Cover image of "Murder in Montmartre," a novel that illuminates enduring mysteries

Aimee Leduc gets herself into a whole lot of trouble. Not just once, but in every one of the novels in Cara Black’s redoubtable series about the brilliant young Parisian private detective. She has a real talent for plunging into dangerous situations — and she’s got the scars to prove it. In Murder in Montmartre, the sixth setting in Black’s moveable sideshow through the neighborhoods of Paris, Aimee’s reliable friends all appear — fortunately so, because this time she’s tangling not just with the Corsican mob but with the corrupt upper reaches of the Paris police as well.

Good friends when you need them

Every detective, public or private, needs a circle of friends, if only to open up room for dialogue. For Aimee, there’s Miles Davis, her faithful little dog. Morbier, a commissaire of the Paris police, her godfather. A former partner on the police force of Aimee’s late father, Morbier thinks he’s saving Aimee from her herself. And, of course, Rene Friant, the skillful computer hacker, her business partner in the Leduc Agency. Despite his short stature — he’s a dwarf — Rene proves to be adept at streetfighting as well. More than once, he proves his ability to extricate Aimee from danger.

Murder in Montmartre (Aimee Leduc #6) by Cara Black (2007) 316 pages ★★★★☆

In every novel in the series, these three characters play featured roles, along with a handful of newly revealed friends and new enemies. Black’s formula, although predictable, is invariably entertaining. Aimee’s adventures are fun to behold. And the author’s ongoing Parisian geography lesson is a treat for Francophiles.

Enduring mysteries in Aimee’s past

The mysteries surrounding Aimee’s parents are another familiar element in Black’s successful formula. Her American mother, a left-wing revolutionary activist, has disappeared, apparently into East Germany. Her beloved father, the former policeman who took over his father’s role in the Leduc Agency, died in a mysterious explosion on a Parisian street. Both parents frequently come back to life in Aimee’s dreams, and she hasn’t yet given up on uncovering the circumstances of her father’s death.

Enduring mysteries, fascinating journeys into the seamy side of French history and society, and an intriguing cast of characters — what’s not to like?

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