Death of a Mad Hatter (Hat Shop Mystery Series #2)

Death of a Mad Hatter (Hat Shop Mystery Series #2)

by Jenn McKinlay

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Scarlett Parker and her British cousin, Vivian Tremont, are hard at work at Mim’s Whims—their ladies’ hat shop on London’s chic Portobello Road—to create hats for an Alice in Wonderland themed afternoon tea, a fund-raiser for a local children’s hospital. It seems like a wonderfully whimsical way to pass the hat, and Scarlett and Viv are delighted to outfit the Grisby family, the hosts who are hoping to raise enough money to name a new hospital wing after their patriarch.

Unfortunately, the Grisby heir will not live to see it—he’s been poisoned. When traces of the poison are found on the hat Scarlett and Viv made for him, the police become curiouser and curiouser about their involvement. Now the ladies need to don their thinking caps and find the tea party crasher who’s mad enough to kill at the drop of a hat…

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780425258903
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/06/2014
Series: Hat Shop Mystery Series , #2
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 86,655
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

A true Anglophile, New York Times bestselling author Jenn McKinlay loves all things British. In her idea of a perfect world, every day would include high tea or wearing a fabulous hat or both. This adoration of all things U.K. inspired her to write the Hat Shop Mysteries, set in London, one of her most favorite cities in the world, which she now gets to visit regularly—for research purposes, of course. Jenn is also the author of the Cupcake Bakery Mysteries and the Library Lover’s Mysteries.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Praise for Cloche and Dagger:

“A delicious romp through my favorite part of London with a delightful new heroine.”—Deborah Crombie, New York Times bestselling author

“Fancy hats and British aristocrats make this my sort of delicious cozy read.”—Rhys Bowen, bestselling author of the Royal Spyness Mysteries

“Brimming with McKinlay’s trademark wit and snappy one-liners, Anglophiles will love this thoroughly entertaining new murder mystery series. A hat trick of love, laughter, and suspense, and another feather in [Jenn McKinlay’s] cap.”—Hannah Dennison, bestselling author of the Vicky Hill Mysteries


