Saturday, December 14, 2013

MRS. JEFFRIES AND THE MERRY GENTLEMEN by Emily Brightwell






Emily Brightwell's Mrs. Jeffries and the Merry Gentlemen is exactly what it says it is, a Victorian mystery.

Someone murders a prominent London stockbroker. He promoted stocks in a now-bankrupt foreign mine.

Because the man is important, the Yard puts Inspector Gerald Witherspoon on the case. Witherspoon quickly solves high profile murder cases.

Among the suspects is a group of three investors known as The Merry Gentlemen. They all lost money on the bankrupt African gold mine.

The interesting twist is that it is not Witherspoon who solves the murder. It is his household staff led by Mrs. Jeffries. They solve the crime in such a way that Witherspoon thinks he is the one who solved the murder.

They gather information from the household staffs and tradespeople of the neighborhood. Then they discreetly feed the information to Witherspoon through his assisting constable. The constable is in on what they are doing.

The house staff even manages to save another person from being murdered and to make Witherspoon think he made the rescue.

I'd guess this formula is a part of all the Mrs. Jeffries books, but it was new to me. This is my first time to read Emily Brightwell.

This story takes place at Christmas. For me, it was the perfect story to read during the Christmas season. It was a simply-written, clue-driven, find-out-the-facts cozy with a cheerful point of view.

From what I read, this is the thirty-second book in the Mrs. Jeffries series. I picked it up because I thought it might be fun, light reading during the holiday season.

This book filled the bill.

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