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Murder at the Lanterne Rouge

Cover of Murder at the Lanterne Rouge

Murder at the Lanterne Rouge

Aimee Leduc Series, Book 12
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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?
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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?
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Excerpts-
  • From the book

    Friday EveningToo small for a bomb, Aimée Leduc thought, nudging
    with her high-heeled toe at the tiny red box on the cold
    landing outside Leduc Detective's office. No card. Curious, she
    picked up the red gift-wrapped box, sniffed. Nothing floral. A
    secret admirer?

    The timed hallway light clicked off, plunging the landing
    into darkness. She shivered, closed the frosted glass door
    behind her, and hit the light switch. The chandelier's crystal
    drops caught the light and reflected in the old patinated mirror
    over the fireplace.

    For once the high-ceilinged nineteenth-century office was
    warm, too warm. The new boiler had gone into overdrive. Her
    nose ran at the switch from the chill January evening to a
    toasty, warm office. She set down her shopping bags--January
    was the season of soldes, the big sales. She'd blown her budget.

    Et alors, yogurt and carrots at her desk for the next week.

    She slung her coat over the chair and noticed a chip on her
    rouge-noir-lacquered pinkie. Zut. She'd have to spring for a
    manicure.

    The office phone trilled, startling her.

    "Tell me you found Meizi's birthday present, Aimée," came
    the breathless voice of René, her business partner at Leduc
    Detective. "The damned jeweler screwed up the delivery."

    "Small red box? You mean it's not for me?" she joked. She
    shook the box and heard a rattle. Maybe those jade earrings
    she'd seen him looking at. "You're serious about Meizi? I mean,
    that kind of serious?"

    "One day you'll meet your soul mate, too, Aimée."

    Soul mate? He'd known Meizi what, two months? But
    Aimée bit her tongue. So unlike René to rush into something.
    A surge of protectiveness hit her. She ought to check this girl
    out, see what she could learn from a quick computer background
    search. Could be a little ticking bomb, all right.

    "Save my life, eh?" René said. "Bring it to the resto, Chez
    Chun."

    "But I'm in the middle of a security proposal, René," she
    answered, hoping he didn't hear the little lie in her voice. She
    surveyed their bank of computers, which were running security
    checks, updating client systems she'd programmed before she
    left. The boring bread and butter of their computer security firm.

    "Take a taxi, Aimée," he said, his voice pleading. "Please."

    Meizi must have something his previous girlfriends from the
    dojo didn't. Better to check her out in person. Aimée put the
    box in one coat pocket and dug through the other for her cell
    phone.

    "A taxi, with this traffic? Métro's faster, René."

    She grabbed her leopard-print coat and locked the office door.

    Twenty minutes later she ran up the Métro steps, perspiring
    and dodging commuters. Frustrated, she found herself at the
    exit farthest from where she wanted to be, by the Romanesque
    church that was now the Musée des Arts et Métiers. Harmonic
    Gregorian chanting wafted in the cold air and drifted into the
    enveloping night. Petals of snow lodged like nests of white
    feathers in the bare-branched trees. What a night, the temperature
    falling, a storm threatening in the clouded sky. The
    frigid air sliced her lungs, shot up the mini under her coat.

    Great. She hadn't thought her wardrobe through, as usual.
    René had better appreciate this. Listen to sense and slow
    things down.

    She ran across the boulevard into the medieval quartier,
    still an ungentrified slice of crumbling hôtel...

About the Author-
  • Cara Black is the author of sixteen books in the New York Times bestselling Aimée Leduc series. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and visits Paris frequently.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from January 23, 2012
    At the start of Black’s outstanding 12th novel featuring PI Aimée Leduc (after 2011’s Murder in Passy), Aimée attends a birthday party for Meizi Wu, the girlfriend of René, her agency partner, in the smallest and oldest of Paris’s four Chinatowns. Aimée, who believes the smitten René is rushing the relationship with a virtual stranger, goes to look for Meizi after she disappears from the party. On a snowy, rat-infested street, to Aimée’s horror, she finds the body of Pascal Samour, an adult trade school teacher, half-wrapped in plastic, with Meizi’s photograph in his wallet. Aimée and René are soon immersed in an underworld ring of human trafficking, sweat shops, fake designer goods, and fraud. That the victim turns out to have been conducting cutting-edge experiments in fiber optics adds to the intrigue. Readers will relish realistic villains and an evocative atmosphere that begs for a trip to the City of Lights. 8-city author tour. Agent: Linda Allen, Linda Allen Literary Agency.

  • Publishers Weekly (STARRED review)

    "Outstanding.... Readers will relish realistic villains and an evocative atmosphere that begs for a trip to the City of Lights."

  • Booklist "The Paris investigator is a perpetual-motion machine, and she's almost always inappropriately dressed for highspeed galivanting: heels, miniskirts, leopard prints--Aimée never sacrifices style for convenience.... Thickening her plot like a French chef stirring coq au vin, Black throws a murdered scientist, a human-trafficking scandal, the Knights Templar, and revelations about Aimée's long-presumed-dead mother into the pot, leaving readers nearly as breathless as Aimée, who hurtles her way toward the conclusion. Fans of the series know the formula and don't mind a bit that it rarely varies. Paris never needs a new look, and neither does Aimée Leduc."
  • New York Journal of Books "The pace accelerates as fast as Aimee's Vespa. The details of the series, Aimee's love of vintage couture, her love life, and the specter of her mother's disappearance, all make welcome appearances here. Murder at the Lanterne Rouge is wonderfully plotted, and Cara Black ties together the past and present with élan."
  • Val McDermid "So authentic you can practically smell the fresh baguettes and coffee."
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    Soho Press
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Murder at the Lanterne Rouge
Murder at the Lanterne Rouge
Aimee Leduc Series, Book 12
Cara Black
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