Regular price: $27.99

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart
How steamy is it? Simmering

Publisher's Summary

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?

©2013 Jennifer McKinlay Orf (P)2013 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Fancy hats and British aristocrats make this my sort of delicious cozy listen." (Rhys Bowen, author of the Royal Spyness Mysteries)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    83
  • 4 Stars
    38
  • 3 Stars
    30
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    2

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    78
  • 4 Stars
    43
  • 3 Stars
    17
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    74
  • 4 Stars
    35
  • 3 Stars
    28
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    1
Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Beatrice
  • Houston, TX, United States
  • 11-23-13

It was okay

The star of this book was the narrator. She did a great job with the accents. I can't say too much about the book. I didn't find the characters or plot believable. It just didn't grab me.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Escaping the media to a murder

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.

No one but Scarlett has much concern about the disappearance of Viv, who has been known to take off from time to time. Trying to take care of the shop, Scarlett impresses Fiona, the apprentice, by selling a hat to a woman who has never bought a hat from them before, despite visiting to look often. Then Lady Ellis and her husband, an earl, come into the shop to pick up a specially ordered hat. Trying to locate the hat, to the increasing ire of Lady Ellis, Scarlett gets the idea of asking if the lady would model her special hat for a photo shoot. Fortunately, that night Scarlett meets a new arrival to her neighborhood, who is setting up a photography studio. So Scarlett arranges a photo shoot for later that week.

But when Scarlett shows up with Andre on Friday to do the photo shoot, the housekeeper discovers the body of Lady Ellis, wearing nothing but the hat made for her by Vivian and stabbed in the heart. And with Viv mysteriously missing, she becomes the main suspect. This throws Scarlett and Harrison into a case for their lives.

This book is nice, light reading, but it does not live up to the standards of Jenn McKinlay"s other works. The mystery plot does not have a lot of development to it, with few actual clues to it. Instead we just see a few events happen to Scarlett but no real detecting or hints to help the characters and readers determine the killer. The redeeming feature of this book is the delightful characters in it. The gay couple down the street from the hat shop are two of the liveliest people in mystery fiction. The romantic tension between Scarlett and Harrison adds to the plot.

I enjoyed the narration of Karyn O'Bryant in the audio edition of this book. She creates good, believable voices for the voices based upon the descriptions in the book. Further, ahe does a good job modulating between the different accents of the various characters.

Cloche and Dagger comes across as a fun book, but it has a fairly incredible conclusion to the mystery that felt strange to me. Will I get book two in this series? Probably. I wouldn't if this were by an author unknown to me, but since I really appreciate the writing of McKinlay"s Cupcake series and Library series, I'll give the second book another shot. But for this book, I give it only three stars.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Either porrly written, poorly read or both

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

No one that I can think of. This book is poorly written and the narrator only made it worse.

Would you ever listen to anything by Jenn McKinlay again?

Probably not.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

She has a way of making the book sound like a primary reader. She may have had very poor material but her voice and method of reading made a bad book sound worse.

What character would you cut from Cloche and Dagger?

All of them. Very poorly written.

Any additional comments?

Don't bother.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great New Series

I loved the social media shame then vindication. Love that it's set in London. I'm listening to Death of a Mad Hatter now!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

Nowhere near as good as the authors Library Series. Readable if you want something light, easy, and pure froth. Totally without substance. Characters too beyond quirky to be anywhere near believable.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Cute, fun story

Fun story! Nothing amazing but kept my interest. Nice combination of mystery and a touch of romance. Performance was engaging.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

cute, funny, interesting

This was typical Jen McKinley writing. Cute, funny, mysterious, and a little bit of romance, sort of

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

More fun from Jenn McKinlay!

I adored the Cupcake series, and am having as much fun with the Hat Shop Mysteries!
One thing that sort of bothered my at first was that the narrator seemed... lugubrious. I don't know if it was the recording... but, once I started playing the book at 1.25 speed, the reading picked up and was as spritely and delightful as I expected.
I am looking forward to the next series after I finish this one... and the one after that!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

fun story, well written

Good solid story. Nice narration. Love the London setting. Hat shop a good backdrop for a mystery.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A Fantastic Start to a new series!

After Scarlett Parker discovers that her boyfriend has been lying to her and is still married, her fiery temper gets the best of her and she behaves badly and gets the name of the “Party Crasher”. To put some distance between the incident, Scarlett decides to visit her cousin, Vivian, who runs Mim’s Whims, the millinery business they both inherited when their grandmother passed away. In England Scarlett doesn’t quite find the peace and quiet she’s looking for, especially when Vivian appears to be missing and a client turns up dead. With an old love interest in tow, Scarlett and her new friends must solve a murder and try to keep the hat shop open, in Vivian’s absence.

I first discovered Jenn McKinlay through her Cupcake Bakery mysteries and then her Library Lover’s mysteries. Being a fan of English-based mysteries, I was thrilled to learn that she was publishing a series set in England.

Right from the second Scarlett steps off the plane in England, I was hooked on her adventure. She’s such a fun heroine, as she struggles with the pain of her embarrassment of her ex-boyfriend, to not remembering, Harrison, a boy she stood up as a teen. She has a fiery temperament, and it seems she’s always getting herself into trouble!! Scarlett is plain and simple fun and it was so enjoyable to read her first adventure.

The first mystery in this series really sets the scene about the store, Mim’s Whims, Vivian and Scarlett’s history together, growing up together and spending their summers at the store. We are also introduced to the fabulous pair of Andre and Nick, a couple that live just down the street, and help Scarlett cause trouble and get out of trouble too!! I absolutely adored Andre and Nick and I can’t wait to see more of them in the next book.

I listened to Cloche and Dagger on audiobook and the narration is voiced by Karyn O’Bryant. It was my first time listening to Karyn O’Bryant narrate and it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. She quickly switches between the English and American accents, and her voices matched the personalities so perfectly. From vibrant Nick to Harrison, who can be quite the stick-in-the-mud and formal, the voices were simply perfect. I hope that future books in this series will be published in audiobook format with Karyn O’Bryant providing the narration.

Cloche and Dagger is a five-star read. It’s a debut in a new series and it is an absolute stellar start to this series. I can’t wait for the second book (Death of a Mad Hatter) to hit the shelves next year.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful