Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Murder in the Marais

Keeping up with private detective Aimee Leduc has become a full time preoccupation and getting to know the Marais and all Paris better is one of the big pluses of reading Cara Black's mysteries arrondissement by arrondissement.
I feel a bit like a stalker following in her footsteps...
Murder in the Marais touches on many issues that go beyond most mystery books. The stories of French Jews in Paris and those left behind by chance or luck are endlessly intriguing.
'Leduc,whose specialty is computer forensics, is confronted with a seemingly mundane task: to decipher an encrypted photograph from the '40s and deliver it to an old woman in the Marais (the historic Jewish quarter of Paris). When Aimee arrives at the home of Lili Stein to present the photo, however, she finds the woman dead, a swastika carved into her forehead. Thus begins a thrilling, quick-paced chase involving neo-Nazis, corrupt government officials and fierce anti-Semitism'.
The scene switches back and forth between the rue des Rosiers and elegant Place des Vosges
While the story twists and turns constantly adding new threads and old tales of how people survived the German occupation. Informers, traitors, and innocent victims of their times...so many backstories keep you enthralled.
At one point Aimee must stay behind in the Maison de Victor Hugo lurking in his bedroom (which I just happened to visit earlier in January) right on Place des Vosges after hours to hack into their computers.
Another scene occurs at the famous Pere Lachaise cemetary, a place I've avoided like the plague...
I thought I'd quickly shoot the entrance and run, yet the romance and poetry was hard to walk away from. Merci Cara for making me go!
One main character could easily have walked out of this photo of French women having their heads publically shaved and being shamed for their relationships with the occupiers. Yet who knows what exactly went on and why. Murder in the Marais gives you some possible alternatives to consider. No story is simply black and white. The shades of gray are infinite.
Still in Place des Vosges at Cafe Bourgogne various meetings do and don't take place, but the cafe looks to be unchanged from it's former days...one of its charms.
I was certain I spotted Aimee on rue des Rosiers sporting a blond wig(she does don one in the book) and Cara agreed it could be her. I'm not done chasing after Aimee. I hope she doesn't take notice of me stalking her. Do get onboard with Murder in the Marais for lots of thrills, chills and some intriguing history of Paris during the occupation. And by the way Cara says the contest for the free trip to Paris has been extended till April 30 so don't miss out!!

25 comments:

  1. Fascinating, I need to buy the book!
    Merci,
    Merisi

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    1. Honestly it's very much gripping tales. I couldn't go anywhere without it..always a good sign in my book.

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    2. OH WOW Love tje Marais post
      Thanks Carol

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  2. Anonymous3:04 PM

    Free from amazon on kindle or kindle app.
    I am now hooked as well - thanks for turning me on to these books!
    Nancy

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    1. Thanks Nancy,
      I mentioned it in my 1st Cara Black review bur good to be reminded and go back for another look.

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  3. That cemetery is on my wish list to see..apart from ..the list goes on and on..that you have shared with us~

    You are Carol's Book Club..:)

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    1. I was looking for Oscar Wilde mentioned in the book but instead trailed after a French tour group and saw Chopin, Armin and Claud Clousel among others. The whole place is enthralling

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  4. Thanks for your picture of the Cafe; I recognize it as the one where we had lunch once but I had forgotten the name of it.

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  5. WHOA!!! That picture of the Place des Vosges in a heartbreakingly evocative rainy Spring fog from the Juliet balcony of some hideously lavish boudoir -- you have to tell me how you got that!!!

    I've never seen the Vosges from that point of view. It's FABULOUS.

    OK, now I MUST get that book.

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  6. Too funny
    That window is in the Maison Victor Hugo and Aimee does look out on the park in the book from the Maison though who knows which window. It's a pretty view. I didn't know I was standing in Aimee's footsteps when I took the shot :)

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    1. I had to look that up...
      Who knew?
      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balcony
      By contrast, a 'Juliet balcony' does not protrude out of the building. It is usually part of an upper floor, with a balustrade only at the front, like a small Loggia.

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  7. Carol, I think I've told you that I stayed near Pere Lachaise and found the surrounding neighborhood very friendly.

    I've begun reading Murder Below Montparnasse, and will now get acquainted with another Parisian neighborhood.

    xo

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  8. Bonjour Carol. You got me intrigued. The book sounds great, and le Marais has always been my favorite Right Bank neighborhood. I stood at that same window overlooking la Place des Vosges just last year. :-) Now should I buy the paper version of the book (always my favorite option,) or download the book into my brand-new iPad Mini? Decisions, decisions... Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

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    1. Bravo!
      U got the iPad mini!
      Ooo la la
      Don't forget to ask Siri the temperature in Paris or where ever you like daily.
      Siri is my new best friend

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  9. There's an exhibit at Hotel de Ville currently about the Resistance. I do love reading about Paris during and just after WWII. So many good books about that era. But what? No pastries in the Marais? I know that's not true...

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    1. That exhibit is on my to-do list and another at the Shoah museum. Yes fascinante

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  10. So, we both promote Cara Black's works! (You know I had the chance to meet her.) So, maybe you are ready for some other cemetery walks? Not only Père Lachaise, but also Montmartre, Montparnasse are fascinating!

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    1. Aieeeeee
      I much prefer to go where the living reside
      Pere Lachaise is special...though I do still think the pet cimetaire is a must do peut-être ...

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  11. Got to see Cara Black at my local book store last Thursday. She mentioned that the tour she will lead for the contest will include a scavenger hunt in the Louvre and lots of chocolate. I want to win!!! I took a picture out that window and ate in that cafe. I'm feeling the need to return...

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  12. Oh, my husband just reminded me that that resto only takes cash. He left me there while he searched (I am not complaining, just do not know how far he had to go for an ATM. That could be a function of Paris being timeless not distance...) Great place to be abandoned in any case!

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  13. Great photos, Carol, the book sounds like it would be a good one!

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  14. Carol,WOW! This is another wonderful post,and your terrific pictures just bring us right along with you!
    Merci!
    Natalia

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  15. Anonymous9:39 AM

    I have read all of Black's books, and I think it is wonderful to have your pix add to those I have created in my mind.
    Lynn

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  16. Oh, yes! I loved the photos you used here and you did indeed capture the book well. I wrote about it on Chopsticks and String a few years ago -- and it remains my favorite, I think.

    The Hugo museum became a pilgrimage for Rick and me, but I don't think I've given him the book to read! Thanks for the reminder on that! And yes, now that you have been on a cemetery visit, check out Montmartre! Peter took us there last year and it was was fascinating -- and of course you have the best guide in Paris!

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