The 12th in the Aimee Leduc series, which I am binge-reading, and I think I finally made a breakthrough. By number eleven I was seriously bonking and questioning my sanity in trying this. Thankfully this one, set in the oldest and smallest Chinatown in Paris, put me back on the road to being happy to spend these hours with Aimee. Though, seriously, quit wearing vintage couture and spike-heeled Louboutins while on the case!
Rene has a new girlfriend, Meizi, that he met at the dojo. One evening she gets a call during dinner and runs out of the restaurant. When Aimee goes looking for her, she finds a dead man instead, he’s been suffocated by being shrink wrapped to a shipping pallet. When Meizi can’t be found, Aimee and Rene are thrown into the shadowy world of illegal immigrants, sweatshops and the insidious bosses who run them. Convinced that Meizi’s disappearance is connected to the dead man, Pascal, Aimee sets about trying to find his killer. Pascal was a mechanical engineer who also was interested in the old 14th century guilds, alchemy and Templars. And as it turned out, fiber optics. Now this is when things get even murkier. The DST (France’s National Security branch) contacts Aimee and claims that Pascal was working for them and died a hero. They need her to gather information and hopefully find copies of Pascal’s work. In exchange they will provide her access to files on her Papa and long-lost mother. But who is using whom?
Her Godfather Morbier ekes out a little more information and once again Aimee is feeling the pain of losing her mother and not really knowing why she really left and why she never contacted her. With each tidbit of information, Morbier looks worse and Aimee’s mother seems farther and farther away. Even a note from her mother that exhorts her to trust no one and that she cannot contact Aimee without endangering her gives no relief.