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Scarlett is a fun loving extrovert who has a talent for getting along with people - having been played by a man in the states she goes to England, where she is a dual citizen, to work in the shop she is half owner in - I found this novel a really good mystery - loved the playfulness of the main characters, I hope Nick and Andre stay in the rest of the series - new author for me but I will definitely be reading more of her stories
A delightful, fun mystery which includes an unfortunate error of judgement which led to a video of an impulsive moment that was filmed and became a popular internet sensation. That incident led to a trip to England, to begin life anew and assist her cousin in managing a very exclusive Designer Hat shop for the very wealthy and famous. She , (Scarlet) is met at the airport by a very handsome man (Harrison) that she had known in her childhood when she visited her Grandmother in England who had owned the exclusive shop, , "Mim's Wims",. The Grandmother left the shop to her and her cousin ,(Vivian) 5 years ago when she passed they inherited the shop. At that time Scarlet was in the Hospitality Industry, & had never planned to claim her half of the shop or move to England but all that changed because of her impulsive actions, which led to her decision to leave due to reporters and no job, and her life changing circumstances. Her cousin Vivian persuaded her to come to England and participate in running the shop. However when she arrives in England she is met, not by her cousin but by a very handsome man (Harrison) that she had once known as a childhood friend. She questions why her cousin didn't meet her. Upon further questioning it seems her cousin is missing because no one knows where she is but no one seems concerned because she had been known to often take trips on the spur of the moment due to her artistic temperament. At least that is what everyone seems to believe. Now Scarlet is in charge of the shop and has absolutely no designer skills much less remotely consider designing hats for very wealthy women. Fortunately she has the assistance of a young woman who is talented and capable if designing hats plus they have the assistance of the handsome Financial Manager, (Harrison) She can only hope to survive until her cousin returns. That's The real problem because the missing cousin (Viv) leads to Scarlet mixing up of a hat designed exclusively for a woman of High Society which leads to a murder most foul, a photo shoot that was delayed due to the woman's unplanned demise when she was found dead wearing only the hat.....which led to questions about the whereabouts of her cousin.... The story involves two interesting, fun neighbors, the very handsome man who seems to be in charge of the shop while her cousin is away, and doesn't seem to care for Scarlet. Perhaps he's more than the financial planner to her cousin? Could he know more about her cousins disappearance than he is implying? No one seems concerned or considers Vivian's disappearance unusual, but as the days drag on and Vivian has only sent one email to a family member, and Scarlet becomes increasingly more concerned . She adapts to the daily business of running the shop when until the very wealthy customer was found dead in her exclusive dressing room, in her estate ,wearing only the hat.... That leads to Scarlet becoming fodder for the paparazzi who want to cash in on her past internet claim to fame plus add the murder she and a photographer discovered. Through all the police investigation, her shop broken into , an attempt on her life, high society secrets, and the connection to her cousin in addition to the mysterious hand carved piece of furniture that opens with a carved raven’s head, which shows a secret compartment that showcases an exclusive designer hat. The handsome Harrison doesn't appear to like her, or perhaps he does, all combine to make for an interesting mystery.
I just loved this book. Jenn McKInlay's characters come alive with humor and affection while her descriptions of London neighborhoods put you right there.
When a video of Scarlet Parker throwing anniversary cake at her still married boyfriend goes viral, her cousin Viv insists that Scarlet leave Florida for London to help Viv run the hat shop that their grandmother left them both. Scarlet hasn't really had anything to do with the shop since she was a child, but Viv is the designer, and Scarlet, with her hospitality business training can help run the shop. However, when Scarlet arrives in London, Viv is nowhere to be found. The handsome guy who picks her up at the airport seems to be angry at her, and Scarlet has to figure it all out.
This is a smooth moving story with a few nice twists, great use of language from both sides of the pond, and lots of humor and romance.
Yes, I have given a new debut book a five star rating. Why? Because. I love doing that. It's a Mother thing. Ms. McKinlay has out done herself. I'm addicted to the gentle but suspenseful donut shop mysteries, but in 'Cloche and Dagger' you get the real mystery writer and a hint of, hopefully, the paranormal.
