I am thrilled today to provide a review at my blog stop for Deadly Dram: A Whisky Business Mystery by Melinda Mullet on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour. Scroll down the page to find and enter the Giveaway!
Deadly Dram: A Whisky Business Mystery
3rd in Series
Alibi (September 4, 2018)
Print Length 300 pages
Distillery owner Abigail Logan discovers that high spirits are no match for a cold-blooded killer as the Whisky Business Mystery series puts a fatal twist on stiff competition.
It’s been a year since globe-trotting photojournalist Abi Logan inherited Abbey Glen, a whisky distillery in the heart of the Scottish countryside. To her surprise, the village of Balfour already feels like home, and her new business partner, Grant MacEwan, continues to be too charming to resist. But Abi has a history of relationship disasters, so she struggles to avoid an ill-fated romance with Grant. Steering clear is hard enough on a day-to-day basis, but when the two head off to a whisky industry competition together, Abi panics. Five-star resort, four glorious days of nonstop whisky tasting, and a fatally attractive Scotsman—what could possibly go wrong?
The night before the award presentations, with foreign and domestic whisky makers at one anothers’ throats, two judges are found dead under mysterious circumstances. What started with three dream-come-true nominations for Abby Glen’s whisky soon turns into a nightmare for Abi. With a killer on the loose, she must call on her investigative skills to stop another murder—before she gets taken out of the running herself.
I love it when I get to be introduced into a whole new exotic industry in a lovely country, beautiful setting, and some hardy but oft-times inebriated characters! Blame all that whisky tasting!
Ex-photojournalist Abigail Logan inherited Abbey Glen, a Scottish whisky distillery, just a year ago but is beginning to feel right at home in Balfour and a solid part of the team that includes Cam Lewis, the distiller, and her handsome co-owner/partner, Grant MacEwen. Although she finds Grant enormously attractive, Abi has tried to keep the relationship strictly professional, as she has not been real successful in the romance department and fortunately, the romance aspect is kept low-key. The duo must have been successful somewhere, however, as they’ve just enjoyed nominations for the annual Golden Quaich Awards, including possibly the top award. Even better, the competition and judging takes place at a huge posh Scottish five-star resort, and in addition to Grant and Cam, she will be allowed to include her Wheaton terrier, Liam, as it is a dog-friendly hotel. Additionally, she’ll room with her best friend from university days, Patrick Cooke.
It becomes obvious at the outset that there is a rift at the Scottish Whisky competition having been diluted with distiller entrants outside of Scotland. She’s a lone woman (for awhile) in a male-dominated industry, whom she calls “the Barley Boys,” and it doesn’t take long before it’s obvious the camp is divided between the nationalists and the globalists. So when the first victim, a judge who openly welcomed the foreign competition is found dead of poisoning, the immediate red herring becomes those who would oppose competition outside of Scotland. Enter Detective Inspector Ian Michaelson with whom she has apparently clashed in previous series entries. This time he is short on manpower and enlists her unofficial aid.
Here is an author who labels her characters in triplets as well as detailed descriptions…”melancholy, speculative, and independent,” “intense, calculating, and sturdy,” “pliable, shortsighted, and impressionable,” “fiery, flamboyant, and intractable,” and so on. The problem I had was the pace of the mystery, only increasing somewhat following the second murder. (As in…. slowww) Abi is not a character that kept me engaged and Grant just seemed–remote and one-dimensional. While Liam was an occasional fresh breath (or doggy breath) of air, breaking up the narrative occasionally with undisciplined canine antics, I decried the offer so often to allow him tasting the whisky along with the humans who should have known better. (And to her credit, the author offers a dedicated pet-alcohol warning disclosure following the conclusion. And plates of sausage? No, no, and just no.) The well-developed plot eventually escalates into a possible warning to Abi putting Grant in the hospital.
Following the hand-wringing bouts of evaluation, re-evaluation, theory–more theory, and possible scenarios, the plot gains some speed and blindsides you with a conclusion you may only have suspicioned. (But in my defense, thought she had her culprit; mystery solved.) So the unsuspected twist was fun. (And that’ll teach me/you for becoming complacent!)
Overall, an interesting romp in Scotland with a truly Scottish world renown libation. I enjoyed getting to know the industry better. Third in the Whisky Business Mystery series, perhaps my lack of empathy for the characters was that it was my first experience with the author and the series. It might help if you start with the first in the series and not treat this one as a standalone.
Click this link for your chance to win one of two (2) eCopies of Deadly Dram: A Whisky Business Mystery by Melinda Mullet in this Rafflecopter Giveaway and good Luck!
Melinda Mullet was born in Dallas and attended school in Texas, Washington D.C., England, and Austria. She spent many years as a practicing attorney before pursuing a career as a writer. Author of the Whisky Business Mystery series, Mullet is a passionate supporter of childhood literacy. She works with numerous domestic and international charities striving to promote functional literacy for all children. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her family.
Webpage – http://melindamullet.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/mulletmysteries/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/mulletmysteries
Thank you for visiting my stop on the tour and please visit the other stops listed below!
September 4 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
September 4 – Handcrafted Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 5 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
September 5 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
September 6 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 6 – Readeropolis – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
September 7 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW
September 7 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
September 8 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
September 8 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
September 9 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
September 9 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
September 10 – The Bookwyrm’s Hoard – REVIEW, GUEST POST
September 10 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 11 – T’s Stuff – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
September 11 – Christa Reads and Writes – SPOTLIGHT
September 12 – MysteriesEtc – REVIEW
September 13 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
September 13 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW
September 14 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
September 14 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
September 15 – Varietats – REVIEW
September 16 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW
September 16 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW
September 17 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW, GUEST POST
September 17 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW
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