All Hats on Deck

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 13 Sep 2019

Member Reviews

You don't  need to read a previous Missy DuBois story to understand  or enjoy a current one. Missy Dubois takes great pride in the millinery work that she does for brides of all types. So much h pride that there is no way she is going to let a blogger set up shop in her town pretending to be an accomplished hat maker. On top of this usurper's impending arrival, Missy must solve the mystery of who murdered Hollis' sweet Grandma, Ruby . There is something fishy going on in the bayou and is getting threatening phone calls from a mysterious stranger not to mention how pushy ole Cap'n Gaudet  is nosing around d the property was ting access to  the family dock. Missy is sure to get to the bottom of this murky mystery with the help of her fiance Bo and her childhood friend, Detective  Lance. Hats off to Missy for making fabulous hats for brides of all types while helping in her community and giving us a glimpse of southern at its sweetest.
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This was just an OK cozy read for me.  I enjoyed the characters and the Louisiana Bayou Setting but I found the mystery weak.  The hat shop background is also interesting and fun. Missy agrees to help Ruby's Grandson Hollis with his small business plans.  When she arrives Hollis discovers her body in the Bayou and she sets out to solve her murder.  The killer and motive was very obvious from the beginning. When you kill someone everyone likes there are not enough suspects or motives to make the mystery interesting.  I did like it that she worked with the police.  It was a very quick and easy read I would just like more mystery.
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My husband is Cajun. I don’t run across a lot of cozies that reflect the way he talks even after living in the north for 15 years. It’s the first book in this series that I’ve read. I enjoyed it and will definitely read the others. I would recommend it.
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All Hat’s on Deck:  A Missy DuBois Mystery
By Sandra Bretting
Lyrical Underground
September 2019

Review by Cynthia Chow

After causing a bit of a snafu that caused Ruby Oubre to ruin the ingredients for her voodoo hex potion, hatmaker Missy DuBois promised a lagniappe to make up for the loss.  That favor is called in by the Cajun woman to help with business advice for her 18 year-old grandson, Hollis.  While Missy isn’t certain what she can teach a prospective alligator farm owner, the successful milliner is willing to instruct the young man on how to draw up a business plan and explain the concept of supply and demand.  When Ruby is late to join their meeting though, they make the horrific discovery of her body submerged behind her house.   Hollis is unable to accept that his grandmother could accidentally drowned, and the cascade of inquiries about her property along the Atchafalaya River basin seem to back him up.  Despite the predatory offers and demands from rogues ranging from the mayor to a riverboat captain, it is Hollis who falls squarely in the limelight as the Louisiana State Police Department’s most likely culprit.

In the two years since Missy created her Crowning Glory hat studio catering to brides and bridesmaids, she has built up a reputation for both creating and restoring the ultimate in custom bridal veils and head couture.  A venal blogger is doing her best to upset Missy’s business, not only setting up shop nearby but attempting to overpromise and underprice to brides.  In between investigating why Antonella Goode’s Good Hat-i-tude boutique is being welcomed by the city with seeming open arms and a parade, Missy must do her best to help Hollis prove his innocence while also protecting his inherited home.  To top it all off, in a case of the shoemaker’s children having no shoes, Missy still hasn’t managed to set a date for her own wedding to ball gown designer Ambrose Jackson, 

This series is never better than when showcasing the unique sights and sounds of the Southern Louisiana town of Bleu Bayou.  Sugar-dusted beignets, Cajun dialects, and of course an alligator or two come alive in this colorful and lively mystery.  Missy uses Southern manners to finagle her way into offices and coax out information, but it’s truly her kindness and affection for those she loves that make her such an effective and dedicated investigator.  This is a town, after all, where high-tech spy-cams are outmatched by observant neighbors and protective friends. Readers will enjoy following Missy’s adventures as she solves a murder, wins over a client, and achieves her own Happily Ever After ending.
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My rating: 4 of 5 stars, I really liked it.

Book 5 in the series.

This is probably my favorite of the series. The main character is showing herself to be smart and kind-hearted. She feels a bit more grown up now, not so impetuous.

The mystery itself was interesting and the book stayed nicely paced. It kept me wanting to turn the page. So much so, that I read it in one sitting.

I enjoy this series and am looking forward to the next one.
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This is the first book I've picked up in the Missy DuBois mystery series and I definitely want to read more of them. It was the alligator farm in the description that made me pick this one up. There aren't a lot of gators but there's a ton of atmosphere as Missy and her assistant venture down the Atchafalaya River to meet with a friend's grandson so that she can help him with the business plan. When the young man jumps into the water to show off his skills at swimming with gators, what he finds is the submerged body of his grandmother. 

