Sunday, February 4, 2018

Tracee de Hahn

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, she 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.

Recently I asked de Hahn about what she was reading. Her reply:
Recently, a friend took a week off from writing and used the time to read twenty-two books. My kind of vacation. While I haven’t read twenty-two books this last week, or past month, I have a few to recommend. They are all mysteries or thrillers, with good reason. While on book tour I always buy at least one of the recommendations of every store where an event is held. I don’t second guess the staff, thinking of it as a lottery stacked in my favor. They know what kind of book I wrote – how much more personal could a recommendation get? She Rides Shotgun by Jordan Harper, Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz and Darktown by Thomas Mullen came to me this way.

Confession. If I’d known what She Rides Shotgun was about I might not have bought it (it’s the story of a newly released convict and opens with a dark prison scene). This would have been a serious loss. Every line in the book, every turn of phrase, and development of character is memorable. Don’t overthink it, just read. Six pages in and you’ll be hooked.

Magpie Murders had me at hello. Love the cover, love the premise. What writer of mysteries weaned on Agatha Christie would hesitate at the premise of trouble brought on by a publisher’s bestselling cozy mystery writer’s new manuscript? When fiction and reality merge, well, let’s just say that being an editor isn’t as easy as it sounds. Clever and entertaining.

Darktown is set in 1948 Atlanta. It is filled with realism and suspense and truths that need to be heard and remembered. This is book about inequality that is also a great read.

I’d like to mention a fourth book that didn’t come to me through a bookseller. This past October I had the pleasure of serving with Chris Pavone on a conference panel in Toronto. Prior to the conference, I picked up his recent book, The Travelers. This is a thriller for someone who comes from the traditional mystery genre. Not reliant on action-on-steroids scenes, it has thoughtful development of character and plot…. and action. It is imaginative – and made me think for a moment that I could be a spy.
Visit Tracee de Hahn's website.

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

The Page 69 Test: Swiss Vendetta.

--Marshal Zeringue