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I thoroughly enjoyed this series, and I am greatly disappointed that it won't be continued. I have read one of Jenn McKinlay's 'A Library Lover's Mystery' and also one of 'Cupcake Bakery Mystery' - but they don't hold a candle to this series. The mystery is great, and the characters are fun people that one would want to know in real life. Jenn McKinlay has a great writing style, in my opinion, and I would recommend this series to anyone who likes mysteries, especially ones set in England. The dialogue between the characters is engaging, and I especially like Scarlet and Viv and their Mim's Whims hat shop. The book is enjoyable on all fronts, from mystery to humour to the relationship between the friends... and a little romance thrown in makes it just that much more fun! I hope she continues carrying on this series... I will miss it. Read all the books in just over a few weeks.
In this novel Viv and Scarlett go to Paris, Viv to teach a hat making class while Scarlett finds Viv's husband - I liked the novels that were bits of England better than this jaunt into Paris, it didn't feel as homey - lots of adventure as somehow the whole gang ends up in Paris with Scarlett and Viv to help solve a murder and mystery - Finally Scarlett and Harrison say the L word so they're off to get married
London milliner Vivian Tremont and her cousin Scarlett Parker are in Paris for two reasons -Vivian is teaching a hat making class while Scarlett looks for Viv’s husband Will so Viv can seek an annulment of their marriage. Vivian thinks she is ready to move on with her life, perhaps to Alistair Turner, but when she sees Will again she isn’t so sure. Viv barely has time to being to process her feelings when both Will and a small Renoir disappear. Viv and Scarlet are convinced that Will is in serious danger and set out to find him, little realizing that they too could be in danger.
“Assault and Beret” is the fifth and unfortunately last book in Jenn McKinlay's Hat Shop cozy mystery series. It is a shame the series is ending because I feel like the characters were just hitting their stride and this book develops the characters even more. I did miss the hat shop setting in this book as this book takes place in Paris, but all the favorite characters in the series managed to end up in Paris - which I loved because it is indeed the characters that made the series work so well. Viv especially has grown as a character - she can be a bit of a feather brain at times but her struggle to deal with her relationship with both her husband and Alistair is very realistically done. Compared to the Viv/Will/Alistair storyline, the Scarlet/Harrison storyline with her decision not to date for a year is a bit lightweight but it does wrap up very nicely - I just loved something that happens towards the end of the book! As for the mystery itself - it is well done. A few things did seem obvious at first but McKinlay threw in a few nice twists so things weren't as obvious as at first they seemed to be. There are a few nice tense moments towards the end of the book that kept me on the edge of my seat while I was reading it. All in all, I loved the ending of this book and the way the series was wrapped up.
I am not quite ready to let these characters go and I wish the series was not ending, but unfortunately it is and “Assault and Beret” is a good way of wrapping up a cozy mystery series that will be missed.
Murder, art heists, sociopaths, hat-making, Paris - this book has it all. Add in our already stellar cast of Scarlett, Viv, and Harrison and it gets just that much better! We start the book with just Scarlett and Viv in Paris. Viv's teaching a hat-making class and Scarlett's looking for Viv's estranged husband. After some interesting events happen (no spoilers!), Harrison joins them.
I've loved this series from the start and mostly because I love the characters in it! Scarlett, trying to pull herself back together after a dramatic life turn. Viv with her quirky sense of fashion and brilliant hat-making, plus her spontaneous personality. Harrison with his patient, quiet way about him. They're very well-rounded characters and are so wonderful to read about. The supporting characters are also well-rounded and just delightful.
Our setting was a little different this time since we were in Paris instead of "home" in London where we usually see our hero and heroines. I personally enjoyed the detail that Ms. McKinlay put in her book regarding Paris and getting around in Paris. It helped me visualize what it was like for Scarlett to get from point A to point B with very little knowledge of the French language.
I began to suspect about our villains separately towards the middle of the book, but I totally was not expecting them to be working together. That was a great plot twist I hadn't seen coming at all.
In the end, everything works out as it should and the series wraps up on a good note. I really wish it wasn't ending though. I will miss Scarlett, Viv, Harrison, Fiona, Nick, Andre and all the shenanigans they get into!
If you haven't read the series, I highly suggest starting with the first book in the series, Cloche and Dagger. You'll understand some of the nuances better if you start at the beginning. Check it out! It's a wonderful series!
OMG! ABSOLUTE PERFECTION! Harrison is the best book boyfriend ever. The Hat Shop Mysteries are so wonderful, they truly have everything you could possibly want in a book, love, romance, mystery, laughter, and terrific characters. The way Jenn McKinlay writes you feel like you are in the story laughing and hoping along with the characters. If by some slim chance you haven't read the other books in this series you really need to start at the beginning. In Assault and Beret Harry and Scarlett's relationship grows to a new level while in Paris. My heart broke for Viv. When the whole gang shows up to help with the mystery that involves Viv's husband it takes every one of them to solve it. Love love love this series🙌
Assault and Beret is a terrific read! Can't wait for the next book. Please Mrs. McKinlay don't make us fans of this series wait so long for the next installment😆
I received this book along with 2 others on their release day and as much as I wanted to read this book I put it off knowing it was the last of the series and wanting to savor it. It did not disappoint!! I really love this series, all of Jenn McKinlay's books have the hallmarks of humor and great characters and I think Scarlett Parker is my favorite character of all. This adventure takes our favorite hat shop ladies to Paris where Vivian is teaching a class on millinery at an Art School and Scarlett is looking for Vivian's long lost husband so that they can get an annulment. Leave it to Scarlett to not only find William, Vivian's husband, but to get them involved in stolen art, a Renoir and a kidnapping!!!!! Sad that the last in the series was leaving some of my favorite characters back in London, I was happy to see that the author was able to get the ladies reinforcements in that Harry, Allister, Nick and Andre all show up to help when it becomes obvious the ladies have gotten themselves into quite the mess!!! Even Fee shows up for the end. This books has quite the mystery and the author was able to end the series on a very happy note, but I will miss all of these characters very much!!!!!
I love both the plot and characters in these books. The characters have such fun personalities, they feel like friends I would like to have over for dinner.
There are times when an author changes the setting for new plot opportunities and it feels contrived, but I didn't feel that way here.
The new setting of Paris was fun and a great background for this plot. Other readers have been critical that the characters appear to just jaunt over to Paris. Ummm, yes, people do just jaunt over to Paris from London -- I've done it myself. It's not contrived for me. It's only a few hours drive and I believe 2 hours by train -- something done very often in Europe.
Also, I enjoyed the plot. The ending came too quickly -- I just didn't want the book to finish. I thoroughly enjoyed this read.
Ms. McKinlay does it again, another great read. Scarlett and Viv are in Paris, Viv teaching a class and Scarlett searching for Viv's husband. When he is found and they see him being forced into a car and a priceless painting is involved you know that the story is going to be taking you to some interesting places. The mystery was excellent, I had no idea who did it. I was afraid that we wouldn't see the usual characters in the series but was thrilled when they showed up to help. I heard that this was going to be the last of the series and that is a shame because between the setting in England (usually), a hat shop and wonderful characters this will be such a loss. Thank you Ms. McKinlay for the fun ride.