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Thursday, June 9, 2016

Book Review: Murder on the Quai by Cara Black

The perfect entrance to a long-time series is a prequel like this one, explaining how Aimee Leduc became a private investigator. I have not read any other books in the series so this was just right for me. Aimee is a university student who picks up some side work for her father, a private investigator himself, in between classes, but when he doesn't return quickly from his sudden trip to Germany, Aimee continues to look into the mysterious circumstances, even though they might not be able to bill for her time, and she could be in real trouble if she gets caught out anywhere, as her PI license is a forgery.

The action moved forward quickly and we are taken on a whip-fast trip around Paris and beyond, with multiple narrative threads to follow, and a few items that seemed unnecessary or given uneven weight, but I am pretty sure those are parts explaining the introduction of characters who are more important in the series generally, and so those scenes mean more to people already familiar to her world. She takes foolish risks but I suppose that's a character trait almost necessary in a private investigator. And while a part of this book involved flashbacks to WWII, and I do have a moratorium on WWII this year, those were handled well and didn't annoy me or feel like I've read them a hundred times before. They also didn't take over the book as WWII often does.

Overall, a solid mystery where I felt like I almost had all the clues and if I just sat down and thought about it, I could probably figure it out, but I didn't which was also nice (I hate when I figure out the twist early on or easily and the book feels like a waste of time. And the characters seem dumb for not figuring it out. Or the author is being unfair by giving readers too much information beyond what the main character has.) Well done.

This book is published by Soho Press, my employer.

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