Murder in Pigalle
An Aimée Leduc Investigation by Cara Black
Review: Aimée Leduc already has much to worry about. She is five months pregnant and she hasn't yet told the father of her baby the news. And she doesn't have the money to pay for taxes due on her business as a private investigator. But all that is set aside when she learns that Zazie, 13-year-old daughter of a local café owner, has gone missing, just as news that one Zazie's friends, the victim of a serial rapist, has died, in Murder in Pigalle, the 14th mystery in this series by Cara Black.
Just prior to her disappearance, Zazie had stopped by Leduc Detective to tell Aimée that she had been following a man she suspected of being the rapist … and had a long-range — and poorly lit — photograph of him on a street in Pigalle. "That's too dangerous," Aimée tells her. "No more, Zazie. Please promise me." She does on the condition that Aimée look into the case. But then Zazie vanishes without a trace. Aimée suspects she's simply gone into hiding but her parents believe she's been abducted … or worse. Knowing that with every passing hour the danger Zazie faces grows, Aimée begins an investigation that the police seem hesitant to pursue: to find Zazie and identify the man that has been terrorizing their neighborhood.
After several overly complicated and really rather average outings for Aimée and her partner Rene Friant, Murder in Pigalle is refreshingly simple in its scope and quite good as a mystery. Aimée sees a lot of herself in Zazie and tends to applaud her initiative and independence, yet as a mother-to-be herself she is concerned — and rightly so — that the young girl doesn't understand the magnitude of the danger she's in. Aimée puts together a map of the likely area in which the rapist lives — or at least, the area in which he operates — and begins to narrow down the list of suspects. It's all quite exciting following Aimée through the streets of Paris as she searches for both Zazie and clues to the identity of the rapist. It's a bit rushed in the final pages — Zazie resurfaces and gives Aimée the final piece to the puzzle — but that does not lessen the tension felt by Aimée and, by extension the reader, when he is finally captured. And while the storyline is far afield of the primary focus of Leduc Detective — corporate and financial security — this is most certainly one of the better entries in this series.
Acknowledgment: Soho Press provided an ARC of Murder in Pigalle for this review.
Review Copyright © 2014 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Murder Below Montparnasse
Soho Crime (Hardcover), March 2013
ISBN-13: 9781616952150; ISBN-10: 1616952156
Location(s) referenced in Murder in Pigalle: Paris, France
— ♦ —
Murder in Pigalle by Cara Black — An Aimée Leduc Investigation
Publisher: Soho Crime
Publication Date: March 2014
List Price: $27.95
— ♦ —
Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
Mysterious Reviews is a Division of
The Hidden Staircase Mystery Books
and a Business Unit of the
Omnimystery Family of Mystery Websites