Cara Black's Aimée Leduc series has delivered, in 15 volumes, interesting characters, enticing views of Paris, intricate plots, and thrilling conclusions. In the 16th, Murder on the Quai, she delivers all that plus Aimee's "foundation myth," the story of the origins of her profession, her partner Rene, her dog Miles Davis, and her fraught family history--plus the wartime resistance, Nazi gold, and more.
Aimée makes a charming gamine-detective, just at the beginning of developing her skills as a detective. We also see her father firsthand, and get a glimpse of the story of his death, frequently referred to in the series. Plus we get a brief glimpse of Aimée's mother, also a frequent source of internal conflict for the detective throughout the series. But in all cases, the shift in perspective from the recent past (all the Leduc stories are set some 10 years or so before their publication date, giving the key source of her detective agency's income, data protection and computer security, an air of quaintness) to the birth of the running plotlines of the series.
And in a series of further flashbacks, we see firsthand what Aimée glimpses in her research into the execution-style murder of an old man on a Paris quai: a wartime story but not the usual tale of the French resistance. This tale is not of heroism but of greed, jealousy, and opportunism. The resolution of Murder on the Quai is not so much a "whodunit" reveal but the sordid revelation of the continuation of those sleazy human traits into the present-day of the novel.
If you already know the Leduc novels, this one is a must-read. If you don't, it would be an entertaining intro to the series, though you will miss a good deal of this book's charm, which resides in the discovery of a familiar character's origins.