Sunday, August 2, 2015

In the Drink (Mack's Bar Mysteries #3)

Author:  Allyson K. Abbott
Genre:  Mystery

Paperback; ebook
ISBN #:  9780758280190
Kensington
336 Pages
$7.99; $5.84 Amazon

Three Stars

By day, Mackenzie "Mack" Dalton is the proprietress of a popular Milwaukee watering hole.  But after last call, she uses her unique cocktail of extra perceptive senses to help solve some of the city's most grisly homicides.  Now, Mack and her barstool detectives are happy to help when Tiny, one of the bar's newest patrons, asks them to look into his sister's murder.  Though the case has gone cold, Mack's heightened senses quickly put her on the killer's trail.   But when a throng of reporters intrigued by her talents descends on Mack's Bar, her efforts are muddled as a real-life Moriarty begins putting her infamous skills to the test, leaving Mack feeling shaken and stirred...

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Mackenzie Dalton has synesthesia - she doesn't feel something without smelling it, hear something without tasting it, etc.  And because she helped the police (even though they weren't happy about it) solve murders using her gift, she's gone into self-imposed hiding.  She's also received letters which can be construed as fan letters, and those from what she considers kooks.  But one...this last one appears to be someone playing a game with her.  He, or she, tells her if she doesn't figure out something unusual about the letter within a specified period of time, someone close to her will die.  And she must do it alone, without the help of authorities, because, as the letter states, 'I am watching you,'  So she figures out a way to involve her maybe-boyfriend, police detective Duncan Albright, even though there is a first body discovered that lets her know this person means business.  She also enlists the help of a couple of her friends from The Capone Club, a group of people who like solving crimes.

But one of the members of the club, Tiny, asks Mack to help him find out who killed his sister twelve years ago.  There are a list of four possible suspects, and he wants Mack's help to find out who really did it.  The police have closed the case as a cold file, but Tiny knows the answer is within the pages of the the evidence they collected.  So Mack sets out on her tasks of staying ahead of the person who is baiting her, and also trying to help Tiny find out the truth regarding his sister's murder.

This book, the third in the series, started out well, giving us a mystery we could follow along with Mack as she tries to figure out who the killer is.  Along the way we are given a second mystery to solve, that of Tiny's trying to find out his sister's killer.  And all through the book I did my best to see if there were any clues as to who the killer was.  It was interesting to see Mack use her gift to try and figure out the answers to the puzzles before the time limit was up, while stretching herself to help a friend.

But here is where my problem lies and why I only gave it three stars:  I feel cheated.  To put it bluntly, we do not find out who the killer is.  As anyone who has read the other reviews by now knows, the book ends...just like that.  Now that might seem like an okay thing; it is, if it's a television series and you're going to find out what happens the next week, or even a couple of months from now when the new TV season begins.  It is not so good of a thing if you have to wait a year or more to find out the answer.  Obviously, I would have enjoyed resolution to the book, and finding out "whodunit."  For me, this would have made the book so much more enjoyable.  However, the writing was well done and the rest of the book was an easy read.



  

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