Day: October 17, 2018

Book Review: Death Distilled by Melinda Mullet

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Death Distilled (Whisky Business Mystery #2)Death Distilled by Melinda Mullet

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

I read the first in the Whisky Business Mystery cozy series almost two years ago and adored it. I got caught up in other series and book reviews, but this fall, I’ve committed myself to catching up on many of my favorites. Enter Death Distilled, the second book in Melinda Mullet’s wonderful Scotland-based series. To start with, these covers are amazing! I want to move there and drink whisky all day long in my tartan.

The premise of the series is that Abi Logan’s uncle has passed away, and she inherits his whisky distillery. She struggles to make it successful in the first book, so she takes off to work her day job as a photo-journalist. Three months later, she’s back and finds a dead body. It turns out to be from 200 years ago, but then she’s asked to play sleuth for a sexy former rocker whose band mates have all died under odd circumstances. Is it his recently found daughter? A spouse of another band mate? A fan with a deadly crush? Or is he behind it all? So much fun trying to guess the culprit.

The backdrop is amazing. I love learning about the whisky business, Scotland, and photo-journalism. The dialog and accents are fantastic. The supporting characters, Patrick and Grant, are very cool. Patrick’s her gay best friend (a gorgeous catch) and Grant is her 49% co-owner who she sorta has the hots for… but he’s a typical Scot and not sure he can let himself fall for her yet. In the end, I can’t stop wondering what’s under the kilts!

If you’re a fan of non-American settings, this is definitely a series to start. This book delivers lots of suspects, great side stories, and propels the overall story arc forward. My only minor pet peeve is there is sometimes a disconnect with the characters where I can’t get on board that Abi leaves between books to do her other job… I’m on the fence, but never enough to stop reading… on to number three next month!

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About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. The debut book, Academic Curveball, in my new mystery series, Braxton Campus Mysteries will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. I read, write, and blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge –and multiple Readathons. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

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Book Review: The Church Murders by Lisa Reynolds

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The Church Murders (Rory Murphy Mysteries #1)The Church Murders by Lisa Reynolds

If you’ve every perused the list of books I’ve read, you’ll quickly notice I tend to read A LOT in certain genres, but I also have very broad ranges and try to sample from them all. When I came across The Church Murders, the first book in the Rory Murphy Mysteries, by Lisa Reynolds, it sounded like a unique story. I know the blogger from reading and reviewing similar books, so I decided to purchase this one on Amazon earlier this month. When I realized it’s only ~60 pages and a short intro to the larger story, I slid it into a very busy October reading schedule and completed it yesterday.

To start with, for the plot and setting alone, I would recommend the book. As the author’s first book in the series, she’s working through a few approaches to get them set where she wants them (I’ve been there before!) and I appreciate all the effort going into making her voice and style perfect. Our leading sleuth, newly thrust into the role, is a disabled young gay man living in Ireland and then England (I believe). We learn a little of his backstory which essentially consists of an accident that left him in a wheelchair and feeling as if he’ll never find love. Out at a pub, Rory and his friends discuss a recent murder that occurred in a church. Rory was secretly in love with his caretaker turned friend, but the guy has a boyfriend already. Fast-forward a few weeks/months, Rory’s met someone and is finally relaxing a bit except a few more murders have occurred. He’s compelled to investigate them and works with his friends only to discover the killer might be one of them.

So… given this is a short novella intro, I don’t want to spoil much more of the plot. It combines elements of religion, sex, revenge, doubt, and love. What I saw in this book is the potential for a really strong series surrounding Rory and his friends. It’s one of the few where I’ve found a leading gay man, a leading disabled man, and a no-holds-back approach to discussing religion in a mystery book. I really liked these aspects and look forward to sampling more from the author. Given how short the first one is, I can easily say it was fully packed with twists and turns. If the author expands into longer novels from here, I think it will work out really well. This was a good story, but it definitely leaves you wanting more drawn-out action… so I’ll be picking up the next one in the series in the upcoming months to see how things progress!

If you want to check out more on the author and her blog which always has great posts, reviews, and other fun things… find her on Facebook and WordPress through these links. Thanks for sharing these characters with us, Lisa. I look forward to more soon.

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About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. The debut book, Academic Curveball, in my new mystery series, Braxton Campus Mysteries will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. I read, write, and blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge –and multiple Readathons. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Book Review: Missing – The Lady Said No by Jacquie Biggar

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Missing: The Lady Said NoMissing: The Lady Said No by Jacquie Biggar

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I stumbled across author Jacquie Biggar via her WordPress blog and/or Twitter account and learned she had published a lot of books. I perused the list and chose this one based on my normal reading preferences leaning toward mystery and historical fiction. In this novel, part of a series or collection of books, we focus on foul play leading up to a 1950s Kentucky Derby event. I get to combine two of my favorite genres — how fun!

August Grant (Gus) is the detective who’s called to a plantation home when the owner is found dead. It appears as if the man shot himself, and his wife is beside herself. She’s also in the arms of the local sheriff. The two policemen face off over whether it was murder or suicide. Gus soon meets a staff member at the plantation and has an intimate connection to her in the past. He also learns a secret about the end of their relationship that could change the future. As he pokes around, something’s also amiss with the upcoming horse race and everyone is more jumpy or angry than ever. Gus keeps pushing until he learns all the information he needs to find the killer and fix a wrong in his own past.

The story is on the shorter side but makes for a great introduction to the author’s writing style and perhaps the series if you enjoy the characters. Biggar is descriptive but also very focused on the plot, which is always important to me. I enjoyed the layers of this one as it kept growing more and more complex as the pages flipped by. It’s an easy read, less than 2 hours if you’re focused, given how she draws you into the plight of a few characters and the actual mystery. Although it takes place in the 1950s, there isn’t a lot of detail about the time frame which can be both helpful and not helpful. If you’re looking for a deep southern connection from the past, it’s on the lighter side, but it also makes for a good foray into the exploration of life at that time. The details that tell you the time frame are hidden in the decor, word choice, and character actions. No computers, no cell phones, no automated way to track a killer. Just good old fashioned common sense and questioning. I like it!

I look forward to reading more from the author’s vast publications… perhaps pushing my boundaries on some genres and reading in a new one. Kudos to the author for creating a wonderful book with lots of potential to tempt and tease readers on all she’s capable of. She’s a USA Today Best-Selling author. See her website site.

View all my reviews

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. The debut book, Academic Curveball, in my new mystery series, Braxton Campus Mysteries will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. I read, write, and blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge –and multiple Readathons. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.