Set in London on Portobello road, is Scarlett Parker and cousin, Vivian Tremont's inherited hat shop, aptly named 'Mim's Whims.' The hats sound like cotton candy delights. Even the Ton or modern day fashionistas love and frequent the millinery shop. The mascot is a carved Raven...remind you of a novel?
Scarlett is in a scandal back home in Florida and cousin insists that she return to U.K. and help run the store. Scarlett is met at the airline's baggage area by hunky Financial advisor, Harrison Wentworth, or Harry as Scarlett (Ginger) remembers him...only after he reminds her though...not such a good re-introduction.
Where is Vivian? Well, that is the question now, isn't it? Where is she? Especially after Scarlett gives a hat to a most prestigious Countess and then the Countess is found dead in just the hat!
Scandals abound and new friends are found as Scarlett tries to find her cousin. The dialog is witty and fun as you might remember from the Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn days of the movies. The humor is very British and snappy.
The setting is ideal and the characters are drawn in a realistic but slightly enlarged manner. Then there is the...well, I just can't spoil the surprise at the ending and shame on you if you miss the entire journey and just read the ending.
This novel is fun and I just can't wait until the next one comes out...Especially as in my opinion the victim asked for it! Oh my, did I just say that? Well, you will have to decide for yourselves. Have fun and a cup of tea as well!
After Scarlett Parker discovers that her boyfriend has been lying to her and is still married, her fiery temper gets the best of her and she behaves badly and gets the name of the “Party Crasher”. To put some distance between the incident, Scarlett decides to visit her cousin, Vivian, who runs Mim’s Whims, the millinery business they both inherited when their grandmother passed away. In England Scarlett doesn’t quite find the peace and quiet she’s looking for, especially when Vivian appears to be missing and a client turns up dead. With an old love interest in tow, Scarlett and her new friends must solve a murder and try to keep the hat shop open, in Vivian’s absence.
I first discovered Jenn McKinlay through her Cupcake Bakery mysteries and then her Library Lover’s mysteries. Being a fan of English-based mysteries, I was thrilled to learn that she was publishing a series set in England.
Right from the second Scarlett steps off the plane in England, I was hooked on her adventure. She’s such a fun heroine, as she struggles with the pain of her embarrassment of her ex-boyfriend, to not remembering, Harrison, a boy she stood up as a teen. She has a fiery temperament, and it seems she’s always getting herself into trouble!! Scarlett is plain and simple fun and it was so enjoyable to read her first adventure.
The first mystery in this series really sets the scene about the store, Mim’s Whims, Vivian and Scarlett’s history together, growing up together and spending their summers at the store. We are also introduced to the fabulous pair of Andre and Nick, a couple that live just down the street, and help Scarlett cause trouble and get out of trouble too!! I absolutely adored Andre and Nick and I can’t wait to see more of them in the next book.
I listened to Cloche and Dagger on audiobook and the narration is voiced by Karyn O’Bryant. It was my first time listening to Karyn O’Bryant narrate and it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. She quickly switches between the English and American accents, and her voices matched the personalities so perfectly. From vibrant Nick to Harrison, who can be quite the stick-in-the-mud and formal, the voices were simply perfect. I hope that future books in this series will be published in audiobook format with Karyn O’Bryant providing the narration.
Cloche and Dagger is a five-star read. It’s a debut in a new series and it is an absolute stellar start to this series. I can’t wait for the second book (Death of a Mad Hatter) to hit the shelves next year.
I love cozy mysteries as much for the the settings and characters as the solver of the murders, and am always on the lookout for fun new series. I've been a fan of Jenn McKinlay's other books so was expecting this to be good, and it certainly lived up to my expectations. Take a dash of YouTube scandal that sends our heroine off to London, a hat shop full of hats that sound beautiful (even though I didn't know what many of the terms were), affairs, a missing person, snooty women and a pinch of romance, and you have this adorable cozy. Oh, and a naked woman found wearing only one of the hats from Mim's Whims! McKinlay did a fabulous job capturing Scarlett's fish out of water (but loving the newness) aura of being in England, the way her scandal has followed her across the pond, her childhood almost sweetheart being back in her life, and her trying to find her missing cousin when everyone around her is telling her there's nothing to worry about. I raced through this one and found it utterly charming, and am already looking forward to the next hat shop mystery. For those who like quirky characters and/or hats and fashion, definitely pick this one up.