murder on the rocksby Allyson K. Abbott

5 Stars

Publisher: Mack’s Bar is one of those nice, friendly places where everybody knows your name. That’s great when someone’s buying you a round, but not so hot when you find yourself atop a list of murder suspects–with your fingerprints on the bloody knife! Mackenzie “Mack” Dalton is a Milwaukee bar owner with a nose for trouble–literally. A neurological glitch has left her with extra perceptive senses. So when she stumbles upon a dead body in the alley behind the bar–the same spot where her own father was shot eight months earlier–she can tell right away there’s something fishy in the air. The lead detective thinks there’s a link between the two deaths, and he’ll need Mack’s help to sniff out the murderer amid the crowd of eccentric regulars. But when all the evidence points to her as the most likely culprit, it could be an early last call for Mack–and celebratory cocktails for a killer. Includes drink recipes

My Review: This is the first book in the Mack’s Bar Mystery Series. I actually read another one in the series first and wanted to go back to the beginning to meet all the characters and get the back story. I am really glad I did. This was a great book. It sets the tone for the series and we really get to know the characters.

Mackenzie “Mack” Dalton is a Milwaukee bar owner with Synesthesis. This is a real disorder that gives her extra senses and her own senses a boost, for example when you smell something you might hear a sound, or when you see something you might smell an odour. The book opens with Mack discovering a dead body in the alley behind her bar. It turns out to be the body of Gina her father’s old girlfriend. What makes this even worse for Mack it that Gina’s body was discovered in the same spot her father was found fatally shot months earlier. Or both of these murders tied together somehow? Mack must use her senses in order to catch a killer before she is arrested for the murders or one of her friends or patrons is.

Mack’s life has been hard. Her mother was severely injured in an accident when she was pregnant with Mack and kept alive until she was able to be born. This left her with her neurological disorder. She and her father were extremely close and there was a certain amount of jealousy when he began to have a relationship with Ginny. When her father died, she inherited the bar. There have been many incidents since his death that have caused Mack to lose money and put her in a tricky situation. When Ginny’s body is found, all signs point to Mack as the murderer. Mack decides that if she wants to be cleared, she needs to help the police. With the hunky police detective, Duncan Albright going undercover as the new employee, she interrogates her customers and staff. Duncan sees that Mack’s abilities may be able to help with the case, as along as both of them can keep their growing attraction under wraps.

The quirky patrons of Mack’s bar add interest to the story. Each of the characters were fleshed out nicely and hopefully will continue to add flavour to upcoming books. The older brothers who are retired insurance salesmen are like uncles to Mack. Cora, the cougar is out looking for men and shares some scintillating aspects of her life. Lewis, the nurse and Tad the broker have stories of their own. They all team up to help Mack try and solve the crimes.

The mystery itself had some amazing tie ins from Bootlegging legends of the past and a few surprises in store for the reader. Of course the recipes for alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks at the back of the book are a plus and look delicious.

I will definitely make more visits to Mack’s Bar to see what is in store for Mack, Duncan and the rest of the gang at the bar! This is definitely a book I would recommend to cozy mystery fans!