A Week in Paris with Cara Black in 2017

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Cara Black

Cara Black

A Week in Paris with Cara Black

September 24 – September 30, 2017

Optional 3-day Extension
September 30 – October 3, 2017

Ready to pack your bags?  Click here for the registration form.

Frequently Asked Questions and Terms & Conditions


Join Cara and other Cara Black mystery-lovers for an exclusive week in Paris. You’ll spend time with Cara exploring some of the most memorable scenes associated with the cases private investigator Aimée Leduc has solved in several books. And you’ll also have time to spend in some of the small gems of Paris – the lesser-known museums, the spectacular parks, the off-the-beaten- track cafés, hidden passages that are home to specialty boutiques, antiquarian bookstores and other treasures.

Donna Morris, of Best Friend in Paris, has lived in Paris for more than 10 years and will be your Trip Leader. Whether you’ve been to Paris before or not, she’ll help you get to know the city a little more like a local. She and Cara have collaborated on several trips to Paris and both have a keen curiosity for all things Paris so the trip promises to hold fun surprises!

Our boutique hotel is located in the Paris neighborhood described in Murder in Clichy, in the 8th arrondissement. We will meet in the hotel salon each evening with Cara to sample French wines and discuss the days’ events, with a bit of book talk thrown into the mix. For dinner, we’ll break into small groups, depending on your desires; Donna will help you with reservations. No one will ever dine alone—unless you prefer solitude!


Please note that we may change this itinerary depending on changes in time or availability of some of our destinations. We’ll also adjust in case of weather or other unforeseen events. 

Each day, you’ll set off with Cara and Donna to a different arrondissement of Paris. Afternoons are free to follow Donna or for further individual exploration. Donna will supply you with directions or point you toward any special interests you might have.

Saturday, September 23
Depart from your home city for overnight travel to Paris. (Airfare not included in trip price.) 

Sunday, September 24
Arrive in Paris and go by taxi or private car to the Hotel Relais Monceau in the 8th arrondissement. The hotel is within walking distance of the lively shopping street, Rue de Lévis and the beautiful Parc Monceau, featured in Murder in Clichy.

Since people will be arriving at different times, the afternoon is free. Some things you might do, depending on when you arrive: lunch at the Jacquemart-André museum; visit the Nissim Camondo or Cernuschi museums, Metro to an outdoor Sunday market; or simply take a stroll in the neighborhood and Parc Monceau.

6:30 pm. Group joins Cara and Donna for wine and hors d’oeuvres in the hotel salon.

Monday, September 25
We’ll leave the hotel this morning in small groups to visit Duluc Detective with Cara. It’s an actual working French detective agency that has been in existence since 1913. You may recognize this family run agency as the inspiration for Aimée Leduc’s office. After our visit, we’ll head up to the scenes of Murder in the Sentier; walk by Tour Jean Sans Peur, one of the last remaining medieval towers with a staircase in Paris where Aimée goes to discover secrets about her American mother, and the 17th century streets where Aimée got her tattoo. We’ll explore the streets off rue Montorgeuil and visit the area around the newly reconstructed Chatelet-Les-Halles. This is a great area for shopping the food stores and kitchenware shops. We’ll lunch in the area (Alain Ducasse’s restaurant Champeaux under the new canopy of the Forum comes to mind).

After lunch, follow Donna to the Louvre for a Living in the Louvre walking tour.

6:30pm. Group meets in the hotel salon for an aperitif and conversation.

Tuesday, September 26
This morning, we’ll follow Donna for a tour of Montmartre. Don’t worry, we’re not going the conventional way climbing the stairs with all the rest. Instead, we’ll head up by metro and walk the bucolic streets in the footsteps of the famous artists who lived and worked in the area. We’ll visit a charming neighborhood cemetery, pass by the only vineyard left in Paris before arriving at the steps of the Sacre Coeur. The artists sitting around the Place des Tertres are still today, licensed to paint and sell their works to the lucky passerby. We’ll have lunch in the area before heading down to the Opera Garnier for a self-guided visit or you may prefer to shop in the Grand Magasins, Galeries Lafayette and Printemps.

6:30pm. Group meets in the hotel salon for an aperitif and conversation.

Wednesday, September 27
Today, Cara will take us to the 9th arrondissement to the scene of Murder in Pigalle. Follow us along with Aimée in her search for the disappeared young Zazie; Square d’Orleans once home to George Sand and Chopin, the now luxe nightclub where Bizet wrote Carmen and the ‘Red Light’ district. We’ll explore the well known rue des Martyrs amongst others streets and visit the Musee de la Vie Romantique. There is a charming tearoom at the museum, where Aimée and René have tea, serving a light lunch. The area below the Pigalle metro stop is fast becoming one of the hippest neighborhoods in Paris. Still known for its “seedy” nightlife, the area is now teeming with innovative, quaint shops and excellent restaurants.

