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Cloche and Dagger

(Hat Shop Mystery #1)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  4,228 ratings  ·  555 reviews
An all-new series from New York Times bestselling author Jenn McKinlay

Not only is Scarlett Parker’s love life in the loo—as her British cousin Vivian Tremont would say—it’s also gone viral with an embarrassing video. So when Viv suggests Scarlett leave Florida to lay low in London, she hops on the next plane across the pond. Viv is the proprietor of Mims’s Whims, a ladies’
Mass Market Paperback, 281 pages
Published August 6th 2013 by Berkley (first published July 6th 2013)
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Average rating 3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,228 ratings  ·  555 reviews

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Sep 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
4 stars to Jenn McKinlay's Cloche and Dagger, the first in the "Hat Shop Mystery" series. I'm fond of the author's other series (Library Lovers) and bought her first issues of all other series. The Hat Shop series has potential and I look forward to learning more as I travel through the remainder.

After a disastrous relationship awkwardly made public, Scarlett takes up her cousin's offer and moves to London to help manage their jointly owned inheritance, a hat shop from their late grandm
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was a really fun read, lots of suspense and I had no idea who the killer was. I like how Scarlett was half British and not just a newcomer to the UK. I'll be reading the rest of the series. I'm anxious to see if anything ever happens with Harrison and Scarlett and also the little suspicion she had at the end, not going to say what but it's a fun thought. ...more
Jacob Proffitt
May 23, 2018 rated it did not like it
This crossed my status feed and with a title like that, how could I not at least take a look? Also, it's part of the Audible Romance subscription, though I'm not sure why (as it's clearly a mystery, possibly of the cozy variety). Unfortunately, I just couldn't engage with this.

Part of that may be the narrator who had an odd cadence with random word emphasis in each sentence. I found it distracting, though not really off-putting.

But I think I'd still bounce on this story even with a more-engaging
Nidah (SleepDreamWrite)
Aug 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: wishlist-read
You got a hat shop, a mystery and what's to be another fun cozy series.

I think I'm having fun with these books. The setting is interesting, the characters are likable, and you want to keep reading wondering what will happen at the end of the mystery.

That and the writing style and pacing were really good. I hadn't realized I was already halfway into the book and lost track of time and just kept reading because I was liking the story and characters.

Anyway, this sounded pretty good, with hints of
❂ Murder by Death
Usually I save my 5 star ratings for cozies that are a joy to read *and* offer something a bit different - unique (or not often used) plot devices, a deeper level of writing, really creative twists or settings. Cloche and Dagger didn't really offer any of these pluses, but it was such an outstandingly fun read with such likeable characters, I couldn't possibly have given it anything less.

For me, Ms. McKinlay wasn't going to go wrong with a setting in Notting Hill, London. Consider that box ticke
May 29, 2014 rated it did not like it
Cloche and Dagger had a bland taste and passed through my system without any ill effects, but also without anything meaningful occurring. I knew midway through the book that it would score 1 star, but the mystery's solvency, plus the efforts of Scarlett to solve it were beneath contempt. This book is so, so, so shallow in its content and depth and texture and feel. It has no soul. Maybe I'm being flippant, because if I'd read this one after having attempted a voluminous Victorian novel, then ma ...more
Aug 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: challenge
Loved my first visit to Mim's Whim's and I will be a repeat shopper! A smart, fun book! I liked the characters and can't wait to see what happens next. This book was easy to read, fun and fast paced. Loved the London setting. ...more
Heidi (Yup. Still here.)
Very fun first cozy! How does Jenn M. keep coming up with these great new series? She is awesome.
May 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library-books, audio
I really enjoyed this one. Listening to the audio had me laughing and enjoying the characters and their quirks a lot. Definitely looking forward to the next book!
Apr 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Cloche and Dagger is the first book in the A Hat Shop Mystery series.

Another exciting series from one of my favorite authors. Even though the series will center around a millinery shop, the first book just covers the basics. Don't worry about getting bogged down by the detailed workings of the shop.

