Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Top review in Whisky Magazine!

"It's got everything a pop-lit novel for guys, guns, black humour, Scotland, religious fanatics, mercenaries, drinking...It even comes with recommended drams and tasting notes for each chapter."

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

A Whisky in Monsterville, by Tom Morton - the world's first interactive whisky thriller!

Buy it on Amazon here, in print or as a Kindle download!

Ken Smith's Herald Diary: "Tom modestly says the simultaneous consumption of whisky is not essential to enjoying the book, 'but it probably helps.' If only religions had thought up such a wheeze, our churches might not be so empty."
Alan Taylor, Sunday Herald: "Each chapter highlights a particular whisky, and if you read the whole book in one sitting I confidently predict irreparable damage to your liver."

The Shetland Times: "A Whisky in Monsterville. How does it rate. Highly, I think.
Unlike many of those who tread the best seller trail, Tom Morton is genuinely erudite, with an enviable breadth of knowledge covering music, literature, and a lot more of what makes  life worth living so all sorts of stuff crops up to lighten and enliven the narrative. That narrative carries you professionally along. But meanwhile the book holds you in a way most in the genre don't, through well drawn characters, humour, and yes, erudition."  

Tom Morton's A Whisky in Monsterville  is a compulsive page-turner set in the Scottish Highlands, featuring mad religious fundamentalists, retired special forces officers, amazing food, druids, hydro-electricity and extreme geology. Not to mention the Loch Ness Monster

It's macabre, funny, violent, sexy and enormously entertaining. And it's the world's first interactive whisky thriller, offering readers the chance to join the characters in sampling single malts as the story progresses.

"I was inspired by decades of reading thrillers set in Florida," says Morton, a BBC Radio Scotland DJ and former Scotsman journalist who also writes extensively about whisky. "People like John D MacDonald, Charles Willeford, James W Hall, Elmore Leonard and Carl Hiassen. Florida, from Miami to Key West, is a fantastic but very compressed location for a crime novel. It has drugs, tourism, odd weather, cities and wilderness, and a changing cast of extremely eccentric residents.

"I asked myself: Is there anywhere in Scotland like that? And naturally I thought of the Great Glen. Fort William at one end, Inverness at the other, and a monster in between. What could be better?"

A Whisky in Monsterville (subtitled 'Loch Ness: people are dying to visit') centres on retired special forces office Murricane, a character who has already featured in Morton's previous books Guttered and Serpentine (Mainstream Publishing). Living on a barge beached on the shores of Loch Ness, near Drumnadrochit. Murricane is looking for a quiet life. Until he fishes a horribly disfigured body out of the loch.

Dragged, with his old colleague Zander Flaws, into a world of extreme religious fundamentalism, the deranged, murderous tastes of American veteran Jenks and the desperate search for rare minerals, Murricane never abandons his taste for wonderful food and the best malt whisky.

"I was determined that the best of Highland cuisine should feature in the book," says Morton. Not only because I believe Scotland has some of the world's best produce and cooking, but because I love books with detailed descriptions of meals. The Pepe Carvalho books of Catalan writer Manuel Vazquez Montalban and Michael Dibdin's Zen novels were influential here."

As for the interactivity, combining reading with drinking whisky hadn't occurred to Morton until it was suggested by one reader of an early draft.

"This was someone with detailed local knowledge of the Loch Ness area, and she thought the whisky thing might work. There is a great deal of dramming in the book, and as I'd already invented a whisky drinking game based on Ian Rankin's Standing in Another Man's Grave I thought it might be possible to take things a little further. Or a lot."

Not that the simultaneous consumption of whisky is essential to the reader's enjoyment of the book, says Morton. "Though it probably helps."

As for the apparently fanciful notion that a religious group could see the Loch Ness Monster's existence as disproving the Theory of Evolution:

"As the epigraph to the book shows, this is based on real events. Textbooks in some American schools argued that, as Nessie was clearly a plesiosaur, the fossil record was incorrect and so was Darwin. I've since heard that extreme religious groups have funded expeditions into unexplored South American jungle areas to search for creatures that are supposed to disprove evolution.

"But you'd really have to consume a lot of whisky to believe that!"

As for the location, Drumnadrochit is real, but all the characters are invented.
"Perhaps the Piper's Rest bears some resemblance to my friend Jon Beach's fine establishment Fiddler's, and there are other genuine locations. The Cover is real, but you cannot walk through it and there is no barge beached there. There is an excellent RNLI lifeboat, crewed by Scotland's only inland RNLI team. I do not know any of them personally and none of the crew mentioned in the book bear any resemblance to any of them. There is a brewery at the Benleva Hotel, though, and they do make good beer. And the Dores Inn does excellent food."

A Whisky in Monsterville is available from Amazon UK.

Contact Tom here

Signed copies are available at performances of The Malt and Barley Revue, which also include readings from the book.

Check the links section over on the right for details of how to buy the book, and additional Morton activities.