Interview with Bluette Matthey, author of Black Forest Reckoning

Bluette MattheyBluette Matthey is a third 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 with her 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 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 Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband, faithful dog, and band of loving cats. 

You can visit Bluette’s website at 

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Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life, Bluette Matthey.  Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

A:  My father was a master story teller whose tales of Bluffton, Ohio, a small town which had a wealth of eccentric characters, fascinated me growing up.  I also have a distant relative who, in her day, was a very well-known author whose books were made into movies.  So I think telling stories is in my genes.  I got hooked on Alfred Hitchcock Presents when I was quite young, and I’ve loved mystery ever since.  I also traveled with my parents throughout the United States and Canada in my youth, so I developed a love of travel and a thirst for adventure.  I used to think I was born in the wrong century until I realized how much I love hot showers and toilets that flush.  I actually started writing short stories when I was in third grade, and I’ve been writing in one form or another all my life.

Q: Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?

A: My third Hardy Durkin travel mystery, Black Forest Reckoning, is set in the Black Forest, amid an area rich in history, fantastic food, natural beauty, and a cultural mystique that has always enchanted me.  It is the ‘B’ book (Black Forest) as I write my way through the alphabet with the Hardy Durkin series.

Dark secrets and events unfold in a Black Forest castle setting----In Hardy Durkin’s third book, Black Forest Reckoning, we find Hardy and company hiking various venues in the Black Forest, including a day in the luxurious spa town of Baden-Baden, while experiencing the historical legacy, cultural heritage, and sumptuous foods of that region.  Their host is Baron Haeflin, owner and lord of the schloss they call home during their stay.  Also resident at Schloss Haeflin is a waif of a girl, the baron’s niece, Zsu-Zsu, who has never spoken, due to emotional trauma at an early age.

When another co-ed from the University of Freiburg is reported missing, the third, so far, members of the hiking group realize they are at ground zero for a possible serial killer.  Once the suspicion that Baron Haeflin has stolen the identity and money of the real Baron Haeflin becomes a certainty, the game is afoot. Hardy is convinced that Zsu-Zsu holds the key to it all, but she’s not telling anyone.  While investigating the baron’s true identity, Hardy suddenly comes up missing.  Ultimately, it is Hardy Durkin who untangles the web of deceit, madness, and murder in The Black Forest Reckoning.

Q: What were some of the biggest challenges you faced writing it?

A:  Character development is vital to the life of the story.  I had fun with the characters in Black Forest Reckoning, but I also had to balance them out.

Q: Do you have a press kit and what do you include in it?  Does this press kit appear online and, if so, can you provide a link to where we can see it?

A:   My digital press kit consists of my website:, my Twitter page, Facebook, and Goodreads blog.  This is supplemented by give-away print materials supplied by my publisher.

Q: Have you either spoken to groups of people about your book or appeared on radio or TV?  What are your upcoming plans for doing so?

A:  The Charlotte Observer did an article on my work this past July, and I’m scheduling an appearance on A Book and a Chat radio show with Barry Eva.

Q: Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/she is?  If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one?

A:  No.  When I researched well-known and new authors it seemed there was some question as to the value of agents in our current internet environment.

Q: Did you, your agent or publisher prepare a media blitz before the book came out and would you like to tell us about it?

A:  I worked with a third party to do a virtual book tour, which includes a big social media push.

Q: Do you plan subsequent books?

A:  I’ve already finished my fourth book, Dalmatian Traffick, and have begun research on the next one.  My goal is to write my way through the alphabet with the Hardy Durkin travel mystery series.  So far I’ve done ‘A’, Abruzzo Intrigue, ‘B’, Black Forest Reckoning, ‘C’, Corsican Justice, and ‘D’, Dalmatian Traffick.  My next book, ‘E’, will be set in the Engadine Valley, Switzerland.
Q: Thank you for your interview, Bluette Matthey.  Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?

A:  My website is:  I have a blog on Goodreads, which links from my website.  I can be found on Twitter @Hardy Durkin or Bluette Matthey, and also on Facebook.  My travel mysteries are on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and iTunes, as well as various independent online book sellers.  My first two books, Corsican Justice and Abruzzo Intrigue are also available in paperback from

blackforesFrontB-3Title: Black Forest Reckoning
Author: Bluette Matthey
Publisher: Blue Shutter Publishing
Pages: 299
Genre: Travel Mystery

Outfitter Hardy Durkin and company are visiting the Black Forest area of Germany, staying in the guest wing of a local castle, Schloss Haeflin. In the midst of hiking the Black Forest, enjoying all things Swabian, and spending a day in Baden-Baden, the hikers find themselves at ground zero for coeds disappearing from the nearby University of Freiburg and foul play is suspected. Unresolved personal issues of several members of the group threaten the tour’s cohesion, and Hardy discovers the Baron, who owns the schloss, has stolen someone’s identity as well as his fortune. Ever the sleuth, Hardy untangles the web of deceit, madness, and murder in ‘The Black Forest Reckoning’.


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