Scarlett Parker and her cousin Vivian Tremont are joint owners of a millinery shop given to them on the death of their grandmother. After an embarrassing breakup with what she thought was her soul-mat
Apr 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
Thought I'd try a cozy mystery. I love murder mysteries. I watch a ton of them on Netflix, especially the British ones so this one seemed just my cup of tea, so to speak. Feel free to give that a big eye roll, because that's exactly what I was doing through this whole book. What's good about a cozy: romance without explicit sex, minor if any bad language, and fairly gore-free murder. What's bad: they are dripping with cliches, predictability and bad jokes. I'm pretty sure I won't be continuing o ...more
Sep 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this book delightful from start to ending! Karyn Bryant does a wonderful job narrating, as well!
Oct 20, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of the author & cosy mystery fans
Three stars. I read this on a little vacation and it was a quick read. It's very light on the mystery (to be clear, if you blink, you'll miss it & the wrap up is lightening fast too) but I enjoyed the setting and the characters were more enjoyable than irritating, so it's all good. I've enjoyed reading McKinlay's Book Lover's series and decided to give this one a try. I'll likely continue reading more in the series. Definitely recommended for fans of the author and anyone looking for a cozy myst ...more
Alyssa White
Jul 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozy-mystery
I'm giving this book a 4 because it left me wanting to read the next book in the series because I'm very unsure about where the series is going. The characters are very interesting and the idea is different than what I'm use to. I'm curious to say the least. ...more
Joy Gerbode
Jul 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! Characters are diverse and interesting, the mystery is intriguing, and I totally had no idea "who dun it". Thoroughly enjoyed the story and the relationships ... the hint of a ghost ... and of course, it's all in England, so that makes it all the better. Anxious to continue this series. ...more
Somanea Khoeurn
Sep 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed reading the series so far. This first book caught my attention and held me spellbound. I like to spunkiness of the main character, actually, I like all the crucial characters in this series.
Stephanie (read_with_steph)
Apr 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cozy-mystery, mystery
Cozy mysteries are some of my favorite books to listen to on audio--just enough excitement to not be boring, but not so much that on audio they're terrifying, and no steamy scenes to worry about the neighbors hearing! I was looking specifically for recommendations of cozy mysteries on audio and a friend threw out this one, and I'm so glad she did! I enjoyed it immensely.

The protagonist is a dual American and British citizen raised in America, so she has an American accent and the narration is in
Jun 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
What a great first book to a series. The characters were bright, loud, and very fun to read about. I love how everything starts and finish with a lot of drama, and it never really lets up during the book. I still don't know how about Harry and his feelings toward Scarlet, which is sort of frustrating. A great first mystery for this hat shop crew. I love how the mystery of where Viv has disappeared to is tied into the mystery of Vick's murder. It was also a really fun setting of London that I don ...more
Very good, I'll be looking for the next one. ...more
Aug 20, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of cozy mysteries
This is the first book in the Hat Shop Mystery series by Jenn McKinlay. I discovered it while browsing for audiobooks in my library's online catalog.

It's a fun, cozy mystery that includes colorful characters in a modern London setting. The mystery isn't overly complicated although I wasn't a big fan of the ending (view spoiler)

Overall, it has all the components de rigueur in the first boo
Oct 06, 2017 rated it liked it
In Cloche and Dagger by Jenn McKinlay, Scarlett needs to be able to move past a meltdown that turned into a YouTube sensation. This leads her cousin Vivian to order Scarlett to move from her home in Florida to England and help with the hat boutique that the two cousins inherited from their grandmother and which Viv manages. But when Scarlett arrives in London, she gets surprised not to find Viv waiting for her, but instead the handsome Harrison, the shop’s business manager, is there. Scarlett no ...more
Nice beginning to a series and incredibly fast-paced! Kept me very interested, and I read it in almost one sitting (which is a rarity for me!). Scarlett Parker has moved to London to help her cousin, Vivian Tremont, run the hat shop left to them both by their late grandmother, affectionately known as "Mim". When Scarlett arrives (running from a BIG scandal in the States!!!), Viv is nowhere to be found, hunky Harrison meets her at the tube station, and one of the hat shop's most influential clien ...more
Dawn Michelle

