Just as Aimée is about to leave for New York City to follow up on a lead about a possible younger brother, her partner in Leduc Detective, René Friant, is wounded by a near-fatal gun shot. Eyewitnesses identify Aimée as the culprit. The police have pegged her as the guilty party. Aimée is distraught over René’s condition and horrified to be under suspicion.
At the same time, a large, mysterious sum appears in their firm’s bank account, and the tax authorities descend upon Aimée. She has no idea who would have sent this money.
It seems that someone is impersonating Aimée, someone who wants revenge. But for what? Two murders ensue. How do they relate to the youth whom Aimée’s testimony sent to jail in the very first Aimée Leduc investigation, Murder in the Marais?
Before Aim e Leduc can go to New York to meet a previously unknown brother at the start of Black s solid, if less than suspenseful, 10th mystery to feature the Paris PI (after 2009 s Murder in the Latin Quarter), dogged Inspector Melac arrests her for the nonfatal shooting of her partner, Ren Friant. A woman impersonating the stylish PI entered the Leduc Detective office and shot Ren with a Beretta. Someone, Aim e decides, is trying to frame her. Improbably, Aim e gains her release by pulling strings with her godfather, Commissaire Morbier, so she can investigate on her own. The trail leads her to Cardinal Richelieu s former Palais Royal, where bistro waitress Cl mence Touvier schemes to blackmail the prominent mother of a neo-Nazi arsonist whose accomplices Aim e helped convict. Cl mence s strangulation in the Palais arcades ups the ante. In the end, Aim e must confront dark revelations about her fugitive mother, who may have a part in the sinister plot against her.