ONE IN A MILLINER
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…
In McKinlay's delightful second Hat Shop mystery (after 2013's Cloche and Dagger), a wealthy widow places a large, quirky order at Mim's Whims, the London hat shop that Scarlett Parker and her cousin, Vivian Tremont, inherited from their grandmother. Scarlett and Viv's satisfaction in completing the hats, however, is marred with the demise of the widow's son, Geoffrey Grisby, who was poisoned while wearing one of their creations on his head. Scarlett discovers that any number of relatives might have wanted the mean, prissy Geoffrey dead. Meanwhile, other mysteries hover about the cousins' shop. Is their grandmother haunting Mim's Whims? Why does Viv refuse to tell Scarlett anything about her love life? And will Scarlett find romance with her dashing childhood friend and the store's business manager, Harrison Wentworth, or will she stubbornly maintain her pledge to avoid dating for a year? Cozy fans will eagerly await Hat Shop #3.