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Cloche and Dagger

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An all-new series from New York Times bestselling author Jenn McKinlay Not only is Scarlett Parker’s love life in the loo—as her British cousin Vivian Tremont would say—it’s also gone viral with an embarrassing video. So when Viv suggests Scarlett leave Florida to lay low in London, she hops on the next plane across the pond. Viv is the proprietor of Mims’s Whims, a ladies’ An all-new series from New York Times bestselling author Jenn McKinlay Not only is Scarlett Parker’s love life in the loo—as her British cousin Vivian Tremont would say—it’s also gone viral with an embarrassing video. So when Viv suggests Scarlett leave Florida to lay low in London, she hops on the next plane across the pond. Viv is the proprietor of Mims’s Whims, a ladies’ hat shop on Portobello Road bequeathed to both cousins by their beloved grandmother, and she wants Scarlett to finally join her in the millinery business. But a few surprises await Scarlett in London. First, she is met at the airport not by Viv, but by her handsome business manager, Harrison Wentworth. Second, Viv—who has some whims of her own—seems to be missing. No one is too concerned about the unpredictable Viv until one of her posh clients is found dead wearing the cloche hat Viv made for her—and nothing else. Is Scarlett’s cousin in trouble? Or is she in hiding?


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An all-new series from New York Times bestselling author Jenn McKinlay Not only is Scarlett Parker’s love life in the loo—as her British cousin Vivian Tremont would say—it’s also gone viral with an embarrassing video. So when Viv suggests Scarlett leave Florida to lay low in London, she hops on the next plane across the pond. Viv is the proprietor of Mims’s Whims, a ladies’ An all-new series from New York Times bestselling author Jenn McKinlay Not only is Scarlett Parker’s love life in the loo—as her British cousin Vivian Tremont would say—it’s also gone viral with an embarrassing video. So when Viv suggests Scarlett leave Florida to lay low in London, she hops on the next plane across the pond. Viv is the proprietor of Mims’s Whims, a ladies’ hat shop on Portobello Road bequeathed to both cousins by their beloved grandmother, and she wants Scarlett to finally join her in the millinery business. But a few surprises await Scarlett in London. First, she is met at the airport not by Viv, but by her handsome business manager, Harrison Wentworth. Second, Viv—who has some whims of her own—seems to be missing. No one is too concerned about the unpredictable Viv until one of her posh clients is found dead wearing the cloche hat Viv made for her—and nothing else. Is Scarlett’s cousin in trouble? Or is she in hiding?

30 review for Cloche and Dagger

  1. 5 out of 5

    James

    4 stars to Jenn McKinlay's Cloche and Dagger, the first in the "Hat Shop Mystery" series. I'm fond of the author's other series (Library Lovers) and bought her first issues of all other series. The Hat Shop series has potential and I look forward to learning more as I travel through the remainder. Story After a disastrous relationship awkwardly made public, Scarlett takes up her cousin's offer and moves to London to help manage their jointly owned inheritance, a hat shop from their late grandm 4 stars to Jenn McKinlay's Cloche and Dagger, the first in the "Hat Shop Mystery" series. I'm fond of the author's other series (Library Lovers) and bought her first issues of all other series. The Hat Shop series has potential and I look forward to learning more as I travel through the remainder. Story After a disastrous relationship awkwardly made public, Scarlett takes up her cousin's offer and moves to London to help manage their jointly owned inheritance, a hat shop from their late grandmother. When she arrives, her cousin has disappeared and sent the business manager, a handsome Harrison, in her place. Scarlett later recalls meeting "Harry" over seventeen years ago, but their relationship has definitely changed this time around. When she delivers a hat to a difficult client, Scarlett finds the woman has been stabbed to death and is naked on the floor. What happened? Scarlett is later almost strangled and then the hat shop is robbed. She decides to investigate several customers who had a connection to the late woman and learns their is a lot of adultery going on in London! But she of course escapes with only a few bruises, eventually finding her cousin back from a trip to Africa on a mysterious mission. But how is it all connected to hats??? Strengths Scarlett is very likable, as are many of the other characters supporting her into the hat shop-owning foray. Characters are well drawn, quite humorous on many occasions. The concept of a transplant from southern US to London, where she once visited, is a good one. You don't want to know anything about her former life in Florida, which is a good achievement by the author as you are already completely absorbed into her new life in the hat shop. Suggestions The setting was good, but not extensive. I'd like more descriptions of the street where the hat shop resides, the parts of London they visit, etc. The actual hat shop is well-described but I want more! The plot on this was a little too simple. It felt like it should have started sooner than it did, as the characters to suspect don't show up until almost 2/3 into the novel. The wrap up was therefore too quick at the end. Final Thoughts While the book felt a little weak, it has the promise of good characters, strong relationships and interesting drama. Hopefully book two doubles down and brings on the depth! About Me For those new to me or my reviews... here's the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you'll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I've visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Tari

