whisky

Book Review: Died in the Wool by Melinda Mullet (Blog Tour)

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Today, I’m a stop on the blog tour for the latest book in the Whisky Business Mystery series by Melinda Mullet. There is a giveaway for Died in the Wool, so check out this whole post!

Giveaway Contest

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/02887792891/

My Review

Died in the Wool (Whisky Business Mystery #4)Died in the Wool by Melinda Mullet
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Died in the Wool is the fourth book in the Whisky Business Mystery series by Melinda Mullet. I began reading the series about two years ago when I saw it was set at a whisky distillery in Scotland, but I continued to read it because the characters and plots are wonderful. In this caper, Abi gets involved in volunteering on the board for a home run by a not-for-profit organization that protects battered women. She’s trying to decide what to do about her feelings for the Scotsman, Grant MacEwan, including how to run the distillery if he’s no longer involved, based on an injury in the last book. And then there are those pesky sheep she rescues; it’s time for sheering but she’s lost on the process. Let’s not forget Patrick, the best friend I’d like to meet one day, and his new relationship woes. Throw in a murder, organic farming trends, and drugs… you’ve got a well-rounded mystery with dynamic characters.

Mullet’s books are always easy to read and quite enjoyable. I look forward to them more than most other series because of how rich the setting and characters are. The author balances the perfect amount of details with subtle hints about the person’s appearance, just enough to picture it but also throw in your own ideas. I feel like I’m on the hills or at the distillery, and I like how Abi has no family around her — it makes her rely on friends even more. I wonder what it’d be like in that situation… I might drink too much of the whisky, I suppose. That’s the other great thing about this series: you learn a lot and have an opportunity to understand something you might not normally be privy to without traveling somewhere.

If you enjoy a setting that’s not in a small town in America (love them too, but this is a good alternative), with culture and a different appeal, this would be a great one to sample. You can read them out of order, as they are standalone mysteries, but it’s always better to read from the beginning. While Abi’s personal life is certainly a focus, this one is mostly about the major mystery at the shelter where a young woman dies from an apparent drug overdose. Abi investigates and finds her fellow board members aren’t all on the up-and-up. There are also a few other suspects who have a piece in this puzzle, as well as a new detective from a different town that makes Abi’s sleuthing complicated. All in all, a fun and delightful read. I highly recommend it for anyone who loves a little extra in their cozy mysteries and enjoys an international story.

View all my reviews

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

June 17 – ThisIsMyTruthNow – REVIEW

June 17 – Babs Book Bistro – GUEST POST

June 18 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

June 18 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT

June 19 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT

June 19 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 20 – The Cozy Pages – GUEST POST

June 20 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

June 21 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW

June 22 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

June 23 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

June 23 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW

June 24 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW

June 24 – eBook Addicts – SPOTLIGHT

June 25 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW  

June 25 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 26 – My Reading Journeys – SPOTLIGHT

June 26 – Readeropolis – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

June 27 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST

June 27 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

June 28 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

June 29 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT

June 30 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

About the Book

Died in the Wool: A Whisky Business Mystery
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Alibi (June 18, 2019)
Print Length ~300 pages
Digital ASIN: B07GN17SQJ

No good deed goes unpunished in the Whisky Business cozy mystery series as distillery owner Abigail Logan uncovers dark secrets—and murder—at a local charity.

Photojournalist Abi Logan is finally ready to put her hectic career on hold and set down roots in the heart of the Scottish countryside. Studying the business and art of distilling whisky at Abbey Glen and volunteering at the Shepherd’s Rest women’s shelter in her spare time seem a surefire way to find the peace and stability she craves. It’s also the logical way to take her mind off her personal life. Abi’s business partner, Grant MacEwan, is facing a career-threatening disability, and as much as Abi longs to be there for him, he seems to prefer the company of a rival.

