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Cara Black is a best-selling American author most famous for her Aimée Leduc mystery novels.
Her debut title, Murder in the Marais, was published in 1999. The book became an immediate bestseller and earned her a nomination for the Anthony Award for Best First Novel. And in the following years, she’s risen through the ranks to become one of the 21st century’s most beloved mystery writers.
More than twenty books later, Black’s classic Aimée Leduc series is still going strong. And more recently, the author has begun a brand new series set in World War II, starring an American markswoman named Kate Rees.
So, if you’re looking for a great mystery novel to escape this year, Cara Black’s page-turning reads are bound to have you hooked.
Table of Contents
Cara Black has written twenty-two novels spanning two series. I’ll list them in reading and publication order in this post.
Aimée Leduc is a chic, sharp, stylish private investigator from Paris. She uses her cyber sleuthing skills to deal with computer security affairs. But much to her business partner René’s chagrin, she’s often lured into the dark and deadly world of criminal investigations, bringing her face to face with some of the city’s most dangerous criminals. Aimée takes over her late father’s detective agency at the start of the series.
Each book in the Aimee Leduc Investigations series tells a different story so that they can be read as standalone. Want to see how the characters evolve and develop over time? Follow the publication order listed below.
Aimée Leduc’s late father, a police detective, was tragically killed in the line of duty. And so, as a private investigator, she’s decided to steer clear of criminal cases.
But, when a new client approaches her with a top-secret decoding case in Paris’s historic Jewish quarter, she figures she can bend her own rules just a little. After all, it sounds like a walk in the park.
But when she finds her client lying dead on the floor of her Marais home with a swastika carved into her forehead, she realizes she may have bitten off more than she can chew.
Anaïs de Froissart is an old client of Aimée’s, desperate for her help once again. But this time, it’s not surveillance of her cheating husband she needs. Anaïs is in trouble, and after a terrified phone call, Aimée decides she’d better track her down.
But as soon as she finds her, she witnesses the detonation of a car bomb which kills the woman Anaïs is with. According to Anaïs, the victim was Sylvie Coudray, her husband’s favorite mistress. But she didn’t kill her, and she has no idea who did.
And so, it’s down to Aimée to figure out the truth before anyone else gets blown up.
It’s the middle of summer, and Aimée Leduc has received a phone call that makes her question everything she ever knew about her family. The woman on the line claims to be her long-lost mother’s old cellmate from her stint in jail for suspected terrorism.
Aimée wants to uncover the truth about her mother, so she must meet this mysterious lady in person. But when she arrives at the meeting point, the woman is dead, and she’s next in the firing line.
Aimée Leduc is donning her new exclusive designer jacket to dinner with a client. But when she sits down at the high-end Bastille district restaurant, she realizes that the woman at the following table over is wearing the same, supposedly one-off piece that she is.
Later in the evening, the woman forgets her phone. But when Amy follows her outside to return it to her, she’s struck by a mysterious attacker.
When she wakes up, Aimée is devastated to learn she’s blind. But she got off lightly, as the woman in the matching jacket was found dead in the next alleyway. But was Aimee the intended target? She has no idea, but now, even without her sight, she’s determined to find out.
Aimée Leduc has inadvertently acquired a treasure trove of priceless Vietnamese jade artifacts. But there’s one problem; someone out there is desperate to get their hands on the jade. They are so desperate that they’ve already killed a man in a failed attempt to claim it.
Now, the treasure in her possession seems more like a ticking time bomb, and it won’t be long before someone comes knocking on her door.
Aimée Leduc has just discovered that her supposedly loving boyfriend is leaving her. So, she heads out to drown her sorrows with her childhood friend Laure.
Laure is a police officer, and her patrol partner Jacques has joined them at the bar. But when Jacques asks Laure to step outside to discuss urgent police business, the pair never return.
Aimée follows Laure’s footsteps through the snow and stumbles upon a harrowing scene. There is her friend, alive but sprawled across a steep rooftop. Nearby, Jacques is bleeding to death after taking a bullet from an unknown gun.
