Deadly Dram: A Whisky Business Mystery

Deadly Dram: A Whisky Business Mystery

by Melinda Mullet

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Overview

Deadly Dram: A Whisky Business Mystery by Melinda Mullet

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.

Melinda Mullet’s delightful Whisky Business mysteries can be read together or separately. Enjoy responsibly:
SINGLE MALT MURDER | DEATH DISTILLED | DEADLY DRAM

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781984817198
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/04/2018
Series: Whisky Business , #3
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 298
Sales rank: 11,303
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

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.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

Flames licked at the wood of the whisky barrels piled high in the forecourt of the grand old house. We’d gathered as friends on the wide gravel drive of the Larches to burn away the troubles of the old year and start fresh with the new. The Larches was the MacEwen family home. An estate, to be precise. Slightly shabby now from age and the ravages of death duties, but still striking in the symmetry of its classic baronial lines. It loomed above us in stony silence, our elongated shadows dancing eerily across the sand-colored stone walls.

An occasional shower of sparks dispersed like glitter into the night and lit the faces of my companions. Grant MacEwen, my business partner and our host for this annual ritual, stood on the front porch conferring with Louisa, the Larches’ phenomenal cook/housekeeper. Her young son, Luke, was rolling in the grass with Liam, my shaggy, overgrown wheaten terrier. The two were having the time of their lives.

I huddled close to the warmth of the fire, watching as Cam Lewis, our distillery manager, made his way up the drive from his car with a young girl riding astride his shoulders. She had curly auburn pigtails and was giggling gleefully as Cam imitated a horse galloping to the edge of the bonfire.

“Who’s this?” I asked.

“Ma gran’daughter, Sadie,” he said, the rolling cadence of his thick Scottish brogue bringing a smile to my face.

“She’s visitin’ for the weekend. Sadie, this is Abi Logan; she and Grant are now the co-owners of Abbey Glen.”

“Abi owns Abbey Glen,” Sadie said playfully, rolling the words around on her tongue.

“It was my uncle’s distillery,” I explained. “The name was kind of an inside joke. He named the place after me, even though it isn’t spelled quite the same.”

“That’s neat,” Sadie said. “I wish someone would name something after me.”

“I’ll bet someone will,” I said, smiling up at her.

“Aye, she’ll have some poor bloke wrapped around her finger.” Cam chuckled affectionately.

I felt terrible that I’d never stopped to consider Cam being anything other than our loyal and hardworking still man and manager. I knew that he’d been married, and his wife had died some years back, but in true Scots fashion he’d never volunteered much else about his personal life. “I didn’t know you had kids,” I teased, “let alone grandkids.”

“I have two daughters,” Cam said. His rugged face and sharp, attentive eyes generally gave him a somewhat dour look, but at the mention of his daughters his face lit up. “One’s off in Australia with her man, and the other lives in Glasgow. That’s Sadie’s mum.”

“And you’re visiting for Hogmanay, are you?” I said, looking up at Sadie. “Then I’ll bet you can tell me all about this celebration.”

“It’s the burnin’ of the clavie, miss,” she said excitedly. “We do it every year. It’s good luck, doncha know.”

“I didn’t know,” I admitted, “and I don’t really know what a clavie is, either.”

Sadie looked a bit stumped by that question herself and proceeded to tap Cam on the top of the head. “What is a clavie, Papa?”

“Clavie’s a collection of casks that are split in two and filled with tar to make sure they burn for a good long time.”

“Tar like on the road?” Sadie asked.

“Just like.” Cam chuckled. “Some villages carry the burnin’ clavie ’round the town and then take it to a local high spot where it burns long into the night. We’re lucky we have a big collection of old barrels to use at the Glen. Instead of tar, we sprinkle a bit of the spent lees on the wood to get it burnin’ hot and strong.”

Seeing the frown on my face, Cam added, “Spent lees are the leftover liquids in the still at the end of the distillin’ process.”

“That’s why we have such a beautiful blaze,” I said.

“’Tis indeed.” Cam swung Sadie down from his shoulders. “This version of the traditional celebration was passed down from Grant’s father. It’s been done every year since I was Sadie’s age.” He flipped one of the bouncing pigtails as she ran in circles around us. “My dad used to bring me, back when he was the still man at the distillery.”

