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Showing 1-10 of 110 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 136 reviews
Like a lot of long time fans of the Aimee Le Duc series by Cara Black, I found the early books fresh, original and an irresistible armchair link to Paris. Somewhere along the way though, the stories took on a kind of repetitiveness: protagonist Aimee Le Duc became increasingly obsessed with designer clothing and feckless boyfriends; the steadfast business partner, Rene Friant was treated like a theater prop; and the circuits around Paris became more contrived. Author Cara Black got some heat for all of this from admirers of the series and, to her credit, this latest episode of the series, "Murder at the Lantern Rouge", seems like an attempt to get back on track.

There's an interesting opening plot gambit - a young academic, who was working on a 14th Century alchemy project, is murdered in a Chinatown street while Aimee, partner Rene and his Chinese immigrant girlfriend are having dinner nearby. From there, things get much more complicated. A large cast of characters, both new and old/familiar join the story. Call it a cassoulet (and it's not Burgundian as Cara Black would have it). The action picks up and is soon frantic and hard to follow at times (for me, at least). As the story moves toward its conclusion, Aimee is back to fretting about her clothing choices, her long lost mother, her martyred father and whether the guys she meets in the course of the investigation are "bad" enough to date.

If you are a fan of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum books (forget about Sue Grafton) you might find yourself thinking - Aimee/Stephanie separated at birth?

So overall, "...Lanterne Rouge" is better than some of the latest Le Duc books, but I still had some problems with the structure, pacing and character interaction. There's just too much going on; too many things happen without rhyme or apparent reason; and yes, poor old Rene gets the short end of the stick once again.
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on July 21, 2012
I've read all the Aimée LeDuc books, in order. As a francophile who visits Paris every year, I enjoyed the locales as well as the plots. However, I found this book to be tough going, in other words boring. There's a sameness to this story that I found difficult to capture my interest. The computerese, the bargain second-hand fashions, the pitiable partner René and his hip problems, the high heels catching in the cobbles, the mysterious and mind-entangling mother, the love-hate relationship with Morbier, the inevitably failed relationships with bad-boy men, the nicotine habit, and injuries-per-case that would leave most humans permanently disabled. Enough already! Give us some diversity, some movement and growth. It's getting stale.
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on July 5, 2017
Aimee Leduc is by turns powerful and reckless as she solves murders in current day Paris. I have been rapidly through the series as I love the character. And she has Paris as her backdrop.
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on November 23, 2012
I have read every one of your books. The last one was tough going. I wished then that you had somehow mixed up the formula a bit, freshened your approach, showcased your strengths. I hoped that the flatness of your last effort was only a temporary lull. But alas. This one is no improvement. It is yet more fatigued and fatiguing. I have ceased to care about the characters. Even Paris itself has begun to fade.

I'm not sure what needs fixing -- the tired characters who never change, the formulaic adventures (that are getting more and more unbelievable), the stuck-in-the-'90s time warp. How about unleashing your imagination and proven ability to plot and write on new characters, or a new formula, or a contemporary time? Think of it -- you could leave the Nazis, the deportations, the clunky cell phones all behind for a story that moves faster, and in unexpected directions? With characters who have more at risk, who learn and grow and get smarter?

You have given me many hours of enjoyment, and I'm looking forward to many more. You can do better, I know it!

your friend,

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on May 12, 2013
I like Cara Black's version of Paris. It shows the seedier side of the city, and how you can even learn to love some of the less touristy areas.

Aimee Leduc is an interesting woman. She is tough, smart, and seems to care about those she loves. The back story of her past and her issues with her godfather only add to the flavor of the stories.

My only issues with Aimee is the mention of all the designer clothes. Not sure why Aimee would be doing all that running, fighting, and investigating in heels and a dress. I like the idea of an expertly dressed tough crime-fighting lady, but it just does not seem realistic. Most of us would be wearing chic boots or running shoes. Not sure how well you could fight crime with a broken nose (after falling on the hard ground wearing those heels!).
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on January 22, 2016
I love that Leduc doesn't leave anyone behind. She cares about "the chase" more than her own safety and those around her.
That said, her descriptions of Paris are engaging. And I believe that she has a good heart; albeit strange motives.
I want to hear the end of the story with her mother, said brother, and Morbier's involvement. Not to mention her Papa's involvement.
Can't wait until i get the next one.
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on March 30, 2012
It appears the publishers at Soho Crime finally figured out how to format a book for the Kindle. Previous releases in both Cara Black and other Soho series were bad enough to make one demand a refund. (not that they gave one)

Sadly, it's for one of the weaker Aimee Leduc seems like the threads of old, unusable plots were strung together in a story which meandered in and out of uninspiring situations in search of solid, forward-moving plot. The past couple Leducs remind me greatly of the final releases of both the Charlotte Pitt and the Amelia Peabody mysteries.... once-wonderful characters and stories grown old and dusty with what appears to be a lack of effort. Once you've cranked out a dozen novels, rote takes over for care and editorial scrutiny. Re-entergize or retire.
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on January 17, 2013
I got this book because of a good deal on Kindle and some of the reviews looked interesting.
I looked forward to reading it each time I picked it up and I will buy another book by Cara Black.So, I give it a good rating.
This mystery/PI novel, among many by Cara about detective Aimee Leduc, set in Paris, had a great plot, interesting characters, and a good blend of nice English writing with some interspersed French slang. Mec can mean dude or guy, for instance. It's a pleasant surprise to find a series of books I believe I will like.
Lots of twists and turns in the plot, some resolved for this story, some continuing, for the next book, I hope.
Of the PI genre I enjoy Michael Connelly, James Lee Burke, and many, many , others.
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on May 7, 2012
Murder at the Lanterne Rouge is the latest in Cara Black's Aimee Leduc Investigations series and, like its predecessors, is an engaging, good read. They're all set in contemporary Paris -- this time in what was once the seedy red light district -- and involve the investigations of a young private detective who inherited the agency from her father (a former Paris cop) and her brilliant partner who just happens to be a dwarf. Their focus is supposedly cyber crime, but Aimee invariably attracts a gutsy reinvestigation that sweeps her into the dangerous underbelly of the City of Light.
You don't HAVE to read these books in order, although once you've read one you may want to go back to the beginning.
Engaging characters, engaging story all, a great way to spend some quality time with a good book..
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on September 14, 2017
The best.
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