Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Mrs Jeffries Series: Victorian Cozies by Emily Brightwell

Mrs Jeffries and the Best Laid Plans
Image result for mrs jeffries and the best laid plans★ ★ ★ ★
Betsy & Smythe are in the midst of planning their wedding which is two months away but they & the rest of the household are bored....  It's not that want anyone to be murdered, but t hey sure long to get back to investigating....

Lawrence Boys was an unmitigated bugger, he ran a merchant's bank and was a popular amateur painter whose goal in life was to receive as many awards as humanly possible....  He jilted his fiancee in order to marry her sister (who was engaged to someone else), his housekeeper was his cousin (whose savings he borrowed for a bad investment), he was mean to h is staff but paid them well....

The day of his murder he was alone in his studio finishing a new painting (his staff had all been let off for the day to attend a coworker's funeral). There was to be a luncheon at his home for a few members of the Bankers Benevolent Society (for which he thought he was about to be awarded their highest honor) and on the verge of firing his head clerk for embezzlement.....

Everyone Hated Boyd, but someone hated him enough to cosh him on the head, stretch him out on the studio settee and set fire to the studio.... Unfortunately, it was damp, the fire didn't catch and the "Remington" girl he had hired for the day to do his typing saw the smoke & went to get the fire brigade......

Ok, the main clue was there to figure out who done it, but it was a good story and interesting plot.

Mrs Jeffries Forges Ahead
★ ★ ★ ★

Same people, similar circumstances, Victorian cozy....

Inspector Witherspoon's friend & neighbor, Lady Ruth Cannonberry is in attendance of a popular London Ball, invited by Arlette Bandfield (the younger). Lady Banfield (the elder, now no longer the head of the household) is in the corner with two of her friends dishing dirt about Arlette.

Prior to dinner being served, Arlette & Ruth are in conversation when Arlette complains she does not feel well, her breathing becomes labored, she falls to the floor, she convulses and dies.

With quick thinking, Lady Cannonberry, calls for a doctor, and refuses to allow the table to be cleared of "evidence".  Inspector Witherspoon & Constable Barnes are called in and the investigation begins.....

Many people disliked Arlette for: her shunning of "social graces", her political stance, her artistic patents' background, her marriage to Lewis Banfield, & her social circle of artist friends..... In other words because she openly defied convention!

As the Inspector's investigation is hampered by the aristocratic women involved, Mrs Jeffries & her cohorts do what they do best.... gather evidence from sources not available to  the Inspector.

I figured out who done it & why, but that did not take away from the story.  The more I read this series, the more I am able to ignore the triteness of Mrs. Jeffries.  I have one more to go, then I have finished my goal of 4 and I will most likely not continue with the series

Mrs Jeffries and the One Who Got Away
★ ★ ★

Inspector Witherspoon is called upon to handle the murder of a woman outside of his jurisdiction...  She was strangled w/ a heavy red cord and left in a cemetery, in her hand was an old news clipping about Inspector Witherspoon....

As it turns out, the victim, Alice Robinson, in reality was Edith Durant, the one murderess that got away before she could be apprehended & brought to justice by Inspector Witherspoon.

As Alice Robinson, she was running a shabby overly expensive boarding house for traveling businessmen/salesmen, but had recently been having problems with missing rent payments & their tenants personal items.....

Elsewhere in the area are a large number of local homes experiencing burglaries, but the local "fences" & pawnshops are not the ones getting the "goods".

An interesting story, I was able to put it all together well before the end.  Again a bit trite, but not overly annoying.  The one thing that does bother me  is: The way Mrs Jeffries in pictured on the covers of the books, this is Victorian era, and she is always dressed as if in her night clothes made to look like a silly old lady, which in normal circumstances would make me ignore the series completely and choose another....

Mrs. Jefferies Holds the Trump
★ ★ ★

A Victorian "cozy" set in London.

Inspector Witherspoon of Scotland Yard is called upon to investigate a case of drowning, which in actuality is a case of murder.  The medical examiner reports that the body he examined was coshed on the head and that there are hand shaped bruise marks on the corpse's shoulders and arms....

