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Murder in the Marais

(Aimee Leduc Investigations #1)

3.38  ·  Rating details ·  6,177 ratings  ·  919 reviews
Meet Aimée Leduc, the smart, stylish Parisian private investigator, in her bestselling first investigation

Aimée Leduc 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 elderly Jewish man approaches Aimée with a top-secret decoding job on behal
Hardcover, 354 pages
Published November 1st 2003 by Soho Crime (first published 1999)
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J9 You were not alone in being troubled by the author's problematic portrayals in this novel. At one point, Aimee literally picks Rene up and moves him a…moreYou were not alone in being troubled by the author's problematic portrayals in this novel. At one point, Aimee literally picks Rene up and moves him as if he were a doll or child.
Further, when I learned that Cara Black had based the book on a story told by a friend's mother - a Jewish woman who survived the Nazi occupation of Paris, I could only hope that she never had the misfortune to read this mess of a novel that brims with problematic representations.(less)

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Average rating 3.38  · 
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 ·  6,177 ratings  ·  919 reviews

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Feb 07, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 24, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, mystery
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
Jan 25, 2013 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
Jul 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
This is the first book in the Aimee Leduc series.

She's a PI, who is supposed to only investigate computer type stuff, but she never does. She went private after her father, a high ranking policeman, was killed in an explosion.

In this one, Aimee is hired to do a background check on a high ranking German diplomat type. Of course, he's a former Nazi, and the usual neo-nazis try to end her investigation, and her life.

Not bad, but the author is American, so it doesn't quite seem authentic.
Jul 08, 2013 rated it did not like it
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)
Nov 22, 2008 rated it liked it
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I have mixed feelings about this book, Why? Because I can't say it's that good, but I enjoyed it very much.

Aimée Leduc has an investigation agency, mainly tech stuff. When she is approached by a friend of her late father, who wants her to look into an old photograph and break the code/mystery around it she hesitates, but finally accepts.

Then there's a murder, and Nazis, and more murder attempts, and it goes on and on. I think this was, for me, the main problem. We have a tech investigator who su
Aug 01, 2008 rated it liked it
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
Jul 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 06, 2009 rated it did not like it
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.
Colin Mitchell
Cara Black's first novel introducing the private detective Aimee Leduc and set in Paris. Aimee is hired by Soli Hecht to look into a downloaded photograph and take it to a Lili Stein. When Aimee arrives she discovers that Lili has been murdered. This leads her into danger, more murder and a story that goes back 50 years to the Nazis occupation of Paris during the second world war, the intrigues, relationships and deception. Who can Aimee trust? A times she thinks that it is not even Inspector Mo ...more
Chris Lilly
Aug 01, 2013 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.
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 24, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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,
Aimee Leduc, a young French-American detective living in Paris, is hired by a renowned Holocaust survivor to decode an encrypted message and ends up entangled in a murder investigation in the Marais district of Paris. Her undercover search leads to a neo-Nazi group and lots of intrigue involving current politicians and people involved in the German occupation of France in World War II.

The story was interesting and the characters certainly were a challenge as many were not who they seemed or pres
May 03, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Barbara (The Bibliophage)
2.5 stars

Originally published on my book blog,

This was my first venture into the Aimée Leduc series from Cara Black. So, I started with book one and took an armchair trip to the neighborhood in Paris called the Marais. Aimée is the owner of a small private detective agency in Paris. She’s the daughter of a French father and an American mother. Neither are in her life now, for different reasons.

Aimée mostly does cyber security and other computer-related detecting. No gruesome
Terri Lynn
Apr 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Terry ~ Huntress of Erudition
Sep 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
A well written, suspenseful thriller about a female private detective solving a 50 year old murder.
Wonderfully descriptive setting - in modern day Paris. I really liked the protagonist, Aimee Leduc and her many costume changes, to blend in wherever she is investigating. She and the other characters have stayed with me after finishing the book and I look forward to reading more in this series.
Alan Teder
Oct 06, 2014 rated it it was ok
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
Apr 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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 to ...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
Feb 24, 2013 rated it did not like it
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
Jan 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
It's so nice to find a mystery set in Paris!

Aimee is a great character with a tough backstory. A nice combination of tracking down former Nazis with up-to-date computer technology. Aimee puts herself in some dangerous spots and so this book is definitely in the category of hard PIs.

Some missing clues for fair play and where the heck did the helicopter come from?
Mar 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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!
Aug 05, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Finally got round to reading this first instalment in what has become a highly successful series.
I loved Aimee Leduc’s style and approach to crime solving. She is fearless and resourceful. I loved the backdrop of Paris and that Cara Black takes a different area in each of her stories.
This one is set largely in the Marais, (published in 1993), where some 50 years previously, during the Nazi occupation and with French collaboration all the Jews in the district were systematically rounded up and se
Aug 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Cara Black's Murder in the Marais is the first book in her series of mysteries set in the various neighborhoods of Paris. Where Black excels is in her loving details about such Paris neighborhoods as the Marais, the Place de Vosges, and other fascinating areas in the Ciy of Lights.

Her investigator, Aimee Leduc, is actually a computer specialist who is dragooned into solving the murder of an elderly Jewish woman named Lili Stein at the behest of a local Jewish synagogue that distrusts les Flics,
Jul 15, 2017 rated it liked it
This book (the first in a series) felt like a mix of mystery and thriller. I liked the main character Aimee Leduc, but I'll confess the setting in Paris and the French phrases occasionally mixed in took me out of the book as I had to pause to ponder meaning or pronunciation. (I realize these things might actually be a big draw for other readers!)

I liked the first book enough to give the second a try, but I'll also be glad to get to some well know and well loved Louise Penny characters in the int
Oct 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
I reread this book because I had used it for my World Challenge. It deserves a review.
I really enjoyed this book despite its difficult and disturbing content of anti-Semitism and anti-immigration stance. (Based in the 80s, the politics feel like they are written in the Now.)
I have never been to France, but felt as though I was right in Paris with Cara Black's descriptions of the France's politics, architecture, people, and culture.
As a disability advocate, her description of her partner as a "Dw
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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

Other books in the series

Aimee Leduc Investigations (1 - 10 of 19 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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