Wednesday, February 7, 2018

"A Well-Timed Murder"

Tracee de Hahn writes the Agnes Lüthi mystery series set in Switzerland. The new book in the series: A Well-Timed Murder.

Prior to writing fiction she began her career in the practice of architecture, using the need to see great buildings as an excuse to travel. After several years in Switzerland, and receiving an advanced degree in European history, she turned her hand to the non-profit world, eventually running alumni relations for a west coast university.

Having left the ‘real’ world to purse a writing career, de Hahn now lives with her husband and Jack Russell Terriers and Flemish Giant rabbit in southwest Virginia in a Victorian house with the foothills of the Appalachian mountains in the far distance. There they have a marvelous deep porch where limitless cups of Lady Grey tea can be enjoyed while the next book is plotted. She loves reading and travel and cooking and is an occasional amateur painter.

De Hahn applied the Page 69 Test to A Well-Timed Murder and reported the following:
In A Well-Timed Murder Agnes Lüthi investigates the untimely death of prominent Swiss watchmaker, Guy Chavanon. On page 69 she visits his family’s factory in the company of his daughter.
Christine looked around the large room as if seeing it through a visitor’s eyes. “At the height of production fifty or seventy-five years ago, there would have been a hundred people working here every day.”

Several of the tall desks were modern, with white tops and high-powered lamps attached to the upper corners. Two had powerful illuminated magnifying glasses affixed to one side. The fronts of the desks were padded so employees could brace their arms to steady them. Neat boxes of tools say on flat surfaces and on adjacent rolling storage units. Freestanding cabinets with drawers, cubbyholes, and shelves dotted the area. Agnes peered into a drawer.
Place is important in my writing, and hopefully this snippet of description provides specific information about the scene without slowing the story. It is important to understand that the watch industry is shrinking and changing with advancing technology and consumer preferences. The next segment is:
“Component parts.” Christine pulled a long flat box from a shelf. It held hundreds of tiny orange watch faces. She frowned, making her plain face decidedly unattractive. “This is Marie’s doing. They’re not marked with our logo They’ll be distributed under the name of the retailer who buys them.” She slammed the boxes down, then seemed to think better of it and adjusted them carefully on the shelves. “I’m being unfair it’s what everyone does now. They have to, to survive.”

Which meant rivals, no matter what Christine said, thought Agnes, reminded of Antoine Mercier. He’d felt Guy Chavanon was innovative. He’s also mentioned Copernicus. A revolutionary.
Agnes ends the page increasingly unsure about Antoine Mercier’s comments in a previous scene (he is president of the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry). Page 69 also sets up the next pages where Agnes meets Guy Chavanon’s neighbor and then Chavanon’s widow. It would be impossible to understand their perspectives, and suspect their lies, without seeing first-hand the business Chavanon left behind.

If you read only this page? Page 69 is an information and transition scene. Hopefully it brings forward a lingering question Agnes had after her conversation with Mercier and provides knowledge necessary to understand what comes next in her investigation of Chavanon’s death.
Visit Tracee de Hahn's website.

Coffee with a Canine: Tracee de Hahn & Alvaro and Laika.

The Page 69 Test: Swiss Vendetta.

My Book, The Movie: A Well-Timed Murder.

--Marshal Zeringue