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Thursday, February 9, 2017

Review - Assault and Beret

In addition to being the author of the Hat Shop Mysteries, Jenn Mckinlay also writes the Cupcake Bakery Mysteries and the Library Lover’s Mysteries.  Today I review the 5th entry in the Hat Shop Mystery series.  This is a first time read in this series for me, see what you think. 

Author: Jenn McKinlay

Copyright: Jan 2017 (Berkley) 299 pgs

Series: 5th in A Hat Shop Mystery series

Sensuality: Mild

Mystery Sub-genre: Cozy

Main Characters: Scarlett Parker, American co-owner of a London Hat Shop

Setting: Modern day, Paris France

Obtained Through: Publisher for honest review

From the cover: "London milliner Vivian Tremont and her American cousin and partner, Scarlett Parker, tip their caps to their beloved shop on Portobello Road in Notting Hill and set off for Paris, where Viv can’t wait to teach a hat-making class. But she has another reason to travel to the City of Light: to find the man she impulsively eloped with years ago and have their marriage annulled.

William Graham is not only handsome and charming, but he also has a glamorous job as an insurance investigator who works with priceless pieces of art, most recently a small Renoir that has been discovered in a junk shop. But when both Will and the masterpiece suddenly disappear, it’s up to the ladies from London to follow the trail of clues. They’ll need to hold on to their chapeaux, however, because someone is a master in the art of deception."

Scarlett Parker, has a ban on dating (a challenge leveled by her mother for her own sake) with only a couple of months left and counting.  This was a bit contrived, but overall her character is enjoyable.  Cousin Vivian Tremont is conflicted in her mission for an annullment and proves hard to figure out, even for Scarlett.  Harrison, Scarlett's London boyfriend is a genuine good guy and incredibly patient with the dating ban.  William Graham is long lost charming husband who decides to win Vivian back.  Alistair, Vivian's boyfriend makes a surprise visit to help out no matter what Viv's ultimate decision will be.  Madame Suzette Leclaire is the French landlady where they are staying who frets over the girls.  Nick and Andre, friends from London even arrive to assist the girls.

Paris sights abound as Scarlett investigates, some are not the usual either.  I particularly enjoyed the places she visits in this book as a great touch.  The plot was not intricate but has enough going on to present a nice challenge and kept me turning the pages.  

I have to give kudos for a particularly good killer reveal with plenty of suspense.  The wrap up is pure perfection as well.

This was the first time I had read a book from this series, which is a shame because I enjoyed the characters thoroughly. 

Rating:  Excellent - Loved it, it had a good grip on me! Buy it now and put this author on your watch list 

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