Fatal Fascinator By Jenn McKinlay: Review/Giveaway

Jan 21, 2023 | 2023 Articles, Cynthia Chow, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Cynthia Chow

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of the book, and a link to purchase it from Amazon.

It’s wedding season in England, that time of year for romance, bridezillas, over-the-top hen parties, and of course, brilliantly designed hats and fascinators. It’s for that latter that the Mims Whims hat shop owners Notting Hill have been called upon to design bridal headpieces for the bride-proclaimed “Wedding of the Year,” after the previous designer took off with the fascinators and Piper May’s deposit. Milliner Vivian Tremont wasn’t interested in assisting her frenemy until Viv learns that Waverly Castle is also near the relocated studio of renowned designer Dominick Falco, allowing them all to make a visit to her idol. Even though Piper considers Viv’s business partner and cousin Scarlett Parker to be something of a hanger-on, the bride lures Scarlett in with the opportunity to scout the site for her own future wedding.

Scarlett did make herself infamous through a viral video of her crashing her married boyfriend’s anniversary party, but she has since moved on and very happily engaged to the adorable finance whiz Harrison Wentworth. He warns Scarlett to not once again get herself involved in the inevitable chaos that follows Viv, but perhaps he should also have mentioned that he and Piper once went on a few boringly uneventful dates. The daughter of new money bankers, Piper is marrying into an Old Money family who have gambled their way into destitution and are unable to maintain the high costs of a castle on their own. So while the obvious victim of a planned murder should be the heiress with an enviable amount of impending wealth, it’s the intended groom Dooney Portis whom Scarlett finds collapsed and decidedly dead.

After Piper demanded that Viv and Scarlett be fashion consultants and bridal party wranglers, they had thought that their biggest challenge would be dealing with the bridezilla and fat-shaming bridesmaids. Viv has the sense – and confidence – to pass on being a participant in the upcoming hen party, but Scarlett finds herself drawn into the turmoil when she is sympathetic to a browbeaten and shamed bridesmaid. When it soon comes to light that she may have dallied with the groom and vengefully taken retribution before he could walk down the aisle, Scarlett is unable to defend the poor girl and take on investigating on her behalf. Their photographer friend Andre, having been bullied as a child by Dooney, implicates him as well, so despite the Detective Inspector Stewarts warnings, Scarlett once again finds herself delving into the secrets of these class-conscious and snobbish elites. Incriminating photos, blackmail, and financial debts all make for motives in someone making a final objection to the wedding vows.

This seventh of the series will have readers wanting to take the next plane trip to Sussex so that they too can enjoy the enviable sights and history of the gloriously described castle. Tea and other breakfast delicacies are, of course, a part of the many descriptions, and these prove to be as tantalizing as the intrigue going on among the pseudo upper class society. The legend of the ghost of the McKenna bride, who dooms all of those marrying without true love, adds a fun gothic romance twist to this classic British mystery. The writing is stellar as characters are introduced and developed into a believable cast of suspects, with the reveal of the ultimate culprit proving to be surprising and satisfying. This is a delightful entry into an outstanding series that makes the most of its castle setting and fashion-forward heroes.

To enter to win a copy of Fatal Fascinator, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “fatal,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen January 28, 2023. U.S. residents only, and you must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via email please include your mailing address in case you win, it will be deleted after the contest. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Also listen to our new mystery podcast where mystery short stories and first chapters are read by actors! They are also available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Spotify. A new episode goest up next week.

You can use this link to purchase the book. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the Amazon link. You can also click here to purchase the book.

Cynthia Chow is the branch manager of Kaneohe Public Library on the island of Oahu. She balances a librarian lifestyle of cardigans and hair buns with a passion for motorcycle riding and regrettable tattoos (sorry, Mom).

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. So excited to visit with these characters again! Thanks!

  2. Interesting premise, I haven’t read any books with a hat theme. I enjoy the author’s Cupcake Bakery series and have heard these are good too.

  3. Sounds interesting! Count me in!

  4. Great series. Looking forward to reading it.

  5. This is a fun series – just re read book one.
    karen94066 at aol.com

  6. We have a winner!


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