Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Guest Author: Bluette Matthey

First of all, thank you, Jenai, for inviting me into your world.

Traveling has always been an important part of my life.  My father used to load up our travel trailer and head for destinations unknown:  the West, Canada’s western provinces, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Florida, and all points in-between.  Sometimes we’d be gone a month or more.  It was grand.  Staying in all the national parks, meeting people from all walks of life around the campfires at night …

I discovered I loved a good mystery, too.  Alfred Hitchcock on Friday nights became a ritual at our house.  I was around eight or nine years old and I’d crowd up against my dad as close as I could, scared to death by some of Alfred’s plots, loving every minute of it.  

I was a voracious reader, and when I discovered Ellery Queen Jr’s. ‘Black Mystery Dog’ as a fourth grader I was hooked.  Over the next few years I read every mystery in our public library, and some of them twice.  I looked at life like a puzzle to solve and people’s motives became grist for my mill of curiosity. 

Three years ago I was visiting my youngest son in London and taking one of those marvelous ‘London Walks’ tours.  Standing on Charterhouse Square I looked up and recognized Whitehaven Mansions, home of Agatha Christie’s Belgian sleuth, Hercule Poirot, and something inside flared up.  I called my husband from the airport in Philly and told him I wanted to write travel mysteries, with each one represented by a letter of the alphabet.  

My first, ‘Corsican Justice’, was set on the French Mediterranean island of Corsica.  Fascinating place.  Has it all: Old-world charm, great croissants and coffee, gangsters, lots of sun, the French Foreign Legion, vendettas, and joie de vivre.  Then came ‘Abruzzo Intrigue’, which takes place in the ‘Italian Outback’ of Abruzzo, Europe’s green heart, a truly beautiful area with great food wonderful hiking trails, and a great quality of life.  My third book, yet unpublished, is ‘Black Forest Reckoning’, which rolls out in the Black Forest area of Germany, and my current project is ‘Dalmatian Traffick’.  

All my mysteries are a series, using the same protagonist, Hardy Durkin.  They are set in lesser known areas in Europe, and I do an immense amount of research into each locale’s history, culture, and cuisine to give an accurate portrayal of that area, as well as boots on the ground for first-hand experience.  Then I weave in a well-written mystery, et voila!  

Corsican Justice
Bluette Matthey, author
Virtualbookworm, publisher
276 pages
Travel Mystery (series)
Available in paperback, Kindle, & Nook

The first book of the Hardy Durkin Travel Mysteries, Corsican Justice, introduces the main character, Hardy Durkin, as he travels to the French isle of Corsica to mix some business with mostly pleasure. Or so he thinks.  

Hardy is a hiking tour outfitter who hosts small groups of successful business people and professionals seeking refuge from their fast-paced lives in off-the-beaten-path destinations in Europe. Hardy is a multi-lingual former pentathlete with a high-tech background in interpreting electronic intelligence and has dual German-American citizenship.  The GR-20, Europe’s most challenging hiking trail, is in Hardy’s sights to explore with the possibility of adding it to his hiking venues.  Hardy also seeks closure for the accidental death of his father several years earlier in a motorcycle accident in Les Calanches region along Corsica’s western coast.  

After an attempt is made on Hardy’s life and he is subsequently kidnapped, he learns that his father’s accident was really murder and he vows to avenge this dad’s untimely death.  He finds himself involved with the French Foreign Legion, a Russian mob, and an arms-smuggling Corsican gang as he struggles to bring a killer to justice and close a painful cold-case murder.

Abruzzo Intrigue
Bluette Matthey, author
Virtualbookworm, publisher
302 pages
Travel Mystery (series)
Available in paperback, Kindle, & Nook

Hardy Durkin’s second travel mystery, Abruzzo Intrigue, finds Hardy leading a hiking tour in Italy’s high-rural Abruzzo region.  Dubbed the ‘green heart’ of Europe, Abruzzo offers the hikers a heady mix of spectacular scenery, spiritual history, and fresh, pure regional gastronomy.  Some of the cast of characters are who they seem to be, but most aren't. One member of the group, a grieving widower, plans to steal one of the Vatican's most precious religious relics, The First Eucharistic Miracle, from the Church of San Francesco in Lanciano, and embarks on a dangerous odyssey of the soul that ends in redemption.  Along the way, Hardy crosses paths with an Interpol agent, elements of the Italian mafia and, indirectly, an Albanian drug lord. The book is a collision of values and traditions while hiking through the oft-overlooked beauty of ancient Abruzzo.

Contact Bluette:  bluettematthey.com / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads   
Books available:  Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Smashwords iTunes / Virtualbookworm


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