Death Distilled by Melinda Mullet


Death Distilled

Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Alibi (September 5, 2017)
Print Length 300 pages

by McKenna, Staff Reviewer

Exciting, riveting, and intricately detailed. These are the three words that first come to my head when I try to describe Death Distilled by Melinda Mullet. Although I technically used four words, but you still get the gist. For the main character Abi Logan, a photojournalist and amateur sleuth with a knack for attracting trouble, three-word phrases are essential to her career. The trouble begins when Hamish McDunn, the drummer in the band Punk Junk, is brutally murdered. To add to the horror, someone is also targeting the other members of the band and trying to frame the leader, Rory, who Abi believes to be innocent. Abi, although not a professional detective, is not afraid to jump headfirst into the case. I absolutely love her strong personality and no-nonsense attitude, which is both a hindrance and an asset to her career. However, I really wish I could have learned more about the other people in Abi’s life, especially Patrick and Grant. I feel like the subplot of Abi and Grant’s relationship could have been developed a little more thoroughly. That being said, I enjoyed her narrative and I applaud the author for telling the story using a strong female narrator. This is certainly a plot-driven story, and the plot moves along rapidly and seamlessly. I could feel the tension build as the murder slowly wreaked havoc on the lives of the bandmates and their families.

What differentiates this story from many others is that rather than relying on blood and gore, the author takes a much more subtle approach. For instance, the scene in which a certain character is framed does not involve any direct action or confrontation, yet I still got the chills while reading it. It takes a lot of skill to create that kind of tension, especially without using jam-packed action scenes. In addition, the author does an excellent job of establishing the setting without overloading the detail. While the Scotland backdrop was not essential for the story, it provided an extra layer of richness and nuance. I loved any time someone mentioned they were having tea or referenced an old clan or tribe. It is these subtle details that reinforce the setting without detracting from the plot. Although the high level of action in Distilled Death distinguishes it from many other cozy mysteries, it still very much a tale of an amateur detective using her wits and natural-born talents to fight for good. I’m really glad I picked this one up, and I can’t wait to see what Abi is up to next!


Photojournalist by trade, distillery owner by blood, and amateur sleuth by necessity, Abigail Logan learns that murder can’t stay bottled up forever in this charming Whisky Business Mystery.

It’s been three months since Abi Logan last checked in on Abbey Glen, the celebrated whisky distillery she inherited. With her oversize wheaten terrier, Liam, by her side, Abi returns to the quaint Scottish village of Balfour. But her relaxing Highland homecoming takes a stressful turn when she unearths an unseemly bit of village history, welcomes a group of Japanese whisky enthusiasts, and becomes shepherdess to an unexpected flock of sheep—all within the first twenty-four hours. Still, nothing’s more stressful than murder. . . .

Local celebrity Rory Hendricks is the hotheaded, hard-rocking former frontman of the Rebels—and Abi’s girlhood crush. After meeting him in person, Abi can’t say no to anything he asks, like photographing his upcoming show . . . or figuring out who’s trying to kill him. Turns out someone’s been bumping off his old bandmates, with the drummer dead under mysterious circumstances and the keyboardist in a coma following a hit-and-run. Now a series of threatening messages leads Rory to think he’s next on the chopping block. And the band has a devil’s share of broken hearts and bitter disputes in their past, leaving Abi a huge batch of suspects to sift through—all before the killer takes another shot.

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

Melinda Mullet Death DistilledMelinda 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.

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