ABOUT THE BOOK:
When Abi Logan inherits her uncle’s quaint and storied single malt distillery, she finds herself immersed in a competitive high-stakes business that elicits deep passions and prejudices. An award-winning photojournalist, Abi has no trouble capturing the perfect shot—but making the perfect shot is another matter. When she starts to receive disturbing, anonymous threats, it’s clear that someone wants her out of the picture. But Abi’s never been one to back down from a fight.
Arriving on the scene with her whisky-loving best friend, Patrick, and an oversized wheaten terrier named Liam, Abi seems to put everyone in the bucolic village on edge—especially her dour but disturbingly attractive head distiller. Acts of sabotage and increasingly personal threats against Abi make it clear that she is not welcome. When one of Abi’s new employees is found floating facedown in a vat of whisky, Abi is determined to use her skills as an investigative journalist to identify the cold-blooded killer and dispense a dram of justice before he strikes again. But distilling truth from lies is tricky, especially when everyone seems to have something to hide.
INTERVIEW WITH MELINDA MULLET
I’ve always written, but I was forced to do a lot of very dry writing in my time as a lawyer. I was burnt out on it for a while, but then after I exited the profession I found my desire to write for pleasure coming back. We were in Scotland on vacation one year, and I’d been following my husband around a tour of the Speyside whisky distilleries. By the time we hit distillery number 437 I found myself thinking that the giant wooden vats would make a great place to find a dead body. (Other mystery lovers will understand that is not an abnormal thought, nor is it a subconscious desire to be rid of my whisky loving husband.) From there I started writing the Whisky Business Mystery series and the rest, as they say, is history.
I totally understand that thought. What's your favorite thing about the writing process?
Working out the characters and the little puzzles that they are dealing with. I’m a bit of a control freak so I like being able to work alone and to set puzzles that I would enjoy reading and solving. I usually end up with index cards all over the floor tracking the flow of the plot line.
Do you write every day?
Every day I can. Usually four or five out of seven. With two kids, a husband, a large dog and an aging mother there are usually a string of other demands on my time on the weekends and evening, but I do what I can.
What do you think is hardest aspect of writing a book?
Deadlines. When you are on a deadline you have to write even when the words aren’t flowing. It’s frustrating, but it’s part of the discipline. It’s definitely more fun when you are in a good place and the prose is coming quickly and efficiently.
What’s more important – characters or plot?
Characters. Having a good plot is important, but especially in series, if you have a strong character and a setting that readers enjoy and feel comfortable in they will cut some slack on the plot line. It’s like watching your favorite TV show. Not every episode is brilliant, but if you have an affection for the characters they are like family and you enjoy your time with them even if they aren’t being aren’t in top form on any given day.
How often do you read?
Every day. I love a good mystery, but I also read a lot of biographies. Right now I’m reading Nick Mason’s and Misty Copeland’s bios. Both are fascinating by the way.
What books do you currently have published?
Single Malt Murder is my first work of fiction. The second novel in the Whisky Business series is Death Distilled and it will be out in the Fall of this year.
Is writing your dream job?
Absolutely! It’s creative and cathartic, and it allows me to (usually) give my family the attention they deserve and to pursue other things that I am passionate about. I work with a number of literacy charities both here and overseas. I’m especially thrilled about working with an organization called Room to Read. They do many wonderful things to support girl’s education around the globe, but I’m most excited to support their work recruiting and training indigenous authors and artists in developing countries to help them create and publish meaningful native language children’s literature. It is virtually impossible to raise the level of literacy in a society without age appropriate content. With the help of Room to Read these authors are bringing culturally relevant stories to life for the first time. As they say, World Change Starts with Educated Children. I could go on forever but check out the web site, they are really a phenomenal organization.
How often do you tweet?
Whenever I see something that strikes me as odd or funny. The new local gun store and café is a good example. Interesting concept, get folks jacked up on caffeine and then sell them a firearm. Not sure how well this plan was thought out.
What drives you crazy?
