Mack’s Bar and its crime-solving clientele are quickly gaining notoriety for helping solve some high-profile cases. But Mack is learning the hard way that not all press is good press…
By day, Mackenzie "Mack" Dalton is the proprietress of a popular Milwaukee watering hole. But after last call, she uses her unique cocktail of extra perceptive senses to help solve some of the city’s most grisly homicides. Now, Mack and her barstool detectives are happy to help when Tiny, one of the bar’s newest patrons, asks them to look into his sister’s murder. Though the case has gone cold, Mack’s heightened senses quickly put her on the killer’s trail. But when a throng of reporters intrigued by her talents descends on Mack’s Bar, her efforts are muddled as a real-life Moriarty begins putting her infamous skills to the test, leaving Mack feeling shaken and stirred…
* Includes drink recipes *
About the Author
Allyson K. Abbott is the pseudonym of a mystery and thriller writer who also works as an emergency room nurse. She lives in a small Wisconsin town with her family and a menagerie of pets.
Read an Excerpt
In the Drink
By Allyson K. Abbott
KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.Copyright © 2015 Beth Amos
All rights reserved.
Dear Ms. Dalton,
It is my understanding from all the hype I've heard and read recently in the local media that you are some kind of crime-solving savant who can literally sniff out clues. I find this claim both intriguing and highly suspect, and frankly I don't believe your ability—whatever it is—can beat out a brilliant mind. Therefore, I would like to put you to a series of tests. If you pass the first test you will move on to the next phase, and so on.
Fail it and I will leave a body for you somewhere here in the city. It won't be a random death. It will be someone you know, someone who is close to you, someone who is a significant part of your life. Should this occur, perhaps you will be able to interpret the clues I will provide and figure out who I am. I rather doubt you can do these things, but I do value a good challenge and I'm eager to see what you can accomplish.
I do have a few rules. You must figure things out using your wits and your "special ability" without any help from the police. That means your friend—or is he a boyfriend?—Detective Albright cannot be involved in any way. If I get wind of his involvement, there will be dire consequences. I do hope you understand how strict I will be if you opt to cheat because the lives of many people will depend on your willingness to play by my rules.
Each phase of this test will be timed. If you do not achieve the goals I lay out for you within the time parameters I have set, I will kill someone else and the game will go on. I do hope that the added stress of knowing your failure will cost someone their life won't interfere with your supposed abilities. But if it does, so be it. Let us begin.
The letter you now hold in your hand is your first clue. There is something very unique about this letter and if you can figure out what that is, it will lead you to the second clue. You must achieve this by nine P.M. on December twelfth or experience the consequences.
I doubt you will succeed. In fact, I'm counting on your failure. And lest you think this is a prank, I have left something for you to prove there are no "happy days" ahead if you fail to take me seriously. I will be watching you.
An intrigued fan
I read the letter three times in a row, slower each time, unwilling to believe what I was seeing. Then I picked up the envelope, convinced there had been a mix-up and I wasn't the intended recipient. But there was no mix-up. It was addressed to Mackenzie Dalton and the address of my bar appeared below the name. There was no return address—hardly surprising given the contents and nature of the letter—but there was a Milwaukee postage meter stamp.
With shaking hands I set both the letter and the envelope down on my desk, realizing too late that I had contaminated both by touching them. I studied the letter some more, this time focusing on the structure and design as opposed to the words. The handwritten letters were done in a simple calligraphic style with varying widths in the strokes, suggesting the use of a fountain pen. The paper was basic and white, the kind sold in hundreds of stores for use in copiers, printers, and the like. The envelope was equally as generic. In fact, I had identical ones in my own desk: business-sized, plain white, with an adhesive strip on the flap covered by a removable piece of paper. This eliminated the need to lick an envelope, and based on what I had learned watching the occasional crime show, it also eliminated a potential source for DNA.
