Single Malt Murder, by Melinda Mullet

Pub Date 21 Mar 2017
Price $4.99 e-book

I came across this book a little while back and two things grabbed my attention- single malt whisky and Scotland, two things in my top 5 favorite things list. Yes, I love the smoky-peaty single malts the best, but most people like the smooth, sweeter varieties. With this said, I wanted to read a mystery too, so this seemed like a match made in malt.

Melinda Mullet is new to the novel writing business and according to her bio had been an practicing attorney prior to her new career.  With this said, the mystery of who done ‘it’ is a bit more intricately woven than some other mysteries in what I call the lower to mid-range mysteries (meaning this is not on a high school or college level reading level.)

If you’re not a whisky drinker, it’s okay, neither was Abigail Logan, our lead character. Mullet uses this lack on knowledge to educate her readers on the whisky process, type of whiskey and some history too; not so much so that you’re bored, but enough to make you think that that bottle of booze in your cabinet took a lot more than the bottle of beer you may have laying about.

As for the mystery itself, Mullet does a superb job of misdirection, using Abigail’s thought process to bring you to a possible murderer only to have her and you, the reader, think about your suspects again. While, if you’re a savvy reader, about half way you’ll start coming across clues as to who ultimately was behind the nefarious deed; if you’re reading to enjoy the story, no worries, the who, what and why is revealed pretty close to the end of the book so you’re not wading out the blah-blah-blah of page fillers once the reveal happens.

Which brings me to pacing of Single Malt Murder which was, in my opinion, dead on. In the beginning I was a little leary as it the pacing seemed a little slow, but I reasoned due to this is the first book, introductions needed to be made and the explanation of the whisky making process needed to be explained, that accounted for, what I call, the slow pacing. and after the first couple of chapters the pacing and background information started to weed itself out and allow the story to truly begin, creating a good, solid page turner.

Overall, this was a good malty murder novel, and at parts, I did think about breaking out my stash and sipping along as I’m sure I have some of the smoother, sweeter variety in my closet somewhere. As a side note, I’m thinking Mullet mentions, incognito, Macallan (or it could be Glenfiddich) and Laphroaig while explaining these fine Scottish treasures.  If your are a whisky connoisseur I think you’ll enjoy this series based on this first installment.


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