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By Erin O'Briant
Local writer Cara Black's seventh Parisian mystery, Murder on the Ile Saint-Louis, has hit the shelves, and Black's spring schedule is packed with readings up and down the West Coast. The latest installment in the series, which features detective Aimée Leduc, begins with a mysterious phone call that leads Leduc to discover an abandoned infant in the courtyard of her apartment building.
In this case, says Black, fact sparked fiction. While spending an evening with friends, she heard about a woman in Paris who, nearing 40, was longing for a baby. One evening, she went downstairs to get a taxi, and "when she opened the door, there was a baby wrapped in a blanket on her doorstep," Black says. Ultimately, the woman didn't keep the child, but her experience inspired Murder on the Ile Saint-Louis.
Officially published March 1, the newest Black book has already garnered critical praise. It received a starred review in Publisher's Weekly, which described the plot as "wonderfully complex" and praises Leduc as an "engaging protagonist, vulnerable beneath her vintage chic clothing and sharp-witted exterior."
Black, a longtime Alvarado Street resident but a frequent flyer to France, will do several readings close to home this month. She will share the spotlight with two other mystery writers on Monday, March 26, at the San Francisco Mystery Bookstore at 4175 24th Street from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wine and cheese will be served. You can also find her at the Booksmith, 1644 Haight Street, on Tuesday, March 13, at 7 p.m. To learn about other Bay Area appearances in March and April, visit Black's web site at www.carablack.com.