I read the letter again, stopping when I reached the imposed deadline. I glanced at my watch, saw that it was just past four in the afternoon, and cursed under my breath. Since it was Friday the eleventh of December, I had less than thirty hours to figure things out. Another look at the meter stamp told me that the letter had been posted three days ago, meaning it had likely been sitting on my desk for two. I might have had more time if I hadn't procrastinated on opening my mail, but I'd received way more than the usual amount of late. That's because I was getting a lot of personal letters and cards mixed in among the bills and sale flyers that made up my usual deliveries.
The sudden spate of personal mail was from people who had heard about me in the news over the past few weeks when my involvement with the local police during a recent high-profile kidnapping and murder case had become known. While many of the letters were supportive, some had been skeptical, and a few had been downright mean. As a result, I'd stopped opening them after the first couple of weeks and began tossing them into a pile instead. Today was the day I'd decided to tackle them, though for one brief moment I considered simply throwing all of them away unopened. Fortunately, or unfortunately—I wasn't sure yet—I hadn't done that.
I ran my hands through my hair and then immediately regretted doing so as one long fiery-red strand fell onto the offending letter.
Way to go, Mack. Like you haven't contaminated this thing enough already.
I leaned back in my chair, distancing myself—at least physically—from the letter, and indulging in a moment of self-pity. Why this? Why now? Wasn't my life stressful enough already? I wished I could climb into a time machine and go back a year, knowing what I knew now. Maybe then I could fix things, prevent things, change the future. Maybe my father would still be alive, and his girlfriend, Ginny, would still be alive, and the man I considered both a blessing and a curse wouldn't have entered my life yet. Then again, maybe he wouldn't have entered it at all. Would that have been a good thing?
The man is Duncan Albright, a homicide detective here in Milwaukee. He entered my life around two months ago when I found Ginny's body in the alley behind the bar I own, the bar my father bought back before I was born. My father named it after himself—Mack's Bar—and then gave me the name Mackenzie so I could carry on the legacy. Some might have been annoyed by such presumptuousness, but I was always content with the assumption that I would carry on both the name and the business. This was made easier by the fact that I literally grew up in the bar; my father and I lived in an apartment above it. But the legacy became a little harder to bear when the bar became mine alone last January after my father was murdered in that same back alley where I found Ginny.
Duncan wasn't involved with the investigation into my father's murder because he didn't live or work in Milwaukee then. When I met him he was relatively new in town, having arrived only months before Ginny's murder, a fact that came into play while he was investigating the crime. Because he was not well-known in town, he decided to do a little undercover work by pretending to be an employee in my bar. I wasn't very keen on the idea at first, but Duncan's threats to shut me down if I didn't cooperate helped me decide to go along. Still, I didn't like it for several reasons. For one, he was convinced the killer was one of my employees or customers, and to me that idea was unfathomable. My employees and some of my long-term customers were like family to me. The idea that one of them might be a cold-blooded killer was an idea I could hardly bear to consider.
Another reason I wasn't too keen on having a homicide detective watching my every move was because of my disorder. I'm a synesthete, which sounds worse than it is ... at least most of the time. Synesthesia is a neurological disorder in which the senses are cross-wired. I don't experience the world around me the way most people do. Every sense I experience is multifaceted and complex. For instance, I may taste or see things that I hear, or I may experience a smell or tactile sensation when I look at certain things or people. Both smells and tastes are typically accompanied by sounds or some sort of physical sensation. In addition to this cross-wiring, my senses are also highly acute and I'm able to smell things others can't, or hear things others can't, presumably because of my synesthesia.
I'm not alone in having this condition. There are a number of people in the general population who have it, though there are varying degrees of the disorder. People with artistic inclinations seem to have a higher incidence of synesthesia than other groups of people, and there are theories that the synesthesia plays a role in artistic ability. For instance, there are musicians who not only hear music but see it in their minds as colors, shapes, or some combination of these. The "rightness" of the colors and shapes helps the musician sense when the music is right. I have a similar experience with numbers and letters. They all appear to me with colors attached, and the rightness of those colors makes me very good at both math and spelling. Defining the "rightness," however, is something I'm not good at. It's an intuitive thing, something I know but can't seem to explain to other people.
