Cloche and Dagger (Hat Shop Mystery Series #1)

Cloche and Dagger (Hat Shop Mystery Series #1)

by Jenn McKinlay

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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’ 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?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780425258897
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/06/2013
Series: Hat Shop Mystery Series , #1
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 110,616
Product dimensions: 6.76(w) x 4.16(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

A true Anglophile, Jenn McKinlay loves all things British. In her idea of a perfect world, every day would include high tea or wearing a fabulous hat, or both. This adoration of all things U.K. inspired her to write the Hat Shop Mysteries, which are set in London, one of her most favorite cities in the world. She now gets to visit London regularly—for research purposes, of course.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Praise for Cloche and Dagger :

“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


Customer Reviews

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Cloche and Dagger (Hat Shop Mystery Series #1) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 38 reviews.
chefdt More than 1 year ago
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.
Jenscorner More than 1 year ago
Another great series from a talented mystery writer. The first book in her new Hat Shop series introduces you to Scarlett, and all the characters she meets. You get to know her cousin, Vivian, who has been known to just wander off whenever her heart gets a whim. However, this time, Vivian comes home to find out one of her customers is dead. Found only wearing the hat she bought from Viv, you find out Viv had a connection to this wealthy patron. Harrison is the childhood friend Scarlett grew up with when she would visit her Grandmother in London. He remembers being stood up by Scarlett, she's trying to not to remember how handsome he looks. Curl up and enjoy your jaunt overseas as you read the adventures waiting for Scarlett and Viv now that they've inherited their Grandmother's hat shop, Mim's Wims. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
judiOH More than 1 year ago
this author writes several series'. each one is very god reading for different reasons. this story is a first in this series, and is gripping reading. i had a great deal of trouble putting it down! scarlett parker is half owner of a hat shop in england. her love life is in the dumper and make very public. her cousin, (the other half owner), convinces her to come to england and live there and help run the shop. her cousin, viv, disappears, and at the same time a well kown peer is murdered, and the only thing she is wearing is a cloche hat made by viv. there a surprises in tis book that will intrigue you. where is viv? is there romance blooming between harrison,(the business manager) and scarlett? who dunit? oh my! gotta read this book to et the answers, and i guarantee you will be waiting for the next story anxiously. i know i am.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good concept for a new mystery series. The author needs to be careful of English phrases on American heroine. Would she use that phrase? The story was good
Carstairs38 More than 1 year ago
Fun but Flawed Series Debut When Scarlett’s break up with her jerk of a boyfriend goes viral and she loses her job, even she has to agree her life is in the loo. So when her cousin Vivian suggests that she move to London and help run the hat shop they inherited from their grandmother, she agrees. Just a few days later, Scarlett arrives only to be met by a stranger instead of Vivian. Seems Vivian has up and disappeared, and most everyone else that Scarlett talks to about it chalks it up to Vivian’s flighty artistic nature. Scarlett has a bad feeling about it, however, a feeling that only grows when one of their clients is murdered. With few friends and resources in London, can Scarlett figure out what is going on? The characters in this debut are strong. They are fun and pulled me into the story quickly, which was a good thing because the plot could have been better. There are plenty of events, but the mystery doesn’t really seem to be leading anywhere for quite a while, and Scarlett's move and her new friends take up some time as well. The author has many fans, and they are well deserved. It took me a while to realize the issues with the plot. I enjoyed the book enough to grab the second when it comes out. Hopefully, the plot will be stronger.
scottnl73 More than 1 year ago
Fab start to a new series! I've been a fan of Jenn McKinlay's Cupcake Bakery Mysteries for a few years and wasn't sure if a new series was going to reel me in like the escapades of Mel and Angie of Fairy Tale Cupcakes. But I can say that I enjoyed Scarlett, Harrison (Harry) and the crew on Notting Hill probably more than the Fairy Tale Cupcake crew. This was such an enjoyable story that I completely overlooked the fact that the crime doesn't even occur until you're more than 100 pages into the book. And refreshingly enough, Scarlett isn't trying to be some intrepid amateur sleuth and solve the crime before the constables do, she's more concerned about making sure the business doesn't suffer, as well as worrying about her missing cousin (who we don't hear from again until the last three chapters of the book. But with all the antics that are occurring at Mim's Whims, you kinda forget all about the missing Viv. I liked the tension between Scarlett and Harrison, it's going to be interesting to see how that storyline plays out. Nick and Andre are hilarious, and what's the deal with the wardrobe?
