Saturday, February 12, 2022

Review: A Dash of Death (A Cocktails and Catering Mystery) by Michelle Hillen Klump (Blog Tour/Tour-Wide Giveaway)

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) 

Cozy 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 fiancĂ© 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.

 My Review

Samantha Warren has had her share of troubles.  Her fiancee walked away from her and she lost her job as a reporter as well.  However, she’s not going to hang her head in despair.  One of her hobbies is being a mixologist.  When she is asked to serve her cocktails at the local historical homes council, she quickly accepts the offer.

One of the council members ends up dead after sipping one of her drinks.  She immediately becomes the prime suspect in the murder, but she didn’t even know the victim.  How could she possibly be accused of murder?  Although everyone advises her to sit back and let the police handle the investigation, Samantha just can’t.  She does a bit snooping on her own and is shocked at what she finds.

This is the first book in a well written, fast-paced cozy mystery.  The characters are well developed and actually jump off the pages.  It's a great introduction to this cast and they are easy to get to know.

There are quite a few twists, turns and red herrings throughout this story.  It kept me captivated and guessing from page one to the end.  

It’s a great start to a brand new cozy mystery series.  I can’t wait to read more.

For reading challenges:

Cruisin’ thru the Cozies Reading Challenge 2022 (Career Based)
Cloak & Dagger Reading Challenge 2022
NetGalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge 2022

FTC Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed a free Advance Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions expressed are my own.


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.

Author Links 

 Purchase Links 


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  1. Thank you so much for having me on the blog today, and thanks for a wonderful review!

  2. Sounds like a book I will enjoy reading.

  3. This sounds good! I love a reporter as the sleuth in a mystery.

  4. Thanks for sharing your review thoughts. This sounds like a good mystery. Plus, it's in Houston.


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