Author: Jenn McKinlay
Series: A Hat Shop Mystery #3
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Description: 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.
I enjoy this series more with each new installment. At the Drop of a Hat is the third book in this series and is a delightful addition. I really enjoy character driven series and this one fits the bill nicely. Wonderful characters and their relationships are typically what draws my attention first and keeps me reading. This series does not disappoint. The characters are charming, funny and becoming more developed with each new book. Scarlett, our main character and narrator has shown considerable growth in the course of the three books and I am delighted that her relationship with Harrison has settled and is not being rushed. I think that Viv is a little more prominent in this book than she has been in the past and I enjoyed getting to know a bit more about her. The cast of secondary characters round out the story nicely. There is plenty of witty dialogue and fun moments in the book that keeps the reader turning pages.
The story is well written and this author does a wonderful job of providing clues that misdirect the reader. I have to say that I was a bit surprised by the resolution to the mystery but that is the great think about this author. She writes in such a way to take the reader down one path and them completely surprises them with the ultimate outcome. There is also an unexpected surprise at the end of the book which will definitely keep me coming back for the next installment to see what happens.
In summary, this is a wonderfully written story with charming and funny characters that will keep you turning pages until the end and leave you wanting more.