Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Author of the Day: Cara Black



When I was compiling my French Connection list, I included books from a Paris-based mystery series by Cara Black -- part of the fantastic Soho Crime collection of mysteries set in foreign locales.

Black, who lives and writes in San Francisco, has done a masterful job with her Parisian novels. Amiee Leduc is half-American, smart, and feisty as all get out. She runs a computer forensic business, which gives her some investigative skills, but still makes her an amateur sleuth when it comes to solving murder mysteries. The books have solid, out of the ordinary plots with plenty of action and excitement. Black captures the mood as well as the sensory details of semi-contemporary Paris (several of the books, maybe all, are set in the early 1990s, about seven or eight years before the first book was published), but also provides vivid historic context when related to the mystery.

I read the first book in the series, Murder in the Marais, in preparation for meeting Black at a Mystery Writers' Conference I attended in 2005. Although the book had a few rough edges, I was intrigued. I then read the third book (by mistake -- I hate going out of order), found the rough edges smoothed considerably -- it is much a more professional product but kept the charm -- and I was definitely hooked. But I put off reading the others because I wanted to make them last, then unfortunately got distracted by other books, and have just now renewed my interest in catching up with the adventures of Aimee Leduc.

Those I have read are in red. Those on my TBR shelf are in blue.

Murder in the Marais

Murder in Belleville (reviewed here)

Murder in the Sentier

Murder in the Bastille

Murder in Clichy

Murder in Montmartre

Murder on the Ile Saint-Louis


Murder in the Rue de Paradis

Murder in the Latin Quarter

Murder in the Palais Royal

Murder in Passy

Murder at the Lanterne Rouge

NOTE

Last updated April 19, 2012.

5 comments :

Rose City Reader said...

Cara Black sent a nice message:

What a beautiful blog and I thank you for making me author of the day. This is so cool!

I tried to post a comment but got redirected. I re-read All Quiet on the West Front last year, as well.
It never fails to move me and thanks for mentioning it.

I wish I was coming to Portland, too...maybe next year.

Keep up your great blog!!
Cara

Book Dilettante said...

I've read all her novels and remember being very impressed with the story of Murder on the Marais. I think you can safely read them out of sequence, in case you are worried about that. Here is one I read some time ago: Murder on the Ile Saint-Louis

iubookgirl said...

Thanks for turning me on to this author. Her work sounds right up my alley!

Tanya said...

About three years ago, I was staying in a rental cottage and there was a Cara Black novel at hand. I didn't realize they were a part of a series and read it. Even when I realized that I was mid-series, I didn't stop. The writing definitely put me square into one of the Arrondissements of Paris. I have always meant to go back and start from the top. Since then, a couple of them have come out in audio; but the customer reviews haven't been that great, so I've been picking up PB copies at used book stores, Still haven't started though! Your post reminds me iti s time :-)

Tanya said...

About three years ago, I was staying in a rental cottage and there was a Cara Black novel at hand. I didn't realize they were a part of a series and read it. Even when I realized that I was mid-series, I didn't stop. The writing definitely put me square into one of the Arrondissements of Paris. I have always meant to go back and start from the top. Since then, a couple of them have come out in audio; but the customer reviews haven't been that great, so I've been picking up PB copies at used book stores, Still haven't started though! Your post reminds me it is time :-)

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