But as Abi becomes more involved with Shepherd’s Rest, she discovers that their refuge is elusive. When the shelter is rocked by a murder/suicide, Abi is outraged by the police’s lack of attention to these already marginalized women. Increasingly confident in her own skills as an investigator, Abi steps in to find out what the police will not: who left one young woman dead and another missing. But when more deadly deeds come to light, Abi must race to unravel the connections between the shelter’s benefactors and the women they have pledged to protect—and expose the killer before he strikes again.

Melinda Mullet’s delightful Whisky Business mysteries can be read together or separately. Enjoy responsibly:

SINGLE MALT MURDER | DEATH DISTILLED | DEADLY DRAM | DIED IN THE WOOL

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.

Author Links 

Website – http://melindamullet.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/mulletmysteries/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/mulletmysteries

Purchase Links

Amazon  B&N    Kobo   Google Play

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. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations but with a twist. There are five books: Academic CurveballBroken Heart Attack, Flower Power Trip, Mistaken Identity Crisis, and Haunted House Ghost. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where 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: Deadly Dram by Melinda Mullet

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Deadly Dram  (Whisky Business Mystery #3)Deadly Dram by Melinda Mullet

My rating: 4.25 of 5 stars

Deadly Dram is the third book in the Whisky Business cozy mystery series written by Melinda Mullet and was published in 2018. The series takes place in Scotland with a focus on Abi Logan who’s returned home from a photojournalism job to address the death of her uncle. In this third book, Abi’s been co-running the distillery and is on a business trip to attend an award ceremony that might earn her company and whisky a valued prize. Members of the judging committee are murdered one by one which leaves Abi worried for her best friend, Patrick, who’s now on the committee to make a final decision.

When I read the first book in the series, I was enamored with the culture, characters, charm, and setting of the books. I got pulled in many directions with other required reads and didn’t catch up until recently on the second and third books, but I’m glad I did. They’re just as wonderful (if not more) and really leave me thirsting for the fourth one which hopefully comes out in mid-2019. You’re immediately transported to Scotland between the language, the background, and the complexity in all the relationships. I would love to read this book while driving around a distillery one day in the future just to feel even more connected.

The mystery is very strong. There are multiple suspects with a variety of motives. Just when you start suspecting someone, they end up dead. The side stories are intricately woven into the main story and ultimately all collide together. The romance angles are downplayed in the book, but there’s a few sparks Abi shares with others. (When’s Patrick gonna get his flirt on?) Liam (the dog) has a huge role and is such a well-fleshed out character, I could feel him running around at the inn. He might have been my favorite. Kudos to Mullet for giving me a fantastic Monday afternoon read and bringing me out of a small reading slump.

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.

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!

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.

Film Review: All About Eve

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4+ of 5 stars to All About Eve, a drama about an aspiring actress and her obsession with a famous star set in NYC in the 1950s, starring many famous actors and actresses of the decade. The film is also highly praised and considered one of the best movies of the 20th century, which makes it a classic everyone must enjoy.

Why This Movie?

Several weeks ago, I began watching “Feud,” Ryan Murphy’s TV series about the famous feud between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. I’m a big fan of Ryan’s shows, and I’d also seen “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane” many years ago, enjoying Bette Davis’ performance. And then there’s that time I took a a trip to visit Houmas House, the Louisiana plantation where “Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte,” the follow-up to “Baby Jane” also starring Bette Davis, was filmed.

It was Saturday night, last night, and we had plans for an old movie and some friends. And by friends, I mean drinks. Started with Jack Daniels and Ginger Ale. Later switched over to a nice Cabernet Sauvignon to go with the skirt steak chimichurri I made. I was searching for “Rebecca,” but couldn’t find it, so we settled on continuing the Bette Davis experience; hence, we chose “All About Eve.”

