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Cloche and Dagger (A Hat Shop Mystery) Mass Market Paperback – August 6, 2013
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Intrusion: A Novel
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“A delicious romp through my favorite part of London with a delightful new heroine.” —Deborah Crombie, New York Times bestselling author
“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
“Fancy hats and British aristocrats make this my sort of delicious cozy read.” —Rhys Bowen, author of the Royal Spyness Mysteries
Top Customer Reviews
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.
"Cloche and Dagger" is the first book in Jenn McKinlay's Hat Shop cozy mystery series and the series already looks like a winner. I love the premise and set up. Scarlett is a well-written and sympathetic character. McKinlay takes a big gamble in having Viv gone for a large part of the book (it can be hard to care about a character we haven't even met) but she pulls it off quite well. I love the descriptions of the hats - I am not a hat person but I could easily picture them and they sounded gorgeous. I also like the side characters - Harrison (he and Scarlett have great chemistry) and the (almost inevitable in a cozy mystery) gay sidekicks Andre and Nick. There is a running gag in the book involving puns that adds a lot of humor to the book without becoming annoying. But what really makes this book such a delight to read is the intricate plotting of the mystery - I was completely fooled by some of the red herrings McKinlay put in the book. This is my favorite type of mystery where, as plot twists are revealed, you find yourself flipping back and rereading certain passages in the book and realize how expertly McKinlay pulled the wool over your eyes. This couldn't have been easy to write and is extremely well done.
"Cloche and Dagger" is an excellent cozy mystery and I look forward to the next book in the series.
One of my biggest problems is that the book was very slow to start. Scarlett didn't even stumble across the murder victim until page 104. So, what did she do until then? Well, after arriving in London and getting 'jilted' by her cousin Viv, she met the hat shop's business manager, Harrison Wentworth. She argued with Harrison, she met shop apprentice Fiona, she quarreled with Harrison, she met her photographer neighbor Andre, she fought with Harrison, she dealt with 2 difficult customers (including the future murder victim), and she also squabbled with Harrison. (You get the idea.)
By the time the book started to pick up the pace a little, I was annoyed with Scarlett and Harrison and their childish behavior. (Plus, I was a little bored.) After the murder and a few unpleasant incidents at the shop, the pair called a truce and decided to team up together to solve the mystery (while also looking for Scarlett's missing cousin). But, once those two crazy kids started working together, Scarlett's internal monologue did a complete 180. She went from being constantly irritated with Harrison, to wanting to jump his bones every 5 seconds. While they were arguing like school children, I wanted to smack some sense into them, but after Scarlett started fixating on how great Harrison looked in a sweater (or whatever else he was wearing), I just wanted to smack her harder.
The duo didn't do a whole lot of sleuthing, either. Scarlett invited all the usual suspects over for tea, and Harrison wrangled an invitation to the victim's funeral, but that was about it.Read more ›
Scarlett Parker, an American woman who, with her British cousin, inherited a London hat shop, heads over to London to help out her cousin, Viv. When Scarlett arrives, Viv seems to have disappeared. There's lots and lots of talk and the author very slowly (very, very, very slowly) introduces several characters. Finally, at long last, there's a murder and Scarlett and her new friends try to solve it.
The first half of the book drags on and on and the last bit felt thrown together.
There's some potential with this series as I like the characters somewhat so I may read the second one, before I decide whether or not to continue with it. I give the author the benefit of the doubt since I like her other series. However, if this book had been the first book I'd ever read from this author, it would've been my last.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It was a "cozy mystery", as opposed to a hard-boiled mystery.
Anyway, the main character-and-narrator was annoying. Read more
I will try to read anything that she writes. It is clean and fun and suspenseful and not gory.Published 1 month ago by Margaret Connelly
I read this after hearing my mom talk about it. I just replaced my beloved Kindle, so I borrowed this from my library and devoured it over the afternoon. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amanda Sue Howell
Once I picked this up I couldn't stop reading. The characters were well developed and the plot ran smoothly. My Cozy Book Club were all in agreement. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Toni N