Hello Friends! I hope all is well with you. I have been in such the mood lately for cozy mysteries. Over the past six or so months, I have been hauling them like crazy with the intentions of binge reading them this fall. So far, I have made my way through the first two books in three different series. Sounds crazy, I know! Why not just binge read an entire series? Well, although I have the physical copies, I have also been listening to them on audiobook thanks to my library, but with that, I do have to wait for holds to come in. So that is why I have sort of jumped around with them. I am here though to recommend the first two in my first three cozy mystery series to you all. In this post, I will focus on The Hat Shop Mystery series by Jenn Mckinlay.
The first book in The Hat Shop Mysteries is Cloche and Dagger which I really enjoyed. In Cloche and Dagger you meet Scarlett who lives in Florida and has recently went through a very public, humiliating break up (finding out your boyfriend of two years is ENGAGED kind of humiliating!) To add fuel to the fire, there is a video circulating the internet of Scarlett throwing cake at him as she crashes his engagement party! Her cousin Vivian lives in London and phones Scarlett saying she should fly over and help her with the hat shop, Mim’s Whims, both girls inherited from their grandmother. Scarlett decides to take Viv up on her offer but upon her arrival, Viv is nowhere to be found. A few chapters later, a very important woman with a special made hat by Viv is found dead, naked wearing nothing but the hat.
Book two amped things up with some family drama that I lived for every minute of! In Death of a Mad Hatter Scarlett and Viv are hard at work creating hats for an upcoming Alice in Wonderland themed afternoon tea which is a fundraiser for a local children’s hospital. The hosts of the tea are the Grisby family and the girls are delighted to fit the family who are hoping to raise enough money to name a wing of the hospital after their patriarch. When the heir to the Grisby estate is found dead with traces of poison on the hat created by Scarlett and Viv, the police become curious about their involvement. The girls have to put their thinking caps on to figure out who the killer is.
I am absolutely enjoying this series so far. My favorite aspect to this series is the diverse cast of characters and the friendship between them. I love the moments where Scarlett is having dinner with Andre the photographer or his life partner. There is also a gradually building romance between Scarlett and Harrison, a gentleman the girls grew up with and Scarlett turned down when they were young.
There are cozy mysteries of all sorts, but when I saw that this series follows hat shop owners I had to get it, because I hadn’t seen anything else like it. If you enjoy stories that take place in London and are looking for a fun series with a strong friendship holding the characters together, I highly recommend giving this series a try!