Film Overview

Margo Channing is a famous Broadway actress dating her director, Bill Simpson, and currently starring in “Aged in Wood.” Her playwright, Lloyd Richards, writes the parts for her, but most of the time, the main character is mid-20s, despite Margo recently turning 40. Margo’s best friend, Karen Richards, stumbles upon a beautiful young girl, Eve Harrington, standing outside the theatre, claiming she likes watching Margo leave each evening. Karen likes her and brings her inside to meet Margo, and they all quickly become friends. Eve moves in with Margo as her second personal assistant, as Margo already has right hand woman, Birdie.

Over a few months, Eve becomes an essential part of Margo’s life, handling everything from remembering Bill’s birthday to dealing with all Margo’s fans. Birdie suspects something is funny about Eve, but no one believes her. Soon after, Margo finds Eve starting to get too close to Margo’s life and tries to put up a few road blocks. Margo’s friends, Bill, Lloyd and Karen, start seeing the jealous side of Margo and set up a trap to teach her a lesson. Unfortunately, Eve ends up the winner as a result, suddenly finding herself as Margo’s understudy and starring for Margo one evening when Margo’s stuck in the country. Eve’s popularity quickly rises with the help of a critic, Addison DeWitt, and Addison later catches on to Eve’s tricks.

The movie closes with Eve winning an award for her performance in Lloyd’s newest play, finally starring an “age-appropriate actress” according to DeWitt’s newspaper column. But Eve realizes not everything she’s gone after is worth the trouble it’s caused her, leaving her open to another young ingenue who begins to play the same game with Eve — now in the role of woman blind to someone clearly ready to pounce.

Notable Stars

  • MY FAVORITE (in this movie)
    • Bette Davis plays Margo Channing. Bette was fantastic. Now seeing her in two movies, and Susan Sarandon’s performance of Bette in Feud, it seems like Bette always plays the same roles. She’s fantastic at them, but it makes me wonder if she was typecast. I remember Madonna’s song “Vogue” mentioning Bette Davis, and there was the song “Bette Davis Eyes,” which had a number of popular versions by various singers in the 60s, 70s and 80s. Unfortunately, Bette didn’t win the award for this role, but she was nominated for a Best Lead Actress Oscar. Rumor has it, the results were impacted because her co-star, Anne Baxter, was also in the category and split the votes. I’m gonna have to look that up…

  • OTHERS
    • Anne Baxter plays Eve Harrington. She’s really good and I could very easily see the line she toed playing obsessed but sane, loving but a charlatan, coy but venomous. Was nominated for the Lead Actress Oscar.
    • Celeste Holm plays Karen Richards. Good performance. First exposure to her. Was nominated for the Supporting Actress Oscar.
    • Gary Merrill plays Bill Simpson. Good performance. First exposure to him.
    • George Sanders plays Addison DeWitt. Good performance. First exposure to him. Won Best Supporting Acting Oscar.
    • Hugh Marlowe plays Lloyd Richards. Good performance. First exposure to him.
    • Thelma Ritter plays Birdie. She was funny. I liken her to Joan Crawford’s assistant, Mamacita. Was nominated for the Support Actress Oscar.
    • Marilyn Monroe has a small role — nothing to really comment about.

The Good and The Bad

  • All About Eve is based on a short story, ‘The Wisdom of Eve’, written by American author Mary Orr [1910-2006]. Thanks IMDB!
  • It’s in black and white, so you have a certain amount of charm and imagination.
  • For a film nearly 70 years old, it had tons of drama and caustic dialogue.

  • The plot was very strong, and it had a few side-stories which kept everything moving along. Never felt bored. Had a few moments of “are you serious,” but then I realized it was 70 years old… so it was a bit of a pioneer.
  • The whole “Eve wins an award” plot seemed a little far-fetched, as well as why Addison chose to support her, knowing she was playing a game the whole time. I thought he had more honesty about him.
  • I’d have liked to see what happens to Margo afterwards… did she have more plays? Did she move to a different playwright? Did she and Bill get married? Why was she OK with Bill working on the play with Eve?
  • I thought we should have seen a fight between Margo and Karen, especially since Karen’s the root of all the evil: Karen brought Eve to meet Margo, Karen told everyone to trust Eve and Karen setup the situation which led to Eve starring in Margo’s play.

