Cloche and Dagger by Jenn McKinlay


This book is one of the group reads for the Cozy Mystery Corner on Goodreads this month.  I had just finished book one in another series by this author, Sprinkle with Murder, and I enjoyed that so I was looking forward to trying this one.

This was a great cozy  mystery!  I liked it more than the other series by this author, although that might also be the setting.  In Cloche and Dagger, the protagonist Scarlett returns home to London from Florida after a particularly embarrassing breakup that was recorded for posterity on the internet.   The London setting was a change of pace from other cozies that I have been reading lately.

The pacing was excellent, I finished the book in one sitting.   The characters of Harrison, Andre and Nick added humor and romance to the story line.  The mystery was interesting and the twist revealed at the funeral was well done.  Two mysteries are really involved here,  the disappearance of Viv and a murder of one of the hat shop’s customers.  They are both solved satisfactorily at the end.

I don’t wear hats or know anything about them really, however no prior knowledge or interest is necessary to enjoy this story.  The  hat theme is present but not overwhelming.  The only criticism I would have is that the disappearance of Viv was somewhat far fetched, required a  little suspension of disbelief.

Fun, quick read and I will be looking to read the next in the series.

Death of a Hollow Man by Caroline Graham

  I have been on  a Midsomer Murders binge lately.  Being laid up off and on with my ankle injury, I have watched the whole series on Acorn TV and loved it.  I finally decided to start reading the books.  This is the second in the book series.

An all round good mystery read, Death of a Hollow Man, was adapted very closely in the TV series.  The characters of Barnaby, Joyce, Cully and Troy were all here.  Cully didn’t have much space devoted to her but the reader still develops a sense of who she is as a person from her father’s thoughts.  I also developed more insight into Joyce’s character than I had from the TV show.  Barnaby himself is a great protagonist and detective.

The other characters, suspects and villains, are laid out with twists and turns of the plot including red herrings.  The sense of place is well developed, which is important in a village mystery. The reader gets a good feel for the social dynamics and character ofthe village.

Highly recommended read, I just wish I would have read them first before watching the series, but they are enjoyable nonetheless.