A Week in Paris with Cara Black 2018

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An Exclusive Week in Paris

with mystery writer Cara Black

October 14 – 20, 2018

Optional 3-day Extension:  October 20 – 23, 2018

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. On some days, you’ll spend time with Cara exploring some of the most memorable scenes associated with the cases of private investigator Aimée Leduc.  On other days, you’ll have time to spend in some of the small gems of Paris – the lesser-known museums, the spectacular parks, the cafés, the shopping arcades that are home to specialty boutiques, antiquarian bookstores and other treasures.

$4,250, based on single occupancy. There are no single supplements to pay.









Your Trip Leader will be Donna Morris, of Best Friend in Paris.  She has lived in Paris for more than 10 years. 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, the Relais Monceau, 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 he or she prefers 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.

Saturday, October 13
Depart from your home city for overnight travel to Paris. (Airfare not included in trip price.)

Sunday, October 14
Arrive in Paris and take a taxi or private car to the Hotel Relais Monceau.

Since people will be arriving at different times, the afternoon is free. Some things you might do near the hotel: visit the Nissim de Camondo house museum, have lunch at the Jacquemart-André; meander the morning market on rue de Lévis; or simply take a stroll to the Parc Monceau, one of the most beautiful parks in Paris.

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



Monday, October 15
We’ll leave the hotel this morning to explore Murder on the Quai, a prequel to the series, published in 2016.


Looking back to 1989 and the fall of the Berlin Wall, Jean-Claude Leduc, Aimée’s father, receives a disturbing call from a contact in the former East Germany.  Obliged to travel to Berlin, Jean-Claude leaves his daughter in charge of the agency.  Aimée is in her first year of medical school, but struggling.  In her father’s absence, cousin Elise comes to beg for help in solving her father’s recent murder on the quai. Aimée has but one lead.  A card for a club with just the first name of a woman, Candy.  So commences Aimée’s first case as an unlicensed, amateur private eye…

After lunch, join Donna for a boat ride on the Seine.  It’s a unique and fun way to see the city!

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






Tuesday, October 16
Today, we’ll follow Donna for a stroll through an outdoor market at Maubert-Mutualité in the 5th arrondissement and then a short visit to the Police Museum.  Hands down, one of the more interesting museums in Paris.  And one that is little known.  The museum offers more than 2,000 original relics dating back from 1667, when Louis XIV created the post of Police Lieutenant up until the Liberation from German forces in 1945. Aimée would approve.

Afterwards, we will have lunch in the area around rue Mouffetard, one of the Paris’s best food streets.  For those who don’t know the Latin quarter, it’s a wonderful area to stroll and discover.  Sites to visit include the Pantheon, the Arènes de Lutèce, the Cluny and the Institut du Monde Arabe.

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


Wednesday, October 17
Today, Cara will take us to scenes from Murder in Montmartre, published in 2006.


Aimée’s childhood friend, Laure, is a policewoman. Her partner, Jacques, has set up a meeting in Montmartre with an informer. When Laure reluctantly goes along as backup, Jacques is lured to an icy rooftop, where he is shot to death. Laure’s gun has been fired, gunpowder residue is found on her hands, and she is charged with her partner’s murder. The police close ranks against the alleged cop killer. Aimée is determined to clear Laure. In doing so, she encounters separatist terrorists, Montmartre prostitutes, a surrealist painter’s stepdaughter, a crooked Corsican bar owner, and learns of “Big Ears”—the French “ear in the sky” that records telephonic and electronic communications—which the Security Services monitor.


We will start at the seedy Place Pigalle and find our way up to the Sacre Coeur and Place des Tertres.  The area known best for its artists and charming streets.

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


Thursday, October 18
Today, Donna will lead us on a walk through a few of the historic covered passages before heading to the Marais. In Paris the 17th century saw the beginning of covered passageways lined with shops with the real expansion occurring in the first half of the 19th century.  The passages wind from Faubourg Montmartre down to the Palais Royale.  Today, there are some 20 or so of these passages left after the Second Empire’s renovation of Paris.  Passages Verdeaux, Jouffroy and Panorama are some of the finest examples.



In the Marais, we’ll stroll through the old Jewish quarter and have lunch on rue de Rosier, famous for it’s many falafel stands and restaurants.  The Marais is rich with history and museums, including the Picasso, Victor Hugo’s home, the Shoah Memorial and the Pompidou Center.

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










Friday, October 19
Today is Murder on the Left Bank, Cara’s latest novel, publishing in 2018.



Murder on the Left Bank is set in late September 1999. Aimée is juggling her life as a mother with work at Leduc detective and is pulled into a new case looking for a missing Cambodian girl. Her investigation takes her to the 13th arrondissement, dubbed the new ‘Left Bank’ leading her to the Gobelins tapestry works and street artists in the Butte aux Cailles. And murder.


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






Saturday, October 20
If you are not staying for the optional extension, depart for home. Hotel check-out time is 11am.



Optional 3-day Extension
Saturday, October 20 –  Tuesday, October 23

Join Donna for three more special days in France.  We’ll visit a chateau just outside Paris and hit the flea market in Saint Quen and do plenty of shopping to fill your suitcases before you return home.

Saturday, October 20

We’ll take the RER A train to visit the lovely Champs-sur-Marnes.  Fully restored just a few years ago and now open to the public, the chateau was originally constructed in 1703.

Sunday, October 21
We’ll head this morning to the Marché aux Puces du Saint-Quen, the largest flea market in the world.  It’s evolved in recent years as one of the more interesting places to see and be seen.  The markets are enticing as ever but now enhanced with great places to stop for lunch.  There are 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 22
Close to our hotel are both the Galeries Lafayette with it’s stellar food hall and Printemps.  Both have floor after floor of fashion, housewares and shoes!  We’ll start at the Madeleine and stroll our way to them. This neighborhood is a shopping mecca so get your lists started!

Tuesday, October 23

Depart for home.

Details and Price
The price of the trip is $4,250 based on single occupancy. There are no single supplements to pay. The optional extension is $1,750.

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
  • Daily tours of Paris, three led by Cara
  • Wine socials every evening with the Donna 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 nearby restaurants as well a some away from the hotel
  • 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 long 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