My rating: 4 of 5 stars
All Hats on Deck is the fifth book in the Missy DuBois cozy mystery series written by Sandra Bretting. I’ve read and enjoyed the previous four books, so I had to get the latest one when it was released. The series takes place on the bayou in Louisiana and follows a milliner (hat designer) who mostly designs creations for upscale weddings. She and her fiance, a dressmaker, also find themselves smack in the middle of finding dead bodies. This time, Missy is on her own when she discovers a friend floating in the river. Someone we’ve come to know across the books was murdered, and it’s definitely sad.
Ruby, an older woman with wise advice who will curse you if you cross her, is found off the dock near her house, swimming with the alligators. Her grandson Hollis tries to save her, but he’s too late. Someone wanted her property, and they were willing to kill for it. Was it the river boat owner, the captain, the mayor, an old flame, her grandson, a visitor in town… there are quite a few angles for Missy to investigate. At the same time, Missy’s trying to figure out her own wedding plans and prevent a new hat shop from opening in Bleu Bayou. She doesn’t mind the competition, but it’s obvious the other owner is out to get Missy and is not a very good hat maker. It could ruin both their reputations, so Missy must protect everything around her.
Of all the books, I enjoyed Missy’s character the most in this one. She’s become more endearing, and I enjoy the southern dialect and fun sayings. I’m still not convinced of her relationship with Ambrose, as I see more of a spark with Lance. I might be in the minority on that one. I did like how she almost mothered 18-year-old Hollis, and it showed lots of potential for her future. The setting is always gorgeous and makes you want to visit a plantation or large southern estate. It also convinced me why I’ll never swim in those waters. Hollis and Missy had a conversation about swimming with the alligators that was quite similar to one I had with my other half who is from Louisiana. Nope, ain’t ever doin’ it, thank you very much. I’m with Missy on this one.
As for the mystery, it was good. There were plenty of suspects and lots of different turns to take between how Ruby died, who had it in for her, what they wanted her property for, and which person was actually trying to protect her. I do think it ended more abruptly than I prefer, as I would’ve liked to explore all the whys and hows, especially with the history of some of the characters. I also liked the subplot with the hat shop, which is unresolved, so I know we’ll get more of that in the next book. I do enjoy something fun to look forward to.
Another fun installment… and I’ll keep reading this series. Thanks for entertaining me for a few hours with the latest edition.
View all my reviews
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations but with a twist. There are five books: Academic Curveball, Broken Heart Attack, Flower Power Trip, Mistaken Identity Crisis, and Haunted House Ghost. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.