“What happens after the barrels are burned?”

“Once they start to fall apart, you reach in an’ grab a chunk of wood that’s still glowin’ to take home an’ add to your own hearth,” Cam explained. “The leftover charcoal bits are rubbed up the chimneys to keep spirits an’ witches from comin’ down.”

“That’s the best bit,” Sadie said with evident delight, her eyes wide at the thought of witches and evil spirits being chased from the flue.

“For a village who drinks as much as we do,” I murmured, “we sure have a strange relationship with spirits.”

“Cannae be too careful, as well ye know.” Cam winked at me. “You’ve had your share of witches and evil spirits since you’ve come.”

Cam was right. It hadn’t even been a year since I inherited Abbey Glen from my uncle Ben and already we’d seen arson, personal threats, and more than our proportional share of murders. As the inexperienced and unexpected new owner of the Glen, I’d faced considerable opposition from the locals. My first challenge was to find a way to deal with the misogynistic whisky fraternity—the Barley Boys, as I’d dubbed them. It wasn’t easy. But not nearly as difficult as being the first embedded female war correspondent for the London Gazette. I’d managed that, and I was proud to say I was managing this.

Not only managing, but beginning to really enjoy my new life. My chaotic gypsy existence as a journalist was starting to wear on my nerves, and this change of pace had come not a moment too soon. Over the past nine months I’d discovered just how much being in this community meant to me. It was roots and friendships and a place to call home that I hadn’t had in years. In spite of my initial skepticism, it was the best legacy Ben could’ve given me. Still, if I were smart, I’d still get an extra helping of charred wood from the bonfire. I could use the good luck.

Young Luke was having a grand time gathering bits of wood and tossing them in. It was all Grant could do to keep him from falling in after them. I watched him dogging the boy’s heels to keep him out of trouble. Cam and Sadie went to help, and Luke’s mother took advantage of the reprieve to wander over and say hello. Louisa had been busy in the kitchen all day and this was the first I’d seen of her since before Christmas. She gave me a warm hug, and I asked if she and Luke had a good holiday.

“It was a pretty quiet, but relaxin’,” she said. “Luke had a fun for sure, but our lord and master was a bit glum.”
Louisa looked me up and down with a glint in her eye. “If I had to guess, he was missin’ yer enlivenin’ presence.”

I could feel the flush rise in my cheeks. “Can’t imagine why,” I muttered.

“Yes you can,” Louisa said. “And it’s not fer yer business skills.”

“Don’t be ridiculous,” I scoffed. I could feel my face turning red, and it wasn’t just from the heat of the fire. “I wasn’t gone that long. Barely four weeks, and then Liam and I stopped off to spend Christmas in Edinburgh with Patrick and his mum.” Why did I sound so defensive? It was no one’s business where I spent my holidays.

Patrick Cooke had been my best friend since university days, and now that Ben was gone, he was the closest thing I had to family. His mother had trekked up from London for the holidays since Patrick refused to go home. She was an intimidating old battle ax, albeit of diminutive proportion, and although she was fond of both of us in her own way, her presence was always stressful. As usual, we compensated by eating and drinking way too much. All in all, a standard family Christmas celebration.

