okay, now’s your chance!” I picked up a copy of book #1 in her Paris mysteries, MURDER IN THE MARAIS (ISBN 978-1569479995, $9.99, trade paperback, Soho Press), at a really good price. My wife & I spent about 9 days in Paris last November so it’s really fun ...more
I recently learned about this book (and series of 13 murder mysteries set in Paris) from my Page-a-Day book calendar. It caught my eye because I'm going to Paris in a few weeks for the first time, so I thought I'd give it a whirl. It took me a while to get into and at first I didn't like the narrator. But somewhere in the first third of the book, I clicked in and it was a fun ride.

It's been interesting reading other reviews which are all over the map. Overall I enjoyed the book, but if I put my
Mar 03, 2013 Dvora rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: france
Rubbish. This book had an unbelievable, far-fetched plot and was clumsily put together. What surprised me the most about it was that I liked it when I first read it, over twelve years ago. I can't imagine how that could be except that maybe I was taken with all the cobblestones and chocolate croissants, the story being set in Paris. So I expected to like it again, but I didn't. At one point towards the end, I thought maybe this is all tongue-in-cheek, and that's why the plot is so improbable. Bu ...more
Jun 14, 2011 Drew rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was another book read in preparation for my Paris trip and it was equally unsuccessful. The plot was totally unbelievable. I tried to like it but just couldn't. It was hard not to compare the heroine to Lisbeth Salander and while Stieg Larsson's books may be equally unbelievable, I was sucked in to those immediately. Who would believe it would be so interesting to read about computer hacking? Not so in Black's book. Also, there was so much set-up for the next book - one reason I generally a ...more
Mar 31, 2016 Sheila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, series, war
Murder in the Marais is the first Aimee Leduc mystery by Cara Black. It’s filled with the scares of modern day terrorism, the horrors of history, and the sights, smells and sounds of a Paris suburb, specifically of the Marais. There, Jewish families were once betrayed, children starved, and Nazis strode. But now, new white supremacists carry a half-blind torch for the past, and an old woman dies a gruesome death with her secrets undisclosed.

Aimee Leduc is a fascinating character in her own right
Mal Warwick
Oct 17, 2014 Mal Warwick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It’s November 1993, and it’s raining in Paris. Aimee Leduc is a hacker-for-hire, a kick-ass investigator, and, shall we say, a mistress of disguise. She would probably be pleased to be called a tough broad. Leduc runs a struggling private detective agency with a “handsome dwarf” named Rene Friant who is her equal at the keyboard. The two have a standing agreement only to take on work for corporate clients, but the agreement goes by the wayside when Leduc is approached by an aging Nazi-hunter wit ...more
When I was buying the first of my Black Dog and Leventhal Agatha Christie collection at Books A Million, the clerk recommended the Aimee Leduc series, since I'm obviously a mystery fan.
I suppose there are some superficial similarities between AC's Poirot mysteries and this series - both have plenty of French sprinkled throughout, and both include a metric ton of coincidences and red herrings. However, AC's mysteries are meticulously and intricately plotted, and this book is just a hot mess.

Jun 22, 2016 Juli rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hatehatehate
I wanted to like this book. I tried to like this book. A murder mystery series taking place in Paris? Sure! What is there not to like? Well, quite a few things, as it turns out.
It is very rare for me to have such a visceral negative reaction towards a book. I think the main reason why I hated it so much was that I found the treatment of occupied Paris and the deportations simplistic, unconvincing, and borderline offensive. The characters were equally unconvincing. Badly thought out stereotipes,
Aug 28, 2009 Larissa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Not well written. Plot holes you could drive a truck through. The characters did/said odd things just to move the plot along.
Richard Brand
This was a fun read. Like most mystery stories it has a lot of intrigue and the heroine does a lot of amazing things, but isn't that why we read them Aimee is better than the female detective Robert Parker creates. She takes on the whole French government. There are lots of unlikely events and reunions but it all goes to make a good story. The end is just another one of those not very likely, and yet it is okay. This series promises to be a lot darker than a couple of other series I have read. W ...more
Gordon Jones
Jan 24, 2014 Gordon Jones rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was better than I thought it would be. I think I might read another one of her books
Sep 10, 2012 Mikael rated it it was amazing
Wonderfully written and intensely suspenseful. I can't wait to read the rest of the series.
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2016 Reading Chal...: Murder in the Marais 1 13 Apr 05, 2015 08:42AM  
Cafe Libri: March: Murder in the Marais, by Cara Black 4 6 Mar 16, 2014 04:06PM  
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Cara Black frequents a Paris little known outside the beaten tourist track. A Paris she discovers on research trips and interviews with French police, private detectives and café owners. She lives in San Francisco with her husband, a bookseller, and their teenage son. She is a San Francisco Library Laureate and a member of the Paris Sociéte Historique in the Marais. Her nationally bestselling and ...more
More about Cara Black...

Other Books in the Series

Aimee Leduc Investigations (1 - 10 of 16 books)
  • Murder in Belleville (Aimee Leduc Investigations, #2)
  • Murder in the Sentier (Aimee Leduc Investigations, #3)
  • Murder in the Bastille (Aimee Leduc Investigations, #4)
  • Murder in Clichy (Aimee Leduc Investigations, #5)
  • Murder in Montmartre (Aimee Leduc Investigations, #6)
  • Murder on the Ile Saint-Louis (Aimee Leduc Investigations, #7)
  • Murder in the Rue de Paradis (Aimee Leduc Investigations, #8)
  • Murder in the Latin Quarter (Aimee Leduc Investigations, #9)
  • Murder in the Palais Royal (Aimee Leduc Investigations, #10)
  • Murder in Passy (Aimee Leduc Investigations #11)

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