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Murder in Clichy (Aimee Leduc Investigations, No. 5) Hardcover – March 1, 2005

4.3 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews
Book 5 of 16 in the Aimee Leduc Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A small act of generosity leads to murder in Anthony-nominee Black's beguiling fifth outing for savvy and sensitive Parisian PI Aimée Leduc (after 2003's Murder in the Bastille). Still reeling from injuries sustained in her previous adventure, Aimée agrees to help a middle-aged Vietnamese nun, Linh, by delivering an envelope to Thadée Baret. When Aimée meets Thadée for the drop-off, he hands her a bag of precious jade; soon after, an unseen gunman murders Thadée. Who was Thadée? Why did he give Linh the jade? Who wanted him killed? Once it becomes apparent Aimée is involved in something bigger and more dangerous than at first seemed the case (a government surveillance team threatens her; her partner, René, is kidnapped), even more questions arise. Readers may feel in the dark at times, and it's consoling to know that Aimée is often just as baffled. As usual, the author renders the city in dazzling detail. She paints an especially rich portrait of the curious Clichy neighborhood, a district made up of "Aristocrats with de la before their name," and "immigrants with -ski, akela, or khabib at the end of their names." Weaving culture, history and suspense, Black scores again.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Aimee Leduc, the computer-security expert who can't seem to stay out of murder investigations that take her to some of Paris' rougher neighborhoods, is at it again in this fifth episode in a consistently satisfying series. Previous installments have found the intrepid Leduc working in various blue-collar and immigrant districts around the city (Murder in Belleville, Murder in the Marais, etc.), and this time she lands in a neighborhood, Clichy, in which Old World wealth sits jowl to jowl with a growing Vietnamese population. The murder she investigates--after a Vietnamese man is shot on the street and dies in her arms--affords plenty of opportunity to experience all aspects of Clichy's multifaceted personality. As always, Black seamlessly integrates fascinating historical material about both Paris itself and the immigrant groups in the story (the history of jade and its role in Vietnamese culture drive the action here). The mystery plot creaks a bit--too many blind alleys--but Leduc's irrepressible appeal and Black's signature ability to use Paris as a character provide ample compensation. Bill Ott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Free eBook Companion to the Series
The Aimee Leduc Companion provides a detailed overview of the characters and locations in Cara Black's Aimee Leduc Investigation series.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Soho Crime; First Edition edition (March 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1569473838
  • ISBN-13: 978-1569473832
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,303,172 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By M. Reslock on July 20, 2005
Format: Hardcover
generally a big fan of Cara Black but this latest is a big mound of material searching for a decent editor. Even for a big fan its a slog. I think that there is a fine book buried in the text but whomever is claiming to be the editor of this book should be fired - it's a mess. Second Draft (maybe) but ready for publication it is not!
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Format: Hardcover
One of the problems with reading a novel that is part of a series is not reading until the fifth. Black's descriptions of Paris and the ambience of the neighborhoods reads like a well written travelogue on Lonely Planet. But I got tired of the number of times people drummed their nails or their finger or rattled their cups on a "zinc counter". Or how many time's Aimee had to changed torn fishnet stockings. Sometimes I got the feeling that the story was secondary to Black's knowledge about different areas of Paris.

As to the story...it gets in it's own way from time to time, and sometime just meanders along, "like the Seine on an amber autumn morning, lit by sun filtering through the clouds and fallen chestnut tree leaves, as lovers wandered hand in hand among the book stalls". Sorry got carried away...

Hard to tell whether she was trying to flesh out the story or had condensed it! Bottom line, the mystery was good and kept you guessing, but much of the time that may have been because we were "darkly looking through a nineteenth century, dappled window, which are so reminicent of the 14th arrondisement".
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Aimee Leduc, half-American, half-French, daughter of a Paris policeman, runs the Leduc Detective Agency with her partner Rene Friant, a genius computer hacker who is a “handsome dwarf.” Though the agency purports to work only on computer security for corporations and turns away more traditional detective work, Aimee and Rene somehow manage to find themselves mixed up in devilishly complex investigations that involve skullduggery and violence of a high order. In the process, they face near-death experiences at the hands of the malefactors they’re pursuing. With alarming regularity.