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Deadly Dram: A Whisky Business Mystery 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Anonymous 20 days ago
I love these stories! so much fun, great people, great place to spend several hours in.
bkworm_ran 3 days ago
It’s been a year since Abigail Logan put down roots to help run Abbey Glen distillery. It’s not easy being a woman in the distilling business but she has earned the respect of the men and the industry. Now Abbey Glen is participating in a prestigious competition to be held at a high-end Scottish resort. The first night is filled with good food and better spirits, the liquid kind. As the next day dawns, one of the judges is discovered dead with a bottle of the Japanese whisky next to him. Abi finds herself mixed in yet another murder and she discovers she is no longer the only woman working in the distillery industry. This series continues to strengthen as it goes. Mullett’s knowledge of distilling and the business of whiskey is extensive. I don’t care for whisky and her descriptions of the aroma and flavor make me want to go pour a dram. This cozy series is one of the more serious ones and I continue to tell anyone and everyone about it.
Linda Baker 9 days ago
Abi Logan, co-owner of Abbey Glen Distillery, is still very new to the business after it was bequeathed to her by her uncle. She has not yet given up her career as a photojournalist and returns to Scotland to attend the prestigious Quaich competition. The competition is a four-day event at a 5-star hotel and promises to be more contentious than usual. Several non-Scots distilleries are competing, and one, in particular, seems very strong. Abi and her partner, Grant McEwan think that the foreign competitors will be a positive influence, but others are adamantly opposed. When two of the judges are poisoned the short-handed local police include Abi in the investigation, mostly to take pictures at the crime scenes. But her dear friend, Patrick, is a suspect and Abby jumps in with both feet. When Grant McEwan is targeted, she is even more determined to get to the bottom of the plot. The Whisky Business mysteries are an excellent read, with vivid descriptions of the business and Scotland. The characters are well-drawn, and the mystery itself is intricately plotted. I certainly did not figure out "whodunnit" until the end, along with Abi herself. I also enjoy the developing romance between Abi and Grant. After some failed relationships Abi is skittish, but the return of Grant's former flame makes her rethink her position. Thanks to Random House Alibi and NetGalley for a digital advance copy. The opinions are my own and I look forward to the next in the series!
Anonymous 9 days ago
Dollycas 9 days ago
Dollycas’s Thoughts Abigail Logan still has a lot to learn about being a distillery owner but she is really making herself at home in Balfour. She is trying to keep her mind on Whisky business, but when she and her business partner, Grant MacEwan attend a whisky competition at a 5-star resort she may not be able to resist his charms. Then before the Golden Quaich competition begins, where several Abbey Glen Whiskys are up for awards 2 of the judges are killed. DI Ian Michaelson asks for Abi’s help as a photographer to take pictures of the crime scenes. Her keen observation skills see things other people don’t and she soon finds herself investigating. If she is not careful, she may be the killer’s next victim. Abigail Logan is a wonderful protagonist. Smart, strong, and independent. She has taken on the job as owner of the distillery quite well. She has a great team helping her and teaching her everything about the whiskey business. She is still trying to keep Grant in the friend zone, but there is no denying the chemistry there. Grant stole my heart long ago so I am rooting for them to have a relationship that works. Her friend Patrick redeemed himself for me in this story. I wasn’t so fond of him in the last one. I really enjoy the friendship between Abi and Katherine McRae. Their shopping trip to get Abi the right clothes was fun to read. I also enjoyed that the resort allowed pets so Liam could go too. He was on his best behavior, for the most part The story is set at a whisky convention so we are introduced to several characters. The author does an excellent job of making them each unique so I was able to get to know them pretty quickly. There was a character that returned from a prior story too, it was great to have him cross Abi’s path again. As always a certain 4-legged character gives the story some laughs. I love the way she sets a scene. She describes everything in a way that puts you right there in the room or out in the countryside. She also educates her readers about Whisky and I love learning new things when I am reading. I like whiskey but have never had Scottish whisky. I may have to rectify that soon. This mystery had a whole resort full of suspects, some were easily eliminated but others needed more investigation. Ms. Mullet has a great talent for misdirecting her readers which makes following along with Abi and her friends so entertaining. She ratchets up the suspense at the perfect time and gives readers a great conclusion. She also gives us just a little cliffhanger that leaves as longing for the next book. I love the way she sets a scene. She describes everything in a way that puts you right there in the room or out in the countryside. She also educates her readers about Whisky and I love learning new things when I am reading. I like whiskey but have never had Scottish whisky. I may have to rectify that soon. For me, this was A Perfect Escape!! A stellar mystery with great characters set in a beautiful place. I can’t wait for my next visit!
