Saturday, 6 May 2017

Engadine Aerie by Bluette Matthey

Bluette Matthey is a 3rd generation Swiss-American and an avid lover of European cultures. She has decades of travel and writing experience. She is a keen reader of mysteries, especially those that immerse the reader in the history, inhabitants, culture, and cuisine of new places. Her passion for travel, except airports (where she keeps a mystery to pass the time), is shared by her husband, who owned a tour outfitter business in Europe.

Bluette particularly loves to explore regions that are not on the “15 days in Europe” itineraries. She also enjoys little-known discoveries, such as those in the London Walks, in well-known areas. She firmly believes that walking and hiking bring her closer to the real life of any locale. Bluette maintains a list of hikes and pilgrimages throughout Europe for future exploration. She lives in Le Locle, Switzerland, with her husband and band of loving cats. Bluette can often be seen hiking in the Jura Mountains along the Swiss-French frontier.

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About the Book


Engadine Aerie takes place at the annual Skimarathon in glitzy St. Moritz, Switzerland (imagine 13,000 skiers in one race!), where Hardy gets embroiled in a tangle of murder, falconry, weaponized drones, and arms-smuggling. Hardy agrees to help a friend launch her cross-country ski tour business in St. Moritz, and gets way more than he bargained for. His first day on the job he is smitten by an exotic from the Mideast who skis over a corpse buried in the snow. No stranger to murder and other intrigue, Hardy takes point in the following police inquiry (as a bystander, of course), but he is soon enmeshed in preventing another murder. Then comes the not-inconsequential matter of a terrorist attack on the finish line of the Skimarathon. Hardy's past relationship with the French Foreign Legion gives him an entree to working with TIGRIS, Switzerland's elite tactical police unit, to thwart an illegal arms deals he stumbles into, and his meddling puts him in the cross-hairs of a sadistic anarchist who excels at poisoning her victims.

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My Life as an Author by Bluette Matthey


I’ve been hooked on mysteries since third grade, and travelling about as long. My dad was forever getting us up at two or three in the morning to start off on a trip to Florida, or Canada, or to head out West. So, I decided to merge my two passions and began writing the Hardy Durkin Travel Mystery series with Hardy Durkin as my hunky protagonist.

Instead of the London-Paris-Rome circuit (all fantastic places), I chose to use less-known locales as settings for my mysteries. My books are heavily researched for authenticity, which includes a boots-on-the-ground approach, so I get to enjoy visiting and exploring all the places I write about. I’ve had some amazing experiences, eaten wonderful regional foods, met lovely people, and taken some pretty interesting treks.

Hardy Durkin owns an outfitter business that specializes in European treks, so I’ve made a point of duplicating many of his easier hikes (I’m not as fit as he is). I hiked into the Hermitage of San Bartolomeo near Roccamorice, Abruzzo, Italy, aware I was the only human around for miles as I trekked through the Majella National Park. Animal scat along the trail reminded me there were bears, wolves, and other beasts present. I also climbed to the top of Rocca Calascio, built in the 10th century by the Romans as a watch tower and the highest fortress in the Apennines. This was for my second book, Abruzzo Intrigue.

Dalmatian Traffick took me to the Balkans, where I visited Croatia, Montenegro, and Albania. I didn’t hike to the Ostrog Monastery, but took my life, literally, in my hands and drove there. Mostly one-lane, snaking up the mountain of Ostroška Greda with the mountain wall on one side and a drop-off that increased at an alarming rate on the other, and no guard rails, anywhere. Perhaps a row of rather insignificant rocks placed beside the road, or an occasional tree, but nothing substantial to keep you from plummeting over the edge into eternity. The guide books tell you to hire a taxi, but driving in Montenegro is almost a blood sport and I opted to control my own fate, so I drove slowly and steadfastly, praying that no cars would come from the other direction.

Exploring the traboules of Old Lyon, France was part of stepping back in time with the Knights Templar in Engadine Aerie. I also was a guest at the annual Engadine Skimarathon last year, which features prominently in Engadine Aerie. Dangerous conditions at the time prevented me from hiking in to the Morteratsch Glacier; I hoping this year I’ll be able to explore the eternal ice of the glacier when I return to snowy St. Moritz, Switzerland, and the Skimarathon for a book promotion of my latest Hardy Durkin Travel Mystery, Engadine Aerie.

Sigh! Someone’s got to do it …

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