Tracee de Hahn returns with the second installment of her Luthi Mysteries with A Well-Timed Murder, a wonderful sequel to her debut Swiss Vendetta, featuring Swiss-American mother of three, detective Anges Luthi.

With the title and cover art, it’s no surprise to learn the story revolves around watchmakers and Baselworld, the huge watch and jewelry convention held in Basel each year.

The Lausanne, Switzerland detective is techinically still on leave after a bad leg injury suffered in the debut novel, but she comes to Baselworld to witness the capture of a man she’s hunted for years when still with Financial Crimes, known as The Roach.

With a less-than satisfactory ending to that capture, she’s taken away from the scene by an urgent call from Julian Vallatton, from the supremely wealthy family she met in Swiss Vendetta, and who has stirred her broken heart after her husband’s suicide earlier in the year.

Julien asks to meet Agnes inside Baselworld, and introduces her to a family friend, Christine Chavanon, whose watchmaker father died tragically just days before. Allergic to peanuts, Guy Chavanon went into anaphylactic shock at his son’s nearby boarding school during a reception.

Guy’s death has been deemed a tragic accident, until Christine produces a note she’s found from her father after his death, convincing her he was murdered. Guy was known for his flights of fancy, but had been especially erratic lately and working on an idea he deemed would turn the watchmaking industry on its head and save the family business.

Agnes swings into action, her investigation bringing her to the Institute where Guy died, and with which Julian’s family is entwined, to interview the boys and others present at Charvanon’s school.

But everything is not what it should be at the tony boarding school. Several students have peanut allergies. Could one of them been the original target? One student especially seems targeted for accidents.

Other unusual occurrences keep drawing Agnes back to the school, as she balances her investigation between the world of watchmaking and the wild fantasies of the talented mind of Guy Chavanon.

Agnes has no idea which area of her investigation will reveal a murderer. The complex plot builds to a resounding climax, but not before another death occurs.

The Swiss setting is gorgeously described, as is the Baselworld trade show, events and places most people would never get to visit. Agnes working through her grief, her relationship with her unapproving mother-in-law, and Mrs. Luthi’s reaction to Agnes’s friendship with Julien Vallottan are all added pleasures in this solid sequel to the first book. A Well-Timed Murder and Agnes Luthi will entrance you and keep you flipping pages. Highly recommended.

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