Dollycas 9 days ago
Dollycas’s Thoughts Abigail Logan still has a lot to learn about being a distillery owner but she is really making herself at home in Balfour. She is trying to keep her mind on Whisky business, but when she and her business partner, Grant MacEwan attend a whisky competition at a 5-star resort she may not be able to resist his charms. Then before the Golden Quaich competition begins, where several Abbey Glen Whiskys are up for awards 2 of the judges are killed. DI Ian Michaelson asks for Abi’s help as a photographer to take pictures of the crime scenes. Her keen observation skills see things other people don’t and she soon finds herself investigating. If she is not careful, she may be the killer’s next victim. Abigail Logan is a wonderful protagonist. Smart, strong, and independent. She has taken on the job as owner of the distillery quite well. She has a great team helping her and teaching her everything about the whiskey business. She is still trying to keep Grant in the friend zone, but there is no denying the chemistry there. Grant stole my heart long ago so I am rooting for them to have a relationship that works. Her friend Patrick redeemed himself for me in this story. I wasn’t so fond of him in the last one. I really enjoy the friendship between Abi and Katherine McRae. Their shopping trip to get Abi the right clothes was fun to read. I also enjoyed that the resort allowed pets so Liam could go too. He was on his best behavior, for the most part The story is set at a whisky convention so we are introduced to several characters. The author does an excellent job of making them each unique so I was able to get to know them pretty quickly. There was a character that returned from a prior story too, it was great to have him cross Abi’s path again. As always a certain 4-legged character gives the story some laughs. I love the way she sets a scene. She describes everything in a way that puts you right there in the room or out in the countryside. She also educates her readers about Whisky and I love learning new things when I am reading. I like whiskey but have never had Scottish whisky. I may have to rectify that soon. This mystery had a whole resort full of suspects, some were easily eliminated but others needed more investigation. Ms. Mullet has a great talent for misdirecting her readers which makes following along with Abi and her friends so entertaining. She ratchets up the suspense at the perfect time and gives readers a great conclusion. She also gives us just a little cliffhanger that leaves as longing for the next book. I love the way she sets a scene. She describes everything in a way that puts you right there in the room or out in the countryside. She also educates her readers about Whisky and I love learning new things when I am reading. I like whiskey but have never had Scottish whisky. I may have to rectify that soon. For me, this was A Perfect Escape!! A stellar mystery with great characters set in a beautiful place. I can’t wait for my next visit!
CozyUpWithKathy 11 days ago
DEADLY DRAM is a gold winner. DEADLY DRAM by Melinda Mullet The Third Whisky Business Mystery After some time away Abi Logan is back at Abbey Glen, just in time for the Golden Quaich Awards. What Abi first believed was a little competition among local distillers, is actually a four day international event held at a five star hotel, the outcomes of which can have a huge economic effect. When one of the judges is discovered dead the next morning the first thought was that too much good food and drink finally caught up with him. But could it have something to do with the fact that there were several international entries in the blind tasting this year, an offense to several of the Scots? The detective in charge suspects poison. Could Sir Richard's diatribe against the narrow minded view and limited palate of some of his fellow judges angered someone enough to kill him? Or is something more going on? "You don't know what you got, till it's gone." While that phrase is the title of a Cinderella song from their second album, it could also be the theme for this second Whisky Business Mystery. DEADLY DRAM explores relationships old and new as it shines light into whisky competitions and awards. While providing a a fascinating look into the world of fine whisky and murder, it looks at the human emotions and motivations behind people's actions. The characters are akin to Abbey Glen's fine whiskys, some smooth, some big while others are subtle, but all complex. This complexity leads to an ingenious mystery with lots of possible victims as well as suspects. There is a serious nature to this series. It's a more adult novel. Yet Liam's antics provide plenty of laughs and a respite from the darkness inherent here. DEADLY DRAM is a whisky drinking mystery lover's dream. You don't, however, need to be a fan of the drink to imbibe this wonderful mystery. Richly atmospheric and fastidiously plotted, DEADLY DRAM is a gold winner. FTC Disclosure – The publisher sent me a digital ARC provided through NetGalley, in the hopes I would review it.