    This was a really fun read, lots of suspense and I had no idea who the killer was. I like how Scarlett was half British and not just a newcomer to the UK. I'll be reading the rest of the series. I'm anxious to see if anything ever happens with Harrison and Scarlett and also the little suspicion she had at the end, not going to say what but it's a fun thought. This was a really fun read, lots of suspense and I had no idea who the killer was. I like how Scarlett was half British and not just a newcomer to the UK. I'll be reading the rest of the series. I'm anxious to see if anything ever happens with Harrison and Scarlett and also the little suspicion she had at the end, not going to say what but it's a fun thought.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jacob Proffitt

    This crossed my status feed and with a title like that, how could I not at least take a look? Also, it's part of the Audible Romance subscription, though I'm not sure why (as it's clearly a mystery, possibly of the cozy variety). Unfortunately, I just couldn't engage with this. Part of that may be the narrator who had an odd cadence with random word emphasis in each sentence. I found it distracting, though not really off-putting. But I think I'd still bounce on this story even with a more-engaging This crossed my status feed and with a title like that, how could I not at least take a look? Also, it's part of the Audible Romance subscription, though I'm not sure why (as it's clearly a mystery, possibly of the cozy variety). Unfortunately, I just couldn't engage with this. Part of that may be the narrator who had an odd cadence with random word emphasis in each sentence. I found it distracting, though not really off-putting. But I think I'd still bounce on this story even with a more-engaging narrator. I had two problems that don't work in a mystery story. First, Scarlett is an idiot. She spent parts of her childhood in London but doesn't know some pretty obvious aspects of the culture? Someone invades her home and tries to smother her to death and she's not sure if she should dial 999? Because it might not be an emergency (because the perp fled)? Seriously? Oh, and suspecting Harrison beyond all reason and without any evidence isn't helping, either. Although, to be fair, he's a jerkface and obviously has his own agenda. Still, he's not a moron and an actual villain wouldn't be going so far out of his way to antagonize Scarlett (at least, not in such petty ways). I don't know if the author was aiming for banter and landing on bicker but I really didn't like either of these two characters when they were together. But the second problem, and the one that had me closing the Audible app, is that the narration is clunky and bogs down in the pedestrian and tedious. Example: after Scarlett is attacked, we get a step-by-step rundown of her going through the apartment room by room. I think the author was going for tense, or, in the case of the shower curtain, humor. It doesn't work. The whole time I'm actually rooting for the bad guy to do something dramatic just to pump the pacing up past this glacial non-action. So cute title. I wish it had anything else going for it...

  4. 4 out of 5

    Nidah (SleepDreamWrite)

    You got a hat shop, a mystery and what's to be another fun cozy series. I think I'm having fun with these books. The setting is interesting, the characters are likable, and you want to keep reading wondering what will happen at the end of the mystery. That and the writing style and pacing were really good. I hadn't realized I was already halfway into the book and lost track of time and just kept reading because I was liking the story and characters. Anyway, this sounded pretty good, with hints of You got a hat shop, a mystery and what's to be another fun cozy series. I think I'm having fun with these books. The setting is interesting, the characters are likable, and you want to keep reading wondering what will happen at the end of the mystery. That and the writing style and pacing were really good. I hadn't realized I was already halfway into the book and lost track of time and just kept reading because I was liking the story and characters. Anyway, this sounded pretty good, with hints of character development and well, found Fee, Nick, Andre and Scarlet's new found friendship adorable. Then there's Harry, I mean Harrison. Couldn't help but think of Darcy for some reason. A good start to a new series from one of my new favorite authors right now. Looking forward to keeping up with this series.