WOW WOW WOW!!! I have not loved a "first book" cozy like this in a VERY long time. This was fabulous from beginning to end and I was as shocked as the characters at who the murderer was.
GREAT beginning to a new series; I cannot wait to read the next one!!!
Jun 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was such a fun cute cozy mystery! I loved the sassy character Scarlett and liked the potential love interest (possibly in future books) with Harrison/Harry. I hope to read more in this series soon!
Lesa Divine
5th book read during my 24 hour cozy mystery readathon.
Just okay. Scarlett goes to London to help her cousin run the hat shop their grandma left them. With a public break up she feels why not to get away from the states.
But once there her cousin is missing and a client of the shop is murdered and her cousin is a suspect.

Just okay going to read part 2 to see if I'll continue.
Cindy Norris
Oct 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Number 1of a fun new series. Relaxing cozy with great characters that are intriguing. Looking forward to making new friends.
Mar 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Scarlett Parker's life is in turmoil so she decides to escape to Notting Hill in England to a millinary shop, Mim's Whims named for her grandmother, that has since passed away that she shares ownership with her cousin, Vivian. Scarlett is welcomed to the shop and to England surprisingly not by Viv but by Viv's BUSINESS MANAGER, Harrison (aka Harry) Wentworth.

Viv seems to have vanished it seems out of thin air and no one else seems to be as concerned about it as Scarlett, with everyone saying thi
Jeannie and Louis Rigod
Aug 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Yes, I have given a new debut book a five star rating. Why? Because. I love doing that. It's a Mother thing. Ms. McKinlay has out done herself. I'm addicted to the gentle but suspenseful donut shop mysteries, but in 'Cloche and Dagger' you get the real mystery writer and a hint of, hopefully, the paranormal.

Set in London on Portobello road, is Scarlett Parker and cousin, Vivian Tremont's inherited hat shop, aptly named 'Mim's Whims.' The hats sound like cotton candy delights. Even the Ton or mod
Apr 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2020
Cute little cozy mystery I admit ive never read on set in a hat shop before! I didn't care for all the characters (I really do not enjoy "flighty" characters) but wasn't a bad book! ...more
Feb 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a fun cozy. I enjoyed most everything about it.

I liked Scarlett. Even though she was gullible enough to fall for a jerk with a "my wife doesn't understand me and we're separated" B.S. story, the way she behaved when she found out he had no intention of leaving the wife was super and I loved her for it! It was also a solid, plausible reason for why she zips off to England at the invitation of her British cousin.

The "fish-out-of-water" feature works really well here, especially as Scarlet
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Jenn is the New York Times, USA Today, and Publisher's Weekly bestselling author of several mystery and romance series and will be debuting a stand alone romantic comedy in July 2020 entitled PARIS IS ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA. She lives in sunny Arizona in a house that is overrun with kids, pets and her husband's guitars. ...more

Other books in the series

Hat Shop Mystery (6 books)
  • Death of a Mad Hatter (Hat Shop Mystery, #2)
  • At the Drop of a Hat (Hat Shop Mystery, #3)
  • Copy Cap Murder (Hat Shop Mystery, #4)
  • Assault and Beret (Hat Shop Mystery, #5)
  • Buried to the Brim (Hat Shop Mystery, #6)

News & Interviews

These twelve books are so consistently adored, they have become regulars month after month in our data of most popular and most read books on...
113 likes · 42 comments
“Vivian was an eccentric who not only marched to her own drummer but was usually the drum major of the crazy parade” 5 likes
“If I did, it was the child in me acting out, so it doesn’t count because I can’t be held accountable for what childish me does.” 0 likes
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