In the aftermath of Jacques’s death, Laure is arrested for murder. But Aimée knows her friend is innocent and is determined to clear her name.
Aimée Leduc is battling a tight deadline for an important cyber security client when interrupted by a bizarre anonymous phone call. The voice on the other end of the line instructs her to enter the courtyard outside her house.
Aimée must embark on a frantic search to find the infant’s mother. But her mission will put her and the baby girl right in the heart of danger. There, she finds a newborn baby wrapped in blood-stained clothing, and suddenly, thoughts of her important deadline melt away.
Aimée Leduc is on cloud nine after her gorgeous ex-boyfriend Yves reappears in Paris. He’s promised he’ll stick around for good this time, and to prove it to her, he’s asking her to be his wife. Aimée has always loved Yves, and she can’t help but accept his sudden proposal.
Yet the following day, she wakes up to find Yves is gone. But he didn’t leave voluntarily. He’s been murdered, and now, a devastated Aimée is determined to catch his killer and avenge his death.
Aimée is thrilled when a Haitian woman named Mireille arrives at her office, announcing that she is her long-lost sister. With her mother still missing and her father deceased, Aimée clings to the promise of a family with everything she has.
Her partner, René, isn’t quite as enthusiastic. He’s wary of this strange woman and tries to warm Aimée to keep her guard up. And when Mireille suddenly vanishes without a trace, she wonders if he might have been right.
But she’s desperate to find out the truth about the woman who claims to be her father’s daughter, even if it means putting her life on the line.
When René Friant, Aimée’s Leduc detective partner, is almost killed by a gunshot wound, a distraught Aimée suddenly finds herself as suspect number one.
She’s desperately worried about her friend’s condition and determined to clear her name. But before she can figure out her next move, the tax authorities knock on her door. Someone has sent a vast sum of money to her and René’s firm, but who and why?
Someone seems to have been impersonating Aimée, and they’re hell-bent on ruining her life.
Aimée takes a trip to the upmarket Paris neighborhood of Passy to check on the girlfriend of her godfather, Morbier.
But in this usually peaceful suburb, something terrible has happened. Xavierre, Morbier’s lover, has been strangled to death in her garden, and now Morbier is the prime suspect.
But Aimée knows he’s innocent, so she investigates to find the real killer and clear her godfather’s name.
Aimée’s long-time friend and business partner, René, has finally got himself a girlfriend. But when Meizi vanishes during dinner at the same time that a young science prodigy is murdered in a nearby alley, Aimée can’t help but wonder if René’s new love is all she claims to be, especially when the shrink-wrapped victim is found with a photo of Meizi in his wallet.
Now, it’s down to Aimée to solve the mystery. But with the secret service keeping tabs on her, is she already in over her head?
An aging Russian man named Yuri has asked Aimée to safeguard a priceless piece of art. But when Yuri is found murdered, and the painting goes missing, she begins to wish she’d never signed up for the job.
But now, she has no choice but to track down the killer and locate the missing painting. But more than one person is willing to kill to get their hands on it, and if Aimée isn’t careful, she could be the next one to wind up dead.
It’s the summer of 1998, and private investigator Aimée Leduc is five months pregnant. So, she decides to take a break from her usually non-stop work schedule and prepare for the arrival of her baby.
Their thirteen-year-old daughter has gone missing. With a serial rapist terrorizing the streets of their Paris neighborhood, they’re desperate to bring her home. But when the owner of her favorite café reaches out to her for help, she can’t say no.
It’s the spring of 1999, and Aimée is juggling the pressures of motherhood while running her detective agency. It’s not easy, and she doesn’t have time for more investigations. But when a young gypsy boy comes to see her with a message, it sounds too intriguing to ignore.
The boy’s mother is on her deathbed. Before she passes, she has something important to tell Aimée about her father and his death. But by the time she reaches the hospital to meet this mystery woman, she’s disappeared into thin air.
