Murder on the Quai by Cara Black

Genre: mystery
Secondary genre: historical, political
Format read: hard copy
CW: violence
Rep: Little person
Series: Aimée Leduc, vol 16
Rating: planchet-4

Sometimes, there are happy accidents.

Like when you accidentally start with volume 16 in a series, thinking it’s volume 1, and it turns out to be a prequel.

I found book 9 in this series at a flea market a few months ago and earmarked the series for later. When I happened to see this book on display at my local library, I snapped it up. Somehow, I missed the bitty line at the top of the cover marking it as a prequel.

It’s the 1980s, and the Berlin wall has just come down. Amid the news, med student Aimée  Deluc is struggling with her finals, which are continually sabotaged by jealous classmates. Expecting help or at least commiseration from her father, she’s surprised to find him halfway out the door on his way to Berlin on a secret business trip he won’t tell her anything about.

At the same time, a distant cousin shows up on their doorstep, begging for Mr. Deluc’s help to solve her father’s murder. Aimée helps her PI father on his way, promising to meet up with him on a job when he returns, and volunteers to do a little digging for the mystery cousin, thinking it’s a simple matter of tracking down a woman he spoke to on the night he died.

But her simple open-and-shut research case turns up a second dead body killed the same way, and the links between the old men lead right back to a crate of Nazi gold and a series of murders in 1943. Then someone starts shooting at her and attempting to mow her down with a cab.

This book was a bit slow to start, in my opinion, but around halfway through things really pick up. I will warn you that there is a very sudden even on the last page that makes this something of a cliff-hanger ending, and I was not happy with the twist it added to the plot. I’m not sure if I want to go back and read the rest of the series now.

I do really like Aimée, however, and the little dog she and her grandfather adopt.

If you’ve read this series, what’s your opinion?

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