A flawed novel

Those all-too-frequent near-death experiences are only one of the problems I have with the Aimee Leduc series, of which Murder in Clichy is the fifth. I’m also troubled by the clumsy dialogue that appears throughout the book. Again, and again, and again, characters in conversation address others by name — at the beginning of what seems like every other remark. Naturally, in the course of a typical conversation between friends, you or I might call the other by name to get attention, to convey disapproval, or to plead for one thing or another. But to start every other snatch of dialogue with the other’s name? No. That doesn’t happen — except in fiction, where the author hasn’t found some more artful way to convey to the reader who’s speaking to whom. As an editor, this grates on me. A lot.

It’s not all bad

The great strength in Murder in Clichy — like that in its four predecessors — is the story behind the story: the historical facts on which the plot hangs.
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Format: Hardcover
This is the best in the Aimee Leduc series I've read yet! Not only does Cara Black show you Paris, she shows that it's not all the Louvre and the Champs-Elysees. She takes you where the tourists seldom go, to the arrondissements that the guidebooks never even mention. She shows you Paris from all sides, the Jewish, Muslim, North African, and Asian sides. She shows what it's like for former French colonials who returned, and former colonial subjects that relocated to France. In this book, she explores the Vietnamese community in Paris and seems to have done a lot of research. Most of us know something about the U.S. involvement in Vietnam, but not much is said about what went on before that. This book at least opens the door to the history of that country and France's involvement as a colonial power. It makes you want to read further. She also explores other items of interest, such as the French legal system, the art world, the symbolic properties of jade in East Asian cultures, and the area of Clichy itself, which is not even listed in the index of the DK Eyewitness Guide. If you really want to get to know Paris, this is a good place to start. The one thing I dont understand is that she always sets her books in the early 1990s rather than the present. This means areas may have changed radically by now. The plot is nonstop action, and while sometimes not quite realistic, it's fun to read. I love the scene where Aimee escapes down a garbage chute. If Aimee had pet rats like me, she wouldnt find them quite so horrifying. They'd prefer a nice clean home, too. The character I'm liking more and more is Aimee's partner Rene. I'm glad the author gave him an expanded role in this story, and I hope she continues to do so. He's really amazing; they should do more mystery solving as a team. Don't pay too much attention to negative comments, this series is a winner and I can't wait for the next one.
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Format: Hardcover
In 1994 Paris, Aimee Leduc has sight for the most part and the blurriness is going away, but she still struggles with her injuries especially to the optic nerve from last month's assault. Her computer security firm partner Rene encourages her to continue to seek a healthier lifestyle. Vietnamese Sister Linh asks Aimee to deliver an envelope to Thadee Baret because the nun insists she cannot do it as she is watched, even in Paris, as she is the daughter of a blackballed judge in her native country and the sister of a jailed dissident.. Reluctantly, Aimee agrees.

The drop off seems to go smooth as Aimee provides the envelope to Thadee who hands over to her a jade piece to give to Linh. Not long afterward someone kills Thadee. Aimee wonders what is going on as she was just a delivery intermediary, but government agents tell her to back off from making inquiries and someone abducts her partner, making the scenario even more baffling.

The fifth Aimee Leduc investigative tale is a fantastic story in which the readers remain in the dark along with the heroine wondering what is going on yet unable to stop reading to learn the truth. Aimee is a fabulous protagonist who learns a life lesson about Good Samaritans as she investigates the murder, the nun, and the abduction while pressure for her to back off increases. Cara Black provides her usual terrific Parisian joy ride that has helped make the Leduc tales consistently some of the best professional sleuth novels in recent years.

Harriet Klausner
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