What’s Next?

  • Since I’m on a Bette Davis kick, I think I’ll take a look at another film she starred in, “Dark Victory.” And of course, “Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte.”
  • Anne Baxter’s performance was also really strong. I will probably see what other movies she made…
  • This is a movie with powerful and strong women, especially for the 1950s. I think it’s got lots of chutzpah.
  • It’s not about crying when someone takes something that belongs to you. It’s about standing up and fight for yourself. I like it!

About Me

For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I watch TV A LOT. I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. This site, https://thisismytruthnow.com, is where you’ll find TV & Film reviews, book reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can 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. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

365 Challenge: Day 28 – Scottish

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Scottish: containing roots from Scotland

There are lots of famous Scottish people I admire: Gerard Butler, Ewan McGregor (one of my favorite and most versatile actors), Annie Lennox, Sean Connery, Robert Burns… there are tons more, but I only picked the few I easily recalled and that I actually know things about or have seen things they are in. For example, Tony Blair is apparently Scottish, but I only know of him as a former PM for the UK. I couldn’t tell you very much about him, so I didn’t list him. But I guess I just did. Oh well.

As we finish the fourth week of the 365 Daily Challenge, it’s time to cover the last major ethnic and genealogical heritage within my DNA. Irish, German and English were the first few, and now we’re gonna chat about my Scottish roots. Based on my research through Ancestry.com, I’m around 12.5% Scottish, mostly stemming from my mother’s side of the family. There are 4 families from Scotland, out of 32 branches, focusing on the ones who immigrated from Scotland to the U.S. And those names are: (1) Robertson, (2) Wallace, (3) Hector, and (4) McGregor or McSwegan. I am not certain which is the correct last name because there are two marriage certificates when James Robertson married Margaret around the turn of the 19th into the 20th century. Both are New York marriages, both have all the same details for addresses and parental information, except on one certificate it shows her name as McGregor and on another, it shows her name as McSwegan. I can only assume it is the same woman, filled it out twice for some reason, and she was married once before my 2x great-grandfather, but I would likely need to go to Scotland to get more details. Some day!

So let’s talk about Scottish roots and stories. I love the accent. I love Outlander (who doesn’t)! I love Mary Queen of Scots. And I’ve started reading a new cozy mystery series with lots of potential. For those not familiar with my book reviews, check out the links to see another side of me. And when I Love Lucy went to Scotland in her dream, I loved it! There is so much rich culture and history in the country, beautiful landscapes and fantastic substance, I wish I had more Scottish blood in me.

But when I looked up the top ten traits of the Scottish, this time using a cross between Quora, Huffington Post and Answers.com, I had to wonder how much of these things are true: at least when it comes to me. Here we go, lasses and lads:

1 – Pale / Freckled / Ginger

  • We covered this one under Irish and English, so I’m not gonna repeat myself. I am. I was tempted to post a picture of an attractive red-head… but too many to chose from, so you get a bottle of soda!

  • Score: 1 out of 1.

2 – Violent

  • We covered this one under Irish, so again, I’ll skip it. I’m not.

  • Score: 1 out of 2.

3 – Sports-Lovers

  • We covered this one in the last few. I’m not a big sports guy. Who runs around on a field and chases balls purely to say I caught it in the end?

  • Score: 1 out of 3.

4 – Drinkers

  • We covered this one under German, Irish and English. The whole world seems to be. And while I drink a bunch, I wouldn’t fit this definition.

  • Score: 1 out of 4.

5 – Kilts & Bag-Pipes

  • I think kilts are gorgeous. I think they should be worn in the right setting. If you’ve got strong calf muscles, definitely flaunt them. If not, skip it. I’ve never worn one, but I’d like to and I’d ROCK it. But since I haven’t, I can’t claim it.
  • I find the sound hypnotic. In the funeral scene in my book, “Watching a Glass Shatter,” there’s a passage about bag pipe music that moves a character to tears. Writing it also moved me to tears. It’s a bit lyrical. You should read it here; it’s in the beginning of chapter 1, but read the whole thing. (Oh, how bad was that plug!). But I’ve never played one, nor been in the physical presence of one. So that’s a no for me sadly.

