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Michelle Hillen Klump began her writing career as a newspaper reporter, traveling the back roads of central Texas and Arkansas, reporting on everything from natural disasters to crime and corruption. She’s interviewed former presidents, covered a midnight manhunt through the Ozark Mountains, and learned the finer points of how to break a car window from a looter while covering a hurricane. Now, she uses her experiences as fodder for fiction, writing a cozy mystery series about a former reporter turned craft cocktail caterer. A Dash of Death, her first novel, and the first in the Cocktails & Catering Mystery Series, was published by Crooked Lane on February 8, 2022.
Michelle lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband and young daughter. When she’s not writing or working her day job, she enjoys gardening, reading, exploring Houston’s neighborhoods, hiking and biking, and creating craft cocktails for friends and family.
About the book: There’s 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.
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.
Cozy up to the bar as Michelle Hillen Klump pours another “sparkling cocktail of murder and mystery” (Amy Pershing).
Fans of Diane Mott Davidson and Lee Hollis will savor every delectable sip of this clever and utterly intoxicating cozy.