  5. 5 out of 5

    ❂ Murder by Death

    Usually I save my 5 star ratings for cozies that are a joy to read *and* offer something a bit different - unique (or not often used) plot devices, a deeper level of writing, really creative twists or settings. Cloche and Dagger didn't really offer any of these pluses, but it was such an outstandingly fun read with such likeable characters, I couldn't possibly have given it anything less. For me, Ms. McKinlay wasn't going to go wrong with a setting in Notting Hill, London. Consider that box ticke Usually I save my 5 star ratings for cozies that are a joy to read *and* offer something a bit different - unique (or not often used) plot devices, a deeper level of writing, really creative twists or settings. Cloche and Dagger didn't really offer any of these pluses, but it was such an outstandingly fun read with such likeable characters, I couldn't possibly have given it anything less. For me, Ms. McKinlay wasn't going to go wrong with a setting in Notting Hill, London. Consider that box ticked. The characters were each written so well, that they immediately presented themselves in my minds eye so almost never struggled keeping characters/suspects straight in my mind (about 10 seconds asking 'which one's Andre and which one's Nick was about it). I am already crushing on Harrison - if Scarlett doesn't want him, I'll take him. We don't get much time with Viv, but it's clear she'll be quirky and fun and I really like Fee. And thank you, thank you, thank you, for NOT introducing some awful, hateful caricature of some nasty cow put there to make everyone's lives miserable. The plot was nicely done - the first mystery presents itself on page 3(?) with Viv's disappearance. The actual murder doesn't come along until about 1/3 of the way through the book, which allows the author to introduce the setting, the people, etc. with the backdrop of Viv's absence keeping things interesting. Once the murder does occur, it's a good one. I had a suspicion throughout, but was never sure, until the end. Ms. McKinlay has yet to write a series I don't love (we won't bring Josie Bell into this) and I think my rankings are going to need a reshuffling - Hat Shop, Library, Cupcakes. I was genuinely disappointed to have come to the end of this book and I can't wait to read more.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Luffy

    Cloche and Dagger had a bland taste and passed through my system without any ill effects, but also without anything meaningful occurring. I knew midway through the book that it would score 1 star, but the mystery's solvency, plus the efforts of Scarlett to solve it were beneath contempt. This book is so, so, so shallow in its content and depth and texture and feel. It has no soul. Maybe I'm being flippant, because if I'd read this one after having attempted a voluminous Victorian novel, then ma Cloche and Dagger had a bland taste and passed through my system without any ill effects, but also without anything meaningful occurring. I knew midway through the book that it would score 1 star, but the mystery's solvency, plus the efforts of Scarlett to solve it were beneath contempt. This book is so, so, so shallow in its content and depth and texture and feel. It has no soul. Maybe I'm being flippant, because if I'd read this one after having attempted a voluminous Victorian novel, then maybe I'd be so grateful as to forget Cloche and Dagger's faults. But you know what, this book, professionally written with no ambiguity and with a kind, sincere, beautiful and clean character, is one star material. I have nothing more to add.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Rane