Lots of people wanted Ruby Oubre's riverfront property and Missy can't believe that the older woman drowned by accident. She's also not going to leave Hollis alone in the empty trailer, especially after he begins to receive threatening phone calls. 

I enjoyed the mystery and spending time in Missy's world, but in the swamp and at her upscale hat shop.  I've obviously missed a lot by skipping the previous four books and Missy makes several references to "another story for another time." For me, that other time is going to be soon.
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All Hats on Deck
(Missy DuBois Mystery #5)
by Sandra Bretting

Kindle Edition, 214 pages
Published September 10th 2019 by Lyrical Press

Goodreads synopsis:
No Southern wedding is complete without a special veil designed by Louisiana hat maker Missy DuBois. But it’s hats off to Missy DuBois when she tries to save her town from a bayou killer . . .
When Ruby Oubre asks Missy to advise her grandson on a business idea, the successful owner of Crowning Glory is happy to oblige. After a quick jaunt down the river, Missy meets with eighteen-year-old Hollis about the viability of opening an alligator farm for tourists. But it isn’t an alligator Missy finds floating at the mossy bottom of the Atchafalaya River. It’s Ruby, and her death wasn’t caused by accidental drowning. It seems everyone from local tour boat operators to the chief of police and the mayor of Bleu Bayou had an eye on snatching up Ruby’s riverbank property. If Missy doesn’t unveil a greedy killer soon, her hat-making career could be bogged down for good . . .


4.5 Stars

This is the fifth book in the Missy Dubois Mystery series by Sandra Bretting.

I read the third book in this series back in June and really loved it. So, I was glad when the fifth book came available to review. What a joy for me to get back into the world of hat maker Missy and her boyfriend, Ambrose.

This story centered around a boy named Hollis and the death of his Grandmother Ruby Oubre. Hollis dreamed of starting an alligator farm but he had some competition in the form of people who wanted his grandmother’s land for their own ends. The boat dock on their property in the swamp region was very important to tour operators since the water levels in the area were ever changing and unpredictable. When Hollis’s grandmother is discovered drowned on the property, the game is on! All sort of riff-raff start rearing their ugly heads.

Missy gets involved in the investigation and for some reason Detective Lance LaPorte encourages her to a point. Then when things get hairy, she is ghosted. In the meantime, she is presented with a unique problem, there is a new hat maker in town and she wants to steal all of Missy’s business. Even the new client who was planning a money is no object wedding is lured away. Missy feels bad since this woman had been a blogger and she had given her an interview a year ago and spilled a lot of her hat making secrets that she should have kept to herself and now the woman was taking advantage and trying to ruin her business at the same time.

This book really keeps you interested and the whole community is so unique that I don’t think you will find anything similar in any other book. The mystery seems almost too simple but then the simplicity blows up in our face when so many suspects seem to just come out of the woodwork… or the swamp, so to speak. 

This is a great cozy mystery series that will immediately hook you.

I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.
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All Hats on Deck is the fifth book in Sandra Bretting’s Missy DuBois Mystery series.  The book is well written, and there are red herrings, twists and turns, and several suspects to keep the reader engaged.  I love the Louisiana setting and the Southern charm and humor in this book.

Melissa “Missy” DuBois is a custom hat maker and her best friend and fiancé, Ambrose “Bo” Jackson, is a wedding gown designer in Bleu Bayou, Louisiana.  Missy owed Ruby Oubre a favor, so when Ruby called on her to give her grandson, Hollis, a business lesson because he’d decided to open an alligator farm for tourists who came to visit the nearby antebellum homes, she agreed.  Ruby isn’t home when Missy shows up, but she and Hollis decide to go ahead with his lesson.  As Missy prepares to leave, Hollis finds his grandma’s body in the river.  Several people are interested in acquiring Ruby’s Atchafalaya River basin property, and it appears someone was willing to commit murder to reach their goal.  Missy’s childhood friend, Lance LaPorta, is the local detective assigned to the case, and he gladly accepts her help and even solicits her input.

