Today we are honored to have a guest post by Melinda Mullet talking about strong women in fiction and her new cozy mystery Death Distilled. After making it through Hurricane Harvey here in Houston (ah, the alliteration fairly trips off the tongue today), the idea of a murder mystery taking place around liquor seems like a fine idea.
After you enjoy Melinda’s insights, be sure to scroll down and find the Prize Guy. Enter for your chance to win an e-copy of Death Distilled!
Take it away, Melinda!
Someone asked me the other day if I had a favorite toast when raising a glass of fine whisky. My response was this:
To strong women.
May we know them,
May we be them,
May we raise them.
I love reading about strong women and I love writing about them. Women who refuse to be defined by others and insist on defining themselves. The protagonist in the Whisky Business Mystery series is one of those women. Abi Logan spent years fighting for acceptance as a female war correspondent, and eventually became a celebrated photographer and journalist. But breaking through one barrier didn’t make it any easier for her to approach the next one – distillery owner in Scotland. Facing threats and even murder, she stands her ground and refuses to be intimidated or defined by tradition, eventually earning the grudging respect of the whisky fraternity.
Art mimics life, and today a significant number of women are taking on the traditionally male dominated distilling world. Spirit producers and blenders often have backgrounds in chemistry and engineering, and as women worldwide are being encouraged to pursue degrees in STEM fields more and more of them are finding their way into the spirits industry. Now we see female distillers, master blenders, distillery managers, engineers and brand ambassadors where ten years ago there were virtually none. For me, one of the most enjoyable parts of researching the Whisky Business series has been getting to know some of these ladies and watching them pursue their dreams and passions.
Abi Logan had to fight for respect in her professional life, but oddly enough stepping up to help find a killer was a less controversial move. Intelligent, insightful and shrewd, fictional female detectives are refreshingly common in the mystery genre. These women have refused to be defined by their male counterparts and have brought their own unique skill sets to the sleuthing business. From classics characters like Miss Marple, Harriet Vane, Nancy Drew, Adela Bradley, and Miss Fisher, to the more contemporary ladies like Lisbeth Salander, Precious Ramotswe, Modesty Blaise and Kinsey Millhone, every one of them is a fabulous model of tenacity, grit, insight, and reason.
I am lucky to have been inspired by all of these ladies real and fictional. When I left my day job to try my hand at writing mystery fiction, I had no practical experience at all, just desire and inspiration. As many of you know, it takes a certain inner strength to throw your work open to the scrutiny of others. There’s always someone eager to make you feel incompetent or inadequate to the task. It can be a real blow to your confidence, but it’s also a valuable lesson in dogged perseverance. This is where our role models real and fictional inspire us to stand tall and be strong. To forge ahead even in the face of steep odds. Perseverance, a sense of humor and a thick skin worked for me and I try to share that message with my children – when I can get them to listen.
As the proud mother of two wonderful teenage girls I can tell you getting them to listen can be tough. They are witty, intelligent and creative, but it saddens me that they still often lack confidence in themselves and in their own gifts and abilities. I try to boost their sense of self worth and to teach by example, but they still accuse me of seeing them through a mother’s rose-colored glasses. Fortunately, there are plenty of great female, ‘non-Mom’ role models in all aspect of their lives; business, politics, science and art. Even pop culture, once a place where women were lauded mainly for their decorative selves, is stepping up to the plate and helping to redefine how women are seen and appreciated.
Earlier in the summer I took my daughters to see the new Wonder Woman movie. It wildly exceeded my expectations not just because of the first class special effects, but for the depiction of a physically and emotionally strong female superhero. The scriptwriters did a great job of crafting a leading lady of moral fortitude and admirable physical strength without resorting to a single shot of cleavage. The girls were inspired and so was I. And after more than 50 years, the Doctor of Doctor Who fame will at last be a woman. The possibility has always been there, but for many years the producers argued that the time wasn’t right. Finally, it seems, it is. Rock on ladies!
So raise a glass and toast the strong women real and fictional that inspire us and our daughters. Ladies, channel your inner wonder woman and have fun defining your own role in this changing world.
And now, more about Death Distilled…
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:
SINGLE MALT MURDER | DEATH DISTILLED
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CLICK HERE TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY FOR AN E-COPY OF DEATH DISTILLED
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.
You can find Melinda at these locations:
Webpage – http://melindamullet.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/mulletmysteries/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/mulletmysteries