Sailim 15 days ago
Melinda Mullet’s, Deadly Dram – the third in the Whisky Business serial, is equal to her previous two installations. In this episode, Abby and Grant, her business partner, find themselves up for a prestigious award in the whisky world. Chances are quite good they will win, if they survive long enough to make it through the competition. Deadly Dram is a fun story with a great deal of talk of the whisky industry and some of the backroom dealings that can take place. The characters are bright and witty, cleverly crafted and remain true to their development. Mullet masterfully handles the actions of each, keeping them from drifting off into deviations. Grant did not make as much of an appearance as expected and the final scene with and about Grant was entirely predictable – but of course, human nature. Liam may be in serious need of a local AA chapter soon.
CheliD 16 days ago
Abi Logan, Owner of Abbey Glen Whiskey Distillery, attends a Whisky industry competition where two of the judges turn up poisoned. Chief Inspector Craig asks Abi to photograph the crime scenes due to a flu epidemic at the police station. Suspicion of tampering with competition judging, attempts on her life as well as those with her, cause Abi to set out to find the murderer. Loved the plot, the characters and the competition. Looking forward to the next story of Abbey Glen Whisky!
KrisAnderson_TAR 16 days ago
Deadly Dram by Melinda Mullet is A Whiskey Business Mystery. Abigail “Abi” Logan co-owns Abbey Glen with Grant McEwen. Abi inherited her share of the whiskey distillery business from her Uncle Ben a year prior. She is attracted to Grant, but, after many disastrous relationships and not wanting to ruin their business partnership, Abi has decided it is best to keep Grant firmly in the friend zone (and avoid him whenever possible). With the holidays over it is time for them to attend a four day event at a five star resort for the Golden Quaich competition. Abbey Glen is up for a couple of awards, but there is stiff competition. After acquiring the appropriate wardrobe, Abi and Liam arrive at the lodge where they will be sharing accommodations with her best friend, Patrick Cooke. After an evening of schmoozing and whiskey drinking, Abi is awakened by screaming. Sir Richard Simpson, one of the judges, is dead in his room. DI Ian Michaelson is on the case and has cause to believe the death is anything but accidental. Abi agrees to keep her eyes and ears open and takes it upon herself to ask a few questions as well. The following morning, Abi is once again awakened early with the news of another death. Archie MacInnes, another judge, is dead in his room. When Patrick becomes a person of interest, Abi steps up game. Can they catch the killer before he strikes again? Deadly Dram takes readers to Balfour, Scotland where Abi is learning the ropes of the whiskey industry. It is a different life from being a photojournalist, but her skills come in handy when there is a murder. The clothes Abi acquired with the assistance Katherine McRae were beautiful. Abi was stylish in her new ensembles (a good representative for Abbey Glen). While Deadly Dram is the third installment in A Whiskey Business Mystery series, it can be read as a standalone. The author provides Abi’s background along with that of the main characters (Grant, Cam, Patrick, and Liam). I was overwhelmed with the number of characters in the beginning. It gets easier to keep them straight as the story progresses. The shining star of Deadly Dram is adorable Liam. He manages to steal the story with his antics (like chasing a rabbit), sleeping on the gorgeous duvet covers and looking dapper in his bow ties. Melinda Mullet is a descriptive writer which allows readers to visualize the scenes, but it also slows down the pace of the story. The mystery is multifaceted with several suspects, a red herring or two, and good clues. The killer does not wish to be caught and attempts to dissuade Abi from investigating (the guilty party evidently does not know Abi very well). Abi was intent on questioning her suspects and looking for clues. Armchair sleuths will find solving this crime a cinch (one little detail is the key). I did not realize there were so many different types of whiskey available and from a variety of countries. It was interesting to learn more about the process of distilling and the range of ingredients. Even the cask used to store the whiskey in is important to the taste. While attending the event and working on the investigation, Abi has been thinking about Grant. Is she ready for a relationship with him? The ending leaves readers with hope and a cliffhanger.
KrisAnderson_TAR 16 days ago
