Saturday, May 17, 2014

Death of a Mad Hatter by Jenn McKinlay

I'm just mad for Jenn McKinlay's Hat Shop mysteries. Her latest, Death of a Mad Hatter, has a wonderfully odd cast of characters, lots of humor, as much sexual tension as Moonlighting, and an Alice in Wonderland tea party. Add in the London setting, and it doesn't get any better. It's just fun.

When the Grisby family shows up at Mim's Whims, the hat shop that cousins Scarlett Parker and Vivian Tremont inherited from their grandmother, it's obvious it won't be easy to accommodate them. Dotty Grisby lives in her own world, where her late husband didn't leave her for another woman thirty years earlier, and where Viv is her grandmother, Ginny. The cousins can work with that because Dotty wants to raise money for a hospital wing by hosting an Alice in Wonderland charity tea, and she wants all of her large family to wear themed hats. Dotty's grown children aren't as easy to deal with, as one daughter complains about her brother inheriting everything, and Geoffrey, the heir, is a germaphobe.

The hats are much more successful than the tea party because the Mad Hatter ends up dead. And the first place the police look is at Mim's Whims because there was poison on the hat that Viv made. Harrison Wentworth, the shop's business manager, does everything he can to keep Scarlett and Viv out of the investigation. But, Scarlett is deliberately obstreperous when Harrison tries to tell her what to do. She admits she has a hot temper to go with her red hair. She's stubborn, tenacious, and determined to ignore the good-looking man who tempts her to break her vow not to date for a year. It isn't long before Scarlett falls down a rabbit hole of trouble.

McKinlay's latest mystery is as delicious as afternoon tea at the Savoy. Can I tempt with a fun mystery with humor and wonderful characters? Hats off to Jenn McKinlay for Death of a Mad Hatter.

Jenn McKinlay's website is

Death of a Mad Hatter by Jenn McKinlay. Berkley Prime Crime. 2014. ISBN 9780425258903 (paperback), 290p.

FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.


Jenn McKinlay said...

YAY! You liked it! Lesa, I value your opinion as one of the best read mystery reviewers I know. Thank you so very much and a tip of the brim to you :)

Kaye Barley said...

I can't wait to read this - thanks for the delightful review, Lesa!

Lesa said...

Really liked it, Jenn! And, the other reviewer I trust, my youngest sister, liked it as well.

Lesa said...

You're welcome, Kaye. I think you're going to enjoy it.

Mark Baker said...

I really have an issue with the romantic sub-plot, but I sure do enjoy the rest of it.

Lesa said...

Interesting, Mark. My sister has problems with the romantic sub-plots in some of Jenn's other series because she tears up the couples. At the moment, we're both waiting to see what happens with this one.