The Whiskey Mattimoe Mysteries
Real estate, murder, and one bad dog.
Meet Whiskey Mattimoe
Meet Whiskey Mattimoe, thirty-something realtor, widow and amateur sleuth. She's saddled with Abra, her late husband's blonde bimbo Afghan hound, who has the unfortunate habit of stealing purses. That's bad for business but not as bad as having clients die on site. Whiskey is forced to solve murders in order to stay solvent.
Whiskey on the Rocks
Whiskey on the Rocks (Midnight Ink [Llewellyn], 2005) is the first in this series of fast-paced, darkly comic mysteries set in the scenic Lake Michigan resort town of Magnet Springs. When someone turns up dead at one of Whiskey's properties, the part-time police force—canine officer Roscoe and two cops of the human persuasion—needs all the help it can get.
Magnet Springs is known for its mysterious magnetic fields, not murder, and the locals would like to keep it that way. With the aid of an exceptionally well-trained "Rott Hound" and her eight-year-old neighbor Chester, Whiskey uncovers art theft, forgery, and other nasty little secrets that threaten to kill her as well as her business.
Read what critics are saying about Whiskey on the Rocks:
Wright's diverting debut . . . is a fun read. [S]he'll have a cozy series as satisfying as a fine single malt. --Publishers Weekly
Sprightly humor, delightful characters (including the animals), and a nicely mixed-up plot make this an entertaining debut. --Library Journal starred review
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Whiskey Straight Up
Whiskey Straight Up (Midnight Ink [Llewellyn], September 2006) takes up where the first book leaves off. Avery and her twins are still around, courtesy of Whiskey's checkbook and Coast Guard nanny Deely Smarr.
A man who stabbed Whiskey's husband Leo in a rent dispute returns to Magnet Springs seeking redemption. Prompted by her New Age friends to help restore "karmic order," Whiskey hires him. When a town leader is murdered, and Chester disappears, Whiskey begins to doubt her decision and fear for her own safety.
Meanwhile, Whiskey meets the Lust of her Life. Unfortunately, he's the father of Avery's babies. Musician ex-husband Jeb Halloran is back and looking good, but Whiskey wants what she can't have. Most of all, she wants to stay alive and make sure that Chester and the twins do, too.
Reviews of Whiskey Straight Up:
A few days with Whiskey Mattimoe and friends will give you the wildest ride you ever took from your armchair! The second in the series that began with "Whiskey on the Rocks" is a zany romp through a Michigan resort town that will leave you breathless with laughter.
Whitney Houston Halloran Mattimoe may find the antics of her Afghan hound Abra trying, but the two are very much alike. Both are headstrong and independent and tend to run headlong into life and danger. Of course, Abra does have the habit of stealing purses, but all the characters in Magnet Springs are a bit quirky, much to the reader's delight. The lady sheriff generates magnetic forces when her stormy temper is aroused, and a neighboring rock star travels the world while her precocious eight-year-old stays with Whiskey and Abra. Stepdaughter Avery has new twins with no named father and has moved into her late father's home with Whiskey. Add puppy Prince Harry the Pee Master and it's a spicy mix.
The usual crew at Mattimoe Realty keeps Whiskey's business running while minding her personal business and when ex-husband Jeb Halloran pops into the widow's life again, bets are on for reconciliation. Cowboy realtor and mayor Gil Gruen is Whiskey's sleazy competitor and adversary but when she stumbles over his bloody dead body, Whiskey falls into the icy water and headlong into another mystery.
In about 300 pages you'll find a Jamboree, a couple of murders, a kidnapping or two, a whole barrel of red herrings, lots of fur coats and hours of laughter. Mystery fans will appreciate the clever clues, plot and suspects, but hang on to your sleuthing cap because things change right up until the end in true cliffhanger style.
Don't expect a tight procedural mystery here. Not since Lucy Ricardo has any woman gotten into so many madcap situations. "Whiskey Straight Up" is a delight and you'll be anxious for your next visit to Magnet Springs. Nina Wright has promised "Whiskey & Tonic" for 2007, refreshing news for readers who like to follow familiar characters. Wright has delivered a great cocktail for series fans. --Julie Obermiller, Mysterical-E (Summer 2006)
Raise your glasses to Whiskey Straight Up, Nina Wright's jolly second entry in her Whiskey Mattimoe mystery series, hot on the heels of Whiskey on the Rocks, last year's equally entertaining entry. --Mystery Scene
Whiskey and Tonic
In Whiskey and Tonic (Midnight Ink [Llewellyn], June 2007), Whiskey Mattimoe is frustrated; it's springtime and everyone else, including Abra, seems to be falling in love—or at least lust. When Whiskey agrees to sell a property that's jinxed, the world goes upside-down: Abra commits a felony in front of 200 witnesses, a beauty queen is killed, and Whiskey—who still insists she's not a child-care provider—becomes temporary guardian of a teen-ager with a curse on her head. And then there's the little matter of all those stray cats. . . .
