If you like cozy mysteries with a ghost to boot, Dumpster Dying could be the start of a new series you may enjoy. I definitely can't wait to be back to see what Birdie and Oda Dean are up to next.

4-STAR REVIEW: DUMPSTER DYING by Michelle Bennington

About The Book

A Hazardous Hoarder Mystery: Book 1
Publication Date: September 7, 2022

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.

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The Review

Dumpster Dying is the first book in the Hazardous Hoarder Mystery series by Michelle Bennington. It has an amateur sleuth, along with several murders and crimes committed. The two main characters—Birdie and her older sister Oda Dean—are senior citizens, adding another dimension to the story. 

Birdie not only dumpster dives and goes to yard sales but is also a hoarder who sees, hears, and smells the ghost of her husband, who has been dead for five years at their home.

There are plenty of clues sprinkled throughout and a trail to solve the murders and more dastardly crimes committed in their small town in Kentucky. 

As the story unfolds, we get to know the good guys and the bad guys, too. And Birdie seems to piece things together quicker than the sheriff and the others on the police force. She definitely pays attention to details as well as her surroundings but isn’t always the best judge of others. She and her sister have affection for each other but also call each other out on ways to show their love.

The story has twists and turns as we try to figure out whodunnit in this cozy mystery. There are tears, fear, heartache, sadness, treasures, secrets, lots of food, and people who are not as they seem. The story tied up loose ends to solve the murders and get the bad guys but ended abruptly. I was definitely expecting a little bit more. There are a lot of pertinent details on the cover, and it fits the story. 

This is the first book I’ve read by Ms. Bennington, and I look forward to reading more of her books.

If you like cozy mysteries with a ghost to boot, Dumpster Dying could be the start of a new series you may enjoy. I definitely can’t wait to be back to see what Birdie and Oda Dean are up to next.

About The AuthorBorn 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.



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JoAnne Weiss
JoAnne Weiss
JoAnne Weiss, nee Montalbano, was born and raised in NYC until moving to CT with her family when she was 16 and she's never left. Married for 41 years with one grown son, she works in an elementary school office where she's been since it opened in 2003. Prior to that, she was an accountant in several corporations before becoming a stay at home mom for 12 years. JoAnne enjoys reading, traveling, spending time with her family, and extended family as well as with friends. She enjoys cooking and rarely uses a recipe the way it was intended but instead uses them and cooking shows to give her new ideas and suggestions. JoAnne has a huge bucket list of places she'd like to visit but has been lucky enough to travel to England, Italy, the Caribbean, Mexico, Canada, and many states in the U.S. including Hawaii, California, Nevada, Arizona, and Maine among others. Some of JoAnne's favorite genres include contemporary romance, chick-lit, romantic suspense, and historical romances including regency and those set in the west. JoAnne is on several author's street teams and enjoys interacting with many of them on Facebook as well as reading their newsletters. She has been lucky enough to meet some of her favorite authors among them Susan Mallery, Debbie Macomber, Nora Roberts, Meg Tilly, Beatriz Williams, and Marie Bostwick. JoAnne took a road trip with her sister in the fall of 2019 and visited Nora Roberts' bookstore in Boonsboro, Maryland for an authors' signing. She hopes to do more of this in the future. JoAnne leaves reviews for all books she reads on Goodreads and her reviews can be found at JoAnne currently reviews for two sites - and Previously she reviewed for which has since closed. Payment is in the form of receiving free books to read and review. Her mantra is too many books and not enough time!


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If you like cozy mysteries with a ghost to boot, Dumpster Dying could be the start of a new series you may enjoy. I definitely can't wait to be back to see what Birdie and Oda Dean are up to next.4-STAR REVIEW: DUMPSTER DYING by Michelle Bennington