    After a scandal rocks her life and makes her a viral sensation. Scarlett Parker's cousin Vivian Tremont decides in time she come and help run their grandmother's hat shop she left to both of them- Mim's Whims. In London, Scarlett doesn't find the peace and quiet she's been craving, but a whole host of troubles from her cousin's sudden disappearance,delirious financial advisor Harrison Wentworth she doesn't know if she wants to kiss or choke and the sudden death of a customer with her only wear After a scandal rocks her life and makes her a viral sensation. Scarlett Parker's cousin Vivian Tremont decides in time she come and help run their grandmother's hat shop she left to both of them- Mim's Whims. In London, Scarlett doesn't find the peace and quiet she's been craving, but a whole host of troubles from her cousin's sudden disappearance,delirious financial advisor Harrison Wentworth she doesn't know if she wants to kiss or choke and the sudden death of a customer with her only wearing one of their hats! Scarlett doesn't know who to turn to but she better find out fast whose behind it all before she's next! For me, Jenn McKinlay is a hit and miss author. While I never got into her Cupcake Bakery series, I've become a big fan of her Library Lover's series. So when I read the write up for her newest series, I was looking forward to this series. Not only I'm a Anglophile (after so years of reading regency romances of course) I adore hats of all kinds! This turned out to everything I was looking forward! Scarlett was a great mix of manager/flirt/fun loving person and hates cooking! The back and forth between her friemeny Harrison was yummy with the tension coming off their banter in heavy waves. I love how McKinlay used alot of Brit slang, wonderful locations and history and normal day activities. The trouble I had overall with the story was lack of mystery and focus on the case. There was some good leads but I would have loved more of a push instead of a sudden rush toward the end to the reveal. Still I greatly enjoyed this book and the crazy cast of characters (and I think I may found my newest book bf in Harry!) I can't wait to see what Jenn McKinlay has in store for this series!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Heidi (Yup. Still here.)

    Very fun first cozy! How does Jenn M. keep coming up with these great new series? She is awesome.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

    I really enjoyed this one. Listening to the audio had me laughing and enjoying the characters and their quirks a lot. Definitely looking forward to the next book!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Fred

    Cloche and Dagger is the first book in the A Hat Shop Mystery series. Another exciting series from one of my favorite authors. Even though the series will center around a millinery shop, the first book just covers the basics. Don't worry about getting bogged down by the detailed workings of the shop. Scarlett Parker and her cousin Vivian Tremont are joint owners of a millinery shop given to them on the death of their grandmother. After an embarrassing breakup with what she thought was her soul-mat Cloche and Dagger is the first book in the A Hat Shop Mystery series. Another exciting series from one of my favorite authors. Even though the series will center around a millinery shop, the first book just covers the basics. Don't worry about getting bogged down by the detailed workings of the shop. Scarlett Parker and her cousin Vivian Tremont are joint owners of a millinery shop given to them on the death of their grandmother. After an embarrassing breakup with what she thought was her soul-mate, Scarlett agrees to head to England and work in their little shop. But when Scarlett arrives, Viv is not there to meet her and a gentleman, Harrison Wentworth, who the business manager for the shop, is and informs her that Viv is missing. But then it is not unheard of for Viv to disappear for a few days. There is bantering between them and Scarlett is not so sure that Harrison is not somehow involved. A couple days later, just as Scarlett is starting to learn about the shop from Fee, an apprentice, Lady Ellis arrives to pick up a hat Viv was making for her. Scarlett has a hard time finding the hat and finally finds which she thinks is the one. To make for the confusion, Scarlett offers to have Lady Ellis' picture taken wearing the hat and post it on the shop's website. She engages Andre, a photographer down the street to take the picture at Lady Ellis' home. When they arrive for the photo op, they learn that Lady Ellis is dead. Scarlett enters her room and finds Lady Ellis wearing only the hat she had given her. It is soon learned that Viv had been romantically involved with Lord Ellis while they were at university and evidently Lord Ellis was still infatuated with Viv. With no one knowing for sure where Viv is, she immediately becomes a person of interest. With someone breaking into the shop and someone attemping to suffocate Scarlett starts her own investigation, with the help of Harrison and Andre and his partner. A wonderful story and I particularly got a kick out of Scarlett and Harrison trying to top the other. All the characters fun and believable. Looking forward to the next book, Death Of A Mad Hatter, to see if Scarlett is for real on no men for 6 months.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Thought I'd try a cozy mystery. I love murder mysteries. I watch a ton of them on Netflix, especially the British ones so this one seemed just my cup of tea, so to speak. Feel free to give that a big eye roll, because that's exactly what I was doing through this whole book. What's good about a cozy: romance without explicit sex, minor if any bad language, and fairly gore-free murder. What's bad: they are dripping with cliches, predictability and bad jokes. I'm pretty sure I won't be continuing o Thought I'd try a cozy mystery. I love murder mysteries. I watch a ton of them on Netflix, especially the British ones so this one seemed just my cup of tea, so to speak. Feel free to give that a big eye roll, because that's exactly what I was doing through this whole book. What's good about a cozy: romance without explicit sex, minor if any bad language, and fairly gore-free murder. What's bad: they are dripping with cliches, predictability and bad jokes. I'm pretty sure I won't be continuing on with the series. It was just like one of those badly done Hallmark movies which I enjoy watching with my daughter because we find them so ridiculous. But I couldn't make any MST3K-like comments because I was "enjoying" this one on my own. The books in the series seemed to get great reviews and high ratings on Goodreads, which makes me think that this is one of the better cozy mystery series so maybe I'd better stick to Agatha Christie.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    Loved my first visit to Mim's Whim's and I will be a repeat shopper! A smart, fun book! I liked the characters and can't wait to see what happens next. This book was easy to read, fun and fast paced. Loved the London setting. Loved my first visit to Mim's Whim's and I will be a repeat shopper! A smart, fun book! I liked the characters and can't wait to see what happens next. This book was easy to read, fun and fast paced. Loved the London setting.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Cheriwinkle

