Special Guest – Michelle Bennington – Author of Dumpster Dying: A Hazardous Hoarder Mystery #GuestPost / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour

Dumpster Dying: A Hazardous Hoarder Mystery
by Michelle Bennington

I am delighted to welcome Michelle Bennington to
Escape With Dollycas today!

How Do You Come Up with These Things?
by Michelle Bennington

How do you come up with these things? Was a question my mother had asked me when I told her about my latest book, Dumpster Dying. She liked the idea, but she laughed and shook her head as I told her about Birdie Harper, a hoarder who lives with her husband’s ghost and solves mysteries.

The idea for Dumpster Dying, like many of my ideas, came from something in my life. In this instance, a television show. I had been binge-watching a show called Hoarders. It’s a show I love, though at times it can be quite unsettling because sometimes people collect disturbing items or because of the deep emotional trauma, disorders, and dysfunctional homes that often trigger and accompany hoarding.

Yet, Hoarders is one of those programs that no matter how unsettling the subject, I find it hard to look away. There’s something about the psychology behind hoarding, the inability of the hoarder to stop their behavior, and the fact that hoarding is both comforting and destructive that I find compelling and intriguing. I was inspired by an amalgamation of the people on that show. The hoarders I found most interesting were the ones who were charming and fun to be around–until someone messed with their treasures. In an instant, their dark side leapt up and took over, turning a pleasant person into a scary one; it was like seeing Jekly and Hyde come to life.

On the show, inevitably, clean up begins and the hoarder becomes distressed. Though a psychologist tries to reason with them, the emotional and mental obstacles are initially insurmmountable. Each hoarder has his or her unique way of dealing with the stress of clean up: some cry, some break down, some withdraw and dig the items out of the trash when no one is watching or run away, some get angry, and some get downright mean. But at the core of it all is not only a fear of loss, but an actual lifetime of loss, pain, grief, suffering, and trauma. Hoarders often have no other coping mechanisms in place, so when faced with a traumatic event, they spend years or a lifetime, clinging to material possessions and building a literal wall of defense around themselves to protect themselves from onslaughts of the world.

Once I had unpacked that complex psychological makeup, I knew I needed a character who was a hoarder. It was a mind and spirit I wanted to work with, wanted to understand. And I recall there was one lady on Hoarders who flitted around, fidgeted and blinked a lot. She reminded me of someone I knew and both women reminded me of little birds, chittery and chipper and fluttery. So that’s where Birdie’s name came from because she, too, is chittery and fluttery.

However, one thing I didn’t want to do was make the reader pity Birdie and feel sorry for her because that’s a position of weakness. Granted, I wanted readers to sympathize with her, understand the losses and grief that underlie her hoarding condition, but I wanted them to see that she was also a woman of strength, determination, resilience, and backbone. I wanted readers to come away thinking that there was hope for Birdie’s recovery. I wanted people to understand that though Birdie is flawed in many ways, and struggling with something that has the potential to completely destroy her, she has the strength and power to reclaim her life when the time comes. Ultimately, and I hope this comes through in the story, despite her struggles, she is a character of fortitude, resilience, and hope.

So, I hope you’ll stop by to visit with Birdie. She’s a bit quirky, but a lot of fun and has a heart of gold. If you read Dumpster Dying, don’t forget to stop by www.michellebennington.com, say “Hi!” and follow me on the links there so you can stay informed of the next Hazardous Hoarder Mystery release and releases for my other series!

Thank you Michelle for visiting today.

Keep reading to learn more about Dumpster Dying.


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.

Great Escapes Praise for Dumpster Dying: A Hazardous Hoarder Mystery
by Michelle Bennington

A fun yet thought-provoking cozy mystery that tackles some serious life issues, such as the loss of a spouse, loneliness, and hoarding. I recommend DUMPSTER DYING to cozy mystery readers who enjoy yard sales and more mature sleuths.
~Guatemala Paula Loves to Read

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.
~Novels Alive

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
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Purchase Link


Also by Michelle Bennington

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
December 5 – I’m Into Books – SPOTLIGHT
December 5 – Lady Hawkeye – CHARACTER GUEST POST
December 5 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – SPOTLIGHT
December 6 – Baroness Book Trove – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
December 6 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 6 – The Mystery Section – SPOTLIGHT
December 7 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
December 7 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 7 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
December 8 – Guatemala Paula Loves to Read – REVIEW
December 8 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 8 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
December 9 – Novels Alive – REVIEW – SPOTLIGHT
December 10 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
December 10 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR GUEST POST
December 11 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW*
December 11 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 12 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – AUTHOR GUEST POST
December 12 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
December 12 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

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5 thoughts on “Special Guest – Michelle Bennington – Author of Dumpster Dying: A Hazardous Hoarder Mystery #GuestPost / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour

  1. Thanks for introducing me to this author. It’s fun to find a new premise in cozies and this one is certainly that.

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