Thursday, April 20, 2017

Single Malt Murder (A Whiskey Business Mystery)

Author:  Melinda Mullet
Genre:  Mystery

ASIN #:  B01HL180QG
Alibi Publishing/Random House
275 Pages
$4.99 Amazon
March 21, 2017


When Abi inherits her uncle's quaint and storied single malt distillery, she finds herself immersed in a competitive high-stakes business that elicits deep passions and prejudices. An award-winning photojournalist, Abi has no trouble capturing the perfect shot—but making the perfect shot is another matter. When she starts to receive disturbing, anonymous threats, it’s clear that someone wants her out of the picture. But Abi’s never been one to back down from a fight.

Arriving on the scene with her whisky-loving best friend, Patrick, and an oversized wheaten terrier named Liam, Abi seems to put everyone in the bucolic village on edge—especially her dour but disturbingly attractive head distiller. Acts of sabotage and increasingly personal threats against Abi make it clear that she is not welcome. When one of Abi’s new employees is found floating facedown in a vat of whisky, Abi is determined to use her skills as an investigative journalist to identify the cold-blooded killer and dispense a dram of justice before he strikes again. But distilling truth from lies is tricky, especially when everyone seems to have something to hide.


After her Uncle Ben's death, Abigail Logan inherits his whiskey distillery, Abbey Glen, in Scotland.  She has no interest in it, being a photojournalist, but decides to see for herself before selling the business.  When she arrives, however, she discovers there's much more to it than meets the eye - including 'accidents' that have befallen the distillery since she inherited, but before she can dig much deeper, she begins receiving threats, and it escalates when a murder occurs onsite the distillery.  With too much at stake, and her own life on the line, Abi decides to stay and try and find out who exactly wants her dead, and why...

To give the things that bothered me first: I figured Abi must be a little slow on the intake, since it didn't take a genius to figure out why the place was called 'Abbey Glen"; I knew that right away.  The second thing that bothered me is the fact that I wondered if Balfour was at the ends of the earth.  Because if it isn't, then the police sergeant is also a little slow on the uptake.  He was under the impression that she worked for a tabloid and warned her to keep her mouth shut about the murder; yet the rest of the village knows everything about who she is and what she does for a living because Ben has been bragging her up for fifteen years, including the fact that she's award-winning, and hanging her photos about his home.  Either the sergeant isn't as smart as he appears to be or he lives under a rock, I don't know which.

That aside, this is a worthy effort for a first-in-a-series book.  The characters are given leeway to personality traits, and most have quite interesting ones indeed.  Abi is a strong woman who doesn't back down from men, and I enjoyed that aspect when she was outright threatened.  She managed to earn the respect of those around her, even when they didn't much care for her being there at first.

The mystery itself was pretty decent, but it was a tad easy to figure out who the killer was, since there weren't that many people who were johnny-on-the-spot every time an accident occurred.  However, the mystery itself was done well and it made sense, just as it should.  Although I wasn't thrilled by the ending, (and I won't go into detail as to why since I don't want to spoil it for those who might not have read the book or even agree with me on that subject) I still thought it to be a worthy read, and I will read the next in the series.  Recommended.

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