    I found this book delightful from start to ending! Karyn Bryant does a wonderful job narrating, as well!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Anissa

    Three stars. I read this on a little vacation and it was a quick read. It's very light on the mystery (to be clear, if you blink, you'll miss it & the wrap up is lightening fast too) but I enjoyed the setting and the characters were more enjoyable than irritating, so it's all good. I've enjoyed reading McKinlay's Book Lover's series and decided to give this one a try. I'll likely continue reading more in the series. Definitely recommended for fans of the author and anyone looking for a cozy myst Three stars. I read this on a little vacation and it was a quick read. It's very light on the mystery (to be clear, if you blink, you'll miss it & the wrap up is lightening fast too) but I enjoyed the setting and the characters were more enjoyable than irritating, so it's all good. I've enjoyed reading McKinlay's Book Lover's series and decided to give this one a try. I'll likely continue reading more in the series. Definitely recommended for fans of the author and anyone looking for a cozy mystery to while away a weekend.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Alyssa White

    I'm giving this book a 4 because it left me wanting to read the next book in the series because I'm very unsure about where the series is going. The characters are very interesting and the idea is different than what I'm use to. I'm curious to say the least. I'm giving this book a 4 because it left me wanting to read the next book in the series because I'm very unsure about where the series is going. The characters are very interesting and the idea is different than what I'm use to. I'm curious to say the least.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Joy Gerbode

    Loved this book! Characters are diverse and interesting, the mystery is intriguing, and I totally had no idea "who dun it". Thoroughly enjoyed the story and the relationships ... the hint of a ghost ... and of course, it's all in England, so that makes it all the better. Anxious to continue this series. Loved this book! Characters are diverse and interesting, the mystery is intriguing, and I totally had no idea "who dun it". Thoroughly enjoyed the story and the relationships ... the hint of a ghost ... and of course, it's all in England, so that makes it all the better. Anxious to continue this series.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Somanea Khoeurn

    I really enjoyed reading the series so far. This first book caught my attention and held me spellbound. I like to spunkiness of the main character, actually, I like all the crucial characters in this series.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

    Very good, I'll be looking for the next one. Very good, I'll be looking for the next one.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Dolly

