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January 8, 2023

Fatal Fascinator by Jenn McKinlay ~ a Review

by Donna Huber

When cousin Vivian Tremont is asked to design the hats for a wedding set in a castle, American Scarlett Parker can't think of anything better than spending the weekend in the country in a real-life castle. Perhaps she and Harrison should get married in a castle. But when she finds the groom dead, she discovers the castle isn't so enchanting.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of cozy mystery Fatal Fascinator by Jenn McKinlay
January 2023; Berkley; 978-0593546772
audio, ebook, print (288 pages); cozy mystery

I love Jenn McKinlay's Library Lovers series and I really enjoy her Cupcake Bakery series, but I haven't quite gotten in to the Hat Shop Mysteries. Two years ago I listened to book 6 through my digital library and I thought perhaps it was just because I was jumping into the series. But I still didn't get the "must read" vibe reading Fatal Fascinator which is book 7 in the series. 

I'm not sure why I don't love it. It is well-written and the characters are good. Perhaps it is just that I don't care about fashion, whereas I love books, libraries, and cupcakes. I do love hats, but they aren't really focused on in the story since Scarlett isn't a hatmaker.

If you are a Jenn McKinlay fan then I think you should definitely check out this series. Unlike the other two series I read by her, this on is set in England. Scarlett's mother is British and when Scarlett's aunt dies, she leaves the hat shop to her and her cousin. Her cousin Vivian has the creative talent for designing hats and Scarlett has the people skills to handle the clients.

I don't really remember much about book 6 but I didn't have any trouble figuring out the characters. It might be helpful that Vivian, Scarlett, and their photographer friend Andre are at the destination wedding so the "regular" characters are limited. Series regulars Harrison, Nick, Alastair, Fiona, and of course, the dog Bella all make an appearance but they are only briefly on the page. So if you haven't tried this series but want to start with this book, I don't think it will be a problem.

The mystery was good. I figured out how the murder happened but not who did the killing before the end of the book.

Buy Fatal Fascinator at Amazon

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour

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