Reviews of Whiskey and Tonic:
A tiara-stealing dog and a long line of cursed Miss Blossom beauty queens enliven Wright's whimsical third whodunit to feature Whiskey Mattimoe, realtor and sometime sleuth (after 2006's Whiskey Straight Up). Whiskey, a 34-year-old widow, is still adjusting to life in Magnet Springs, Mich., where her greatest challenge after selling houses is controlling her beloved late husband's pet afghan hound, Abra, who has a penchant for stealing purses and other forbidden treats. When Abra absconds with the Miss Blossom tiara (not once, but twice!) after a well-liked intern from Whiskey's real estate firm wins the title, things really get crazy. It's a risky prize that has often brought death for past winners, including the previous year's queen. Wright's playful narrative touch and snapshot of small-town life lightens the curse theme in this fizzy cozy, but the mischievous Abra really steals the show. --Publishers Weekly
Whiskey and Tonic is a fun, far-fetched romp along the lines of Evanovich's Stephanie Plum books, but with a better mystery. Favorite character? Judy 'Jenx' Jenkins, out and outspoken police chief. Will I read another? Absolutely. --Mystery Book Reviews by Liz at http://reviewedbyliz.com ©2007
Whiskey and Water
In Whiskey and Water (Midnight Ink/Llewellyn, May 2008), the fourth mystery in this series, Whiskey Mattimoe confronts a riptide, disappearing tenants, a reappearing mayor, and—most alarming of all—a Shitz-a-Poo named Velcro. Abra the Afghan hound is still lusting after Norman the Golden when, lo and behold, Whiskey finds a couple lovers of her own.
Reviews of Whiskey and Water:
In Wright's sprightly fourth mystery to feature Magnet Springs, Mich., realtor and sleuth Whiskey Mattimoe (after 2007's Whiskey and Tonic), one of Whiskey's duplex tenants, Twyla Rendel, whom she believed to be a struggling single mother of two, is seen by a neighbor with seven children. After Whiskey informs Twyla she faces eviction, Twyla and the children vanish. Whiskey and Magnet Springs police chief Jenx Jenkins are determined to investigate these disappearances as well as the reported sightings of Whiskey's old realtor rival, Gil Gruen, whom Whiskey saw die the previous winter. Twyla later turns up dead, but where are the children? Wright's mix of humor, crime and romance infuses this cozy with down-home zest. At the same time she makes some solid points about greed, bad parenting and real estate. --Publishers Weekly (May 2008)
A murdered woman, missing children and a possible return from the dead confound denizens of a Lake Michigan tourist town. Whiskey Mattimoe operates a successful real-estate business, but the rest of her life is in disarray. Still grieving the death of her second husband, she's providing a home for his daughter Avery, who hates her, and her twins. Her current entourage also includes Abra, an Afghan Hound, and a needy Shitzapoo puppy that her wealthy, flaky songstress neighbor Cassina has just given her, along with the chance to sell her multimillion-dollar lake cottage. Whiskey has just listed another huge estate, and her love life is heating up. Her ex-husband Jeb Halloran is back in town. She has a date with self-help author Fenton Flagg. She's attracted to MacArthur, a Scot who works for Cassina but wants to sell real estate. But things rapidly go sour. Abra runs off with Fenton's dog. One of Whiskey's tenants acquires a large number of children and then turns up dead on the beach. Even worse, there are repeated sightings of a former mayor Whiskey knows is dead. With help from friends, lovers past and present and Cassina's neglected son Chester, who can talk to dogs, Whiskey emerges from the tangled mess triumphant. Though Whiskey's fourth features a host of oddball characters, Chester and the dogs steal the show. --Kirkus Reviews
Whiskey with a Twist
Afghan hounds and Amish farmers? Yes. Whiskey with a Twist (Midnight Ink [Llewellyn], Spring 2009) finds Abra and her human, Whiskey Mattimoe, at a dog show in Indiana Amish country where things go deadly wrong fast. In the fifth book of this madcap series, Whiskey's new real estate client is an Afghan hound breeder who invites Abra to the regional finals . . . as an example of how not to groom and train an Affie. True to form, Abra falls in lust with a champion and wreaks havoc in the ring. But someone is bent on pure evil: a breeder and handler are murdered, and a top dog disappears. Abra vanishes, too. Is she chasing her libido or in genuine trouble? Or, as Whiskey's loyal neighbor Chester insists, is she hot on the trail of a ruthless killer? Whiskey and crew follow paw prints and other clues to a bloody destination that's too close to home.
Reviews of Whiskey with a Twist:
Fifth in a consistently appealing series, this installment continues to provide the perfect mix of cozy and dog. --Booklist
In Wright's frothy fifth cozy, dog show fans will find much to grin about. --Publishers Weekly