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Scarlett and Viv work as sleuths to clear the name of the daughter of an old client of their grandmother, Mim - all the original characters are back and a few new have been added (like Alistair who is falling in love with Viv) - in their creative way they again take the plot and run with it to make an unusual story line come to life with humor, adventure, and intrigue - love this series with its British quips, road maps, and way of life - does it really rain that bad?
I agree with what another reviewer said below that there seems to be a lot of filler and this book doesn't really move the same as the others in the series. I even feel the answer to the murder mystery is a bit silly, as if Jenn McKinlay's couldn't be bothered to figure out something with a little more depth. Having said all of that, I still found this an enjoyable read and I'm already reading the next in the series.
The characters remain likeable and at the end of the story, of course, you want to read on and find out what happens next in their personal life. The criminal story, this time, lacked a bit in suspense, I felt..still, worth reading :-)
This is the third book in the series. Ariana, a bride-to-be, brings in her mother’s wedding hat to be repaired by the team at Mim’s Whims. Vivian and Scarlett take on the commission and try to reach Ariana to provide her an estimate, so they can get the hat completed before the wedding. Unable to reach her, Scarlett decides to stop by her work. She is shocked to find Ariana standing by a dead body in the courtyard, the man, her boss, having fallen or pushed from the roof. Things don’t look good for Arianna, particularly when it comes out that she had a reason to take out her boss, though it turns out she is not the only one. Scarlett and Vivian are determined to prove her innocence, even though the search may end up in deadly consequences. Scarlett also must fend off her feelings for Harrison, keeping to her vow of remaining celibate after her last disasterous relationship.
I feel badly about giving this book only three stars but for me, although I loved the first two books, and could hardly wait for this one and had pre-ordered it in great anticipation, this book is going nowhere. At times I feel I am reading the wrong book and am stuck in a teen romance, with Scarlett turning red (no pun intended) whenever Harrison brushes by her or breathes near her. I love the characters but I want more about the hat shop, that is the lure for me, the business, the wardrobe with the raven, and the grandmother's spirit. This book I am skimming through, and rolling my eyes a lot....there seems to be a lot of what I call "filler" where for example it takes an incredibly long time for the author to describe Viv tucking her curls behind her ear in the wind. I just want to get to the meat of the story and the wonderful work at the hat shop and instead there is a lot of talking about nothing. Not even Fee seems the same. This book for me could be taking place anywhere, there is no atmosphere at all, and only a rare mention of Portobello Road and British expressions so that you know it does not take place in Chicago. Also there is little mention of the hat shop which was what I had loved in the first two books. I am really disappointed.
Third book in the series and I just finished them all and I loved them all. I had read the 1st and 2nd a couple years ago and then decided to re-read with the 3rd and 4th, so glad I did. They are such good books. I dont care for the way amazon wants us to review books now with these different things to check off because they dont always apply to the book and sometimes you want to check more then one. These were all suspenseful, lighthearted, sometimes the books are full of twists and other times they are predictable but never the less they are still excellent. Two cousins own and run a hat shop in London in Notting Hill and they have marvelous friends and they get involved in murders. If you like cozy mysteries that take place in London this is your series. The ages are around 30 I think, but they dont make you feel old or young.
When Ariana Jackson brings in a hat she wants restored for her wedding to Mim’s Whim’s, Scarlett Parker and Vivian Tremont's hat shop, the two of them jump at the chance to restore it since their late beloved grandmother was the original maker of the hat. Before they can even get started working on the hat, Scarlett signs Ariana hunched over the body of her very dead boss. Many people wanted Anthony Russo dead, including Ariana who is the chief suspect. Vivian and Scarlett think Ariana is innocent and set out to find who is responsible for his death but it won't be easy.
While I have read and enjoyed all three of Jenn McKinlay’s cozy mystery series (The Library Lovers Mysteries, The Cupcake Mysteries, and the London Hat Shop Mysteries) I have always considered the London Hat Shop series to be the lightest and coziest - a bit too light at times perhaps. To my surprise and delight, “At the Drop of a Hat” is a clever mystery, full of twists and turns and a surprise ending. Yes, Scarlett is still fighting her attraction to Harrison to the point where it is becoming annoying (and yes I understand why she is reluctant to enter into another relationship but she comes across as needy at times) - for me that is the weakest part of this book/series. Otherwise there are many things I like about this series: I love the London setting (I got so hungry while reading this book!), I love the hat shop setting, I love the characters (even Scarlett). But it is the mystery and the solution to the mystery that makes this book shine. I can't say too much about it because I'd spoil it but the solution is ingenious. And the surprise at the very end of the book – wow, I can't wait for the next book to see what happens next!
“At the Drop of a Hat” is another nice cozy mystery by Jenn McKinlay.