  • Score: 1 out of 5.

6 – Cheap

  • The word used was miserly, but I don’t agree. When I think of miserly, I think of Shylock from Shakespeare’s “Merchant of Venice.” No… perhaps a little cheap is what they mean. And there’s a small part of me that is a bit cheap. I do spend money, and sometimes way more than I should, but my initial reaction to something is usually “and how much will that cost me?” I should give myself a few points to account for that…

  • Score: 1.25 out of 6.

7 – Haggis-Lovers & Poor Diets

  • I have never eaten haggis. Most people aren’t even sure what it is. I looked it up to be certain, as I knew it was the stomach of some animal. It’s sheep. And while we’ve covered my obsession with cookies, you also know my diet is generally healthy. So epic fail here.

  • Score: 1.25 out of 7.

8 – Can’t understand them

  • The accent is alluring. Charming. Exotic. Sensual. Rich. Many of us get chills when we here it. I’d probably do anything under the right circumstances, if someone spoke to me with an authentic Scottish accent. And yes, it can be a little hard to understand the person. Although not quite the same, people sometimes have a hard time understanding me… claiming I mumble and speak too softly. I suppose they are correct… it’s not that I slur, but since I’m quiet and shy, I tend to not speak too loudly unless in a work situation. So… I’ll give myself a few percentage points for this, but not a lot.

  • Score: 1.5 out of 10.

9 – Loch Ness Monster

  • While I love the concept of the Loch Ness Monster, and it’s used so often in books and film, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t exist. Though it would be cool if it did! And I am not a monster, so I get nane. (none, in Scottish)

  • Score: 1.5 out of 10.

10 – Homophobic

  • Hmm… I don’t think I agree with this being a trait of the Scottish. But it showed up in 2 of the 3 places I looked for the “top 10” traits, so I had to include it. I’m just gonna go with… if you’re reading this post, you know me, or you live in the modern world, then no… this is ridiculous. I don’t think Scots are, and I am certainly NOT! Quell hypocrite!

  • Score: 1.5 out of 10.

How ironic… 1.5 out of 10 is 15%, which is roughly how much Scottish I have in me. I wonder… did I just work that math out purposely, or are these true and accurate tests for my DNA structure and personality characteristics. The world will never know…

365 Challenge: Day 7 – Irish

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Irish: containing roots from Ireland

On this, the seventh day of my 365 Challenge, and in honor or St. Patrick’s Day earlier this week, I have chosen a more physical characteristic about myself on which to blog: I’m about 20% Irish (as near as I can figure). Add in some German, English and Scottish, and you’ve got the rest. I look pretty much like you’d expect for this conversation, as PALE as could be!

I’m an avid genealogist who has traced back each branch of my family tree at least 6 generations; some are over 10! It appears as if I have about 20% of my roots in Ireland (both Northern Ireland and Ireland), arriving in the U.S.A. between the 1860s and the 1880s. There’s a bit of a blurred line for some of the Northern Ireland branches as I am not certain if they are truly English or Irish based on the information I’ve discovered. The key names:  McDonald, McGuire, Graeme and Flint.