I've spent most of my life trying to hide my synesthesia. There was a time when members of the medical profession thought my sensory experiences were manifestations of a severe psychological disorder, and I started getting slapped with labels like schizophrenia. When I was a child, my classmates and friends would often tease me, calling me weird or crazy whenever I said things like this music appears too green, or this apple tastes like a blaring trumpet. It didn't take me long to realize I was different, and when you're a kid, different is the kiss of death. So I learned to keep my experiences to myself.
For many years I was perfectly content to maintain my secret, sharing it only with my father. Over time I told a few close friends about it, but for the most part no one knew. Then Duncan Albright came into my life and everything changed. I was forced to tell him about my synesthesia and try to explain how it worked because my experiences were a key element in solving Ginny's murder. And since I was a suspect, solving Ginny's murder became my main focus. In some ways my synesthesia made things more difficult, but for the most part it not only aided the investigation, it helped to solve it.
I was impressed by the fact that Duncan didn't have the same skeptical attitude many people have when they first hear me describe my synesthesia. Not that he bought into it right away, but he didn't dismiss it immediately either. Nor did he declare me crazy. And by the time we solved the case, he was beginning to think my synesthesia might be of some use to him in his job. He spent several weeks testing me, setting up scenarios and asking me to identify a certain smell from something he would briefly bring into a room and then remove, or having me enter a room and tell him if something had recently been moved or changed. I'd been playing such parlor tricks with my father most of my life, so I passed this part of Duncan's test with flying colors. And I mean this literally. The happiness I felt whenever Duncan praised my efforts made me see swirling, floating bands of color.
Parlor tricks don't solve crimes, however, so some of the customers in my bar decided to help me develop my deductive reasoning. They did this by forming a crime-solving group dubbed the Capone Club that discussed and analyzed both real and made-up riddles and crimes. The group has proven to be quite popular and it, combined with some of the publicity surrounding Ginny's murder, attracted a lot of new clientele to my bar. I thought the increased business might be transitory—the latest gimmick for people's entertainment until something more interesting came along—but so far both my business and the Capone Club have grown.
Following Ginny's murder, the secret of my synesthesia became known by more and more people, and for a while I was okay with that. For the first time in my life, it didn't feel like something I had to hide or be embarrassed about. Many people found it fascinating, and Duncan's interest in using it to help him solve real crimes made me feel like it was a valuable trait, something that could be used for good. After several weeks of Duncan's test scenarios, I was given the chance to prove my mettle with some real crimes. Unfortunately, the last one I helped him with became a top news item. It was the headline story for days, and through some incidental events and careless slips of the tongue, my participation in helping to solve the crime became public knowledge.
This did not sit well with Duncan's bosses, particularly after the press and the newscasters claimed the local police were using voodoo, fortune-tellers, witchcraft, and hocus-pocus to help them solve their cases. In addition to the embarrassing public relations nightmare, Duncan was chastised for putting a civilian—namely me—in harm's way. He was placed on suspension for two weeks while the powers decided his fate, and then their two-week decision stretched into three. I'd begun to fear Duncan would lose his job, but this past Monday he was finally allowed to return to work. Because of his suspension, Duncan had deemed it wise for us to keep our distance until the furor died down, so I haven't seen him for several weeks, though we've spoken on the phone a handful of times. It's been hard for me because Duncan and I were starting to explore a more intimate relationship when all this happened, and the sudden separation left me with some emotional baggage. It was also hard for me because the local reporters were determined to get a story highlighting the strange barkeep with the weird ability, and for the past two weeks they have stalked me relentlessly. Some of them have been professional enough to be up-front about the reason they were hounding me, but others have come into the bar pretending to be customers, hoping to pry a story loose from me, or from some of my employees, close friends, and patrons. Fortunately, those folks in the know are devoted and reliable, and as far as I know no one has discussed me, my synesthesia, or my involvement with the police with anyone. I thought the press would quickly lose interest, and that their inability to get anything out of anyone in the bar would deter them from writing their stories, but that wasn't the case. What they didn't know they made up, sensationalizing and speculating along the way. They turned me into a Milwaukee freak show.
