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Death of a Mad Hatter: 2 Mass Market Paperback – 6 May 2014
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Scarlett Parker and her British cousin, Vivian Tremont, are hard at work at Mim's Whims--their ladies' hat shop on London's chic Portobello Road--to create hats for an Alice in Wonderland themed afternoon tea, a fund-raiser for a local children's hospital. It seems like a wonderfully whimsical way to pass the hat, and Scarlett and Viv are delighted to outfit the Grisby family, the hosts who are hoping to raise enough money to name a new hospital wing after their patriarch.
Unfortunately, the Grisby heir will not live to see it--he's been poisoned. When traces of the poison are found on the hat Scarlett and Viv made for him, the police become curiouser and curiouser about their involvement. Now the ladies need to don their thinking caps and find the tea party crasher who's mad enough to kill at the drop of a hat...
"A delicious romp through my favorite part of London with a delightful new heroine."--Deborah Crombie, New York Times bestselling author
"Fancy hats and British aristocrats make this my sort of delicious cozy read."--Rhys Bowen, bestselling author of the Royal Spyness Mysteries
"Brimming with McKinlay's trademark wit and snappy one-liners, Anglophiles will love this thoroughly entertaining new murder mystery series. A hat trick of love, laughter, and suspense, and another feather in [Jenn McKinlay's] cap."--Hannah Dennison, bestselling author of the Vicky Hill Mysteries
About the Author
- ASIN : 0425258904
- Publisher : Berkley Books (6 May 2014)
- Language : English
- Mass Market Paperback : 304 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780425258903
- ISBN-13 : 978-0425258903
- Dimensions : 10.67 x 2.03 x 17.15 cm
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A good summary of the plot can be found above, so I’ll just tell you what I liked (and didn’t like) about the book:
What I liked:
Most of the characters are likable and relatable. They have their quirks and idiosyncrasies, but spending time with them is fun. Their competition about who could come up with the worst pun for a given situation had me smiling. You can really tell that the main characters care about each other, even when they’re fighting.
I also enjoyed the setting - London is such a great city. The book certainly made me yearn for a visit.
As usual with this author, the book is well written and entertaining. Time flies while you immerse yourself in the story.
What I didn’t like:
I don’t enjoy Scarlett’s character. She comes across as very immature for someone who’s almost thirty. Banging doors, sulking in your room, refusing to even listen to your friends’ well-meant advice – she often acts more like a teenager than an adult. She’s disgruntled when her cousin wears high heels because they make her seem taller than Scarlett. True, there are people like this in real life, but she’s not exactly a person I’d enjoy hanging out with.
There are a few issues with research. Just stopping by the Savoy for afternoon tea is rather optimistic, for example. If I remember correctly, they advise you to book at least several weeks in advance. Also, the instance of ‘male primogeniture’ in the book seems to bear very little resemblance to reality.
The ending seemed a little rushed. I loved the whole setup of the mystery – a nice number of suspects (not too many, not too few) with interesting character traits and relationships. There were some characters you hated and some you loved. It was great fun, but suddenly the murderer basically confesses, and it’s over.
I liked the first book in the series a lot better than this one. Overall, this book is a solid but not a great mystery (at least in my opinion). I’ll probably buy the next book in the series, but that’s due more to the first book than this one.