Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Book Review: Copy Cap Murder by Jenn McKinlay (Hat Shop Mysteries #4)



Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Great characters and a twisty mystery
Cons: All cons are hiding under a cap
The Bottom Line:
Body at party
Cousins must crack case again
Delightful and fun




That’s Not a Straw Man Set to Be Burned

After the cliffhanger at the end of the third Hat Shop Mystery, I was counting the months until I could start reading Copy Cap Murder and find out what happens next to cousins Scarlett Parker and Vivian Termont.  I am pleased to say that the wait was well worth it.  In fact, this might be my favorite in the series to date.

If you have missed this series from the prolific Jenn McKinlay, it follows cousins Scarlett and Vivian who run the Mim’s Whims, the hat shop they inherited from their grandmother.  Oh, and have I mentioned that the shop is in London?  Yes, we got a bombshell in the last page of the last book, but don’t worry if you haven’t read that book, I won’t be spoiling it.

In fact, as this book opens, Scarlett is focusing on something different.  Their friend Harrison Wentworth has invited them and their friends to the lavish Bonfire Party his boss throws every year on Guy Fawkes Day.  Everyone is looking forward to it, especially Scarlett, who is only eight months into her year of non-dating.  This gives her a great excuse to spend time with Harrison even if it isn’t a date.

However, the party hits a sour note when Scarlett is hit on by Harrison’s office rival Win.  In fact, Harrison and Win have a long, bitter history, and Scarlett is caught in the middle.  When the time comes to burn the straw effigy of Guy Fawkes into the fire, the crowd discovers that it is really Win’s dead body.  Naturally, suspicion points to Harrison.  Scarlett can’t let her future boyfriend take the fall, so she begins to investigate.  But can she find the killer?

The book starts off quickly, and the pace never lags.  Win was not a well-liked guy (which is fairly normal for these murder mysteries), so the list of suspects is long.  Some of the twists caught me completely off guard, yet the solution was logical.  And that climax!  I’m not completely sure I buy the timing of one element, but I’m turning the over analytical part of my brain off because it was completely wonderful - plenty of action and suspense along with a real character moment or two.

The core cast of characters are all here, and they are all as strong as ever.  I love watching them interact and tease each other along the way as some of the series threads continue to grow over the course of this book.  I’m also enjoying watching Scarlett and Harrison develop a relationship that isn’t dating.  It’s something different for a cozy series, although I hope it doesn’t lead to further complications when the final four months are up of Scarlett’s year of non-dating.

Of course, we get a strong array of new suspects in this book as well, and they are all just as great as the regular characters, which helps keep us guessing as we go along.

I like to space out an author so I don’t burn out on their plot tricks or writing style.  The fact that I’ve now read three Jenn McKinlay books in three months and have loved them all says a lot about her writing ability.

So set your sites on London for another wonderful read.  Copy Cap Murder will draw you in and leave you anxious for Scarlett and Vivian’s next wonderful adventure.

If you haven't started the series, you'll definitely want to read the Hat Shop Mysteries in order.

NOTE: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Giveaway!

Thanks to the publisher, I have one copy of this book to give away.  Because it is a physical book, the contest is limited to residence of the US.

Just leave me a comment with your e-mail address so I can get in touch with you if you win.  I will pick the winner next Tuesday, January 19th, so please leave your comment before 12:01AM Pacific Time on 1/18.  You will have until midnight on 1/24 to get back to me, or I will choose a new winner on 1/25.

41 comments:

  1. Loved the writeup and also that you have a print copy!

    ReplyDelete
  2. above comment posting ptclayton2@aol.com oops!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I do love a good cozy and Jenn's books are always good. Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy.

    skatss63@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for hosting a great giveaway. I love reading Jenn's books. kat8762@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. I entered the cozy challenge and this would be a great book to add to my list. Thanks for a chance to win a copy. elainehroberson@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. I have enjoyed all of her series. I love a giveaway. sdaf.smith2012@comcast.net

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love reading a good cozy. Thank you for the chance to win a copy of Copy Cap Murder.
    peggyhyndman(at)att(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm not entering, I just read it this weekend and I agree with your review. It never lagged, I think I finished it in 2 days, I had a hard time putting it down.

