Death of a Mad Hatter by Jenn McKinlay

Death of a Mad HatterDeath of a Mad Hatter by Jenn McKinlay

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jenn McKinlay appeases my inner Anglophile with her newest addition to her Hat Shop Mystery series with "Death of a Mad Hatter". Added to the mix this time around is the whimsical theme of Alice in Wonderland tea party thrown by the wealthy Grisby family for a new local hospital wing. The cousins Scarlett and Viv are put in charge of creating hats in the theme of Alice. The perfect afternoon tea is ruined when the Grisby heir is found dead having been poisoned with the Mad Hatter hat having traces over it. Now it's up to Scarlett and Viv to figure out who wanted the Mad Hatter dead....

It was great to revisit the cousins, Scarlett and Viv, and their friends again. The pace was easy as it builds up to the murder and leads down some winding paths. I had my theories on who was behind it, McKinlay had alot of suspects and red herrings the reader had to work through. I was a tad surprised on who was the culprit but the pieces & clues fell together in a very neat and unexpected way.

The trouble I had overall with the story was Scarlett who tended to act like a sulking teenager then adult. Her "crush" on the very delicious Harrison and jealousy on anyone like her co-worker who may be interested in him at it's best pretty lame (she even runs away from him then having an adult talk!) So it was great that Harrison was able pull her up short on her excuses. I can (hopefully) see a great romance blooming between the two. It does show perhaps Scarlett has some growing up to do ahead of her- like not pulling another TSTL moment like she did at the end....

In the end though I was completely captivated by this story and almost felt like tourist learning about the settings, places and people. The little troubles were less then stumbles in an overall wonderful book and the mystery had me guessing to the end. I can't wait to see what's ahead in book three.

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