Apathy. Can’t stand people who are apathetic. Politically, socially, professionally. I guess I usually find that people who are apathetic are people who haven’t bothered to inform themselves. In our society with all of the sources of information bombarding you every day there really is no excuse for ignorance. So to the opposite extreme, I love people who are passionate about what they do. Enthusiastic and energized no matter what it is.
What is your superpower?
Organization. Not sure if it’s a useful superpower, but it’s what I have to work with. I end up organizing everyone in the house much to their chagrin, but I always have a dozen projects on the go at one time. It would be impossible to keep up with out a system.
What do you wish you could do?
Sing! I am a frustrated Broadway diva. I’d love to be able to do musical theater. Phantom, Les Mis, Evita, maybe even one of the Schuyler sisters.
What do you like to do when there’s nothing to do?
Curl up with a good book and a glass of whisky. Mysteries are my favorite. I’m very partial to Elizabeth George and Dorothy Sayers – and Macallan.
What about Amy Metz? I hear her books are pretty good! ツ Where is your favorite place to visit?
Hands down London. My family is British, although I’ve lived all over the world. Touching down at Heathrow always brings me a sense of homecoming. I step out of the airport and get that first whiff of diesel and cold rain and I’m in heaven. Sounds weird, but we all have our happy place and that is mine. Theatre, shopping, museums, and believe it or not even the food. England gets a bad rap on the food front, but some of the best Indian food you’ll find anywhere is in London. Historically the problem has been bad cooks not bad food. My aunts could boil the life out of perfectly fresh lovely veggies, but that’s changing. British chefs have become so much more aware of the quality of the raw ingredients available to them and they are showcasing them beautifully.
Where is your favorite library, and what do you love about it?
The library at Trinity College Dublin. It’s absolutely everything I think a library should be. It’s like a cathedral dedicated to the written word. Two stories high in the main reading room with polished wood shelves from top to bottom, and old fashioned rolling ladders to reach the dusty tomes at the top.
How do you like your pizza?
Neopolitan. Thin and crispy with tomatoes, mushrooms and cheese. But Jimmy Buffett is right it truly is the eighth deadly sin.
What is the wallpaper on your computer’s desktop?
A picture of Lin-Manuel Miranda with my daughter. She is over the moon and he is such an incredible human being. I love his enthusiasm for everything in life. Such joy -- it’s contagious. Looking at that snapshot just makes me happy.
Describe yourself in 5 words.
Over-extended, but disciplined. Festive even though I’m flawed, but most of all happy. Great question by the way. In the Whisky Business series, my protagonist, Abi, always makes a note of the first three words that pop into her head to describe someone she’s interviewed or photographed. She doesn’t always understand the significance of her verbal sketch right away, but the meaning comes into focus in the end. Instinct or insight, it hasn’t failed her yet and the best of her portraits always captured the essence of the crucial three words.
What is your favorite movie?
Lord of the Rings. Extended cut with background materials. Bring it on!
What are you working on now?
I’m working on book three of the Whisky Business Series – In the Still of the Night. I’m also working on a more personal project, a mystery based loosely on my grandmother’s family. My gran was born in London in the late 1800’s. She was the son of a lamplighter who spent his evenings lighting the gas lamps of London and then had time to kill until he had to go back out at dawn to extinguish them all. He chose to fill that gap in time honored tradition and he and his wife ended up having 18 children. The kids all came of age between WW1 and WW2. The family has some fascinating stories from my great uncles that died building the Burma road, to those who helped plan the evacuation of Dunkirk. There were journalists, artists, lawyers, secretaries, and laborers, but I was most intrigued by the siblings we knew very little about. It gave me the idea for a mystery about a woman trying to discover why one set of twins out of a family of 18 went missing and are never spoken of. Almost as if they never existed and yet they clearly did. It’s a more historical mystery but the roots are very intimate and personal.
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 whisky-loving husband, two exceptional young women she is proud to call her daughters, and an obedience school drop out named Macallan.
Connect with Melinda:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
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