1. What are you currently reading? Cloche and Dagger by Jenn McKinlay. This is the first in The Hat Shop Mystery series, set in London. Scarlett is a Tampa woman who is ready to make big changes in her life, and her extended family offers her a solution -- join her cousin in London to help run the hat shop established by their grandmother. Eager to escape both ennui and a broken heart, Scarlett hops on a plane.
Only Cousin Vivian isn't there to meet her. In fact her cousin has gone missing, leaving Scarlett to run the business on her own. Vivian's friend/business associate tries to reassure her that spontaneously taking off on holiday is just the kind of thing Vivian would do, but Scarlett is not pacified. Things get more intense when a high-profile millinery customer is found murdered. Are these instances just a coincidence? Or is Vivian in real trouble somewhere ... and why won't anyone take Scarlett's concern seriously?
I like the "fish out of water" aspect of the book. Scarlett is dealing with jet lag and unfamiliar surroundings, so naturally we can't expect her to be a sharp and savvy sleuth. Jenn McKinlay is an experienced practitioner of the cozy mystery genre, so I know I'm in good hands and expect to continue enjoying this book.
The Kennedys were known for their family football games and Jean recalls one game in particular: Wednesday, November 9, 1960. The six remaining sibs (by now Joe, Jr., Kathleen and Rosemary were gone) played on the lawn, blowing off steam and trying to relax after one of their number had just won the White House. Their father called them to lunch, and the six began making their way to the house. Jack and Jean brought up the rear and Joe, Sr., who could not abide tardiness, told them in no uncertain terms to hurry up. Jean recalled how her brother grinned and enjoyed the absurdity of the moment: the newly-elected leader of the free world scolded for letting his chowder get cold.
3. What will you read next? Something with a bit more grit and substance. I've got two possible candidates: Road to Jonestown about Jim Jones and The Girls, a novel based on the Manson Family. (When I go dark, I go dark.)