So while I'm normally a very present and hands-on owner when it comes to running my bar, the recent publicity storm has forced me into hiding either in my office or my apartment much of the time. Fortunately I have a group of capable and dependable employees who can run things just fine without me, though I'm rarely more than one locked door or text message away.
Unfortunately, this need to hide coincided with the grand opening of my new expansion. After Ginny's death, I learned I was the sole beneficiary in her will. I went from counting pennies and barely scraping by, wondering from one day to the next if I was going to be able to keep the bar open, to a degree of financial independence. I bought an empty building that shared a wall with my bar, and doubled the size of my place. It was a risky move, but one I felt I needed to make to stay competitive and keep the bar alive. In an ironic twist, all the publicity helped because it kept a steady stream of curiosity seekers coming in, hoping for a glimpse of the crime-solving, psychic fortuneteller who also happened to own a bar. So while I hated all the media attention focused on me, the weeks since the mediafest began have been the busiest ever at Mack's Bar. I know some of the traffic might be transient, but I hope that once things do finally die down, there will continue to be enough business to maintain a healthy bottom line.
I was hugely relieved that Duncan didn't lose his job, but his return to work didn't help our personal relationship any. He was brought back on duty with the caveat that he wasn't to get any help with his cases from "that woman." This edict upset Duncan because he genuinely believed my synesthesia was an asset that could help him solve cases. I wanted to think it also upset him because of the strain it put on our relationship, but our last few phone conversations had been blandly polite and benignly social with little to no hint of romance or intimacy. I told myself it was because Duncan was distracted and worried about his job, but I'd harbored a fear from day one that his interest in me was more because of what I could do for him and his career than it was anything he liked about me personally. Not that there wasn't a genuine attraction between us; there was. But I wasn't convinced it was strong enough on his end to keep him interested if I was no longer of any use to him careerwise. Time would tell, I supposed, so I kept reminding myself to be patient.
Excerpted from In the Drink by Allyson K. Abbott. Copyright © 2015 Beth Amos. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I enjoyed the first two books. This one was a bit long winded and you've turned the main character into someone that has no backbone. I'm always disappointed in a book that sets you up at the end. You think that the reader will have to read the next one. I probably won't because of it. Each book should be able to stand on its own.
I have read the tree books and I did enjoy the first two and that is why I bought the third one. I was very disappointed with the book. The plot did not make sense to me and the book was slow, it did not hold my interest. It took me 2 weeks to read it and sense you do not know me I read a lot and a book with 270 pages would take me about 3 days to finish. The most disappointed thing about the books is Mack did not solve the murder. I do not know about you but when I buy a mystery I need the mystery to be solve. I do not think I should have to buy another book just to finish a story. I will not be buying the next book.
The book ended without solving the crime!
I do love this series, Mack has synesthesia, a neurological problem which makes how she deals with things very interesting. Because of this condition she was able to help the police however someone wants her to prove it and starts by sending a letter which sets Mack on a timetable to solve clues or someone she knows will end up dead. Plus the Capone Club is trying to solve an old murder case which involved the sister of one of it's members. Between these two events things never stopped. I did figure out the old murder case pretty early, as for the other I don't know because we are left with a cliff hanger, which is about the only reason I gave this 4 stars, in books this is unrealistic to do. The good thing is that we are given a solution to the cold case. I will continue with this series, I would have anyway without the cliff hanger because I do like these characters and the mystery is excellent.
