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.