Customer Reviews

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Death of a Mad Hatter 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
irishclaireKG More than 1 year ago
Not Up to the First. Another disappointment in another series I had looked forward to continuing. I do love the London setting as it is one of my favorite cities in the world, and the author's descriptions bring back fond memories of familiar places. The hat shop setting is also unique--but in the next book, there needs to be some serious growth in the main character. Scarlett comes across as childish, impulsive and just plain dumb. By the end, when she has stupidly endangered herself and others for the umpteenth time--I want to smack her. She doesn't even come across as an adult--more like a petulant teenager who is more interested in being adorable than using her head. Yes; this is a cozy mystery, just to be taken for fun reading, but I need some 'smarts' with my fun read. The protagonist's endless and childish 'oh should I stay away from men?' and 'oh why isn't Harrison paying attention to me?' is just tedious. I keep wondering why Harrison is interested at all. Also, like too many other cozy read books, details of the mystery are repeated WAY too much to the point of distraction. What is worse here, is that obvious, easy questions to solving the crime (and this is NOT a spoiler) like 'why would a possible suspect want to leave the country?' are ignored or treated as impossible to answer. Good grief. Another element I found off-putting here is the stereotypical treatment/presentation of one of the gay characters early in the book. In one scene I found it outright offensive. While that does not permeate the story, that, along with the other issues, just left a bad taste in my mouth as a reader. Don't know that I'll bother with the next addition to the series.
Annie10 More than 1 year ago
This is the story of Scarlett and her cousin Viv, who run a Hat Shop in London. They are asked to make hats for a client who wants a Mad Hatter Tea Party to raise money. The son of the woman who is having the party is murdered. The antics that happens to the people of Mim's Whims is hysterical and funny and enjoyable. I love the characters in the book. Everyone should read this book.
Debb23 More than 1 year ago
As with all Ms. McKinlay's books, I totally enjoyed this one. I love Scarlett, she's intelligent, takes nothing from anybody, she has flaws (like jealousy) and is totally likeable. Her relationship with Harrison has bickering and wordplay that had me laughing, I could definitely read more of them. I like that the relationship is going slow, so there is something to look forward to. I can't say I'm a big fan of Viv, she won't talk about her relationships but is butting into Scarlett's, and for some reason she comes across as an elder aunt instead of someone close to the same age, that could just be me. Fee, Andre and Nate are back which I was thrilled with. The mystery was good and kept me guessing, I thought I had it but enough twists were thrown to keep me guessing. I cannot wait for the next in the series.
Carstairs38 More than 1 year ago
Who Was Mad at the Mad Hatter? At first, Scarlett Parker is thrilled when Mim's Whims, the hat shop she inherited with her cousin Vivian Tremont, is asked to provide hats for the Grisby family's upcoming tea party.  It will be the fund raising event of the season, and the Alice in Wonderland theme will be fun. However, as the family comes in to the shop for fittings and design consultations, the cousins start to realize just how much hatred and animosity is just below the surface.  The day of the party, some of the family conflict comes to the surface before one of them winds up dead.  With the hat shop once again dragged into a murder investigation, can Scarlett figure out what happened? The book gets off to a strong start as we get to know the members of the Grisby family and the possible motives for murder.  It doesn't really slow down once the body turns up.  In fact, even more secrets are unearthed, making the outcome a mystery until the end.  Strong characters helped me care as well. My problem with this series lies with Scarlett, and her love interest.  Harrison is the cousins' business manager, and he and Scarlett clash over everything.  I actually felt that the time devoted to their will they/won't they relationship slowed things down, and Scarlett's actions dragged out a few elements of that plot longer than they needed to be.  It felt forced. Hopefully, that aspect of things will calm down as the series progresses because I do like most of the characters and plan to continue.
judiOH More than 1 year ago
jenn mckinlay infuses humor as well as romance in her cozy mysteries. scarlett and her cousin vivian co-own a hat shop in london, england. scarlett sometimes has culture shock, but overall is becoming a londoner. they have been comissioned to make hats for a wonderland tea being held to name a nw wing after the patriarch (deceased) of the family. murder happens, and scarlett and vivian start to investigate. harrison is a childhood friend of scarlett's and also part owner of mim's whims, ( name of the hatshop)and has an attraction to scarlett. so, a little murder, a little whodunit, and romance. scarlett has sworn off dating for a year because of bad decisions in the past, but harrison says he will wait. will he? hoping the next installment will further their romance, and of course the mystery will be iintriguing, i'm sure. love jenn mckinlay's stories, all of them. buy it read it and i'm sure you will be hooked too!
chefdt More than 1 year ago
Death And the Mad Hatter is the second book in the A Hat Shop Mystery series. As always, another great book from Jenn McKinlay. Scarlett and Viv have been engaged by Dottie Grisby to provide hats for her and her family for a tea she is planning in honor of her late husband. The tea will have a Alice In Wonderland theme and the hat will carry out that theme. I think that this family could easily be referred to as, dysfunctional. Dottie, ever since her husband moved to Italy to live with his mistress, she has been telling people that he away on business. What with his father's passing, Geoffrey inherited all the entire estate. His sisters, Daphne, Lily and Rose, received nothing and were contemplating some kind of recourse. While at a fitting in the shop, Scarlett overhears a heated argument between Geoffrey and his wife, Tina, about her not being able to provide him with an heir yet. At the tea, the family is decked out in there theme related hats, and the Cara, the mistress, shows up demanding that she is entitled to the estate. When the time comes for the silent auction to begin, it is noticed that Geoffrey and Tina are missing. Scarlett soon find him, dead, lying next to his "Mad Hatter's" hat. It is soon learned that he has died from formaldehyde. Scarlett and Viv set out to find out who wanted Geoffrey dead the most and quite naturally to clear their names, too. When Scarlett and Harrison are brutally attacked, she know they are getting close and hopefully they find the killer before they become victims themselves. All of the wonderful characters from the first book are back again. Fee is around to help make hats and to mind the shop when Scarlett and Viv are out doing their sleuthing. And giving Harrison to much attention, in Scarlett opinion. Andre and Nate are back to help find the murderer and to provide some light humor. It's fun to read about there bickering with each other and with Scarlett. And speaking of bickering, Scarlett and Harrison provide a good deal of that, but what fun it is to read. Scarlett shows a good bit of jealousy, while Harrison seems to go out of his way to be overprotective. Neither one wanting to express their true feelings to them selves or each other. In my opinion. Maybe the next book, but it gives the reader something to chuckle at. Definitely looking forward to book #3.