A Well-Timed Murder

Tracee de Hahn (Swiss Vendetta) continues her Agnes Lüthi series with A Well-Timed Murder, an enjoyable and suspenseful thriller set in Lausanne, Switzerland. Agnes, who was recently injured in another case, technically is still on leave for three more days. Agnes, however, can't resist looking into the death of precision watchmaker Guy Chavanon, after being asked by Julien Vallatton, a friend who moves in Switzerland's most exalted circles.

Chavanon's death seems straightforward: he had a severe peanut allergy and died of anaphylaxis during a reception at his son's boarding school. But then strange incidents keep popping up. Chavanon's daughter, for instance, finds a note warning that he was being watched. An old friend tells Agnes that Chavanon was on the precipice of an astonishing breakthrough in timepiece technology that would revolutionize the industry. And, most curious of all, no one can figure out how he ingested peanuts, since all food being served was peanut-free, due to student allergies.

When Lüthi discovers that one of the students with a peanut allergy may be a target because of his warlord father's notoriety, she starts to wonder if Chavanon was an accidental victim. As she digs further into the world of elite watchmakers, though, she learns that more than one competitor may have had reason to have wanted Chavanon out of the way.

Perfectly paced, set in a rarefied society and with a pleasant, widowed mother of three as its protagonist, A Well-Timed Murder is bound to appeal to both traditional mystery lovers and those who enjoy an intriguing novel. --Jessica Howard, bookseller at Bookmans, Tucson, Ariz.

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