Cloche and DaggerCloche and Dagger by Jenn McKinlay is the first book in the new “Hat Shop” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, August 2013

Not only is Scarlett Parker’s love life in the loo—as her British cousin Vivian Tremont would say—it’s also gone viral with an embarrassing video. So when Viv suggests Scarlett leave Florida to lay low in London, she hops on the next plane across the pond. Viv is the proprietor of Mims’s Whims, a ladies’ hat shop on Portobello Road bequeathed to both cousins by their beloved grandmother, and she wants Scarlett to finally join her in the millinery business.

But a few surprises await Scarlett in London. First, she is met at the airport not by Viv, but by her handsome business manager, Harrison Wentworth. Second, Viv—who has some whims of her own—seems to be missing. No one is too concerned about the unpredictable Viv until one of her posh clients is found dead wearing the cloche hat Viv made for her—and nothing else. Is Scarlett’s cousin in trouble? Or is she in hiding?

I don’t know how she does it, but Jenn McKinlay creates stories that will have you enamored with the plot and the characters. We are introduced to Scarlett whose arrival in London is met with the disappearance of her cousin Viv. When a customer is later found dead wearing nothing but her cousin’s creation, Scarlett looks into her murder, if only to clear her cousin’s name and what follows is a fun ride that I could not put down.

I had a great time reading this light-hearted tale where the mystery kept me glued to the pages and the dialogue and comedic antics kept me entertained from beginning to end. Boasting a lovable cast of quirkily unconventional characters, this was an enjoyable read and a welcome addition to the cozy genre and I look forward to the next book in this exciting new series.

FTC Full Disclosure – I bought this book.

previously posted on the Cozy Chicks blog

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