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Mrs. Jeffries and the Three Wise Women by…

Mrs. Jeffries and the Three Wise Women

by Emily Brightwell

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144683,257 (3.86)6



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I know that I came across a description of this series a while back, and I found it – the idea of a detective's housekeeper doing the lion's share of the work to help him achieve arrests – off-putting. Perhaps because of the covers I've seen for the series I thought it was all played for laughs; the artwork on most of the books makes Inspector Witherspoon look completely oblivious, with Mrs. Jeffries peering in from the side. I was never interested. So it's odd that I requested this book from Netgalley.

But I did, and in the end it was much better than I expected it to be. It wasn't great – I can't imagine reading 35 more along the same lines, and I was startled to read a description of a couple of earlier books in the series that sounded a whole lot like this one; there was one in which it was important that a case be solved by Christmas, and at least one other in which a case was given to inferior Inspector Nivens and, of course, botched.

I did like the characters – Inspector Witherspoon is not a nincompoop, thank goodness, and that makes all the difference. And the author did a nice job at keeping a fairly large cast of characters distinct from each other and pretty consistently interesting … though I really wish the one American character wasn't written in the dreadful manner of Arthur Conan Doyle or Agatha Christie writing an American. Goldarnit. There are a few things the Golden Agers did not do perfectly, and in which they should not be emulated.

There was a bit too much repetition of the basic ideas of "we'll never solve this old mystery" and "I goofed off today and I'm ashamed but I'll probably do it again tomorrow because we'll never solve this old mystery", and much too much whining about having their holiday plans disrupted. In that they reminded me of my coworkers, who spend half the day talking about the news and the weather and their love lives and tv and a hundred other inane things, and then complain that they don't have time to do their work. Shut up and buckle down, and maybe you'll manage.

All in all, I'm not sorry I read it – but I'm in no rush to go read the rest of the (astonishingly long) series.

The usual disclaimer: I received this book via Netgalley for review. ( )
  Stewartry | Mar 18, 2018 |
Mrs Jeffries & cohorts are at it again, or are they?

When Inspector Witherspoon's rival botches the investigation of a murder that happened six weeks prior, he is called upon to solve the murder, unfortunately it is just before Christmas and the entire household has plans, which they put on hold in order to help the Inspector.

There is quite a bit of disappointment and the household lags behind on their end of the investigation, which pushes Luty, Mrs. Goodge, & Besty (?) into a position where they shame the others into putting their laments aside in order to achieve justice.

The murdered man, was brought into a family company in order to find the monetary discrepancies. The man had a past with the company & the family, as he had previously been dealt with unfairly and him finding the missing money would be his form of revenge.
However, prior to his starting, he is invited to a Guy Fawkes night dinner party, where he makes upsetting comments to the guests regarding their pasts, whereupon the guests leave abruptly.

It is on his way back to his lodgings that he is met in the dark Mews and gunned down.....

I liked the plot and was able to get through the book in one evening.

I'm not overly enamored of Inspector Witherspoon's household staff but I am mostly able to ignore their side stories. ( )
  Auntie-Nanuuq | Jan 25, 2018 |
I do like Victorian mysteries, and this one is very good. I hope Ms. Brightwell plans to continue this series. ( )
  Philip100 | Jan 15, 2018 |
I loved this book! I just finished the previous Mrs. Jeffries not long ago, and then realized that this one was out too, so I ordered it. What a delight this book is! I was lucky enough to read it in and around the Christmas season, so it's Christmas theme appealed to me. But this book has a very different flavour than all the others in this long-running series. The title says it all, but what is so different here is that the three wise women take over the management of Witherspoon's latest case. The three women are Mrs. Goodge, Withespoon's awesome cook, Lady Ruth Canonberry, Mr. Witherspoon's female special friend, and Luty Cruikshank, a richer than God American woman who also helps on Witherspoon's cases. These three women are in all the books, and they are each enjoyable in their own right, but they are a fiormidable team when they decide to band together. No one else in the Witherspoon household is very pleased with Witherspoon's latest case. It's a six-week old murder and he is handed the case just a week before Christmas. Everyone has special plans for the holidays, and they don't want to spend the time it will take to investigate this one. The book is warm and funny and all the characters are remarkably real. I felt I was right there in Witherspoon's kitchen as they plotted to get this unsolveable case sorted. Victorian cozy mystery at its finest. ( )
  Romonko | Jan 2, 2018 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0399584226, Hardcover)

As the holidays approach, all is merry and bright for Inspector Witherspoon, Mrs. Jeffries, and the staff at Upper Edmonton Gardens...but murder knows no season.


Christopher Gilhaney isn’t a popular man, and he proves why once again when he insults every guest at Abigail Chase’s Guy Fawkes Night dinner party. When Gilhaney is shot dead under the cover of the night’s fireworks, his murder is deemed a robbery gone wrong. But when the case hasn’t been solved six weeks later, Inspector Witherspoon is called upon to find the killer—and quickly!

With Christmas almost here, Inspector Witherspoon and everyone in his household is upset at the possibility of having to cancel their holiday plans—all to solve a case that seems impossible. Only Luty Belle, Ruth, and Mrs. Goodge refuse to give up and let the crime become a cold case. In fact, the American heiress, the charming next-door neighbor, and the formidable cook use all of their persuasive powers to get the others on board, because these three wise women know justice doesn’t take time off for Christmas.

(retrieved from Amazon Sun, 19 Mar 2017 15:55:05 -0400)

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