Cara - Tuesday
It's that time. Our MIE policy is that we get to talk and tell you about our new books once a year and so today I'm excited to announce the publication of Murder on the Quai. It actually pubs today. To me, it's more like the 16th book birthday for Aimée Leduc, my series detective in Paris.
This is #16 in the series, and a departure. This story is a prequel set in 1989, when Aimée is a pre-med student at the Sorbonne, her father is alive and we meet him for the first along with how Aimée met her future partner René Friant, in the detective agency. Also how Miles Davis, her bichon frise or Meels Daveez enters her life. This origin story is one I've wanted to write for a long time.
The time is November 1989, the weekend the Berlin Wall fell.
Part of the story goes back to a small village in the Loire region in 1942. A village sitting on the banks of the river, a demarcation line dividing German Occupied France and le Zone Libre or Vichy governed France. These are photos I found in researching this village - a place we stayed in with our neighbor's father. He'd been a young boy at the time and remembered hearing German spoken by the soldiers from across the river.
From the village the story develops and leads to Paris. Paris in 1989, and the links to an old crime reverberating in murder. In her investigation Aimée explores the 8th arrondissement. You know it for the Champs Elysée, the Arc de Triomphe and the haute couture and shops de luxe near Etoile. But Aimée, who's supposed to be studying and hitting the books in a competitve medical course sees the seamier side of le jet set clubs behind the Champs Elysée.
I'd never intended to write a prequel, at least consciously, however at the end of Murder on the Champs de Mars life changing things happened to Aimée Leduc and to someone close in her life. I couldn’t see much further ahead for her except from the Emergency room in the hospital where this person close to her, who betrayed her (she believes) and had shot, is fighting for their life. Conflicted, heartbroken, all I knew was that Aimée was at a crossroads. I didn’t know where she’d go from here. My editor asked me what would happen to Aimée, I think I mumbled I hadn’t much of a clue where Aimée’s life would take her now. Perfect segue for a prequel, my editor said in that brilliant way she has. She said she’d always wondered about Aimée’s origin story, on her younger days, what made her into the private detective (apart from inheriting the agency from her father) she’d become. Where did her dog, Miles Davis, come from and how did she find her partner, René Friant, and how did her vintage Chanel style emerge. Also, she asked, couldn’t we have a chance to meet Aimée’s father, Jean-Claude who we’ve heard about for 15 books and see him together with her mother and glimpse that love and attraction that drew these two very different people together. So in Murder on the Quai, we get to meet her father whose death has affected her in the rest of the series. We also meet her grandfather, Claude, who I’ve sort of fallen in love with - he’s a bon vivant, loves good food and haunting the art auctions and has a mistress.
I hope if I'm in a bookstore or library near your 'ood on the book tour please drop in - love to see you. PS Anna Maria will be grilling moi and Lisa Brackmann at the Bryant Library in NYC! Can't wait AM!