Deadly Dram by Melinda Mullet is A Whiskey Business Mystery. Abigail “Abi” Logan co-owns Abbey Glen with Grant McEwen. Abi inherited her share of the whiskey distillery business from her Uncle Ben a year prior. She is attracted to Grant, but, after many disastrous relationships and not wanting to ruin their business partnership, Abi has decided it is best to keep Grant firmly in the friend zone (and avoid him whenever possible). With the holidays over it is time for them to attend a four day event at a five star resort for the Golden Quaich competition. Abbey Glen is up for a couple of awards, but there is stiff competition. After acquiring the appropriate wardrobe, Abi and Liam arrive at the lodge where they will be sharing accommodations with her best friend, Patrick Cooke. After an evening of schmoozing and whiskey drinking, Abi is awakened by screaming. Sir Richard Simpson, one of the judges, is dead in his room. DI Ian Michaelson is on the case and has cause to believe the death is anything but accidental. Abi agrees to keep her eyes and ears open and takes it upon herself to ask a few questions as well. The following morning, Abi is once again awakened early with the news of another death. Archie MacInnes, another judge, is dead in his room. When Patrick becomes a person of interest, Abi steps up game. Can they catch the killer before he strikes again? Deadly Dram takes readers to Balfour, Scotland where Abi is learning the ropes of the whiskey industry. It is a different life from being a photojournalist, but her skills come in handy when there is a murder. The clothes Abi acquired with the assistance Katherine McRae were beautiful. Abi was stylish in her new ensembles (a good representative for Abbey Glen). While Deadly Dram is the third installment in A Whiskey Business Mystery series, it can be read as a standalone. The author provides Abi’s background along with that of the main characters (Grant, Cam, Patrick, and Liam). I was overwhelmed with the number of characters in the beginning. It gets easier to keep them straight as the story progresses. The shining star of Deadly Dram is adorable Liam. He manages to steal the story with his antics (like chasing a rabbit), sleeping on the gorgeous duvet covers and looking dapper in his bow ties. Melinda Mullet is a descriptive writer which allows readers to visualize the scenes, but it also slows down the pace of the story. The mystery is multifaceted with several suspects, a red herring or two, and good clues. The killer does not wish to be caught and attempts to dissuade Abi from investigating (the guilty party evidently does not know Abi very well). Abi was intent on questioning her suspects and looking for clues. Armchair sleuths will find solving this crime a cinch (one little detail is the key). I did not realize there were so many different types of whiskey available and from a variety of countries. It was interesting to learn more about the process of distilling and the range of ingredients. Even the cask used to store the whiskey in is important to the taste. While attending the event and working on the investigation, Abi has been thinking about Grant. Is she ready for a relationship with him? The ending leaves readers with hope and a cliffhanger.
KrisAnderson_TAR 16 days ago
Deadly Dram by Melinda Mullet is A Whiskey Business Mystery. Abigail “Abi” Logan co-owns Abbey Glen with Grant McEwen. Abi inherited her share of the whiskey distillery business from her Uncle Ben a year prior. She is attracted to Grant, but, after many disastrous relationships and not wanting to ruin their business partnership, Abi has decided it is best to keep Grant firmly in the friend zone (and avoid him whenever possible). With the holidays over it is time for them to attend a four day event at a five star resort for the Golden Quaich competition. Abbey Glen is up for a couple of awards, but there is stiff competition. After acquiring the appropriate wardrobe, Abi and Liam arrive at the lodge where they will be sharing accommodations with her best friend, Patrick Cooke. After an evening of schmoozing and whiskey drinking, Abi is awakened by screaming. Sir Richard Simpson, one of the judges, is dead in his room. DI Ian Michaelson is on the case and has cause to believe the death is anything but accidental. Abi agrees to keep her eyes and ears open and takes it upon herself to ask a few questions as well. The following morning, Abi is once again awakened early with the news of another death. Archie MacInnes, another judge, is dead in his room. When Patrick becomes a person of interest, Abi steps up game. Can they catch the killer before he strikes again? Deadly Dram takes readers to Balfour, Scotland where Abi is learning the ropes of the whiskey industry. It is a different life from being a photojournalist, but her skills come in handy when there is a murder. The clothes Abi acquired with the assistance Katherine McRae were beautiful. Abi was stylish in her new ensembles (a good representative for Abbey Glen). While Deadly Dram is the third installment in A Whiskey Business Mystery series, it can be read as a standalone. The author provides Abi’s background along with that of the main characters (Grant, Cam, Patrick, and Liam). I was overwhelmed with the number of characters in the beginning. It gets easier to keep them straight as the story progresses. The shining star of Deadly Dram is adorable Liam. He manages to steal the story with his antics (like chasing a rabbit), sleeping on the gorgeous duvet covers and looking dapper in his bow ties. Melinda Mullet is a descriptive writer which allows readers to visualize the scenes, but it also slows down the pace of the story. The mystery is multifaceted with several suspects, a red herring or two, and good clues. The killer does not wish to be caught and attempts to dissuade Abi from investigating (the guilty party evidently does not know Abi very well). Abi was intent on questioning her suspects and looking for clues. Armchair sleuths will find solving this crime a cinch (one little detail is the key). I did not realize there were so many different types of whiskey available and from a variety of countries. It was interesting to learn more about the process of distilling and the range of ingredients. Even the cask used to store the whiskey in is important to the taste. While attending the event and working on the investigation, Abi has been thinking about Grant. Is she ready for a relationship with him? The ending leaves readers with hope and a cliffhanger.