After lunch, follow Donna down to the Grands Boulevards to visit the unique charm of the Parisian covered passages, Verdeau, Jouffroy and Panoramas. A labyrinth of these covered shopping arcades were built in the late 1800s – often with glass ceilings for natural light. Only a few remain today; each one that has survived is unique. They feature beautiful architecture and mosaics, interesting little shops and tea rooms, antiques, philatelists and antiquarian bookstores.

6:30pm. Group meets in the hotel salon for an aperitif and conversation.

Thursday, September 28
It’s market day in Paris. We’ll take off this morning for the Bastille. The market here is rich with the produce of France as well as vendors selling scarves, soaps, knick-knacks and leather goods. It’s a great place to pick up souvenirs and gifts. Afterwards, we’ll wind our way over to the Place des Vosges and the Marais. We can lunch on rue de Rosiers for the famous salads and falafel.

After lunch, you’re free to roam the neighborhood that is home to the Picasso Museum, the Shoah, the Pompidou and Victor Hugo’s house amongst others and many unique shops and boutiques.

6:30pm. Group meets in the hotel salon for an aperitif and conversation.

Friday, September 29
Today, Cara will lead us to some of the scenes from her latest book, Murder in Saint Germain in the lovely 6th arrondissement. . Wander the Left Bank streets of Saint Germain from Ecole des Beaux Arts, where Aimée works over a courtyard surrounded by art, the jewel of a library Bibliotheque Mazarine and the 17th century theatre by one of the old walls of Paris. We’ll be exploring the Jardin du Luxembourg and surrounding streets, home to many of the universities associated with the Sorbonne.

In the afternoon, you’re free to continue meandering the gardens or head with Donna towards the heart of Saint Germain and the Café Flore and Deux Magots. The Eugene Delacroix museum is also nearby.

6:30pm. Group meets in the hotel salon for an aperitif and conversation.

Saturday, September 30
If you are not staying for the optional extension, depart for home. Hotel check-out time is 11am.

Optional 3-day Extension
Saturday, September 30 –  Tuesday, October 3

Join Donna for an exclusive three days of shopping in Paris.

Saturday, September 30
Depot-Ventes. It’s in the depot-ventes that you’ll find vintage Hermès scarves, “previously-owned” Chanel handbags and all sorts of treasures. We know the stores with the best bargains and most fun selections.

Sunday, October 1
Flea Markets (both Vanves and the Puce in Saint Ouen). We’ll begin our morning at the Porte des Vanves outdoor antiques market; it’s where many dealers go to search out special finds like jewelry, paintings, home goods. And then off to the vast Marché des Puces – blocks and blocks of fine antiques, “junque,” and everything in between. Don’t worry; you won’t get lost; Donna has spent many an hour rummaging through bins!

Monday, October 2
Today we begin in the neighborhood of Le Bon Marché, the oldest and possibly the most chic department store in Paris (and it also has a fabulous food market for small gifts). We’ll explore the area of upscale boutiques and tiny one-of-a-kind stores. The area is also known for shoe shops. Lunch at the Hermès store, anyone?

Tuesday, October 3

Details and Price
The price of the trip is $3,800 based on single occupancy. There are no single supplements to pay. The optional extension is $1,450.

Here’s what’s included:

  • Six nights at the Hotel Relais Monceau in the stylish 8th arrondissement
  • Hot breakfast every morning, including bacon and eggs, with fresh squeezed orange juice
  • Paris Navigo pass for Metro and buses
  • Six-day museum pass
  • Three morning tours and evening soirees with writer Cara Black
  • Wine socials every evening with the trip leader and Cara.
  • Full set of Paris Metro maps by arrondissement
  • On several days, your choice of activities. Donna will accompany you and others, or you can set off on your own
  • Directions for how to get to all the significant places on the trip by Metro or bus from the hotel, and how to return – plus guidance on what to see and where to eat
  • Restaurant reservations made for you if you like. We’ll provide you with a list of the Paris restaurants and places where the French dine that many Americans haven’t discovered.
  • Personal consultations with Donna to help you plan your days

What’s not included: lunches and dinners, transport to and from the airport, tickets to museums and attractions not covered by the museum pass, your flight to Paris and back home and anything else not listed under “What’s included.”

How to Register for the Trip
Our friend Sheila Campbell, of Wild Blue Yonder Trips, handles the accounting for our trip.  You can reserve your place with a $600 deposit, payable by check, made out to Wild Blue Yonder (Wild Blue Yonder, 1001 Spring Street, Suite 623, Silver Spring, MD 20910). If you’d rather pay with a credit card via PayPal (there’s a 3% surcharge), let us know (email Sheila at scampbell@wildblueyonder.biz and we’ll send you a PayPal invoice.  Click here for the registration form.

Physical Requirements for This Trip
Please note that we travel around the city exclusively by Paris bus and Metro – and there almost no escalators or elevators in the Paris Metro system. Even the Louvre is short of easy access. Plus, of course, we’ll be taking several walking tours. So you’ll need to be able to walk several long blocks at a time without a rest stop, and navigate flights of stairs.

Make sure to read all the Frequently Asked Questions and Terms and Conditions.

If you have more questions, you can contact:

Donna Morris
Best Friend in Paris