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.
©2014 Jennifer McKinlay Orf (P)2015 Tantor
"Cozy fans will eagerly await Hat Shop #3." (Publishers Weekly)
This will be the last book for me in this series. Scarlett, the main character, is incredibly immature and annoying. She is constantly going on and on about how attractive her friend Harrison is. But, instead of acting on the attraction, she finds small petty reasons to push him away. This goes on throughout the book and distracts from the mystery. The minors are interesting and likable. If it had not been for them, I would have given up on the book. The narrator doesn't help either. She tries too hard to make the story interesting.
It is an interesting story with a strong narration. It has the requisite twists and turns of the cozy mystery genre. it also has the usual flaws of the genre, such as a heroine who is a little too noble and determined to put herself in harms way for the sake of someone she barely knows. But all in all, a good read.
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