Murder strikes close to home when Black’s computer-security-expert heroine takes charge of an abandoned infant.
Aimée Leduc (Murder in Montmartre, 2006, etc.) can’t identify the voice that interrupts her late-night systems maintenance telling her to go down and look in her building’s courtyard. But her partner, René Friant, learns that the call originated at a pay phone on Boulevard Henri IV, not two blocks away from Aimée’s home on Ile Saint-Louis. Aimée is desperate to find out who placed the call, since it led her to an infant wrapped in a denim jacket. Unwilling to leave the foundling to the mercy of social services, Aimée, whose own mother disappeared when she was eight, leans on René and her friends Michou and Martine to help care for Stella, as she calls her, while she investigates the report of a corpse—perhaps the child’s mother—floating in the Seine. Viewing the same body is Krzysztof Linski, the deposed Polish prince leading the MondeFocus effort to stop oil giant Alstrom from winning rights to drill in the North Sea. When someone plants a backpack filled with kerosene bombs on Krzysztof, Aimée turns to freelance filmmaker Claude Nederovique, whose footage of the MondeFocus rally she counts on to exonerate the prince and lead her to Stella’s mother—and whose charms she cannot resist.
Bittersweet musings on romantic and maternal love enliven an otherwise routine investigation.