Copy Cap Murder
Hat Shop Mystery, Book #4
By Jenn McKinlay
Author website: http://www.jennmckinlay.com/
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Kayt
The New York Times bestselling author of At the Drop of a Hat returns to her London hat shop with a fresh tale of milliners and murder.
For Scarlett Parker, part of the fun of living in London is celebrating the British holidays, and she’s excited to share her first Bonfire Night with her cousin Vivian Tremont. Invited to a posh party by their friend Harrison Wentworth, Scarlett and Viv decide to promote their hat shop, Mim’s Whims, by donning a few of their more outrageous creations. The hats prove to be quite the conversation starters as the girls’ mix and mingle with the guests—never suspecting that one of them is a killer.
It’s a cold, clear night, perfect for the British tradition of tossing a straw stuffed effigy of Guy Fawkes, traitor to the crown, onto the bonfire. But instead of a straw man, they realize in the heat of the moment that the would-be Guy Fawkes is actually Harrison’s office rival and he’s been murdered. Before the smoke has cleared, Harrison is the Metropolitan police’s prime suspect, and Scarlett and Vivian must find the real homicidal hothead before their dear friend’s life goes up in flames.
Author Jenn McKinlay always fills her books with humor, intelligence and intrigue. Copy Cap Murder is no different. This series, A Hat Shop Mystery, is fabulous. Its’ setting in the bustling big city of London makes it an odd duck as far as the normal cozy mystery. Somehow Jenn McKinlay pulls it off and keeps a small community feel while still portraying the excitement and possibilities of a huge metropolis. I love the comradery between strong protagonist Scarlett Parker, her partner in business and cousin Vivian Tremont, handsome longtime friend Harrison Wentworth and their pals. In this, the 4th book, Scarlett and her friends are invited to a fancy bonfire party by Harrison. Her first bonfire turns into a horror when a body has been put in place of a straw filled effigy.
The dead body is Harrison’s office rival and also the man that accosted Scarlett earlier in the party. Harrison had come to her rescue and left his mark on the man. The dead man, Winthrop Dashavoy, was drunk and obnoxious, but he did not deserve to die. Unfortunately, Harrison is the prime suspect. Scarlett, Viv, Fiona (Viv’s assistant) and their neighbor buddies cannot believe he is being accused. They have to find the real killer. The gang find several possible killers, but not enough evidence to present to the police. Deceased Win was not a nice person. Can they find the killer before someone else is murdered and without becoming targets themselves?
Scarlett and friends are determined to prove Harrison’s innocence and they have quite a few close calls and many an adventure. Author Jenn McKinlay’s writing style is effervescent and so are her characters. The intrigue is top-notch. Wonderful setting accompanied by descriptive writing and witty and intelligent dialogue drive this entertaining read. Scarlett and Harrison’s relationship is endearing and captivating. The flow of twists and turns, clues and missteps, danger and laughter seems effortless. The end result is a smashing hit.
Even though Copy Cap Murder is the 4th installment of this series, you would not have a problem enjoying this one. The author is amazing in her ability to get the reader caught up while keeping the avid reader thoroughly entertained. I can just imagine walking down the beautiful London street and popping into Mim’s Whims and selecting a wonderful hat to top of my outfit. I would recommend this fabulous read to any cozy fan or Anglophile. Reading Copy Cap Murder is like stepping off the Tube and grabbing a cup of tea at a small café. Fun and full of mystery and fabulous plotting, this is a fabulous read. Hat’s off once again to Jenn McKinlay – truly another smashing read.
*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review as part of their ongoing blog tour*