Number eleven. A little emphasis on “numb”. In this installment, Aimee is doing a favor for her godfather, Morbier. He has been called away to Lyon and can’t get ahold of his girlfriend, the beautiful and mysterious Xavierre. He entreats her to go to her home where s he is hosting a wedding rehearsal party for her daughter, Irati. Aimee reluctantly agrees (Morbier’s favors always come with a price) and as the affair is way out in the exclusive area of Passy, Rene offers to drive her. They do talk to Xavierre briefly but are soon escorted out. When Aimee heads back moments later to ask another question-zut alors!-she finds the poor woman strangled with her own scarf. Soon, Morbier himself is considered a suspect and it’s more important than ever that Aimee be involved.
The kidnapping of a Spanish princess, old rivalries within the police system and Basque terrorist all figure into this convoluted tale. I just had the hardest time caring about Xavierre, her annoying daughter or her long-buried connection to Basque separatists. So it made for a bit of a tough road getting through this book. All the while there is Aimee’s dalliance with a flic named Melac, Rene’s usual problems with Aimee chasing bad guys (while he’s still nursing that secret crush for her) and a few allusions to her long-gone mother and possible existence of a brother. All the pieces are there, from her chic flea market find wardrobe and signature Chanel red lipstick, but she’s now sporting blonde highlights and those gimmicks are starting to wear on me. I’m pretty sure that by the time im done with this series it will all just warrant a “meh”. Or the gallic equivalent– a shrug.