Murder on the Champ de Mars

Soho Crime. (Aimee Leduc, Bk. 15). Mar. 2015. 320p. ISBN 9781616952860. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9781616952877. MYS
OrangeReviewStarSmart and sassy French detective Aimée Leduc always finds trouble, and it's no different in her current outing, a terrific new addition to a series that most recently included Murder in Pigalle. Aimée is deliriously happy after having had a baby, but little Chloé's father, Melac—long missing in action—suddenly shows up at the christening to argue that he and his new wife can give Chloé a better home than Aimée can. Then, as she leaves the church, Aimée is approached by a gypsy boy named Nicu who claims that his dying mother, promised help whenever necessary by Aimée's late father, has something important to disclose. Convinced that she might learn the key to her father's tragic death, Aimée rushes to the hospital, only to find the patient vanished and the staff suspiciously noncommittal. Tension mounts as Aimée hunts for the missing Drina while trying to secure legal help in keeping her baby.
VERDICT The Aimée Leduc series always delights, but this new title is especially good. Melac's efforts to secure custody of Chloé add depth and anxious moments to the story, and what Aimée learns about her father is immensely sad while pushing the series along to a new level. [See Prepub Alert, 9/8/14.]
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