Dollycas More than 1 year ago
Scarlett agrees with Viv that it is time to get out of Florida for awhile so she jets across the pond to visit her cousin and check in on the business they share. Mims’s Whims was left to them by their grandmother. Viv has the perfect touch of creating outstanding and outlandish hats just like her grandmother, Scarlett is a novice when it come to creating any type of chapeau. So when Scarlett arrives in London only to find her cousin not in residence she is like a fish out of water. Harrison Wentworth is the business manager for the hat shop and is used to Viv taking off on whims of her own. But when one of Viv’s hoity-toity clients ends up dead people including Scarlett and the coppers start to wonder if she is really off on a buying trip or in hiding. Dollycas’s Thoughts Jenn McKinlay has done it again!!! Scarlett is a fantastic character! I absolutely love her. She spent most of the book worried about her missing cousin and I did too. With all these viral videos hitting the internet lately, and I know a couple from one of the latest personally, Scarlett’s story is current and believable and hilarious!! I didn’t need to see it with my eyes this author made me see it in my mind perfectly. It was fun to follow the murder mystery too along with a couple other unusual happenings. No spoilers here!! Jenn has laid the foundation for another wonderful series. Harrison has captivated me with his stories of infatuation for Scarlett when they were young and she still holds a place in his heart. After recent events she is not ready to see that yet. Viv was missing for most of the story but these three together along with Fiona “Fee”, Andre and Nick are going to take us on some wild rides. Death of a Mad Hatter can’t be released soon enough for me!! I wonder what part Ferd the Bird will play in that one.
Anonymous 7 months ago
I love Jenn McKinley’s novels because she is so good at drawing you in right from the start. Hat making is such an unusual cozy mystery background & a unique cast of characters will have you coming back for more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Flows well and has all the essential features of a cozy mystery- murder, kooky characters, interesting place and good clues. I would read another one.
BeagleGirl123 More than 1 year ago
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. :-)
JamesJohnCudneyIV More than 1 year ago
3 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!
SleepDreamWrite More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
the-PageTurner More than 1 year ago
This book is a powerful beginning to what is going to be a great series. It has all the components of the perfect cozy. It all starts when Scarlett Parker goes to London - my favorite city in the world . She has gone there to visit her cousin and co-owner of a hat shop. No one can do hats like the Brits. There is a fun cast of minor characters. Some good laughs, a body of course. Snobbish gentry and tea parties. Oh yes there is a good looking and mysterious man.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another great series from McKinlay. Love Scarlett almost as much as Mel. Already looking forwrd to the next one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LegoDinolady More than 1 year ago
I only gave this book a three star for a few reasons. I did like this book and was over all happy with it. First I liked not knowing who the killer was. I could not put this down until the very end and was happy that I read it. The things that annoyed me was the ending and a few sentences that seemed incomplete. I liked the mysterious raven, but I didn't care for the death presence. I look forward to getting to know Vivian in the next book and what is in store for Scarlet or should I say Ginger. Who knew that being in that creating hats could be so dangerous.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Crickerz More than 1 year ago
I have to start this review off by saying that this is the first in a new series and it does start off very slow, but knowing it is the first in a new series helped me to stick with it until the action picked up and boy am I glad I did. She spends a lot of time developing her character's and the background. Scarlett Parker is the main character in this series and she is having a pretty challenging time at the moment. Her cousin insists that she come live in London and take her place at the families Hat shop. When Scarlett arrives, she is in for several surprises. Scarlett has to figure out why their business manager seems to hate her and wants her to go back to America, she needs to figure out what has happened to her cousin, who seems to have vanished into thin air. Then she needs to figure out who killed one of her customers, not an easy task since it seems that everyone disliked the woman. I would recommend this book to my family and friends. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series. Hang in there I promise the action picks up.
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She sat down. She looked at Caterina before he accidentaly waved her hand over a clump of grass freezing it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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