    This is the first book in the Hat Shop Mystery series by Jenn McKinlay. I discovered it while browsing for audiobooks in my library's online catalog. It's a fun, cozy mystery that includes colorful characters in a modern London setting. The mystery isn't overly complicated although I wasn't a big fan of the ending (view spoiler)[with the murderer going completely unhinged and planning to increase the body count to four. (hide spoiler)] Overall, it has all the components de rigueur in the first boo This is the first book in the Hat Shop Mystery series by Jenn McKinlay. I discovered it while browsing for audiobooks in my library's online catalog. It's a fun, cozy mystery that includes colorful characters in a modern London setting. The mystery isn't overly complicated although I wasn't a big fan of the ending (view spoiler)[with the murderer going completely unhinged and planning to increase the body count to four. (hide spoiler)] Overall, it has all the components de rigueur in the first book in a cozy mystery series: it has a punny title, does a decent job of introducing the reader to the main characters, and creates romantic tension between two of them (in this case, Scarlett and Harrison). I enjoyed listening to Karyn O'Bryant narrate the story; she transitions between characters and accents very skillfully. I am not hooked on the series, but would certainly listen to the next book if it's available, especially if I'm looking for a bit of brain candy to entertain me. And as I write this review, I see that the author has a Library Lover's Mystery series as well, and that looks like it would be right up my alley.

  20. 4 out of 5

    FangirlNation

    In Cloche and Dagger by Jenn McKinlay, Scarlett needs to be able to move past a meltdown that turned into a YouTube sensation. This leads her cousin Vivian to order Scarlett to move from her home in Florida to England and help with the hat boutique that the two cousins inherited from their grandmother and which Viv manages. But when Scarlett arrives in London, she gets surprised not to find Viv waiting for her, but instead the handsome Harrison, the shop’s business manager, is there. Scarlett no In Cloche and Dagger by Jenn McKinlay, Scarlett needs to be able to move past a meltdown that turned into a YouTube sensation. This leads her cousin Vivian to order Scarlett to move from her home in Florida to England and help with the hat boutique that the two cousins inherited from their grandmother and which Viv manages. But when Scarlett arrives in London, she gets surprised not to find Viv waiting for her, but instead the handsome Harrison, the shop’s business manager, is there. Scarlett notices that he seems to run hot and cold towards her and learns that when she was 10, she stood up Harrison when he asked her for ice cream to chase after an athlete of some sort. He still holds this against her to some degree. Read the rest of this review and other fun, geeky articles at Fangirl Nation

  21. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    Nice beginning to a series and incredibly fast-paced! Kept me very interested, and I read it in almost one sitting (which is a rarity for me!). Scarlett Parker has moved to London to help her cousin, Vivian Tremont, run the hat shop left to them both by their late grandmother, affectionately known as "Mim". When Scarlett arrives (running from a BIG scandal in the States!!!), Viv is nowhere to be found, hunky Harrison meets her at the tube station, and one of the hat shop's most influential clien Nice beginning to a series and incredibly fast-paced! Kept me very interested, and I read it in almost one sitting (which is a rarity for me!). Scarlett Parker has moved to London to help her cousin, Vivian Tremont, run the hat shop left to them both by their late grandmother, affectionately known as "Mim". When Scarlett arrives (running from a BIG scandal in the States!!!), Viv is nowhere to be found, hunky Harrison meets her at the tube station, and one of the hat shop's most influential clients is swiftly murdered wearing nothing but her newest hat! Highly recommended for anyone looking for an enjoyable cozy mystery to read. :-)

  22. 5 out of 5

    Dawn Michelle

    WOW WOW WOW!!! I have not loved a "first book" cozy like this in a VERY long time. This was fabulous from beginning to end and I was as shocked as the characters at who the murderer was. GREAT beginning to a new series; I cannot wait to read the next one!!! WOW WOW WOW!!! I have not loved a "first book" cozy like this in a VERY long time. This was fabulous from beginning to end and I was as shocked as the characters at who the murderer was. GREAT beginning to a new series; I cannot wait to read the next one!!!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Chrysta

    This was such a fun cute cozy mystery! I loved the sassy character Scarlett and liked the potential love interest (possibly in future books) with Harrison/Harry. I hope to read more in this series soon!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lesa Divine

    5th book read during my 24 hour cozy mystery readathon. Just okay. Scarlett goes to London to help her cousin run the hat shop their grandma left them. With a public break up she feels why not to get away from the states. But once there her cousin is missing and a client of the shop is murdered and her cousin is a suspect. Just okay going to read part 2 to see if I'll continue. 5th book read during my 24 hour cozy mystery readathon. Just okay. Scarlett goes to London to help her cousin run the hat shop their grandma left them. With a public break up she feels why not to get away from the states. But once there her cousin is missing and a client of the shop is murdered and her cousin is a suspect. Just okay going to read part 2 to see if I'll continue.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Cindy Norris

    Number 1of a fun new series. Relaxing cozy with great characters that are intriguing. Looking forward to making new friends.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jeannie and Louis Rigod

    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 mod 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!

