Murder at the Lanterne Rouge Hardcover – Mar 6 2012
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Praise for Murder at the Lanterne Rouge
"Outstanding.... Readers will relish realistic villains and an evocative atmosphere that begs for a trip to the City of Lights."
—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
"Black expertly weaves the social issues of Chinese sweatshops and illegal immigrants with current science and computer technology, 14th-century Templars and guilds, and the local police and French secret service."
—The Columbus Dispatch
"[O]ne of the most atmospheric crime novels I've read in a long time."
"Paris never needs a new look, and neither does Aimée Leduc."
"Perfectly plotted.... Filled with evocative details and quirky characters as delightful as the smell of a fresh-baked baguette."
—BN.com, Mystery Pick of the Month
"The pace accelerates as fast as Aimee's Vespa.... Murder at the Lanterne Rouge is wonderfully plotted, and Cara Black ties together the past and present with élan."
—New York Journal of Books
"[Black] lets readers peek into a corner of Paris that Fodor's leaves out."
“With this series, it’s easy to feel you’ve just been to Paris, and to a side of the city tourists rarely see..”
—Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine
“Black's Paris is one we are always happy to visit again.”
—Reviewing the Evidence
“Smoothly written and tightly plotted."
"Narrated in Black's staccato, caffeine-propelled style, Murder at the Lanterne Rouge is one of the most complex investigations yet for Leduc."—Kingdom Books
Praise for the Aimée Leduc series
"Transcendently, seductively, irresistibly French."
"Wry, complex, sophisticated, intensely Parisian.... One of the very best heroines in crime fiction today."
"So authentic you can practically smell the fresh baguettes and coffee."
About the Author
Cara Black is the author of eleven previous books in the New York Times bestselling Aimée Leduc series, all of which are available from Soho Crime. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and son and visits Paris frequently.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
Sadly, it's for one of the weaker Aimee Leduc outings...it 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.
I have read this entire series and this latest book is an excellent example of what makes this series by Cara Black exceptional. The reader is transported to 1998 Paris. It is a special author who can make a novel's setting come alive to the reader.
We are given more hints in this novel about Aimee's mother. I love how Cara has provided hints in each of her novels. And I hope that Aimee is finally reunited with her mother one day. This time out Rene has a new love who is at the center of this Chinatown based novel. Of course he still has feelings for Aimee which she is clueless about. Loved the Google reference.
Excellent story that brings together fourteenth century discoveries with cutting edge modern technology. Must read for mystery lovers. I cannot wait for the next one.
I consider myself a fan and yet I'm constantly swearing off reading another book and it's because of the writing style. It's so pared down that it's to the point where Black doesn't bother with verbs. Here's a line from the book: "That pain." Sure, we get the idea and now and then it's fine to move the action with a breathless prose, as if the narrator is running to keep up with Aimee. But now and then, please, stop, let us take a long breath and look around. This abbreviated style doesn't just feel suffocating, it's confusing. Black uses shorthand to describe dialogue and reactions to the point where Aimee seems unhinged as she responds to her world with unexplained anger or dismay or fear or... well, I would have said humor but there is actually not so much humor in the books. Perhaps, if we knew better what was going on we might understand Aimee's reactions better. As it is, there's talk of ancient glass formulas, references to various branches of law enforcement, computerese rattled off for good measure and then she's off on her scooter, swiping red lipstick, making notes with eyeliner and stumbling in stiletto boots and cursing herself for not wearing her faux fur gloves.