Mrs. Jeffries aims to win

Emily Brightwell

Book - 2023

"Mrs. Jeffries must help Inspector Witherspoon crack a new case and catch a killer in this next installment of the beloved Victorian Mystery series. Successful businessman Jeremy Marks wasn't highly regarded by any of the members of the West London Archery Club. Most of them considered him a buffoon and a bore. But everyone was stunned when the fellow was murdered during a lull in the club's annual archery competition. He'd been shot with arrows from a longbow during a raging... thunderstorm. But those who knew Marks well understood that the unkempt "court jester" persona adopted by the late, unlamented man was as fake as the smile he wore. As Inspector Witherspoon investigates the murder, he discovers the victim had real enemies among the assembled archery contestants. Marks was notorious for not paying his bills, cheating vendors, bad-mouthing business rivals, and worst of all, betraying his business partners. The dead man had built a whole career and amassed quite a substantial fortune by harming those who trusted him. It will take Mrs. Jeffries and the inspector's household as well as their friends to sort out fact from fiction and target a killer"--

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A Victorian Mystery ; 41
Historical fiction
Detective and mystery fiction
New York : Berkley Prime Crime 2023.
First Edition
Physical Description
304 pages ; 21 cm
Main Author
Emily Brightwell (author)
Review by Kirkus Book Review

Housekeeper Hepzibah Jeffries and her cohort of snoopy friends help her employer, Inspector Gerald Witherspoon, solve yet another Victorian murder. When Witherspoon's neighbor Luty Belle Crookshank and her butler, Hatchet, attend a competition at the West London Archery Club, they hardly expect to become embroiled in a murder case. Jeremy Marks has been shot by arrows while roaming the archery range in a heavy rainstorm. There's no dearth of suspects, since he was widely and cordially hated. Witherspoon has solved more murder cases than any other officer, but he doesn't realize that his success rate depends on the help of his staff and friends, whose wide circle of acquaintances dig up information. Constable Barnes, who's well aware of the reason for his superior's superior performance, relays information to Witherspoon without revealing its source, while Mrs. Jeffries has encouraging chats with him over restorative glasses of sherry. Marks had a long history of involving people in shady business deals that always left him in the clear even if his partners went bankrupt. He recently dumped his fiancee in favor of a richer prospect. Both women are members of the archery club, and both are excellent shots. Although there were witnesses on the scene, it was so stormy that they can't identify anyone. A timeline and a chart of who was where at the time of death help narrow down the suspects, but the answer to the question of whether the motive was a woman scorned or a family ruined depends on Mrs. Jeffries' trademark tidbits of information. A charmingly quirky group of amateur sleuths sparks this tricky mystery. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.