A Dash of Death (A Cocktails and Catering Mystery)
by Michelle Hillen Klump
About A Dash of Death
A Dash of Death (A Cocktails and Catering Mystery)
1st in Series
Setting – Texas
Crooked Lane Books (February 8, 2022)
Hardcover : 304 pages
ISBN-10 : 1643859374
ISBN-13 : 978-1643859378
Digital ASIN : B094GN846Y
A Houston reporter-turned-mixologist mixes it up with murder in this series debut from Michelle Hillen Klump, superbly catering to fans of Diane Mott Davidson and Lee Hollis.
Bad news for Samantha Warren: The plucky Houston, Texas, reporter lost her job and her fiancé in rapid succession. But Sam has a way of making lemonade out of the bitterest of lemons. At a meeting of the local historical-homes council, she serves up the homemade bitters that she made as gifts for her wedding party. She intends to use that as her “in” to become an in-demand party mixologist. But the party’s over for one of the council members, who keels over dead soon after he sips the bereft bride’s bitter brew.
It turns out that the victim, Mark, was poisoned—his drink spiked with oleander. Since Sam mixed the drink that Mark imbibed right before his demise, she finds herself at the front of the suspect line. Now, she’ll have to use all of her reporter’s wisdom and wiles to clear her name.
Who could have wanted Mark dead? His wife, Gabby? His girlfriend, Darcy? Someone who wanted his seat on the council? Or another citizen of this sweet Texas town that holds some seedy secrets?
Job hunting, building her mixology business, and fending off late-night phone calls from her nearly betrothed don’t leave much time for sleuthing. But if Sam can’t “pour” over the clues to find the killer, it may soon be last call for her.
Character Guest Post: Samantha Warren
Hi there. I’m Samantha Warren. Thank you so much for inviting me to visit the blog today. You must want to hear about the murder. It’s fine, that’s all anyone wants to talk about these days. I get it. I’m curious too. It comes with the territory.
See, I’m a former newspaper reporter. That word former still sticks in my throat, but I earned it honestly. I was laid off from the only job I ever wanted as a crime reporter for the Houston Gazette.
Even after the layoff, I was doing all right. I earned enough with freelance assignments to pay the rent on my little garage apartment in Houston’s historic Highlands neighborhood, and keep my tortoiseshell cat Ruby supplied with kitty treats. My life didn’t go haywire until my fiancé moved to New York City without me a few weeks before our wedding. He left me with a broken heart and hundreds of bottles of homemade cocktail bitters I had made as favors for our wedding guests.
I know bitters making sounds like a strange hobby, but I love experimenting with different flavors and bittering agents and trying to come up with just the right combination to make a cocktail sing. My best friend, Marisa, loves to joke that my kitchen looks like a high school chemistry lab, but it truly is my happy place.
I’m jumping around a lot here, but I promise, it’s all related to the murder. See, Marisa decided I needed to get my mind off of the cancelled wedding, so she scored an invitation for me to sell my homemade bitters at the Highlands Historic Home Tour. It seemed like the perfect way to make lemonade (or at least a fancy cocktail) out of the bitter lemons I’d been served.
The party was beautiful, and everything was going great, until one of the Historic Association’s board members died after drinking one of my cocktails. If that wasn’t bad enough, a few days later, the board member’s ex-wife sued me for negligence in his death, and the story was splashed across the front page of my former newspaper for the entire city to read. Now, my reputation is at risk, and I’ve been swept up in a murder investigation.
The only positive is that I’ve got David Dwyer, one of the best young lawyers in the city on my side. He’s so smart and kind, and dare I say, handsome? He insists he can get the ex-wife to drop her lawsuit and keep the cops off my back. I hope he’s right. I’m getting a little worried, to be honest. If we don’t figure out who did it soon, it could be last call for me!
You can find out what happened by reading A DASH OF DEATH, by author Michelle Hillen Klump. Enjoy it with a cocktail or mocktail in hand!
About Michelle Hillen Klump
Michelle Hillen Klump is a former newspaper reporter who covered government, courts and crime throughout Arkansas and Central Texas. Still a working journalist, she is also a member of Sisters in Crime. Her short fiction has appeared in Crimson Streets and Tales of Texas, volume 2, a Houston short story anthology.
My webpage: https://michelleklump.com/
Facebook Author page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMichelleKlump
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