by Jake Lamar
Rendezvous Eighteenth has been translated
into French as
That same night Ricky finds a prostitute dead in his apartment building in Paris's 18th arrondissement, the center of multicultural life in Paris. That these two events could be connected is something he never imagines.
Ricky Jenks gave up life in the U.S. years ago and is content, if not happy, with his
life as a piano player in a small Paris café. He has many friends among the other African-Americans living in Paris and is involved with a French Muslim woman. But then everything changes. His American life comes crashing down on him when his estranged cousin wants help finding his runaway wife, even though he's vague about why.
"Always a witty and astute social observer, Jake Lamar illuminates the interaction of French locals with Americans abroad, some of them on the lam, in a suspenseful and funny thriller set in the seamy, particularly fascinating Eighteenth Arrondissement of Paris."
--Diane Johnson, author of Le Divorce, Le Mariage and L'Affaire
"...in this atmospheric novel... Lamar relishes Montmartre geography and incorporates it seamlessly into the story. Best of all, Ricky is a thoroughly engaging hero, self-deprecating, something of a bumbler, yet sensitive and romantic in utterly believable ways. This one's a keeper; pair it with Charlotte Carter's Coq au Vin (1999), also starring a jazz-playing African American in Paris."
--Bill Ott, Booklist
"...a first-class story...Jake Lamar delivers a compelling and unique look at the stranger-in-a-strange-land theme. The solidly plotted Rendezvous Eighteenth offers an intriguing tale of alienation and the search for identity."
--Oline H. Cogdill, Sun-Sentinel
"Lamar makes a new start in the crime field with this well-constructed novel...The author casts a tough, critical eye on his cast of mostly black middle-class expatriate Americans, whose interactions he so deftly depicts....mainstream readers fond of Paris should feel fully satisfied."
"This one is a gem not just for its plotting but for the extremely likable character of Jenks, who lives in a world of perpetual perplexity where music is the only thing he understands well. Mr. Lamar´s love of Paris and his understanding of its ways add to the delight."
--Judith Kreiner, Washington Times
"...skillfully plotted and paced, it also succeeds as a portrait of a Paris that most visitors never get to see. Jake Lamar, formerly a writer with Time magazine, is a Bronx native who beautifully describes the joys of his adopted city. A fast-paced read for mystery fans—or lovers of Paris."
--Bruce Shenitz, Out magazine
"This deeply engaging novel, full of richly drawn characters, explores the fascinating lives of black expatriates. Best of all is the setting most literary tourists don't know: the intersection of arty Montmartre, sex-trade Pigalle and multicultural Barbès."
--Lev Raphael, The Miami Herald