Sunny's bookshelf
Sunny's bookshelf photo by Judy Solomon

Online book reviews since 2011, the very best in reviewing – connecting good readers with equally good writers

Murder on the Quai – Les Frances peuvent être meurtrières

Sign up to receive our latest reviews by email

Murder on The Quai


Since Murder on the Quai is the sixteenth Aimee Leduc mystery, a series I have not been following, I was a bit apprehensive. Would a first-time reader be confused by vague references to this book’s predecessors and by specific narrative threads that have continued from one novel to the next? I need not have worried, however, because Murder on the Quai turned out to be a prequel to the other fifteen. It actually reveals hitherto untold events that preceded Aimee Leduc’s lengthy career as a private investigator.

The story takes place in 1989, when Aimee, whose father and grandfather ran a Paris detective agency, was enrolled in medical school. She wasn’t happy, however, so when an opportunity to be involved in the family business came her way, she decided to try investigating on her own. An amateur at detection and inexperienced at surveillance, she encountered many unforeseen difficulties. Readers who have followed her subsequent career will be intrigued by the youthful innocence revealed in Murder on the Quai.

Those readers will be charmed, too, by the introduction of other characters who will populate all the Aimee Leduc novels. She meets Rene Friant for the first time, a computer-savvy dwarf who will become her partner. She acquires Miles Davis, a bichon frise that will accompany her everywhere. She learns more about her American mother, who vanished when Aimee was eight. She learns more about her father, too, an enigmatic man who definitely does not want his daughter following in his footsteps.

Along with the personal aspects unveiled in Murder on the Quai, Cara Black also uncovers a strain of French history. Now and then this novel reverts to 1942, when the Germans occupied France, and tells of an incident involving gold ingots and murderous intrigue. Aimee knows nothing of that incident until she gets more deeply involved in her current case. The reader suspects connections from the outset, but I certainly enjoyed watching her growing awareness as she puts pieces of her mystery puzzle together.

Anyone who enjoys Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs mystery series will recognize some similarities between Maisie and Aimee. Of course Maisie’s novels take place in England after the mayhem of World War I, while Aimee’s take place in France after the holocaust of World War II, but the two women follow remarkably similar career paths from medicine to detection. Their minds work reflectively, too, as they consider history and motives. They even map their cases in similar ways, using arrows and logic to connect events and characters. Aimee, who is younger and more inexperienced in Murder on the Quai, is more impetuous than Maisie, but that may change as she matures.

I guess I’ll find out, because I definitely plan to read more Aimee Leduc mysteries. If the other fifteen novels are as well-written as the latest one, I have much to anticipate. – Ann Ronald

Also available by Cara Black: Murder in the Marais; Murder on the Champ de Mars; Murder in Pigalle; Murder Below Montparnasse; Murder in Belleville; Murder at the Lanteme Rouge; Murder in the Latin Quarter; Murder in the Bastille; Murder in Montmartre; Murder in the Sentier; Murder in the Rue De Paradis; Murder in Passy; Murder in Clichy; Murder in the Palais Royal; Murder on the Saint-Louis.

Murder on The Quai

2 Responses

Add your thoughts and comments...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share this Review

Related Reviews

Billy Blaster and the Robot Army from Outer Space

Billy Blaster

BILLY BLASTER AND THE ROBOT ARMY FROM OUTER SPACE – not necessarily a graphic novel only for the younger reader. No matter how old you

Read More »

The God of  Endings

Jacqueline Hollands’s debut novel, The God of  Endings, reveals the loneliness of the life of an unwilling vampire. Jacqueline Holland’s debut novel, The God of Endings, follows

Read More »
The Little Sister

The Little Sister

The Little Sister – A first Philip Marlowe novel brings this reviewer into an enthusiastic appreciation of Raymond Chandler who makes (for me) the mystery

Read More »

About the Reviewer

Sign up for reviews by email

You’ll get email updates from Bookin’ with Sunny when we add a new review or blog post, and we never share your email with anyone else.

Shopping in-store Fun!

Support your local community’s economic growth by shopping for books at your independent bookstore in person, online at their website, or by phone.