Thursday, February 23, 2023

Murder Served Neat by Michelle Hillen Klump | Blog Tour with Interview and Giveaway


Murder Served Neat (A Cocktails and Catering Mystery) by Michelle Hillen Klump

About Murder Served Neat


Murder Served Neat (A Cocktails and Catering Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting - Texas
Crooked Lane Books (February 21, 2023)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1639102345
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1639102341
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09ZRLRFB4

Reporter-turned-mixologist Samantha Warren has already thwarted one murder. Now, her world is shaken — definitely not stirred — once again as another killing throws her world into chaos.

Samantha is mixing up traditional cocktails at the German Texan Lodge’s Fourth of July festival — a gig she was roped into by her mother. But amidst the bratwurst and brass bands, trouble is brewing. Lodge loyalties are divided over a proposal to build a private, country-club-style tennis center on the lodge grounds. Her mom’s best friend Patty Davis is vehemently opposed to the plan. Society matron Angela Clawson is all for it. At the festival, they’re seen in a heated argument — and hours later, Angela is found dead, killed by one of the ceremonial shovels intended for the groundbreaking.

Samantha’s mother begs her to help clear her best friend’s name, but can she handle another murder case or will the whole investigation go bottoms up?


About the Character Interview

What is your full name? Do you have a nickname? My name is Samantha Warren. My friends sometimes call me Sam.

What is your occupation? Are you any good at it? Do you like it? What is your ideal job? I used to be a newspaper reporter before I was laid off. I loved that job, and I think I was pretty good at it. Now, I’ve opened up a new cocktails and catering business with a friend of mine. I create inventive cocktails and my partner, Beth, is the foodie. It’s a lot of hard work, but we love it! 

When you’re not working, what fills your time? I love taking long bike rides along the bayou trails here in Houston. I also love reading and experimenting with making my own cocktail ingredients, such as bitters or syrups. It was my hobby before it became my job, so sometimes it’s hard to turn that off, even when I’m on my own time.

What is your favorite childhood memory? I grew up in Corpus Christi, Texas, so my favorite childhood memories involve trips to the beach. I used to love diving into the waves, trying to find hermit crabs and digging for sand dollars. We would stay out in the sun until we couldn’t stand it any longer, and then we would cool off with an ice cream or snow cone! 

What advice would you give to your younger self? I would tell my younger self to take time to enjoy the moment rather than worrying about what was coming next. 

What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you? Probably when my fiancé left me a few weeks before my wedding. It was mortifying to have to notify everyone who was coming not to bother. But at the end of the day, the embarrassment was worth it, because it saved me from marrying the wrong man.

What is your greatest achievement? My greatest achievement so far is probably being brave enough to start my own business with a friend… that, or solving a murder before the police.

What makes you laugh? When my cat Ruby squeezes her big cat body into tiny boxes. 

What is your greatest extravagance? Every fall when it’s apple season, I have to make my grandmother’s apple cider whoopie pies. They take forever to make, and they use way too much butter and sugar, but they are delicious, and it wouldn’t be fall without them!

What are your pet peeves? I guess it’s the journalist in me, but I can’t stand when people use incorrect grammar.

Tell us something about yourself that no one else knows. I have a secret desire to write a historical fiction novel about dance halls in small-town Texas.

What is always in your fridge? I always have citrus and other fruit on hand to make special cocktails.

What is your most treasured possession? My most treasured possession is the hope chest I inherited from my grandmother.

If your life is made into a movie, is it a comedy or drama? Who plays you? I feel like my life has been full of drama lately. I think Abigail Breslin would be the perfect actress to play me.

What is your favorite movie? TV show? I know it’s old school, but my favorite movie is When Harry Met Sally. It’s such a classic movie! As far as TV shows, I loved Only Murders In the Building.

What is your favorite song, and why? It’s hard to pick an absolute favorite. I like so many different kinds of music. But for nostalgic reasons, I love Janis Joplin’s version of Piece of My Heart. It was one of my grandma’s favorite songs, and we used to dance to it in the living room when I would go visit her.

What did you eat for breakfast? Did you make it yourself? I ate sausage egg and cheese breakfast tacos from my favorite little taco stand. The ladies at the taco stand make the best homemade tortillas. Even though I love cooking, it would be hard for me to replicate that at home!

Describe your perfect day. My perfect day would start with a nice long bike ride along the bayou, then a leisurely brunch with my best friend at our favorite café in Montrose. We’d probably take some time to browse at the local bookstore, and maybe hit up some of the thrift stores to see if we can uncover any good finds. I’d take some time to read outside at a park, and then meet up with my boyfriend, David, at his studio, so I could check out his latest painting. We’d go for dinner at our favorite pasta place, and stop somewhere for a nice cocktail before snuggling up at home to watch an old noir film on TCM. 

About Michelle Hillen Klump

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.

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.

Author Links 

Purchase Links - Amazon - Barnes & Noble - IndieBound 

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