A few weeks ago I read Murder in Pigalle by Cara Black for an online book discussion at my local library. It’s time to write my review.

Murder in Pigalle by Cara Black

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Summary:  Although she wants to slow down her hectic life because of her pregnancy, private investigator Aimée Leduc still rushes to find the missing thirteen-year-old daughter of a friend. She’s afraid the girl’s disappearance may be related to a serial rapist terrorizing the Parisian neighborhood of Pigalle.



The Paris setting met and exceeded expectations. I was not surprised to learn that  author Cara Black actually tests the routes she writes about in the book. The details about places felt very real.


Aimée Leduc is half French and half American. In this novel she is expecting her first child and her relationship with its father is complicated, to say the least. I had never read a book with a pregnant protagonist before, especially a private detective. It adds an interesting dimension to the story.


The crime is heart wrenching and I really wanted Aimée to find the criminal.


Almost everyone in the discussion group commented on how difficult it was to remember the cast of characters. I finally had to write down a list of names and their roles to keep them straight. Part of the problem might have been that this is book #14 in the series and the author may have assumed we had read the earlier books and didn’t need to be introduced to recurring characters.  All I can say is that other authors have pulled this off much more successfully.

Big Spoiler Alert:

Don’t read any further if you want to read the book. 

Although this book looks like a traditional mystery, it is set up more like a suspense novel. It was disappointing to find out that the perpetrator was briefly introduced on page 193, about two thirds the way through the book. He was not a major character and most of the members of the discussion group admitted that after he was revealed, they had to look back through the text to figure out who he even was.


Although I liked the Paris setting and the vivacious main character, the flaws in the novel make it unlikely that I will seek out any more of this series.


Public Domain Image by Michelle Diagle