VWilliams 19 days ago
Ex-photojournalist Abi Logan inherited Abbey Glen, a Scottish whisky distillery, a year ago but is beginning to feel at home in Balfour and a solid part of the team that includes Cam Lewis, the distiller, and her handsome partner, Grant MacEwen. Although she finds Grant enormously attractive, Abi has tried to keep the relationship strictly professional. The duo has just enjoyed a nomination for the annual Golden Quaich 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. It is immediately obvious that there is a rift at the competition having been diluted with distiller entrants outside of Scotland. She calls the male-dominated industry "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, an outspoken judge who openly welcomed the foreign competition is found dead of poisoning, the immediate persons of interest 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. The pace of the mystery is slow. 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 cringed when he was allowed tastes of whisky. (And plates of sausage!) The well-developed plot eventually escalates beyond the second murder into a possible warning to Abi putting Grant in the hospital. Following hand-wringing bouts of theory and possible scenarios, the plot gains some speed and blindsides you with a conclusion you may only have suspicioned. So the unsuspected twist was fun! Overall, an interesting romp in Scotland with info on a truly Scottish world renown libation. This was my first experience with the author and this series. It might help your engagement if you start with the first in the series and not treat this one as a standalone. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an ARC of this download. I appreciated the opportunity to read and review!
chefdt 21 days ago
Deadly Dram is the third book in the Whisky Business Mystery series. Time is getting close for the annual Golden Quaich Awards for the best Whiskys. Grant MacEwen, manager/co-owner of Abbey Glen Distillery and Cam Lewis, the distiller, have finally convinced Abi that she needs to attend, especially since Abbey Glen is up for the top award this year. As Abi is greeting friends from the past and making new ones, she soon learns that there seems to be those in attendance that feel the awards should be for Scotch produced in Scotland. She also gets the impression that possibly there is a plan to make sure Scotland brewed Scotch will win. Soon the body of Sir Richard Simpson is found dead in his room by the maid, Sophie. An autopsy shows that he had died of nicotine poisoning. Detective Inspector Ian Michaelson arrives to begin his investigation and, since he has worked with Abi before, asks her to take pictures of the room and to keep her ears open for any information that might be helpful. Then a second judge is killed in the same manner. Michaelson and Abi are stymied as to whether these deaths are related to the award program or possibly a business transaction that happened to involve the two judges. The story is well written and plotted and has a wonderful cast of believable characters. Abi’s adorable dog, Liam, is back once again to provide some lighter moments. I’m looking forward to the next to next book in this great series. I’m anxious to see what is happening with Abi and Grant.
dibbylodd 21 days ago
An engaging mystery centered around the world of Scottish whiskey production. When I read the Coffeehouse mysteries of Cleo Coyle I want a good cup of coffee immediately. Reading this story I was eager to taste some high quality whiskey. The newer foreign producers were an interesting element. It is easy to see how the established producers could be nervous about non-scots producers. This being the first book in this series I have read, I wasn't up to date on some of the relationship elements. Fortunately, it doesn't matter. All in all, good characters in a tight story.
nfam 21 days ago
