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Tuesday, March 21, 2017


5 stars out of 5

Absolutely delicious! I'm speaking of the book, not the booze. I enjoyed every word of this one from beginning to end. And speaking of words, I must point out that you'll find no "e" in whisky here; the Scots, I've learned, spell it "whisky" while the Irish - and as far as I can tell, we Americans - prefer "whiskey." 

It was the title, in fact, that prompted my initial interest; our son was a devotee of single malt Scotch. He shared a number of varieties with my husband and I, although to be honest, those more strongly permeated with peat - one of the distinguishing characteristics - to me tasted rather like drinking a pile of watered-down dirt. Still, because of his enthusiasm, the topic was intriguing, and now I'm delighted to say the book tasted far better than that earthy Scotch. The story moves along quickly and interestingly, and now that I've finished, I'm looking forward to the next in the series (which I believe is Death Distilled, set for publication on Sept. 5, 2017).

This story begins when award-winning photojournalist Abigail Logan inherits Abbey Glen, a distillery in the Scottish Highlands, from her late Uncle Ben. It's largely operated by head distiller Grant (yes, he's a single, hunky Scotsman and she's also unattached). When she takes a couple of weeks off from her job to check things out - accompanied by her Wheaten Terrier Liam and good friend Patrick (a whiskey lover if ever there was one), she isn't exactly welcomed with open arms. The locals, it seems, share a  fervent belief that a woman has no place in a distillery. Even Grant, close friends with her uncle, seems to resent her presence; just about the only people who are happy to see her are trying to curry favor so she'll sell the distillery - which she has zero knowledge of how to run - to them.

But there's much more to the disdain than that; in short order, she gets anonymous threats - not the least of which is a still-dripping blood dead duck - and then a young male employee turns up quite dead in a large vat of whiskey. The suspect list is long - and, at least for a time, includes Abi herself. Not knowing who to trust, she puts her investigative journalism skills to work to try to identify the killer, all the while trying to decide what to do with the property (and the rest of her life).

It's a wonderful adventure , and short enough that it easily can be finished in a day or two. One of my favorite quotes, though, came after the book ended, to-wit:

"Happiness is having a rare steak, a bottle of whisky and a dog to eat the rare steak."

Many thanks to the publisher, via NetGalley, for the opportunity to read an advance copy in exchange for a review. Highly recommended!

Single Malt Murder by Melinda Mullet (Alibi, March 2017); 275 pp.

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