By the author of the Library Lover’s Mystery.
What is the Hat Shop Mystery Series about?
Written by American Author Jenn McKinlay, the Hat Shop Mystery Series is a cozy mystery series published since 2013. The action takes place in London and features American Scarlett Parker and her British cousin Vivian Tremont.
They are co-owners of Mim’s Whims, a ladies’ hat shop on Portobello Road in London. When the two of them are not busy making and selling hats, they don their sleuthing caps to solve murders.
How to read the Hat Shop Mystery Books in Order?
- Cloche and Dagger – Not only is Scarlett Parker’s love life in the loo, 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’ hat shop on Portobello Road bequeathed to both cousins by their beloved grandmother, and she wants Scarlett to finally join her in the millinery business. But a few surprises await Scarlett in London. First, she is met at the airport not by Viv, but by her handsome business manager, Harrison Wentworth. Second, Viv seems to be missing. No one is too concerned about the unpredictable Viv until one of her posh clients is found dead wearing the cloche hat Viv made for her-and nothing else. Is Scarlett’s cousin in trouble? Or is she in hiding?
- Death of a Mad Hatter – Scarlett Parker and her British cousin, Vivian Tremont, are hard at work at Mim’s Whims to create hats for an Alice in Wonderland themed afternoon tea, a fund-raiser for a local children’s hospital. 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…
- At the Drop of a Hat – Cousins Scarlett Parker and Vivian Tremont’s fashionable London hat shop, Mim’s Whims, is visited by a new customer bearing an old hat box. Ariana Jackson is getting married and wants to restore her mother’s bridal hat and veil for the occasion. The elegant item was made by Scarlett and Vivian’s grandmother over thirty years ago, so Viv is delighted to take the job. When Scarlett goes to Ariana’s office to consult about the restoration cost, she finds her outside, standing over her boss’s dead body. Though Ariana claims to know nothing about his demise, the investigation unveils a motive for murder. Now, with the bride-to-be in custody and the wedding on hold, Scarlett and Viv must find the real killer before Ariana’s future is boxed up for good.
- Copy Cap Murder – Scarlett Parker is excited to share her first Bonfire Night with her cousin Vivian Tremont. Invited to a posh party by their friend Harrison Wentworth, Scarlett and Viv decide to promote their hat shop, Mim’s Whims, by donning a few of their more outrageous creations. The hats prove to be quite the conversation starters as the girls mix and mingle with the guests-never suspecting that one of them is a killer. It’s a cold, clear night, perfect for the British tradition of tossing a straw stuffed effigy of Guy Fawkes, traitor to the crown, onto the bonfire. But instead of a straw man, they realize in the heat of the moment that the would-be Guy Fawkes is actually Harrison’s office rival and he’s been murdered. Before the smoke has cleared, Harrison is the Metropolitan police’s prime suspect, and Scarlett and Vivian must find the real homicidal hothead before their dear friend’s life goes up in flames.
- Assault and Beret – Vivian Tremont and Scarlett Parker tip their caps to their beloved shop on Portobello Road in Notting Hill and set off for Paris, where Viv can’t wait to teach a hat-making class. But she has another reason to travel to the City of Light: to find the man she impulsively eloped with years ago and have their marriage annulled. William Graham is not only handsome and charming, but he also has a glamorous job as an insurance investigator who works with priceless pieces of art, most recently a small Renoir that has been discovered in a junk shop. But when both Will and the masterpiece suddenly disappear, it’s up to the ladies from London to follow the trail of clues.
- Buried to the Brim – London’s most refined canines and their humans are gearing up for the Pets and Wellness Society’s annual dog show–and Betty Wentworth, favorite aunt to Scarlett’s fiancé Harrison and proud owner of corgi front-runner Freddy, knows that this could be their year with the right edge. Never one to turn away a corgi in need, Scarlett convinces her milliner cousin, Vivian, to design matching hats for dream team Betty and Freddy as they compete for Best in Show. It’s a tail wagging good time until the dog-food sponsor of the event is found dead and Betty is the prime suspect. Vivian and Scarlett agree to enter the competition in Betty’s place and help Harrison catch the real killer before Betty is collared for a crime she didn’t commit.
- Fatal Fascinator – It’s wedding season and Viv’s longtime frenemy Piper May is getting married. She convinces Viv and Scarlett to take on the job of designing the headpieces. Unfortunately, on the first night of the festivities, the groom is found murdered, and no one is allowed to leave the castle until the investigation is complete. Although Scarlett assures Harrison Wentworth that she and Viv will stay out of harm’s way, circumstances force them to step in when a secret affair between the deceased groom and a bridesmaid comes to light, and the murderer takes another life. Scarlett and Viv vow to unveil the killer’s identity before the wedding adds another to its death toll.
If you like the Hat Shop Mystery Series, you may also want to read the Cupcake Bakery Mysteries, another cozy mystery series by Jenn McKinlay or our guide to Rhys Bowen books. Don’t hesitate to follow us on Twitter or Facebook to discover more book series.