Title: In The Drink - Mack's Bar Mystery 3 Author: Allyson K. Abbott Published: 7-28-15 Publisher: Kensington Books Pages: 336 Genre: Mystery, Thrillers & Suspense Sub Genre: Women's Fiction; Cozy Mystery; Amateur Seuths ISBN: 978075820190 ASIN: B00P53BX30 Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley . Mackenzie "Mack" Dalton owns and operates Mack's Bar which she inherited from her father when he was murdered. Mackenzie has used her neurological disorder along with help from the bar regulars, who call themselves The Capone Club, to solve crimes in the past. Even helping her boyfriend, Detective Duncan Albright solve the case of her father's friend Jenny and locate a missing child. When Duncan's superiors found out they placed him on suspension for three weeks. Just reinstated he tells Mack that they need to keep their distance from each other. When someone leaks her abilities to the news media she is hounded by reporters, some trying to prove her a fake others wanting to turn her into a freak. A member of the Capone club admits to talking to the press and apologizes but he wanted to have the news to make the police look further into his sister's death. He asks Mack and the members of the club to look into the cold case murder of his sister Lori who died years before at the age of fourteen. On top of that she has a modern day Moriarty who is testing her detective skills and special abilities. She allowed to tell no one and must complete each timed task alone. Failure to complete on time or following the rules set will result in the death of someone close to Mack. I found In The Drink absorbing. I could not put it down. There is so much going on that keeps you involved in the story. I am disappointed in Detective Albrights cavalier dismissal of Mack. He is either committed to their relationship and continues seeing her or it was a casual hook up for him and he needs to walk away. He treats their relationship as a dirty secret that needs to be kept hidden. Not a way I would allow someone to treat someone I cared about. I was fascinated by Mack's synesthesia. Wanting to know more I looked it up and found it is not as rare as I thought. It is actually a neurological disorder. A sound can trigger a taste; a number or letter can be seen as a color; smells can cause a noise. Studies are being done but no cause has yet been found. With well developed characters and a fast moving story combine with a plot that was unusual to say the least In the Drink is a mystery you will not want to miss. I personally want to read the other books in the series to see how it all began. Book 1, Murder on the Rocks and Book 2, Murder with a Twist. Book 4, Shots in the Dark will be out on July 26th. There are drink recipes include for those who enjoy recipes with their cozy mysteries.
It starts out rather ominously. Mack ( Mackenzie Dalton) receives an anonymous letter touting her claim to being a top dog in crime solving. The person challenges her to prove it by passing a series of tests. As she passes each test, she’ll move on the next one. A catch – each one is timed. And there’s a chilling warning: “Fail it and I will leave a body for you somewhere here in the city…It will be someone you know, someone who is close to you…” She must do this on her own, no police, including her kind of boyfriend Detective Duncan Albright. The test starts now and the letter is the first clue. First off, this is the third book in the series and I haven’t read the others, so I worried about what I didn’t know. The author quickly filled me in on past events and I had no trouble with this installment. Mack assisted the police in the past, first with her father’s murder and then with the murder of her father’s girlfriend. She has no claims of being a master sleuth. She’s a bar owner. She just wanted answers. Mack’s is a synesthete, it’s a neuro disorder where the senses are cross-wired. An example is she can taste or see things that she smells. Also, her senses are extra acute, hearing things others don’t, smelling things others can’t. These things can be a great asset when trying to solve a crime. This can also help her sense when someone might be lying. She’s kept it to herself for a long time. You can imagine the taunting Mack got from her peers when she was young, when she mentioned “music is too green”, or “apple is too loud”. Someone leaked Mack’s ability to the press and her boyfriend, Detective Duncan was suspended for using her on a case. He eventually got his job back, but wasn’t allowed to use her on new cases. Their budding romance is on the back burner because he’s been told to stay away from her or lose his job. Mack knows she can’t handle this by herself, so she uses her crime solving group, the Capone Club, at her bar. They use real and made up crimes and try to solve them. Kind of just for fun, but one man wants the group to help with the cold case of his sister’s murder. Now they have two real cases to solve. Since Duncan can’t officially help Mack, and the psycho warned her not to tell anyone, he has a friend, Mal, an undercover cop, pose as her new beau so she won’t be left alone. The tangled webs are woven. Mack has a strong personality despite her insecurity about her disorder. I felt she was brave to expose herself to ridicule to help solve a crime. I liked her from the beginning. It took a bit to warm up to Duncan. He was torn between his job and his attraction to Mack. You don’t get much about him in the beginning, but once the story gets rolling, you learn more. And when Mack feels a strong attraction to Duncan’s friend, Mal, things get really interesting. Mack tastes chocolate when she thinks of Duncan. She savors the sweetness melting in her mouth. She also has the same sensation when thinking of Mal. Uh oh! The plot is fantastic. So wicked. So twisted. This would be a great episode for the show Criminal Minds. And the characters. I loved Mack and quickly became fond of Duncan and Mal. The secondary characters are too numerous to mention. I felt like I new them, the bar employees, the regular patrons, and the Capone Club. I bartended for almost twenty years and I could see their faces, recognize personalities. Now we’ve reached the end of the book. Obviously I can say a word about it. Bu
