Title: Murder Below Montparnasse (Aimee Leduc Investigations #13)
Author: Cara Black
Read by: Madeleine Lambert
Audio published: March 19, 2013 by AudioG0 (First published March 15, 2013)
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
The Aimee Leduc series is one I’ve been meaning to read but hadn’t gotten around to until now. My library had #13 available on audio, so I went ahead and picked it up, even though I haven’t read/listened to any of the others. I’m not sure if this was just a bad place to start or if I just shouldn’t bother with any more in the series, because Murder Below Montparnasse just didn’t work for me.
The story centers around a painting that was stolen from an old Russian man who ends up murdered. We’ve got plenty of suspects, from the man’s son, to a young friend, even maybe Aimee’s mother. There’s a side-line with Rene who was gone to America for what seems to be a slightly shady job.
Theft, murder, a car crash, something about a friend of Aimee’s doing some kind of fashion book (I think I missed something there), and her mom who she hasn’t seen since she was 8 and who is apparently wanted by Interpol. I think if I knew Aimee and her friends more, I would have understood more of what was going on and why, but as it was, it seemed like Aimee made bad decisions, never paid any attention to her dog, let down her friends even though I think she was supposed to be loyal to them. I just didn’t care, and I didn’t understand what the big fuss with her mother was, but she kept obsessing over her and I had to wonder if this was standard for the series or just an add-on to this one. Aimee seems to have men-trouble and a fondness for vintage clothes, but I’m not really sure what makes her qualified to be a detective or run a computer security company, other than that she inherited the agency from her family and has friends who know their way around computers.
I love the non-touristy Paris setting and the fact that it’s about 1998 makes it interesting. Aimee has to do more following people and traipsing around town, rather than relying on the internet, but she falls into so many of the stupid amateur detective mistakes and really should probably have been dead long before the book ended.
I will say I enjoyed listening to this rather than reading it. Madeleine Lambert became Aimee for me, and I loved hearing the pronunciations of the French places and phrases. I will say that her Russian female bodyguard voice was memorable, too.
The ending has a bit of a surprise, at least I think it’s supposed to be a surprise, but even I saw it coming.
Have you read this series? Was this just a bad example? Should I go back and read the earlier ones or just not bother?
Aimee Leduc Investigations
- Murder in the Marais
- Murder in Belleville
- Murder in the Sentier
- Murder in the Bastille
- Murder in Clichy
- Murder in Montmartre
- Murder on the Ile Saint-Louis
- Murder in the Rue de Paradis
- Murder in the Latin Quarter
- Murder in the Palais Royal
- Murder in Passy
- Murder at the Lantern Rouge
- Murder Below Montparnasse
- Murder in Pigalle (expected March 2014)