A Dash of Death by Michelle Hillen Klump
Release – February 8, 2022
Genre – Cozy Mystery
Single POV – 3rd person Format/Source – eARC provided by the publisher
Page Count – 304
Publisher – Crooked Lane Books
Bad news for Samantha Warren: The plucky Houston, Texas, reporter lost her job and her fiance 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 Rating: none/DNF
I found the protagonist, Samantha, to be completely unsympathetic and unfortunate. It was impossible to gain a vested interest in this story when it was her story. It didn’t help that my ARC had so many words missing letters, making it incredibly difficult to read. I did find that it was written well, however, it took way too long for something to actually start moving in this story. I called it quits at 38% and nothing really happened. There was a death, a mystery surrounding said death, Samantha acting like a poor imitation of an investigative reporter, her endless inner ‘poor me’ monologues because her fiance left her, etc.
I’ve read a lot of cozy mysteries and have enjoyed most. While this wasn’t for me, I can see how it could be a winner for someone else.