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Assault and Beret
Hat Shop Mystery #5
Jenn McKinlay

1/ 3/ 2017/ ISBN 978-0425279595
Mystery / Cozy / Women Sleuths

Reviewed by Linda Morelli


American Scarlett Parker and her British cousin, London milliner Vivian Tremont, travel to Paris so Viv can teach a week-long hat-making class and Scarlett can help locate Viv’s estranged husband, William Graham. They were married for only two weeks, and the last Viv heard, William is an insurance investigator now living in Paris.

Scarlett locates William, a charmer who works with priceless works of art, the latest being a long-lost Renoir. Scarlett is determined that Viv meet with William to ask for an annulment, but almost immediately after that meeting, William is kidnapped, and Viv and Scarlett are stranded on a dark street in Paris. Scarlett calls their business manager, Harrison Wentworth, who comes to their aid. He agrees to help locate Viv’s missing husband, and the Renoir painting that is once again missing.

I loved this book from the first page to the last. Scarlett’s narrative sparkles with wit, charm and delightful humor. The author’s characterizations are sensitive and revealing, and not limited to the main characters. For instance, Suzette Leclaire owns the apartment complex where Scarlett and Viv stay, and is so caring and beautifully rendered that she is someone I would love to meet. Paris itself comes alive under Ms. McKinlay’s descriptions. Having visited there many times, I can say she has painted a vivid picture of the City of Light. I could almost smell the boulangeries and feel myself once again walking down the streets of Paris. The sexual tension between Harrison and Scarlett, who has sworn off men for a year, was a delight. I can’t wait to see where the next release leads them.

Assault and Beret is an exciting mystery, replete with intriguing surprises that kept me hooked from the first to the last page…definitely an outstanding, sumptuous read.

Reviews of other titles in this series

Cloche and Dagger #1
Death of a Mad Hatter #2
At The Drop Of A Hat #3

Reviewer's Note: In addition to being the author of the Hat Shop Mysteries, Jenn McKinlay also writes the Cupcake Bakery Mysteries and the Library Lover’s Mysteries.

Reviewer Linda Morelli is the award winning author of three published romance novels.
Reviewed 2017