Mrs. Jeffries and the midwinter murders

Emily Brightwell

Book - 2021

"Mrs. Jeffries and Inspector Witherspoon should be checking off their Christmas present list but instead they're listing murder suspects in this latest entry of the beloved Victorian Mystery series. Harriet Andover had no intention of dying young like her silly siblings had. She intended to outlive them and outdo them as she always had. But Harriet discovers that the best intentions can lead to murder when she is strangled inside her mansion with a house full of holiday guests. As much... as Inspector Witherspoon enjoys his job delivering justice, the last thing he wanted was a complicated murder case just a week before Christmas. He soon discovers that Harriet's own husband and grown stepchildren are not overcome with grief and neither are most of her friends. And to put the icing on the Christmas cookies, the room where Harriet's body was found was locked from the inside and she had the only key in her pocket. Mrs. Jeffries and the household have no intention of letting their inspector down and learn that Harriet's sister may have died from foul play as well. As the clues mount, this dedicated band of merry sleuths will not rest until they've delivered a stocking full of coal to a crafty killer"--

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Brightwell, Emily. Mrs. Jeffries mystery ; 40.
Victorian mysteries.
Mystery fiction
Christmas fiction
Historical fiction
Cozy mysteries
Detective and mystery fiction
New York : Berkley Prime Crime [2021]
First edition
Item Description
Sequel to: Mrs. Jeffries demands justice.
Physical Description
294 pages ; 21 cm
Main Author
Emily Brightwell (author)
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Brightwell's twisty 40th Victorian mystery (after Mrs. Jeffries Demands Justice) opens with the discovery of wealthy Harriet Andover strangled to death in her study. The key to the locked door is still in Harriet's pocket, and the only other key has hung undisturbed in the pantry since Harriet was last seen alive. Insp. Gerald Witherspoon of London's Metropolitan Police quickly decides that Harriet was killed by someone in the household, which still leaves plenty of suspects: Harriet's discontented husband, her resentful stepchildren, her nephew visiting from America, her destitute best friend. Witherspoon is unaware that part of his success is due to the aid of his own devoted household, led by his ever-efficient housekeeper, Mrs. Hepzibah Jeffries. Mrs. Jeffries deploys her team of spies to investigate Harriet's death and subtly feeds the information to Witherspoon. Brightwell skillfully steers the unfolding mystery down an unexpected path. The appealing relationships among Mrs. Jeffries, her crew of spies, and her inspector make up for a plot often bogged down in a surfeit of detail. Fans of locked room mysteries will want to have a look. Agent: Donald Maass, Donald Maass Literary. (Nov.)

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved Review by Kirkus Book Review

Yet another pre-Christmas murder for friends of a Victorian police detective to investigate. Inspector Gerald Witherspoon of London's Metropolitan Police has a stellar record of solving murder cases. The pleasant, independently wealthy Witherspoon never realizes that his success is due to the sleuthing abilities of his housekeeper, Mrs. Jeffries, his staff, and their friends, who have a spy network ranging from former crooks to aristocrats. When wealthy Harriet Andover is found strangled in a locked conservatory, her death poses a puzzle challenging for even the inveterate sleuths. She married above herself but kept a firm hand on the purse strings, annoying her husband and stepchildren, who all thought the money she brought into the marriage should be used to keep them in a style befitting their status. Also living in the house is Harriet's nephew, an Episcopal priest from the United States, whom she had invited to stay while he researched a book, and a widowed friend of hers. The unlikely sleuths get help from Witherspoon's assistant, who feeds the inspector the clues discovered by the group, while Mrs. Jeffries joins Witherspoon for sherry every evening and boosts his ego with well-placed compliments. The investigation indicates that the killer must be someone who lives in the Andover mansion. And indeed, every one of the residents turns out to have a motive. But which of them did the deed? Formulaic as ever, but it's still entertaining to watch the likable sleuths go about their business. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.