We are delighted to welcome Tracee de Hahn, author of the Agnes Lüthi Mysteries! Tracee has kindly offered to give away a copy of Swiss Vendetta and A Well-Timed Murder, so be sure to leave a comment below today to be entered.
Who is ready to travel? I’d say everyone, whether it is across town to spend an unmasked day with friends and family or to finally, finally embark on the postponed trip of a lifetime.
During the recent non-travel months I’ve relied on memories. I was fortunate to travel far and wide early in life, beginning with a summer in high school when I toured with a band in Europe (sadly, not the Rolling Stones. No call for French horns in rock bands).
Before walking out the door with my suitcase (yes, I’m old enough to have had a suitcase and not a backpack), my mother reminded me that no matter how far I was from home, there were always people watching. This was clearly meant as a reminder to be on best behavior. In retrospect, this could also have been the opening line of a thriller starring Liam Neeson.
On a more recent trip to Paris, I was reminded of my mother’s words while traveling by taxi. My French is decent and as I was chatting with the taxi driver, he asked where I was from. You know the drill. I answered big picture (“the US”) and he wanted more detail, which coast, which state . . . until we arrived at the tiny town where I lived at that time, San Luis Obispo, California.
Why was he so curious? The week before he had another American in his taxi and was captivated by that man’s description of idyllic small town life. (This is where I thought, you must have dozens of Americans in your taxi every month, and it’s a big country.) Imagine my surprise when this American happened to be a close friend of mine, proving that my mother was right: there is always someone nearby who can report back on behavior . . .
After I paid the driver, I couldn’t help thinking, what were the odds that Allan and I had taken the same taxi in a major foreign city six days apart? What were the odds of finding out? If this was a plot point, would an editor believe this coincidence, the kind of coincidence that might have led to an amateur sleuth solving the crime! Books often hinge on a coincidence, maybe two. Something seen, an old acquaintance rekindled at the very moment when, coincidentally . . .
But when is coincidence too much and when is it like life, where odd moments occur? In my current work in progress my heroine inherits a distillery at the very moment she is in need of a fresh start. In creating her story I’m going with good timing, the friend of coincidence. Once she’s settled in and ready to distill (aka my book hits the shelves) I’ll invite you to read and decide for yourselves. Until then, keep an eye open for friendly happenstance in your own lives. Coincidence is actually everywhere, albeit in limited quantities.
Tracee de Hahn is the author of the Agnes Lüthi Mysteries published by Minotaur Books. The first in the series, Swiss Vendetta, was inspired by her years in Switzerland. More recently, A Well-Timed Murder probed the heart of the Swiss watch industry. Degrees in Architecture and European history serve as the inspiration for the sense of place at the heart of her classic tales of intrigue and suspense. Born in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, she grew up in Kentucky. She currently lives in Virginia. A member of Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers she is national membership development liaison for Sisters in Crime.