This is the third book in the Mack's Bar Mystery Series. I have not read the others and will definitely need to do so. I was able to follow the story with no problem, but there were often references to things that had already occurred. Mackenzie (Mack) runs a bar in Milwaukee. She has a close knit group of friends and bar patrons, but no family. Her father was killed a year or so ago and his girlfriend a few months later. In previous stories, Detective Duncan Albright is assigned to investigate and that is where he and Mack begin a relationship. Mack has special skills that enable her to assist with the investigation. Due to her involvement in this previous case and the senstionalism surrounding it, she is now targeted by a madman who is sending her clues to solve a mystery. If she does not solve his puzzle, he murders someone. She is also not to get any assistance from the police, particularly Duncan. While working with Mal, an undercover police officer, they begin to have feelings for one another, thus the romantic triangle which is quite realistic. She is racing against time before someone else gets killed. Meanwhile, her group of friends and mystery solvers in the bar are working on solving a cold case involving the sister and a friend of one of its members. Both storylines work together seamlessly and the story is very absorbing. The characters in this book are engaging, entertaining and fun. I very much enjoyed this book and wanted to finish to see if both of the mysteries get solved. I would have given this book 5 stars except, I do not like the cliffhanger that makes me wait for who knows how long until the next book is published to find out about the next letter and/or clue. I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
My biggest complaint about the book is that it ended where it did. I was not ready for it to end. There were plenty of mystery and lots of dramas. Lots of drinking. Lots of characters I wanted to know more about. This is the third book in the series but the first one I have read. It does a fair job of standing alone but made me want to read the first two stories. I have now gone and read the first two books of the series and enjoyed them both. Mackenzie Dalton owns Mack's bar. She likes homicide detective Duncan. There are some problems where they can't be together unless they sneak it. Mack has some unique gifts that help her solve some murder cases. There is a group of regulars at the bar that like to solve mysteries. With Mack helping with her gifts. They are called the Capone Club. A member has asked for them to look in his sister's murder They have cops, doctor, retired and many different skill sets they bring. Mack had a bunch of reporters want to know more about her and how she helped solved cases. She even got a sack of fan mail some good, some crack pot and one that is challenging her to solve clues and if she brings cops into it someone she knows will be killed. She takes it seriously and only tells three of her trusted friends for advice and they think of a plan to tell Duncan without anyone else knowing. There enters a another guy in Mack's life that she likes. She is fake dating him and it seems to real. There is a lot going on in this book. I had things figured wrong for most of the book. I hope the next book comes out fast. The setting is Milwaukee in winter. I was given this ebook to read by Net Galley and Kensington books. In return I agreed to give a honest review of In The Drink and be part of it's blog tour.
Suspense and mystery from the opening words. This is the third book in the series, but it did not affect my reading In The Drink in any way. Duncan Albright is a homicide detective in Milwaukee. He is MacKenzie's lover and they must keep their meetings secret, because of his suspension. It had been discovered that he used her on one of his cases and the higher ups didn't like that. MacKenzie owns a bar, left to her by her murdered father. She has synethesia - mixed up senses, sees music, hears smells... She works with her lover, Duncan, using her abilities. That she was even born is a miracle in itself. Could that mean she was meant for something great? Her friends and bar customers formed the Capone Club to help her solve crimes. The group works as a whole. There are two mysteries going on and the lives at stake are the ones closest to Mack. Cora and the Signoriello brothers are her closest "family". She would trust them with the news about the evil game that was afoot, the challenge someone has issued to her. M & M - Mack & Mal. I love both the guys. Can we keep them Allyson, pretty please? I don't want Mack to have to choose. Mal has stolen my heart. I know Duncan is a busy cop, but so is Mal. Mal keeps Mack at arms length because he would not betray his friend, Duncan. But Mack is very hard to resist. Their attraction puts him to the ultimate test. He is chivalrous, hot. I feel bad about Duncan, but hey out of sight, out of mind. The characters are individuals, with something of their own to contribute, whether its computers skills, connections to someone... I am ticked off about the ending and that is all I am saying. I love cozy mysteries, suspense and thrills. There is more going on than meets the eye at first glance. Plots, yep, more than one. Mystery, yep, plenty to go around. Suspense, yep, some of that too. Just be careful as you read In The Drink, because you may very well be caught up in the mystery, having to return in the next episode to keep up with all the wonderful characters. I know I am. I received In The Drink by Allyson K Abbott in return for an honest and unbiased review.
