Après Midi

Aprés Midi 10-10-17

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Après Midi - Paris, France

Après Midi - Paris, France

Après Midi - Paris, France ©Meredith Mullins(©Meredith Mullins)

Après Midi - Paris, France ©Meredith Mullins

Après Midi - Paris, France ©Meredith Mullins(©Meredith Mullins)

Après Midi - Paris, France ©Meredith Mullins(©Meredith Mullins)

Après Midi - Paris, France ©Meredith Mullins

Après Midi - Paris, France ©Meredith Mullins

Après Midi - Paris, France ©Meredith Mullins(©Meredith Mullins)

Après Midi - Paris, France ©Meredith Mullins(©Meredith Mullins)

Après Midi - Paris, France

Après Midi - Paris, France

Après Midi - Paris, France

Après Midi - Paris, France

Après Midi - Paris, France

Après Midi - Paris, France

Après Midi - Paris, France

Après Midi - Paris, France

Après Midi - Paris, France

Après Midi - Paris, France

Après Midi - Paris, France

Après Midi - Paris, France

Après Midi - Paris, France

Après Midi - Paris, France

Après Midi - Paris, France

Après Midi - Paris, France
 

Cara Black - Author

At 2:30 p.m. I arrived at the Café de la Mairie in a frenzy, ate a cold lunch plate as quickly as I could because the hordes of Cara Black fans ascended the stairs early to get good seats. By 3 p.m. the room upstairs in the café was filled to the brim. By the time Cara started to talk, we had broken all records with more than 70 people who had come to hear her tales of murder in the City of Light.

Cara Black is the author of 17 murder mysteries set in Paris during the '90s, with the 18th projected to be published in the coming year and another one she's working on now. "Murder in the Marais" was her first of the series, that started not as a series, but as a story she was so compassionate about that she simply had to tell it. It took more than three years to write it and realize. Once told, the rest unfolded, centered around a protagonist named Aimée Leduc -- a young female detective who, as Cara puts it, "does lots of things she'd never have the courage to do." Her newest book takes place in Saint-Germain and the one prior is actually a prequel to her first -- "Murder on the Quai."

Cara is a delightful speaker -- open, honest, and fully accessible to her audience. She is a gifted story-teller and listening to her own accounts of the time she spends in Paris researching her mystery novels is filled with fun and intrigue. She rubs elbows with "les flics" -- the French police -- and finds herself in the craziest of places: down a manhole to investigate the sewers, in a tunnel that leads underground to the Palais de Luxembourg or climbing over the fence at the Square du Temple in the night just to prove it can be done without being seen...and where a body could be hidden)! (I was once with her on a mission to find such a spot, when she was writing "Murder at the Lanterne Rouge.")

Later that evening, Cara and I, along with writer/editor/teacher Janet Hulstrand, high-tailed over to Saint-Germain where Cara did a "repeat performance" to an exclusive group of writers belonging to the Paris Writers Group hosted by Mary Duncan. The writers asked her much of the same questions as the audience at Après Midi, but they had more to do with the craft than the result. We all learned a lot about what it takes to be a great mystery writer: passion for the story, perfecting your skill as a writer and doing the necessary research to authenticate the story.

Cara lives in the Bay Area, but comes to Paris twice a year to dig deeper than the average visitor...so deep, that she likely knows Paris a whole let better than the average resident. She then takes this amazing lore and delicately places it on the page for all of us to enjoy and from which we can learn, too. I haven't had the pleasure of reading all 17 books, but I do have the pleasure of owning them all. Any one can be picked up independently of the others and read for sheer pleasure as each stands alone. "Murder on the Quai" is the book I'm taking with me to Rome this weekend, as I'd like to learn more about how Aimée became a detective in the first place.

In attendance was:

•    Ann Coppage
•    Anne Daignault
•    Brenda Prowse
•    Buck Branson
•    Carolyn Schenk
•    David and Sherry Finkelstein
•    Denise Grassart
•    Diana Detamore
•    Donna Morris
•    Ed Hutcheson
•    Eileen Backer
•    Ellen Hortop
•    Gonzalo Lopez
•    Helen Wolfe
•    Jacque Hachquet
•    James and Sandy Hutcheson
•    Janet Brune
•    Janet Hulstrand
•    Jerilyn Kennoy
•    Jo and Don Metz
•    Judi Wallner
•    Judy Cascales
•    Judy Schreiber
•    Julia Cotter
•    Kathy Rowe
•    Linda Monegan
•    Lori Christensen
•    Lueida Taylor
•    Lyn McPherson
•    Lynda Sydney
•    Marie-Elisabeth Crochard Fitère
•    Marilee McClintock
•    Martine Ferbach
•    Mary Escobar
•    Meredith Mullins
•    Mona Estell
•    Patricia Evert
•    Patricia Laplante Collins
•    Patrick La Mont
•    Patty Sadauskas
•    Paul Lazarow
•    Perla Kohs
•    Sabrina Gasser
•    Sally Salvadon
•    Sandra Lawrence
•    Sarah Vaughan
•    Sharon and David Perry
•    Sharon Dubble
•    Sheila Gustafson
•    Sue Berke
•    Walt Gustafson
•    Plus MANY others who did not sign in!

Après Midi - Paris, France

Après Midi - Paris, France

Après Midi - Paris, France

Après Midi - Paris, France

Après Midi - Paris, France

Après Midi - Paris, France

Après Midi - Paris, France

Après Midi - Paris, France

Après Midi - Paris, France

Après Midi - Paris, France

Après Midi - Paris, France

Après Midi - Paris, France

Après Midi - Paris, France

Après Midi - Paris, France

Après Midi - Paris, France

Après Midi - Paris, France