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Murder and Music in the City of Light

MURDER

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Wow! The first floor of La Pierre du Marais for “Parler Paris Après Midi” was in overload with an SRO crowd of fans for author Cara Black. Her latest Aimée Leduc crime novel, Murder at the Lanterne Rouge is set in my ‘hood’ — the Haut Marais — and I had a small part by assisting her once in looking for a great place to hide a body! This is the sort of thing Cara does while researching for her novels, besides rubbing elbows with the real life detectives and crime professionals in Paris.

This is her twelfth murder mystery in Paris, beginning with Murder in the Marais that launched her unexpected career as a formidable mystery writer. Cara is one of those unassuming, natural and lovable women you just can’t help admiring. She stumbled onto a story that touched her heart and followed her obsession over it to tell it in the form of a mystery, beginning a journey that has now lasted almost 18 years. In that time she’s discovered the tiny crevices of almost all the arrondissements of Paris in order to write page-turning stories we can’t get enough of. I have every single one on the shelf and this one in particular, I can’t wait to read, seeing it takes place so close to home.

WH Smith came with a few books to sell and had to scurry out to get more — then sold almost all of them. With twelve in the series, having the collection reminds me of the days I collected all the Nancy Drew mysteries, then the Agatha Christies and later, the James Lee Burkes. I’m a sucker for a good murder mystery and Cara Black’s set in Paris with a female protagonist (detective Aimée Leduc) we’d all like to emulate satisfies every emotional need, not to mention a really great read.

Cara thrilled the crowd by just being herself and talking about how it all came to be so organically, how she’s learned so much from the professionals with whom she has made friends and trying not to divulge too much about the story to keep us guessing. We’d all like to see her books come to life on the silver screen — and there is ‘talk’ — but nothing signed on paper yet. Isn’t it surprising that Hollywood hasn’t yet discovered this treasure trove of stories set in the world’s most beautiful, romantic and desired city?

Read more about our adventure at yesterday’s “Parler Paris Après Midi” with author Cara Black.

MUSIC

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Yep! The longest day of the year is upon us (June 21st) and that means “Summer Solstice” and the 31st edition of Fête de la Musique is just around the corner…and will be ON just about EVERY corner of Paris!

Launched in 1982 by the French Ministry for culture, by Maurice Fleuret, Director of Music and Dance, and Jack Lang, Minister of Culture, Fête de la Musique is held now in more than 100 countries in Europe and all over the world. It’s an event to which I look forward every year.

There are organized concerts all over the city and then, of course, spontaneous performances anywhere and everywhere. Anyone who wants to sing or play or dance to the music is welcome to be a spectacle or a spectator. It is traditional for me to browse the streets of Le Marais as there’s certainly lots to enjoy there, but it’s not the only spot in town to take in musical treats.

Here are some of the highlights of this year’s festival:

In the gardens of the Palais Royal (1st) beginning at 4 p.m., take in a piano recital of the children of Paris conservatories. From 7 p.m. to midnight, five different groups will perform: Buridane, Barbara Carlotti, Bertrand Burgalat, 77 Bombay Street, and Archimède.

The Place Denfert-Rochereau (14th) hear Carmen Maria Vega, Francois and The Atlas Mountains, Concrete Knives and Twin Twin.

On the Esplanade des Invalides (7th), take in “Night Boreal,” an emerging talent from the music scene in Montreal and Toronto.

At the Musée Carnavalet (3rd), take in the cool sounds of Mélo’Men from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

In the courtyard of the Irish Cultural Center (5th), Guidewires and singer Triona Ni Dhomhnaill marry Irish and Breton traditions.

At the Maison du Danemark (8th) you’ll hear the vibrations of rock guitars of Burnin Red Ivanhoe, well rooted in the Danish music scene for over 35 years.

In turn the gardens of the Swedish Institute (3rd) Magnum Coltrane Price leads hip-hop melody punctuated by soul and funk.

At the Arab World Institute (5th) don’t miss an evening bringing together International artists Djerba (Tunisia groove), DJ Malik, Hocine Lasnami (‘Asri modern Algeria), the Orchester Abdelhak Ben Mansour (chaabi and Regada Moroccan), Kader Japanese (Rai) and a demonstration of Tahtib (Egyptian stick dance).

At the Musée d’art et d’histoire du Judaïsme (3rd), as part of the Festival of Jewish Culture, hear the Boban Markovic Orkestar and Frank London accompanied by Merlin Shepherd on clarinet, followed by the hip-hop East of Axum.

This is just the beginning! Download the app for your iPhone…and don’t miss all the important concerts, or all the unimportant ones, too! Visit Fête de la Musique for more information.

A la prochaine…

caraandadrianAdrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris

(with Cara Black)

Respond to Adrian

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 P.S. Mark your calendar for upcoming events:

Monday, June 25, 2012 Paris PIN Meeting where I will be talking in depth about: Financing your French property…using other people’s money, how to get the best return on investment from your French property and what the truth is about the legislation prohibiting rental of property for less than one year. If it’s your first time, you can attend free. Visit Events Workshops and Conferences for more information and to register.

Paris Writer’s Workshop, June 24-29, 2012, where I will be participating in a panel discussion “Welcome to the 21st Century: How to Use Blogs and Social Media to Your Advantage” on Thursday, June 28, 2012 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, visit Events Workshops and Conferences

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