According to a Huffington Post article, originally sourced from Quora, there are 4 commonly “accepted” stereotypes about Irish people: (a) Frequent Drinkers, (b) Violent Fighters, (c) Red Hair, and (4) Articulate Wordsmiths. Let’s see how that applies to me:

  • Frequent Drinkers:
    1. I’d say compared to the stereotype, I’d likely not be considered a frequent drinker, but I’m definitely a drinker. It wavers… at some points in my life, I barely drank and at others, I’d have 1 or 2 every night. There have certainly been a fair share of excessive nights of drinking (mostly college), and one or two a year where a big group of friends just have a party and I succumb.
    2. What do I drink? Champagne. Wine. Whiskey. Lighter mixed drinks. I’ll drink beer and the occasional shot, but I’m more about something with a good taste or lengthy distillation or fermentation process. Whiskey & Ginger Ale is my go to drink. I can drink an entire bottle of champagne in one sitting at dinner. And I’m a Pinot Noir when it comes to wine.
    3. Why? It tastes good. It lightens my nerves (remember that post???). I’m not one to go to a bar, in fact, I dislike bars for obvious reasons (see post about my shyness)!
    4. In conclusion, I don’t think I’m the stereotypical example in this case.
    5. Score: 0 out of 1.
  • Violent Fighters:
    1. In comparison to the stereotype, I’m far from it. I’m not a peace-loving pacifist either, but I tend to shy away from arguing or fighting, whether it’s physical or verbal.
    2. Once in grammar school, when I was about 11 or 12, I punched someone. He was laughing at me and I’d had enough, so I hit him. That was the only time I ever hit someone. On the opposite side, my first ex punched me when we broke up because of well… that confession I told you about in the post on honesty. End result — 2 punches in my entire lifetime. That’s pretty good odds that I’m not a fighter!
    3. However… as a result of being so shy and generally calm (a post for another day), when I do get angry, it is extremely intense and volatile. Not physical. But I will spew several expletives, turn quite red and be unable to sit still.
    4. In conclusion (ugh, I sound so dull and formal), another miss…
    5. Score: 0 out of 2.
  • Red Hair:
    1. Oh… this is going to be a fun one. When I was born and up until 3 or 4, I’m told I had blond hair color. As I aged, it turned darker and was a medium brown. When I hit about 20, I started to get a little grey on the sides. And for the last 20 years, the grey continues to takeover. However…
    2. I’ve also dyed my hair for the last 15 years… ever since the first few strands of grey started to come in. Two reasons: (1) I’m very vain and (2) I tend to like going a little darker and a little lighter every so often. I get bored with my appearance and shift it around a little bit. We all do it… no judgments please! 😊 I’ve always admitted it when asked. I don’t lie about it. But I also haven’t really ever volunteered it.
    3. That said…over the last 20 years, the brown has started to take on a much stronger reddish tone. And the dye brings out the red even more. So, under the initial layer, I suppose I do have a noticeable percent of red hair. I’m certainly not bright red. And it’s much more apparent in the summer and in the sun. Maybe just like 20% of my DNA is Irish, 20% of my hair is red. Wouldn’t that be ironic!
    4. The HP and Quora post noted about 10% of the Irish are red-heads, which is the second highest right behind the Scottish with 13%. So… if I’m 20% Irish and 10% of the Irish have red hair (there’s a dirty limerick in here somewhere), then I had a 1 out of 50 chance of having a full head of red hair. (Oh, I’m good at statistics too… but that’s for another day)… I’d say given I have some strong red tones burrowing through frequently but I’m not a red head, I’m gonna give myself .1 for this trait, thus…
    5. Score: .1 out of 3.
  • Articulate Wordsmith:
    1. Well, if you know me, then that’s a definite YES! I mean… I’m doing this 365 Day Challenge. I’m a writer. At work, people LOVED to read emails from me but HATED to read them because it took so long. Hopefully in a good way.
    2. Truth be told, yes, for the most part, I am a natural wordsmith. I have a fairly good vocabulary. I know the grammar rules and usually only break them intentionally or when I’m not being formal. I tend to say more than I need to just because I have so many words to choose from, bouncing around my mind.
    3. However… there is some part of me, maybe 10%, where I stumble on my words. I think I know the definition of something, but I’m extrapolating too far and it doesn’t actually apply in the case I’m using it. Sometimes I forget words and it comes out like a 2 year old trying to talk (without even drinking). And occasionally I just say the wrong word; the right one is in my head but the wrong word comes out. And I have no idea why. I believe I think more quickly than I can actually articulate, hence the mouth and brain coordination is slightly off, but that’s an uneducated guess.
    4. So, in conclusion, once again, this is definitely a true statement, thus…
    5. Score: 1.1 out of 4.