  27. 4 out of 5

    OjoAusana

    Cute little cozy mystery I admit ive never read on set in a hat shop before! I didn't care for all the characters (I really do not enjoy "flighty" characters) but wasn't a bad book! Cute little cozy mystery I admit ive never read on set in a hat shop before! I didn't care for all the characters (I really do not enjoy "flighty" characters) but wasn't a bad book!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    Scarlett Parker flees a scandal at home and runs to London, where she moves into the flat above a hat shop she co-owns with her cousin, Vivian. Surprised when their financial advisor, handsome Harrison Wentworth, meets her at the airport, she wonders where Viv has gone. Her cousin seems to have vanished. Scarlett settles in and makes contact with their clients. She manages well enough until a customer turns up dead and wearing nothing except one of Viv’s hats. Scarlett decides to investigate, es Scarlett Parker flees a scandal at home and runs to London, where she moves into the flat above a hat shop she co-owns with her cousin, Vivian. Surprised when their financial advisor, handsome Harrison Wentworth, meets her at the airport, she wonders where Viv has gone. Her cousin seems to have vanished. Scarlett settles in and makes contact with their clients. She manages well enough until a customer turns up dead and wearing nothing except one of Viv’s hats. Scarlett decides to investigate, especially when the killer takes aim at her next. Can she keep her mind focused despite worry over her cousin’s whereabouts and the distraction of the dashing Harrison? This series debut title offers an intriguing glimpse into the millinery business and a mystery that will keep you guessing until the surprising end.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

    "Cloche and Dagger" is the first in a new series by Jenn McKinlay and I loved it! When Scarlett Parker leaves her home in Florida after a shameful incident involving a cake, her ex-boyfriend and his wife, heading to London to help run a hat shop in Notting Hill that she and her cousin Viv inherited from their grandmother, she gets more than she bargained for -- a missing cousin, a murder and a dashing accountant whom she is not sure whether to trust, or not. Scarlett doesn't have much time to li "Cloche and Dagger" is the first in a new series by Jenn McKinlay and I loved it! When Scarlett Parker leaves her home in Florida after a shameful incident involving a cake, her ex-boyfriend and his wife, heading to London to help run a hat shop in Notting Hill that she and her cousin Viv inherited from their grandmother, she gets more than she bargained for -- a missing cousin, a murder and a dashing accountant whom she is not sure whether to trust, or not. Scarlett doesn't have much time to lick the wounds of her very public break-up, which thanks to the Internet has now been seen by millions worldwide, as she is thrown into running the shop, and trying to locate her cousin, all while trying to stay alive. It is a hilarious romp through high-society London!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Carmen

    I read this novel for a book club. I wasn't really sure if I'd like it, but I actually loved it. However, I am not sure if I will read the second book in the series. I thought that the mystery surrounding Viv was interesting. It really was the central mystery and the murder mystery was squeezed in there. It really could have done without the murder mystery, which was practically over before it began. Regardless, it was a wonderful opening to a series. I loved the setting and majority of the char I read this novel for a book club. I wasn't really sure if I'd like it, but I actually loved it. However, I am not sure if I will read the second book in the series. I thought that the mystery surrounding Viv was interesting. It really was the central mystery and the murder mystery was squeezed in there. It really could have done without the murder mystery, which was practically over before it began. Regardless, it was a wonderful opening to a series. I loved the setting and majority of the characters. It was a nice change of pace to have a protagonist whose core focus was on something other than trying to be an amateur sleuth. She was just trying to find her cousin and keep their hat shop going as she gets caught up in two scandals.

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