Murder at a Whiskey Competition Abi Logan has been co-owner of a whiskey distillery for a year. She’s beginning to feel at home in the male dominated industry and loves the town of Balfour. The major temptation is her co-owner Grant MacEwan. Abi is trying to keep her distance. Not only does she have a history of disastrous relationships, but she wants the Whiskey Boys, other distillery owners, to take her seriously. Still it’s hard to stay away from Grant. One of the major events of the year is the whiskey competition. This year it’s being held at a five star resort. Abi is looking forward to the chance to get away. However, things start to get tense almost immediately. The Scotland distillers are not happy about the international distillers, especially when they see the quality of their entries. It gets even worse when two of the judges are murdered with nicotine poisoning. Inspector Michaelson is short handed, so Abi finds herself pressed into service, not that she minds helping to solve a mystery. The book has fascinating details about the whiskey industry. I particularly enjoyed the setup for the competition and the differences between various entries. The description of the setting was great. I wanted to got to Scotland to see this lovely area. I was disappointed that we didn’t see more of Grant. Abi seemed more nervous in this book than previously. She was trying so hard to join the club. Liam, her dog, was a delight, as usual, and stole the show at the competition. If you enjoy mysteries in interesting settings, this is a good one. I received this book from Alibi for this review.
CozyOnUp 22 days ago
Abi Logan, partner in Abby Glen whisky distillery, is attending her first Golden Quaich Awards at an exclusive resort. But when two of the judges are murdered, Abi unleashes her journalist instincts and is hot on the trail of a murderer. But when her partner Grant is poisoned when she was the target, things get personal and Abi turns up the heat to find the murderer. I loved this book for so many reasons. Abi is smart, capable, and loyal. A strong character that really appealed to me, as a professional woman myself. This is a well written story and the author keeps things moving. Giving us Liam, the Islay malt loving terrier, is an added bonus that just warms my heart. Scotland is a great setting an I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Abi, Grant, Patrick, Liam and Abbey Glen.
AvidReaderOfAllBooks 22 days ago
Deadly Dram, written by Melinda Mullet, was a very enjoyable book that is set in Scotland. The book has a wonderful tempo to it. It starts out with a Hogmanay celebration and works its way to the murders. Abi never seems stressed even though time she knows it’s urgent for her and Inspector Michaelson to find the killer before they kill again. Abi and Inspector Michaelson make a good team. This is because she’s willing to go with her instincts and he is the one who makes her realize that he needs evidence not just hunches. They always go for the truth instead of taking the easy way out. The one thing that disappointed me is the fact that there was way more American English than British English. Since I don’t know where Abi is supposed to be from, there can be room for her to be from the United States. Even so, the people she’s with should be speaking British English and not American. For this reason, I feel it is a 4 star book.
Kasey Riley 22 days ago
I really enjoyed this book. There are so many details of whiskey making and tasting mixed into the mystery that it just about qualifies as an educational work. But it's far too entertaining to be put into that category. The characters were well written and I could visualize them and the situations around them. I'd love to visit that lodge, the luxury made my mouth water. I think I’ve met the “Whiskey Boys” in other fields. They were so much a part of this book, a fraternity of men who would look dubiously at any woman trying to join the club or be a part of the industry. In many cases, women have fought to show the “boys” that they are as capable and knowledgeable as any man working in a field and this book brings that point home very nicely. A very nice side of this novel. The mystery was well written and very believable in not only how it was set up but in who the final villain happened to be. Good job. The pace and clues went along very well for the first quarter or so, but then I found about the middle, it seemed the mystery got too intertwined with the whiskey contest and slowed down for a while. It picked back up and the ending was a page turner. This book made me want to take a whiskey tour of Scotland (or even Kentucky and Tennessee in the USA) to learn the flavors and details of how each area perfects the craft. I’m not a whiskey drinker, but for that kind of tour, I think I could become one. Any time a book generates interest in the background story and an appreciation of the mystery, it is very successful in my estimation. I would recommend this work to mystery lovers and whiskey lovers who enjoy a mystery. Overall excellent work.
Kuzlin 22 days ago
As Abi Logan tries to settle in her new Abbey Glen whiskey distillery co-owner role, she finds herself attending the annual whiskey competition where they had been nominated. But this competition proves deadly for one of the judges. There was definite rivalry between Scottish whiskeys and other outsiders, but would that cause someone to resort to murder. This is the third book in this series and I love how Abi goes about her investigations. As an experienced photojournalist, she is used to getting people to talk, but this also may put her in the path of a murderer. I love her relationship with her adorable dog, Liam, and his precious antics. I also like her friendship with Patrick, as well as that with her co-owner, Grant. The visual and aromatic descriptions of the whiskeys are almost brought to life, making me want a taste myself (and I am not a whiskey fan). I definitely need to read the next book in this series to see how her relationships progress. Disclosure: I am voluntarily reviewing this book received through NetGalley.