Taking all that in… I’d say the 20% to 25% Irish is about accurate. In a funny kind of mathematical way. Too bad I don’t have the actual accent… I find it kinda sexy!

Review: Single Malt Murder: A Whisky Business Mystery

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Single Malt Murder: A Whisky Business Mystery
Single Malt Murder: A Whisky Business Mystery by Melinda Mullet

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4 stars to Melinda Mullet‘s Single Malt Murder: A Whisky Business Mystery, the first book in the new “Whisky Business” cozy mystery series. I stumbled across this book on NetGalley as a pre-release opportunity to read and review. I’m so glad I did! It was a fantastic new cozy with all the Scottish charm you’d come to expect… and now I may need to take up whisky drinking (even more than the Jack Daniels I already enjoy too frequently)!


Story

Abi Logan’s a semi-famous photographer in London, whose parents passed away in a car accident when she was 8 years-old. Her father’s brother, Uncle Ben, raised her in his flat until she joined a newspaper and traveled the world for a story. He retired to a small town in Scotland where he purchased a single malt whisky distillery and made a core group of new friends and family. When he passes away from cancer, she inherits the distillery and heads to Scotland to find a buyer and say goodbye to him. But she quickly learns the old-fashioned whisky team don’t take too kindly to a woman trying to run things. She finds a few friendly souls and begins to find someone to help her run the place until she can sell it; however, she receives several threats to get out quickly, later finding the dead body of the son of her late uncle’s girlfriend drowned in a whisky barrel. More threats and a few additional deaths fall across her path… leading her and best friend Patrick to try to solve the investigation before she ends up a victim herself!


Strengths

1. The description and coverage of the whisky-making process is delectable. I’ve never been much of a straight-whisky drinker… the occasional glass over ice on a cold night has been known to occur. I have been a long-time imbiber when it comes to a splash of ginger ale and lime wedge. Delicious! But now I’ve learned so much about the process, I want to try good whisky — and on its own! Go into this read lightly, you might become an addict quickly.

2. Patrick and Abi have a great relationship. She’s smart, no nonsense and independent. He’s witty, business-savvy and a good listener. He’s also gay, so no worry about any relationship-type issues. I hope he finds a couple of good paramours… it’d be fun to see how the writer handles it in the small Scottish town. Abi’s already got one suitor based on her interactions and it’s got the potential to steam up the pages. Just think “what’s under that kilt?” and you can leave the rest to your imagination.

3. The story is clever and has several different paths. Lots of characters and suspects without over-doing it. A good amount of red herrings. A fair hustle of danger. I read it almost entirely in one sitting, as each new chapter covered a different angle.


Suggestions

1. One concern is the breadth of future stories… how much can really occur in a whisky distillery after the debut is all about who will end up owning it? One option which the author seems to be considering is that Abi won’t live in the Scottish town as she ends up back in London at the end of the book, undecided about next steps. Perhaps that’s just to carry us to book 2, but I’d like her to stay and see how the story could combine her world travels as a photographer / reporter and as a distillery-owner.

2. Some of the supporting characters were a little too similar. I will remember 1 or 2, but the rest blended together enough that I may forget when I start the next book. I think some time may need to focus on bringing forth a stable of 4 or 5 core supporting characters, each with clear and distinct personalities. It’s minor and easily addressed.


Final Thoughts

Give this new series a chance. It’s a non-traditional setting (at least for me) in a small Scottish town. It’s got a girl with no family left, so it’ll be interesting to see how she handles life “on her own” and assembles a new family. Patrick will definitely make the series stand out. And the writing is clean and interesting, especially with hints of Scottish brogue thrown about!

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