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Murder at the Lanterne Rouge

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Murder at the Lanterne Rouge

Aimee Leduc Series, Book 12
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Aimée Leduc is happy her long-time business partner René has found a girlfriend. Really, she is. It's not her fault if she can't suppress her doubts about the relationship; René is...
Aimée Leduc is happy her long-time business partner René has found a girlfriend. Really, she is. It's not her fault if she can't suppress her doubts about the relationship; René is...
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Description-
  • Aimée Leduc is happy her long-time business partner René has found a girlfriend. Really, she is. It's not her fault if she can't suppress her doubts about the relationship; René is moving way too fast, and Aimée's instincts tell her Meizi, this supposed love of René's life, isn't trustworthy. And her misgivings may not be far off the mark: Meizi disappears during a Chinatown dinner to take a phone call and never comes back 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. A missing young woman, an illegal immigrant raid in progress, botched affairs of the heart, dirty policemen, the French secret service, cutting-edge science secrets and a murderer on the loose--what has she gotten herself into? And can she get herself--and her friends--back out of it all alive?

    From the Hardcover edition.

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 eleven previous books in the New York Times bestselling Aimée Leduc series, all of which are available from Soho Crime. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and son and visits Paris frequently.

Reviews-
  • 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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Murder at the Lanterne Rouge
Aimee Leduc Series, Book 12
Cara Black
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Cara Black
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