Death of a Mad Hatter by Jenn McKinlay
The book met all my expectations. From the whimsical storyline, to the wonderful characters that you just cannot help but adore, to a great mystery that had kept me guessing until the very last page.
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 that 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.
Review by Lily:
Scarlett Parker and the ladies from Mim’s Whims arecback in another exciting installment. This time the ladies are hard at work to create hats for an Alice in Wonderland themed afternoon tea party that was also a fund-raised for the local children’s hospital hosted by a very wealthy family. The girls are very excited about the whimsical project, until they meet the family members of the Grisby Family.
But when the Grisby heir is found dead at the party with traces of poison in his hat, the police keep their eyes on Scarlett and Viv wondering about their involvement.
Oh what a fun story. I really, really enjoyed this one. Scarlett Parker shines as a sleuth and brings forth a sassy personality. I loved Scarlett, I thought she was very charming as well as her friends working in Mim’s Whims. She really made Death of a Mad Hatter shine, and I was already in love with the premise. I mean, an Alice in Wonderland themed tea party with Alice in Wonderland themed hats? How enchanting does that sound?
The book met all my expectations. From the whimsical storyline, to the wonderful characters that you just cannot help but adore, to a great mystery that had kept me guessing until the very last page. I think I changed my mind about a dozen times when it came to who the murderer really is. But I did enjoy following Scarlett around and discovering the little secrets for myself.
The biggest bonus for me in this as well as the blooming relationship between Scarlett and Harrison. I love their interactions and how jealous Scarlett got thinking there was something going on between him and her much younger co-worker. But Harrison did not fail to surprise me throughout the book and just like him, I enjoyed watching Scarlett stumble over her excuses around him. The romance was sweet, slowly and I am really rooting for the both of them in the future. Knowing that Scarlett is not ready to date due to her past relationship.
Review by Deb@Debbie’s Book Bag:
Author Jenn McKinlay is at it again. This time she brings readers the second book in her Hat Shop Mystery series, Death of a Mad Hatter. What is one of the things that London is famous for?… You guessed it, TEA! McKinlay not only takes on a London tradition, but also the great Lewis Carroll with an Alice in Wonderland themed tea party that ends up deadly. Readers will love McKinlay’s latest offering with it’s clever dialogue and multi-layered characters. A great series for first time cozy readers and mega cozy enthusiasts alike.
As always with a Jenn McKinlay book, readers know they are going to get a well researched, witty and clever mystery. It won’t be too gory, it won’t have too much vulgarity or too much of anything. It will be just right. And that’s always the case. She has this cozy mystery thing down to a science. I like the fact that she writes so many different kinds of cozy mysteries. It proves how versatile she is a as a writer. She can write about cupcakes as well as she writes about libraries and she understands hats, as well as bargains. McKinlay is a very skilled writer, who knows what it takes to keep readers coming back book after book.
It’s no secret… I love hats. Being from Kentucky, it’s traditional to wear a hat to the Kentucky Derby and a cozy mystery series about a hat shop is right up my alley. I even wore a very stylish hat when I got married. Though the hat lasted longer than the I do’s did, I love them even more now than I did then. That’s why this particular series from Jenn McKinlay is quickly becoming my new favorite from her.
Not only is it about an unusual profession… millinery shops are not that popular in the US but it has an overseas setting. In London hats are still the norm. I love all the information about the city that creeps into McKinlay’s writing, as well as, the wonderful details of making hats and what is popular and what’s not. Add to that Alice and Wonderland and tea and McKinlay certainly has a winner on her hands.
Lewis Carroll has touched many lives through his writing. I’m sure when he first started writing about Alice falling down the rabbit hole, he never imagined how far she would go. I love the fact that McKinlay gives a nod to one of Carroll’s most beloved characters in the Mad Hatter. The Alice in Wonderland tea was a fantastic plot idea and it worked so well with the mystery and how the victim was actually poisoned. I know there was some research to this one, as well as some very snappy dialogue writing which is a trademark of McKinlay’s.