This was my first venture into the Aimée Leduc series from Cara Black. So, I started with book one and took an armchair trip to the neighborhood in Paris called the Marais. Aimée is the owner of a small private detective agency in Paris. She’s the daughter of a French father and an American mother. Neither are in her life now, for different reasons.

Aimée mostly does cyber security and other computer-related detecting. No gruesome stuff. Until one night she delivers a finished project and finds the recipient dead. Not what she was expecting. It gives her a chance to work with her father’s old police buddy, and also to go undercover with a white supremacist group.

Black takes Aimée all over Paris, in a boatload of improbable situations. Somehow she always finds her way out. But can she catch the baddies?

My conclusions

I picked this book upon a whim, and recommendation from a Litsy friend. Thankfully, the library had an ebook available. I love female detective stories, especially when they’re flawed and quirky. Sadly, I found the novel more flawed than its heroine.

Black doesn’t make Aimée lovable, and I never really cared much about her as a character. The mysterious other folks were also just so-so. And the story arc was complex, but in a confused not intriguing way.

This isn’t a long book—just over 300 pages. I should have flown through it in a few days. Instead, I found myself picking any other activity rather than reading it. It just never connected for me.

The only part I liked was the charmingly antiquated ways in which Aimée computes. She uses floppy disks, and talks about how amazing a high-speed modem would be. The code-breaking and hacking-related descriptions were so 1998. (Of course, that’s when the book was published!)

I plan to put this series down, and move on to something more intense.