A long-lost Modigliani portrait, a grieving brother’s blood vendetta, a Soviet secret that’s been buried for 80 years—Parisian private investigator Aimée Leduc’s current case is her most exciting one yet.
The cobbled streets of Montparnasse might have been boho-chic in the 1920s, when artists, writers, and their muses drank absinthe and danced on cafe tables. But to Parisian private investigator Aimée Leduc, these streets hold darker secrets. When an old Russian man named Yuri hires Aimée to protect a priceless painting that just might be a Modigliani, she learns how deadly art theft can be. Yuri is found tortured to death in his atelier, and the painting is missing. Every time Aimée thinks she's found a new witness, the body count rises. What exactly is so special about this painting that so many people are willing to kill—and die—for it?
A tantalizing clue to the whereabouts of Paris PI Aim e Leduc's mysterious mother puts a personal spin on Black's intricate 13th mystery set in contemporary Paris (after 2012's Murder at the Lantern Rouge). Yuri Volodya, an elderly Russian who wants to hire Aim e to protect a valuable painting, possibly a Modigliani, tells Aim e he knew her mother, Sydney, whom she hasn't seen since Sydney abandoned her at age eight. When the painting is stolen and Yuri is later tortured and killed, the police investigate. Meanwhile, a bizarre accident sidelines Aim e's part-time hacker helper, "cash-poor aristocrat" Saj de Rosnay. Leduc must also cope amid threats of violence without trusted computer expert Ren Friant, lured to America by a Silicon Valley firm in a lengthy, well-developed subplot. Allusions to Modigliani, Picasso, Cocteau, Man Ray, and Duchamp help evoke 1920s Paris, though the complicated relationships among the principals will be more meaningful to series fans than to newcomers.