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Murder on the Quai: An Aimée Leduc Investigation    by Cara Black order for
Murder on the Quai
by Cara Black
Order:  USA  Can
Soho, 2016 (2016)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

If you have been following the Francophile mystery series featuring Aimée Leduc, this latest novel by Cara Black is a must read. The sixteenth book in the series that debuted in 1999, Murder on the Quai is a prequel that fans of this appealing female sleuth will greatly appreciate because it traces the young woman's early years and how she made the decision to follow her father and grandfather into the investigative field.

You'll discover how the Parisienne met and formed an alliance with Rene, the super-hacker dwarf who has become her partner in the business and her best friend; how she acquired her beloved bichon frise (Miles Davis); and why her father was framed and murdered; plus the actual whereabouts of Aimée's American mother who abandoned her when Aimée was quite young.

All the information related to these characters is revealed as Aimée walks away from her med school exams to tackle her first solo case. The assignment involves helping a distant family member sort out a serious problem that will place the young woman on the trail to track down a truck-load of missing Nazi gold that disappeared during World War II.

Set during the fall of the Berlin Wall, the novel's subplot also involves Aimée's father Jean-Claude, who reluctantly takes a secret assignment to East Germany which reunites him with his former wife. The repercussions of this encounter and its aftermath plus his murder affect Aimée's life for years to come.

The Aimée Leduc series has been highly successful and those who have come to know the fascinating and likable character have seen her mature into a seasoned investigator. By filling in the character's early years, Cara Black has strengthened the bond between her creation and the many readers who have followed Aimée's development. This has made Aimée even more appealing and should serve to set up some interesting future scenarios where more about her mother is revealed.

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