Death Distilled: A Whisky Business Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Scotland
Alibi (September 5, 2017)
Print Length 240 pages
E-Book ASIN: B01N6FSSUX
Photojournalist by trade, distillery owner by blood, and amateur sleuth by necessity, Abigail Logan learns that murder can’t stay bottled up forever in this charming Whisky Business Mystery.
It’s been three months since Abi Logan last checked in on Abbey Glen, the celebrated whisky distillery she inherited. With her oversize wheaten terrier, Liam, by her side, Abi returns to the quaint Scottish village of Balfour. But her relaxing Highland homecoming takes a stressful turn when she unearths an unseemly bit of village history, welcomes a group of Japanese whisky enthusiasts, and becomes shepherdess to an unexpected flock of sheep—all within the first twenty-four hours. Still, nothing’s more stressful than murder. . . .
Local celebrity Rory Hendricks is the hotheaded, hard-rocking former frontman of the Rebels—and Abi’s girlhood crush. After meeting him in person, Abi can’t say no to anything he asks, like photographing his upcoming show . . . or figuring out who’s trying to kill him. Turns out someone’s been bumping off his old bandmates, with the drummer dead under mysterious circumstances and the keyboardist in a coma following a hit-and-run. Now a series of threatening messages leads Rory to think he’s next on the chopping block. And the band has a devil’s share of broken hearts and bitter disputes in their past, leaving Abi a huge batch of suspects to sift through—all before the killer takes another shot.
The first book in this series, Single Malt Murder, had already made my list of Best Reads 2017 so I have been anxiously waiting this one. At the end of the first story Abi took off on another photo assignment, this one picks up with her returning to Abbey Glen with her lovable canine companion, Liam. She isn’t back for long when Liam makes a grim discovery, Patrick sets up an event at the Glen without receiving permission from her or her manager Grant, and she finds herself caretaker of a flock of sheep. Plus when she left her romantic relationship with Grant was up in the air and now she has met her teenage crush, rocker Rory Hendricks, so who knows what that means for the two of them. She then learns that the members of his old group the Rebels have been targeted and one killed and he wants her help before he is next. Grant is not pleased when she agrees to follow him to a concert that could be putting them both in danger. Abi has her hands full in this story, definitely not the relaxing homecoming she expected.
Abi Logan is a strong woman. Her career as a photojournalist has taken her to some dark and dangerous places. She jumps right in to help her new “friend” Rory Hendricks knowing the dire circumstances that could arise. But she doesn’t trust her heart, every time she and Grant start to get close she runs away. Abi is a complex character and a great protagonist.
I liked her friend Patrick a lot in the first story but not so much this time. For me, he overstepped his bounds by involving Abi, Grant, and Abbey Glen in his latest scheme to better himself. He really was taking advantage of his friendship with Abi.
Grant stole my heart in the first book and my love for him is still strong. I feel bad that Abi can’t give him what he wants. He remains at Abbey Glen, doing his job and making the distillery thrive. I hope with time Abi will return his love without fear of messing up both their lives.
I absolutely love the setting for this series. The Scottish Village of Balfour is rich in history and that history is part of this story. The village, distillery and the home she inherited are so wonderfully described. I could even visualize the sheep in their new pen. I enjoyed how quickly Liam became a canine shepherd.
The plot to the mystery was again complex, lots of moving parts and pieces. Many suspects but their motives were a bit murky. The way an old mystery was blended with the new gave the story a depth I wasn’t expecting. As more clues drop into place the suspense starts to build. I had my “aha moment” right along with the characters as they climax was playing right out for me to read. I was totally surprised.
Ms. Mullet packs so much into 240 pages. Murder, dysfunctional families, romance, a rock concert, drama, suspense, whisky, Japanese businessmen, and even a flock of sheep. This book will join the first as one of my Best Reads this year. I can’t wait for book #3.
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.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”