Mardi 27 fevrier Murder Below Montparnasse by Cara Black
I'm thrilled to give you the heads up on Cara Black's newest Aimee Leduc mystery, Murder Below Montparnasse. It's quite gripping tales. 28 pages to go and I'm chomping at the bit to finish. People look at me strangely in the Metro as I wreck havoc on the book with my yellow marker and ball point pen, but there are so many details I don't want to forget.
What I'm loving is the way Black makes you experience an area of Paris in a fresh new way. I thought I knew the 14th arrondissement. No way!
It has tons of little quotidienne details that stop you in your tracks and you say to yourself "of course!" So that's what this is etc.
Murder BELOW Montparnasse is loaded with historical references especially artistic ones:
Virtually penniless painters, sculptors, writers, poets and composers came from around the world to thrive in the creative atmosphere and for the cheap rent at artist communes such as La Ruche. Living without running water, in damp, unheated "studios", seldom free of rats, many sold their works for a few francs just to buy food. Jean Cocteau once said that poverty was a luxury in Montparnasse. First promoted by art dealers such as Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, today works by those artists sell for millions of euros. Back then they used them to barter a meal in a cafe.
Black's mysteries are as twisty-turny and convoluted as a Parisian balcon. The tension rises to a breaking point in Montparnasse. A hidden Modigliani painting is stolen. Russian oliogarchs are involved. Murder in the Metro. Lots of racing about in Metros and taxis. Plus Aimee is looking for her long lost mother missing since she was eight.
Private detective Aimee is of course hired to find the lost Modigliani.
Black can be depended upon to include museums in the area plus artist references. Whose been to the Antoine Bourdelle musee raise your hands. I hadn't but it reeks of atmosphere and includes his atelier where Giacometti studied among other notable sculpturs.
Aimee drops into countless cafes drinking countless express and Perroquets...this one on rue Daguerre (known as village Deguerre - a fabulous long and mostly pedestrian rue you could miss in the blink of an eyelash). I love it that Black names names. Sleuth out all her locations and have a mad adventure doing so. Merci Cara!
And I'm a big fan of Black's atmospheric writing. A few examples:
As the taxi sped over Pont Alexanre III, she called Saj. Outside the window, globed candelabra lights lined the bridge, misted in fog. The Seine below, a dark gelatinous ribbon, caught furred glints of light.
"Un express," she said, sitting at the counter and catching the scurrying white-aproned waiter. Next to her a young woman cut into a scallion-fringed croque-Madame, on a thick slice of Poilane bread. Tempting.
She passed a rain-beaded plaque that listed Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp as one-time residents on the painted geranium-fronted hotel. A former one star, the hotel had now jumped to three stars for the remodeled ambience.
I could go on and on quoting Cara...
Now to get down to the nitty gritty.
Here's your chance to “Win A Killer Trip to Paris” with Cara Black as your guide for 7 days visiting all the ins and outs of Aimee's adventures in every book. This sounds so terrific, I'd love to try for it. You can enter the sweepstakes by buying Murder Below Montparnasse before the publication date on March 5.
All the details are on the site.
Cara's Coton de tutear is not part of the sweepstakes but he definitely has good taste in reading. Win this prize PBers!