Murder at the Lanterne Rouge
An Aimée Leduc Investigation by Cara Black
Review: Private investigator Aimée Leduc's business partner René Friant is devastated when it seems his now missing new girlfriend may be involved in a murder in Murder at the Lanterne Rouge, the twelfth mystery in this series by Cara Black.
René has been dating Meizi Wu for two months now, and is apparently infatuated with her. Aimée, who is often unreasonably protective of her partner, thinks he's rushing into the relationship. When René forgets a present at the office, he asks Aimée to bring it to him at a restaurant in Chinatown, where he's celebrating Meizi's birthday with her parents. Aimée reluctantly agrees, but just as she arrives, Meizi receives a phone call and excuses herself. Minutes later someone finds the murdered body of a man, one Pascal Samour, in the alleyway … and Meizi is nowhere to be found. It doesn't take long for Aimée to call in a few favors and learn Meizi had lied to René about her job, apparently knew the dead man, and that the two people who were supposedly her parents were, in fact, not. René refuses to believe that Meizi was involved in anything illegal, but the more Aimée investigates, the more the opposite seems to be true.
Scenarios played in her mind. Was this a simple case of Meizi cheating on René? Maybe complications arose, as they usually did. Wrong place, wrong time? Say Meizi used the Wus, whoever they were, for a front. But why? To wrangle René into marrying her? To use him for citizenship? Or could Meizi's boyfriend, or the man who mistreated her, have threatened to hurt René? Layered over that was the RG surveillance of the quartier. Did Samour's murder connect? Why had Samour recommended Meizi for a job? All Aimée had were questions.
Murder at the Lanterne Rouge is a complicated mystery, one that has numerous disparate plot threads that are rather difficult to keep track of. Aimée's brief summary above is what she knows as of early in the book, when already much has happened. More, much more, is yet to come. Yet despite all the activity, it's hard not to be drawn into the investigation together with Aimée. As the story races along, more and more of the threads are tied together so that in the end, Aimée comes to realize how the last remaining pieces of the puzzle fit togther and knows who did what to whom, and why. This is a well-constructed mystery, one of the better in the series, and though it requires some patience on the part of the reader, it is ultimately quite rewarding in the end.
Acknowledgment: Soho Press provided an ARC of Murder at the Lanterne Rouge for this review.
Review Copyright © 2012 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Murder in Passy
Soho Crime (Hardcover), March 2011
ISBN-13: 9781569478820; ISBN-10: 1569478821
Murder Below Montparnasse
Soho Crime (Hardcover), March 2013
ISBN-13: 9781616952150; ISBN-10: 1616952156
Location(s) referenced in Murder at the Lanterne Rouge: Paris, France
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Murder at the Lanterne Rouge by Cara Black — An Aimée Leduc Investigation
Publisher: Soho Crime
Publication Date: March 2012
List Price: $25.00
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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