cover image Murder in Bel-Air

Murder in Bel-Air

Cara Black. Soho Crime, $27.95 (312p) ISBN 978-1-61695-929-6

Set in 1999, bestseller’s Black’s gripping 19th Aimée Leduc investigation (after 2018’s Murder on the Left Bank) opens with Parisian PI Aimée abruptly leaving a tech conference right before her keynote presentation on hearing that her American mother, Sydney, has failed to pick up Aimée’s nearly one-year-old daughter, Chloé, from the child’s playgroup. When Aimée arrives, she sees the body of a homeless woman being taken away from a nearby convent that operated a soup kitchen. Sydney was the last person seen talking to the woman. Aimee’s subsequent investigation turns up connections to the Ivory Coast and international spies. As usual, Black takes the reader on a whirlwind tour of Paris, both the well- and less-well-known sections, and Aimée never leaves home without oozing style. Though the momentum falters now and then in the book’s second half, a taut, well-choreographed final confrontation more than compensates. Longtime fans and newcomers alike will have fun. [em]Agent: Katherine Fausset, Curtis Brown. (June) [/em]