In the winter of 1989, Aimée Leduc lived with her father in an apartment by the Seine, mid-way through her first year of med school. But then, in one week, her life fell to pieces.
First, her college lab work was sabotaged, her boyfriend ditched her for another woman, and finally, her father, a police detective, disappeared to Germany without any explanation.
While he was away, he left her running his detective agency. Suddenly she was thinking less about med school and more about her future in the family business. Reluctantly, she took on her first case. But as she investigated a puzzling murder with links to the Nazis and a stash of hidden treasure, she caught the sleuthing bug.
Elite counterterrorism agent Suzanne Lesage has tracked down private investigator Aimée Leduc to beg her for help. Suzanne has been chasing war criminals across the former Yugoslavia on behalf of the Hague, and she’s seen some difficult things. Now, suffering from PTSD, she’s convinced that a Serbian warlord named Mirko Vladić is stalking her through the streets of Paris.
But Vladić is supposedly dead. So, is it all in her head? Or is he alive and well and waiting to deliver his revenge? It’s down to Aimée to find out.
An elderly accountant has dragged his oxygen machine to lawyer Éric Besson’s office to make his final confession. He’s waited more than five decades to spill the beans. But now, on his deathbed, he’s ready to tell all about the plot of corrupt cops he’s been helping all these years.
His notebook details millions of dollars worth of stolen, laundered money, and he’s determined to show it to the chief prosecuting attorney. But someone out there is willing to kill to stop the notebook from making its way into the hands of justice.
Aimée Leduc is called away from a speaking gig at a tech conference to pick up her daughter, Chloe, from playgroup. Aimée’s mother was supposed to fetch Chloe today, but apparently, she never showed up.
As Aimée meets Chloe and the pair head out of the playground, Aimée sees a body being stretchered out of the convent next door. The deceased is a homeless woman who attended the nun’s soup kitchen. And apparently, the last person to speak to the woman before she died was Aimée’s mother, Sydney.
But now, Sydney is nowhere to be seen, and Aimée is terrified that she’s in danger.
It’s November 2001, and Aimée’s family and friends have joined together to mark the anniversary of her father’s death and her little girl’s birthday, Chloe.
But the gathering is cut short when a bomb is detonated at the police lab, and Boris, the boyfriend of Aimée’s friend, is declared the prime suspect.
All the evidence says he’s guilty, but Aimée knows he’s innocent. And so she embarks on a dangerous mission to find out the truth and clear his name.
In 2020, Cara Black began a new series starring an American markswoman named Kate Rees. The novels take us back to World War II, starting in the summer of 1941 when the Nazis occupied Paris.
The series has just two books, but readers already love Kate’s fascinating story. And so, we can expect more gripping installments in the not-too-distant future.
It’s best to read them in the order they were published, listed below, to get the most out of the Kate Rees WWII books.
Kate Rees has no formal spy training, but as a skilled markswoman, she’s been hired by the British and sent to Paris to assassinate the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.
This unassuming country girl from Oregon is grieving after her husband and baby daughter were killed in a Luftwaffe bombing. And so, armed with only a rifle and a burning desire for revenge, she’s a dangerous woman with nothing left to lose.
Two years have passed since Kate Rees tried and failed to take down Hitler in Paris. In the aftermath of her hairraising mission, she abandoned her short-lived career in espionage in favor of the quiet life in the Scottish Highlands.
But when her former spy handler, Colonel Stepney, shows up, she’s thrust back into the heart of danger. Her latest assignment will take her back to Paris for a potentially deadly undercover mission that could win, or lose, the war.
Cara Black’s gripping mystery novels contain captivating characters, atmospheric details, and heart-stopping plot twists. So, if you’re looking for a unique whodunit to settle down with this spring, you can’t go wrong with this bestselling author’s work.
Are you already a fan of Cara Black’s books? If so, I’d love to hear your reviews and recommendations. Please drop me a comment in the box below!
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