Book Review: Murder at the Lanterne Rouge by Cara Black

Murder at the Lanterne Rouge
Cara Black
Soho Crime, March 2012
ISBN 978-1-61695-061-3
Hardcover

In Murder at the Lanterne Rouge, a new mystery featuring detectives Rene Friant and Aimee Leduc, author Cara Black draws the reader right onto the cold and slushy streets of Paris, France.

When the happy occasion of Rene’s girlfriend, Meizi Wu’s birthday goes awry and she disappears from a fancy restaurant without a word to anyone, Aimee, at Rene’s insistence, immediately takes on the job of finding her. This is not easy in a city like Paris, which seems almost overrun with illegal sweatshops where thousands of illegal Chinese toil. As Aimee follows the girl’s flight, she is caught up in murder. Making the job more difficult is a corrupt police department and various government agencies. Who can Aimee trust?  And where does Meizi figure in the murder? How will Aimee protect her partner Rene from heartbreak if the Chinese girl turns out not to be a victim, but a criminal?

Lots of puzzles pepper this fast-paced crime novel. Aimee is a lady of derring-do, armed with a mean set of pick-locks and wearing vintage designer clothing. The fascinating details in this convoluted mystery keep the reader involved while being treated to a close look at exotic Paris.

Reviewed by Carol Crigger, December 2011.

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