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoy all of Jenn McKinlay's book series and do love the London setting in this one particularly. Enjoyed the mystery but as one reader pointed out, Scarlett seems to act more as a teenager than a grown woman at times and her relationship with Harrison can be a tad annoying. I hate to think we will have to wait many more books until they finally date. Looking forward to the next book and hope Scarlett and Harrison will have brought their relationship closer so we can focus more on the mystery and less on the bickering.
Jnn38364 More than 1 year ago
I just loved this book so much, once I started reading it I just couldn't put it down. This book had me hooked from the beginning to the end. This is the second book in Jenn McKinlay's "A hat shop myster" which is set in Vivian Tremont and Scarlett Parker's hat shop called Mim's Whim (Mim was Vivian's grandmother). Vivian is a milliner which means she makes hats and on this occassion she is creating hats for the Grisby's family for their Alice in Wonderland themed tea. I don't want to spoil anything for anyone who hasn't read the book yet, so I'll just say that at the tea Geoffrey Grisby the heir to the Grisby estate is found dead by Scarlett, people are pointing fingers at everyone even at Vivian and Scarlett since there was poison residue found on the hat they made for Geoffrey Grisby. How or even why it is there is a mystery and Scarlett is determined to find out who killed Geoffrey so she make sure the shops name isn't soiled.
Justpeachy1 More than 1 year ago
Author Jenn McKinlay is at it again. This time she brings readers the second book in her Hat Shop Mystery series, Death of a Mad Hatter. What is one of the things that London is famous for?... You guessed it, TEA! McKinlay not only takes on a London tradition, but also the great Lewis Carroll with an Alice in Wonderland themed tea party that ends up deadly. Readers will love McKinlay's latest offering with it's clever dialogue and multi-layered characters. A great series for first time cozy readers and mega cozy enthusiasts alike. What I liked: As always with a Jenn McKinlay book, readers know they are going to get a well researched, witty and clever mystery. It won't be too gory, it won't have too much vulgarity or too much of anything. It will be just right. And that's always the case. She has this cozy mystery thing down to a science. I like the fact that she writes so many different kinds of cozy mysteries. It proves how versatile she is a as a writer. She can write about cupcakes as well as she writes about libraries and she understands hats, as well as bargains. McKinlay is a very skilled writer, who knows what it takes to keep readers coming back book after book. It's no secret... I love hats. Being from Kentucky, it's traditional to wear a hat to the Kentucky Derby and a cozy mystery series about a hat shop is right up my alley. I even wore a very stylish hat when I got married. Though the hat lasted longer than the I do's did, I love them even more now than I did then. That's why this particular series from Jenn McKinlay is quickly becoming my new favorite from her.  Not only is it about an unusual profession... millinery shops are not that popular in the US but it has an overseas setting. In London hats are still the norm. I love all the information about the city that creeps into McKinlay's writing, as well as, the wonderful details of making hats and what is popular and what's not. Add to that Alice and Wonderland and tea and McKinlay certainly has a winner on her hands.  Lewis Carroll has touched many lives through his writing. I'm sure when he first started writing about Alice falling down the rabbit hole, he never imagined how far she would go. I love the fact that McKinlay gives a nod to one of Carroll's most beloved characters in the Mad Hatter. The Alice in Wonderland tea was a fantastic plot idea and it worked so well with the mystery and how the victim was actually poisoned. I know there was some research to this one, as well as some very snappy dialogue writing which is a trademark of McKinlay's.  What I didn't like: I didn't like it when this one ended. I wanted to keep reading about Mim's Whim's and Scarlett and her friends. I think McKinlay is really on to something with this series... keep'em coming! Bottom Line: One of my favorite mysteries of the year so far. And if you know me, you know that's a big statement, cause I read a ton of them. Give this series a try. I think you'll find it's sophisticated, elegant and really fun to read. Loved the nod to Alice and Lewis and thought this was an all around fantastic book.
SleepDreamWrite More than 1 year ago
So it took me longer than I thought to read this. I mean I liked the first one. But it seems with most series, I have to be in the reading mood to get back to said series. This one was interesting. At times, I wasn't sure if I was going to like it. But I kind of did. I like the characters and setting. Not as good as the first one but I still had fun reading this. Looking forward to the next one now.
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ForTheArtOfIt More than 1 year ago
I borrowed this book from my local library.  Here is my honest review. Super cute! I remember picking up the first book in the series, Cloche and Dagger based on the title and really enjoyed it. I am fascinated by the British custom of hats. It's so vintage, refined, chic, classic...  McKinlay has created an endearing cast of characters for this series that kept me reading and looking forward to the second book. Scarlet is not afraid to speak her mind and be who she is - really admire that! Harrison is charming (except when he's bossy) and seeing the relationship develop just a tad bit more in this book was the perfect amount of satisfying. 
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ok Scarlett Parker mystery.