    ReplyDelete
  9. This series is on my to be read list. Thanks for a chance to win a copy. cochrandcr@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. Looking forward to reading this. Thanks! cheers@marjimmanor.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. I love the Hat Shop Mystery series and would love to have this book. rbkats@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  12. I love all of Jenn's series and can't wait to read the newest addition to the Hat Shop series! (hc6275@gmail.com)

    ReplyDelete
  13. I have not read any of the Hat Shop Mysteries yet, but love Jenn McKinlay's other series. Looks like I've got a new series tbr and think I will order the first one now. :) bobandcelia@sbcglobal.net

    ReplyDelete
  14. Would love to try this series!
    bookselr@sbcglobal.net

    ReplyDelete
  15. I love that this giveaway is an actual book. There's nothing like reading a good cozy mystery while holding an actual book in your hands. Thanks for the giveaway.
    bah195@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  16. saracarver07@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. I love this series! Thanks for the giveaway.
    Scouts579 (at) aol (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  18. This series is on my TBR list! Thanks so much for your blog post. :-) nicolev.girldetective@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  19. As always, a great review. Thank you for the chance to win.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I love McKinlay's books but haven't started this series yet even though I actually own the first 2! It sounds fantastic and I'm glad that you enjoyed this one after the cliffhanger of book 3.
    katherine.e.pitts(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  21. I love her books! sallyphyllis@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  22. Love Jenn McKinley's books. I haven't read any in this series yet,but looking forward to soon.
    diannekc8@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  23. I am so looking forward to reading this, thanks for the chance to win! I have enjoyed all her series, no matter what pseudonym!
    JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  24. This series has been on my TBR...sounds like I need to move it to the top. Thanks for sharing your review!

    brookeb811 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  25. Copy Cap Murder is on my TBR list. Thanks for the chance. rachaelb2014 (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  26. Great review! She doesn't write them fast enough! stlreadn@gmail (dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  27. Thanks for the great review! I am definitely interested in reading all three of her books now.
    ceciliayoung at gmx.com

    ReplyDelete
  28. Great review! I love that you said, "All cons were hiding under a cap". I love all 3 series so I'm not surprised you were able to read 3 in 3 months. They're all so different from each other but each iocation is an absolute joy to visit. I get so excited when I see Jenn has a new book coming out. Thank you for not spoiling the bombshell at the end of the last book. I've been holding mine & I think I'll read them back to back. I don't do that with many authors but I can with her. Thank you for the giveaway.
    bpwoodfield@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  29. Thank you for the giveaway opportunity! Jillian.lauder@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  30. Thanks for the giveaway! Wouldn't it be great to see the next series of hers mix and mingle characters from each of the sets? A little Lindsay & Sully team up with Angie & Tate maybe ? She is a keeper for sure.
    Mlipscomb19@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  31. I love Jenn's books! I have most of the books in this series but haven't started them yet. I'm saving them...

    ElaineE246 at msn dot com

    ReplyDelete
  32. First time visitor here & I'm impressed with your site and your review. You are spot on...Jenn does write great, five star books! sxygrndma48@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  33. I love a mystery with twists. l.bergh@sbcglobal.net

    ReplyDelete
  34. I've read quite a few of her other books. I started one of the hat shop books from the library but didn't get it finished by the due date so I'd like to try one of these again.
    catbooks72(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  35. I'd love to read this series

    kaye dot killgore at comcast dot net

    ReplyDelete
  36. I love a good mystery. musiqmom@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  37. I love physical books!

    Cathie (dot) veres (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  38. Fun! I'll enter: joy weese moll at yahoo (all appropriately smashed together with the dotcom).

    Thanks for sharing this with British Isles Friday!

    ReplyDelete
  39. I’ve never heard of the author but I do like your bright, breezy style! I’m in!
    simcarter1000@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  40. So many books, so little time! LOL. I want to read this book!
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

    ReplyDelete
  41. Sounds like a great cozy, good for a lazy afternoon.

    ReplyDelete