Friday, March 24, 2017

Single Malt Murder: A Whiskey Business Mystery

It's Friday once again.  The week just flew by so quickly.  On March 31, Susan Boles new novel Cherry Cake and a Cadaver will be released.  It is the second book in A Lily Gayle Lambert Mystery series.  The first book is Death of a Wolfman.  I hope you will take a moment and check out Cherry Cake and a Cadaver.

Single Malt Murder by Melinda Mullet is the first book in A Whiskey Business Mystery series.  Abigail “Abi” Logan has returned to England upon hearing about the death of her uncle, Bennett Logan.  Abi is a photojournalist and was in Africa on assignment when she received the call that he was dying.  Ben suffered from lung cancer and the end came quicker than expected.  Abi heads to Scotland with her friend, Patrick (associate editor for Wine and Spirits Monthly) for Ben’s funeral and the reading of his will.  Before leaving London, Abi receives a threatening note.  Someone is not happy that Abi is inheriting Abbey Glen, Ben’s single malt whiskey distillery.  About fifteen years prior, Ben retired and sold Haven, his home.  He relocated to Balfour, Scotland where he renovated an old distillery and house for himself.  This is Abi’s first visit to Ben’s home (she held a grudge with Ben for selling Haven). They arrive at Ben’s home to find another warning (a very nasty one which I am not describing).  Abi discovers that someone has also been sabotaging the distillery.  Abi and Patrick decide to check on the distillery before retiring on the day of the funeral (worried that someone would take advantage of the place being empty).  They are in the Yeast Room and find a body in a washback.  It seems that the saboteur has escalated to murder.  Abi is planning on selling Abbey Glen, but she cannot move forward with her plans until she finds the person responsible. She does not believe the local police are up to the task.  But the locals do not appreciate Abi’s presence and prefer to keep their secrets hidden.  It will take all of Abi’s investigative skills to uncover the offender and remain alive to see the wrongdoer brought to justice. 

Single Malt Murder contained an interesting and complex mystery.  A good sleuth will be able to identify the wrongdoer if they pay close attention (one sentence provided me with the identity).  The novel is easy to read (for the most part), but I did find the pace a little slow at times.  I had trouble liking Abi.  She is an acquired taste (just like whiskey).  I did like her approach to investigating the crime, though, I quickly tired of her three words for each person.  I give Single Malt Murder 4 out of 5 stars.  The setting sounded beautiful.  I would love to visit the area.  The whiskey making process is described in the book.  It is complicated and involves many steps (this is one area where the flow is slow).  I do not drink so I was unaware of the different types of whiskey.  I believe the book could have done with just a little more editing.  I found it to be a little too long.  I wish the author had not made the romance element so prevalent.  I did tire of Abi admiring Grant’s appearance and personality as well as debating the merits of getting involved with him.  Single Malt Murder is a good first book and it will be interesting to see where the author takes the series in the future.  Death Distilled is the next book in the series.  It will be released on September 5.

I am off to take my mother to a doctor's appointment.  Wish me luck on actually getting her to leave the house.  I might have to resort to bribery (I keep a stash of items hidden away for this purpose).   I will reward myself with chocolates if I am successful. May you have a very special day. I will be reviewing Shipyard Girls at War by Nancy Revell tomorrow. Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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