This afternoon I finished book four of the Spring Reading Challenge, Murder in the Latin Quarter by Cara Black:

Murder in the Latin Quarter is about detective Aimee Leduc, who lives and works in Paris. In this ninth book of the series, a mysterious woman comes to Aimee claiming to be her Haitian half-sister. Aimee, who has no real family, cannot resist believing it might be true. As a result, she is quickly drawn into the investigation of the murder of a Haitian professor in her attempt to acquaint herself with her half-sister.

Black skillfully brings Paris to life in a way that I find admirable. I hope I am able to bring 17th century London alive in the way she does with Paris. Aimee is a charming character who I look forward to reading about again. I've already ordered the first book in the series Murder in the Marais, if only to re-visit Leduc's Paris.

As for the story, the mystery itself is a bit convoluted and I had trouble following it in places. The plot is somewhat formulaic and the structure is a bit clumsy. There were parts where I almost felt I had access to the rough outline of the story–INTRODUCE VILLAIN HERE or INSERT PLOT TWIST HERE–I felt that these types of elements, so important to the mystery genre, could've been introduced more smoothly. That said, I will read at least on more in the series in the hope that starting at the beginning will help solidify the main characters and Aimee's business for me. Whilst this book stands on its own, I feel that starting at the beginning will allow me to better judge the series.

GRADE: C+

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