Total waste of time and that's a shame because I really liked the first two. It had a silly plot and no ending, it just stopped.
First things first. I got this through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I have not read the other books in this series. This is an exciting story. There are two mysteries, one 12 years old and one brand new. The new one is an apparently psychotic person who has decided to test the main character's special abilities with the threat of someone she knows dying if she fails. No pressure there! It is very cleverly done, with seemingly obscure hints given to her. Up to this point I would give it 5 stars BUT The story line is not finished! We evidently have to wait for the next book (in a year?) to find out what happens. Or will that one end after only a partial resolution? Very frustrating.
3.5 stars. I really liked this book and the characters. Mack seemed like someone I would want to hang around with. However, she needs to drop that Duncan dude. The story was good and definitely kept me interested. My biggest peeve is that the book ends without the man crime being solved. I can see why TV shows do cliffhangers, so you will tune in next week. But books? It's usually a year down the road when you get the next one. For me it's not a cliffhanger, it's a buzz kill. With as many books as I read, I will have forgotten about this one by then. For those who don't read so much, I guess it would be okay. So if your into cozy mystery series with the ending, "wait until the next book", this would be a good one for you. Anyways, that's why I took off a half star because of the ending not being there. I'm not saying I wouldn't read this author again, I probably would, just wish I knew who did it. I want to thank Kensington books and Net Galley for the opportunity to read and review this e-galley.
In the Drink by Allyson K. Abbott is the third book in the Mack’s Bar Mystery series. Mackenzie “Mack” Dalton has grown up in Mack’s Bar. Her mother died before she was born (was kept in a coma until Mack could be born safely) and she was raised by her father. Her father has been gone almost a year. Mack has just finished expanding the bar and adding a games room as well as a room for the Capone Club (a group of bar patrons that like to solve mysteries and crimes). Mack has been dating Duncan Albright a cop she met a year ago. However, since it came to light that she helped with his last case, Mack has not seen much of Duncan. Duncan got to keep his job, but he is not allowed to consult with Mack. Mack has synesthesia. It is a neurological disorder where her senses are cross-wired and her senses are highly acute (she can smell things that others cannot). Mack is also good with math and letters. Mack and Duncan make a good team (Duncan is good with deductive reasoning). Mack, though, just received a threatening letter. She has to solve the clues in the letter without help from the police or someone she knows will die. Mack with help from the Capone Club as well as Duncan and a new friend, Malachi O’Reilly set out to follow the clues from letter to letter. In addition, the Capone Club is working to solve the twelve year old case of two missing girls (Lori Gruber and Anna Hermann). Lori Gruber was the sister of club member Tiny Gruber. Tiny (whose real name is Jurgen) wants to find out what happened to his sister. He needs closer. The group will have their work cut out for them to solve this cold case and keep ahead of the killer. In the Drink was a fun cozy mystery to read. One thing that I did not like, though, was that the mystery of the letters was not solved in this book. We have to wait until the next book for answers. The murder mystery of Lori Gruber and Anna Hermann was a cinch to solve, but it was a good mystery. I liked Mack’s unique disorder. The author did a good job describing it and I like how the character uses her disorder (skill) to solve crimes. I give In the Drink 4.5 out of 5. This is the third book in the series, but can easily be read as a stand-alone book (it reviews the information from the previous two books). I received a complimentary copy of In the Drink from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The review and opinions expressed are my own.
Great story, great author. Stared reading and couldn't stop till I finished the book.