I received an Advance Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed it.
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This is a good addition to an entertaining series. It is a delight to be in Cajun country. An interesting mystery that kept me guessing. A quick, one day read.
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All Hats on Deck by Sandra Bretting is the 5th book in the Missy DuBois Mystery series, and a fun read. Melissa “Missy” DuBois is a hat designer in Louisiana, owner of Crowing Glory hat shop that specializes in custom made hats for the elite. Missy and her fiance Ambrose “Bo” Jackson who is a wedding dress designer,work next door to each other.  When Missy finds another body, she is determined to find the murderer, and help her grandson.  Not only is this book funny, it has a great mystery, with wonderful southern charm. I found this book to be a quick read, with a well developed plot and characters. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.  I highly recommend this book and series.

I reviewed a digital arc provided by NetGalley and Kensington Publishing. Thank you.
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This is book #5 in the Missy Dubois series and the series continues to satisfy this reader. Missy runs her own business designing and making high end hats and her friend, Ruby asks her to talk to her grandson, Hollis about starting up a business. I guess business is business but Missy designs hats and Hollis wants to open a gator farm....for tourists. Interesting pairing. Soon tragedy strikes when Ruby is found dead in the bayou and it was no accident. More than one person makes it to the suspect list and it looks like a prime motive might be the desire to get their hands on her very valuable waterfront property.
I have enjoyed the previous books in this series and have come to really like the main characters so I was sad that the murder victim was Ruby. Beyond that, the mystery was solid with enough to keep me guessing to the last page. If you like your cozy mysteries with a big helping of Southern charm than this is your kind of mystery. I'm keeping this series on my must read list.
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Fans of this series will be sad to know that Ruby has been murdered.  A stalwart friend of Missy, she just asked Missy to help her grandson Hollis with his plan to create an alligator farm when sadly, she's found dead.  Missy, our intrepid milliner, not only takes Hollis in she also investigates along with Detective Lance.  Someone - but who- wanted Ruby's land so Missy feels she has to figure this out for more than one reason.  Her relationship with Bo continues apace but there seems to be a little more heat this time out in her dialogue with Lance.   No spoilers but there's lots of local Louisiana color (and a little dialect) and the villain might surprise you.  Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.  Don't worry if you haven't read the earlier books. This is a classic cozy with a good set of characters and Bretting will catch you up!
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This was a great summer read! I thoroughly enjoyed it, as well as the rest of the series. A definite must-read!
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Great southern charm and writing! Moves swiftly and the plot is so intriguing I wished I could have read it in one sitting! Missy DuBois—hat designer extraordinaire—and fiancé, Ambrose ‘Bo’ Jackson—wedding gown designer—are kind, southern folks who don’t hesitate to take young Hollis Oubre into their home when his Granny is murdered near their bayou home. Aided by Detective Lance LaPorte, Missy slowly begins to piece together the secrets the swamp threatens to hide. I enjoyed visiting with these delightful characters, plus the author’s descriptive plot details from the charming antebellum mansions to muddy waters of the bayous.

I reviewed a digital arc provided by NetGalley and Kensington Lyrical Underground. Thank you.
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What started as an interesting mystery meandered its way around the swamps and left with not much solved.  I thought this book was thin on details and left a lot of holes in the plot.. I would only give it 2.5 stars but that is not possible on the rating system. I have read other books by Sandra Bretting and have come away unsatisfied, so this will be the last book I read by this author. I do not plan to review on MapYourMystery.
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I thank NetGalley, the editors and author for the opportunity to read an advanced digital copy of this book.

First, I have to say that I did not read the previous books on the Missy DuBois mystery series. I am pleased with the fact that that did not seem to be a problem.  I did not think that it was necessary to read the previous books in order to follow All Hats on Deck.

Regarding the story and the characters, at first I liked the protagonist, Missy, but after her nosy behavior, entering and nosing around places I have to say she lost her appeal to me.  I found that the mystery had a bit simplistic solution, but was fine with it.  I am surprised at the fact that Missy is invited to catch criminals as if cops would do that, even cops that are friends.

All in all it was a decent read, if not great. I would give 3.5 stars.
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Missy Dubois is a fun, quirky character that always manages to get into something not of her own making, add in great characters like her friends, and a storyline made to keep you guessing. This is a wonderful read and addition to the series.
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All Hats on Deck is a great mystery with great characters and storyline. The book is well written and I would read more from this author.
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Missy Dubois is at it again in All Hats on Deck by Sandra Bretting.
Creating custom hats is Missy's specialty at Crowning Glory, even when a customer is a spoiled rich girl.
It's bad enough having to deal with her bratty customer, so when Missy finds out that another hat shop is coming to town, her temper soars and she's out for blood.
Add the murder of a close friend to the pot and you have the fixings for an outstanding mystery that is sure to keep you guessing until the very end.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for approving me to read this book.
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