Thursday, March 7, 2013

"Murder Below Montparnasse"

Cara Black is the author of the best-selling Aimée Leduc series. Her new novel, Murder below Montparnasse, is the 13th book in the series.

Black applied the Page 69 Test to Murder below Montparnasse and reported the following:
Page 69 in Murder Below Montparnasse was on approximately page 17 in my manuscript several drafts ago. To me the descriptions evoking the quartier's ambiance, the sense of place is integral to the story -- after all I've got below Montparnasse in the title and I feel this part of Paris is a character in the book. Reading the actual book now and feeling the flow -- I think the passages work better here because we are with Aimée the protagonist going into this new world, this new part of Paris with her and things will never be the same. So I'll give my editor top points for gently suggesting this. Here's a few paragraphs:
Aimée shifted into first gear and wove the Vespa into traffic, passing the Louvre. Fine mist hit her cheekbones. She shifted into third as she crossed Pont Neuf. A bateau-mouche glided underneath, fanning silver ripples on the Seine's surface. Swathes of indigo sky were framed by swollen rain clouds over Saint-Michel. The season of la giboulée, the golden showers heralding spring.Too bad she'd forgotten her rain boots.

Cars and busses stalled as she hit road closures on the Left Bank. Bright road construction lights illumined crews excavating the sewer lines. Street after narrow street.

Frustrated, she detoured uphill, winding throught the Latin Quarter, then zigzagging across to the south of Paris, former countryside squeezed between wall fortification now demolished; past the old Observatoire, two -story houses, remnants of prewar factories leaving an urban patchwork. Clouds scudded over the slanted rooftops, the chimney pots like pepper shakers over the grilled balconies. Avenues led to tree-lined lanes in this neighborhood, fronting hidden village-like pockets of what her grandfather called "the Parisians' Paris."
Learn more about the book and author at Cara Black's website.

The Page 69 Test: Murder at the Lanterne Rouge.

My Book, the Movie: Murder at the Lanterne Rouge.

Writers Read: Cara Black.

--Marshal Zeringue