Dumpster Dying: A Hazardous Hoarder Mystery
by Michelle Bennington

About Dumpster Dying

Dumpster Dying: A Hazardous Hoarder Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Kentucky
Independently Published (September 7, 2022)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 270 pages
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 979-8986775203
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0BD2PWW61

Birdie Harper is a widowed hoarder who lives with her husband’s ghost. The only thing she enjoys more than a good yard sale is a good dumpster dive. When she finds her latest treasure—a ceramic angel— she knows just who to bring it to.

Jenna Lawson is a cashier at the Blue Market convenience store where Birdie often shops. The two women have formed a strong bond to assuage the losses in their lives, and Birdie thinks of Jenna like the daughter she lost long ago. So, when Jenna goes missing, Birdie is determined to find out what happened to her.

As she works to unravel the mystery, a man at church, Neville Miller, shows interest in Birdie, leading her to wonder if the lonely days are finally coming to an end. But her ghostly husband, Walter, sure isn’t going to like it.

Birdie is on a hunt that may claim the ultimate price—her own life.


Hey there! I’m Birdie Harper. I live in a small town (Miltonville) in central Kentucky in the heart of bourbon country. Not that I ever touch the stuff myself. Nope, my vice is shopping, specifically yard saling. My sister, Oda Dean, and I go every Saturday. We hit McDonald’s or some other fast food place at dawn for a quick bite then start hitting the streets. We’re what’s known as “early birds,” meaning we like to get to the yard sales before anyone else so we get first dibs instead of a bunch of picked over odds and ends. People don’t like it when we show up before they even have everything set out, but I don’t pay any attention to that. We’re on a mission for the best bargains our money can buy.

But I have another vice that only a few people know about. It’s my guilty pleasure–especially when I’m upset or can’t sleep–dumpster diving. You’d be amazed at the sorts of things people and businesses throw away. Most of the time, the stuff is still in really good shape, it’s just unwanted, rejected, and replaced. I suppose I feel that way myself sometimes. Maybe that’s why I developed a sort of soft spot for the things people toss out as junk; things I tend to see as treasures. Perspective is everything, I suppose.

At any rate, it’s not like I’m going through rotten food or something. No, no. I choose the cleanest dumpsters like the kind you find behind the Lady Bug’s Consignment shop in the plaza near downtown or behind the craft stores. I’ve found Christmas ornaments, costume jewelry, and all sorts of neat little figurines and trinkets for my collections. Admittedly, sometimes they need a little TLC, but there’s not much a hot glue gun won’t fix!

My sister, Oda Dean, calls me a hoarder and so does my late husband, Walter (he’s a ghost now). Clearly, they don’t know a collector when they see one. Sure, my house is a little cluttered–Walter complains about it still even though he’s a ghost–but I like pretty things and I like surrounding myself with pretty things. I have several collections, but my favorite by far, and the one I’ve spent the most time on is my Wizard of Oz collection. It’s nearest and dearest to my heart. I just love Dorothy’s red glitter slippers, the shimmering streets of gold, and the sparkly Emerald City. Of course, I watch the movie at least once a year, sometimes more if I’m feeling really down.

My momma always did say I was part magpie because I liked shiny things. But I have the dolls, the plates, the blankets, the books, the tea sets, coffee mugs–everything you can think of with those pretty red slippers and sweet Dorothy’s face. Oda Dean would probably say it’s because I have some strong connection to the past and how I want to go home to a time and place that exists only in my rose-colored memory. Whatever. I’m a homebody. I admit it. I’m a simple woman who enjoys simple pleasures. I know no home is perfect, but, I don’t know, I like to think there was a time when there was “no place like home.” Maybe I spend too much time thinking about those days when Walter was alive and we were just married and trying to start a family. Those were the golden years. At first. Things didn’t quite work out the way we’d hoped though.

Anyway, Oda Dean’s been trying to tell me to stop collecting so much, but she doesn’t know what she’s talking about. She’s always been a know-it-all and thinks she can tell me what to do. So, I go to the dumpster more times than I tell her because I don’t want to hear her fussing. I know she loves me and means well, but she’s not the boss of me. Come to think of it, tonight would be a good night to visit the dumpster behind Lady Bug’s Consignment since they’re preparing for Christmas. Y’all should come on out sometime. Stop by and visit with me and Oda Dean. And I know Walter would like the company too. Also, you might want to check out my friend, Michelle’s website (www.michellebennington.com) and follow her other links. That’s where you can find out about upcoming Hazardous Hoarder books or releases for her other series. I’m telling you, I don’t know how she finds time to do all that writing and time to watch all those Hoarder shows. But since she’s watched them all she can tell you: I’m not a hoarder. I’m a collector.

About Michelle Bennington

Born and raised in the beautiful Bluegrass state of Kentucky, Michelle Bennington developed a passion for books early on that has progressed into a mild hoarding situation and an ever-growing to-read pile. She delights in spinning mysteries and histories. Find out more on her website: www.michellebennington.com

Author Links

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/michellebenningtonauthor

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/michelle.bennington.author/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/22406377.Michelle_Bennington

Webpage: www.michellebennington.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MichelleAuthor/with_replies

Purchase Link – Amazon


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By KellyATX

I'm a Blogger, Reader, Reviewer & Bookstrammer. Die Hard TX Native & Rangers Fan.