In the 13th Aimee Leduc investigation we finally come face to face with her mother, the fixer. Their meeting is short and fraught with emotion, answering a few questions of Sydney’s past and what she is doing now, but raising just as many. But that’s not even the biggest bombshell: Aimee is pregnant!! Oh yeah, and then there was a mystery or three for her to solve.
The book opens with Aimee trying to make amends with her godfather Commissaire Morbier by participating in a sting operation. Could this be the future for her? Who knows, that whole thing is dropped and never brought up again. That tends to happen in these books. Anyway, Aimee and Saj are soldiering on at Leduc Detective, since Rene has left the firm for a start-up in the Silicon Valley. She feels the loss of her former partner, guiltily feeling betrayed rather than being happy for his good fortune (the title of CTO and stock options). Then an envelope containing 5000 francs and a note pleading with her to find a missing painting snaps her out of her torpor. She initially intends to give the money back and explain she doesn’t do that kind of thing, but sure enough, the dead bodies start piling up and her associate Saj is threatened, so of course she can’t let it go now. The missing painting is an unknown Modigliani of Lenin, which gives Black to opportunity to expound on the connection between Paris, Lenin and communism as well as the storied area of Montparnasse. Interwoven are Rene’s travails with the less than above board dot com start up. It was nice twist to read of his own Aimee-like behavior while on the run. Now that he is back, I hope that is a trend that continues.