Wednesday, February 7, 2018

A Well-Timed Murder by Tracee de Hahn - #review #giveaway

Swiss-American police officer Agnes Lüthi is on leave in Lausanne, Switzerland, recovering from injuries she sustained in her last case, when an old colleague invites her to the world’s premier watch and jewelry trade show at the grand Messe Basel Exhibition Hall. Little does Agnes know, another friend of hers, Julien Vallotton, is at the same trade show—and he’s looking for Agnes. Julien Vallotton was friends with Guy Chavanon, a master of one of Switzerland’s oldest arts: watchmaking. Chavanon died a week ago, and his daughter doesn’t believe his death was accidental. Shortly before he died, Chavanon boasted that he’d discovered a new technique that would revolutionize the watchmaking industry, and she believes he may have been killed for it. Reluctantly, Agnes agrees to investigate his death. But the world of Swiss watchmaking is guarded and secretive, and before she realizes it, Agnes may be walking straight into the path of a killer.

Tracee de Hahn’s next mystery, A Well-Timed Murder, is another magnetic mystery that will engross readers from the opening page to the stunning conclusion.



I was eager to read A Well-Timed Murder by Tracee de Hahn, especially because of the connection to Switzerland.  You see, my mother was born in Davos.  I got my first watch at the age of 9 from a small shop in her home town.  (And if that's not enough, when I was an au pair there in 1984, the family I worked for was a Luthi (sorry I couldn't get the umlaut) as well.  Enough reminiscing.  Now is not the time. (Feel free to *groan*).

Agnes has a tough row to hoe.  A recent widow with three sons, her family now lives with the husband's parents.  Her husband committed suicide.  She's about to return to her work as a detective from a serious on-the-job injury. As the book opens, Agnes is along for the ride (as she's still on leave) on the take-down of a man they have been after for years.  He bolts; they chase; he gets beaned in the street by a Ferrari.

With plots and sub-plots as intricate and detailed as some of the time-pieces in the "Baselworld" exhibition, Ms. de Hahn crafts an engrossing story.  There is the ultra-luxury world of hand-crafted one-of-a-kind jeweled watches.  A good deal of the story is set at an exclusive boys' school where most to all of the students are sons of international families of prominence.

Societal past, present and future come into play in the family of the murder victim Guy Chauvanon, as his daughter split with the family firm (with some acrimony involved) and is now working for Omega, which in the book is part of the Swatch corporation.  Old ways are set off against innovation, father against daughter and fine craftsmanship against corporate commercialism.

The 'relationship' between Agnes and Julien is unusual as well.  They both 'have an eye on' each other, although Agnes is especially hesitant to admit this, as her husband died just a few months previously.  Julien can be more direct about his interest, although he is nothing if not respectful of Agnes' feelings.  (Shoot, the man lives in a veritable castle, his family owns scads of land.  If I was single, and he was not fictional, I'd go for the man!)  I am kind of pulling for them to get together at some point, but  I'm in no rush, and it seems they aren't as well.  Huzzah!

And I absolutely love how Agnes helps smooth things out for some of the supporting characters.  With all that's going on in her own life, she cares about and goes the extra mile for other people.  There's the student who want to be at home in the US with his parents instead of at a boarding school in Switzerland.  Follow with the headmistress, a former champion skier whose devastating injury ended her career and her ability to have children.  Also her husband, the headmaster, who is doing a little moonlighting (nothing illegal or immoral) on school property.

I am looking forward (and back for #1 - Swiss Vendetta) to reading lots of Luthi!



Tracee de Hahn is the author of the Agnes Lüthi mysteries, which were inspired by her years living in Switzerland. Prior to writing full time she practiced architecture and was head of university alumni relations at a major west coast university. Currently, she and her Swiss-architect husband live in southwest Virginia with their Jack Russell Terriers. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers and Mystery Writers of America.




Click on the banner to go to the tour page, where you will find links to more reviews of this title, as well as guest posts and interviews!  You can also find out how to become a blog host for future book tours while you are there!

(Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book from the author and publishers via Great Escapes Virtual Book  Tour and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.)


  1. Thank you for your review on "Well-Timed Murder" and for being part of the book tour. I'd love the chance to read this book!
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  2. Can't believe your mother was born in Davos! And I feel your pain with the umlaut.... sometimes it doesn't work on a keyboard or in a program and I've had to give up more than once!