The murdered man was on a quest to find out what became of a long-time friend who had recently disappeared.  The victim had recently joined a "Men's Club" whereupon he set about making inquiries of his fellow whist players, who for some reason were always in need of a "fourth".

Apparently, Inspector Witherspoon isn't much of a "creative" thinker/detective, for unbeknownst to him, his household (lead by Mrs. Jefferies) tends to do much of his investigation for him, whereupon Mrs Jefferies takes their information and gently feeds it to the Inspector during their afternoon tea or over their after dinner sherry.

Cleverly written but a bit trite....

Mrs. Jefferies by, Emily Brightwell

Inspector & Mrs. Jeffries (2/1993)
ISBN # 0425136221 Berkley Prime Crime

A doctor is found dead in his own office - and Mrs. Jeffries must scour the premises to find the prescription for murder!

Mrs. Jeffries Dusts For Clues (1993)
ISBN # 042513704X Berkley Prime Crime

One case is solved and another is opened when the Inspector finds a missing brooch - pinned to a dead woman's gown. But Mrs. Jeffries ..

The Ghost & Mrs. Jeffries (10/1993)
ISBN # 0425139492 Berkley Prime Crime

Death is unpredictable..but the murder of Mrs. Hodges was foreseen at a spookly seance. The practical-minded housekeeper may not be able to see the future...

Mrs. Jeffries On the Ball (12/1994)
ISBN # 0425144917 Berkley Prime Crime

A festive Jubilee Ball in honor of Queen Victoria turns into a fatal affair for Hannah Greenwood. Inspector Witherspoon was a guest at the ball so the job of finding the murderer falls to him. Fortunately.....

Mrs. Jeffries Takes Stock (1994)
ISBN # 0425142825 Berkley Prime Crime

A businessman has been murdered - and it could be because he cheated his shareholders. The housekeeper's interest is piqued..and when....

Mrs. Jeffries On the Trail (4/1995)
ISBN # 042514691X Berkley Prime Crime

Why was Annie Shields out selling flowers so late on a foggy night after the riots? And more....

Mrs. Jeffries Plays the Cook (4/1995)
ISBN # 0425150534 Berkley Prime Crime

Minerva Kenny is a dear woman, but her tendency to "borrow" things without asking has finally caught up with her. William Barrett is holding...

Mrs. Jeffries and the Missing Alibi
ISBN # 0425152561 Berkley Prime Crime

When Inspector Witherspoon becomes the main suspect in a murder case, Scotland Yard refuses to let him investigate. But no-one said anything ......

Mrs. Jeffries Stands Corrected (12/1996)

ISBN # 0425155803 Berkley Prime Crime

Trouble is brewing when a local publican is murdered, stabbed in the back, in his own pub. Inspector Witherspoon finally takes Mrs. Jeffries advice to heart. He's going to trust his own instincts and listen to his inner voice.

Mrs. Jeffries Takes the Stage  (3/1997)
ISBN # 0425157245 Berkley Prime Crime

It was a most peculiar murder.  A man's body was found in the canal - but the evidence showed that he had drowned in a bathtub.

Mrs. Jeffries Questions the Answer (11/1997)
ISBN # 0425160939 Berkley Prime Crime

It was true.  Hannah Cameron was not well-liked. But were her friends or family the sort to stab her in the back? To almost everyone, the answer's clear: she was killed by a burglar.

Mrs. Jeffries Reveals Her Art (3/1998)
ISBN # 0425162435 Berkley Prime Crime

The artist's model never even showed up to Neville Grant's house - nor was expected according to the cranky Mr. Grant. But with all his ranting and raving, it was hard to get a straight answer.

Mrs. Jeffries Takes the Cake (10/1998)
ISBN # 0425165698 Berkley Prime Crime

The evidence was all there: a dead body, two dessert plates, and a gun. As if poor Mr. Ashbury had been sharing a piece of cake with his own killer! The old bloke had plenty of enemies.

Mrs. Jeffries  Rocks the Boat (9/1999)
ISBN # 0425169340 Berkley Prime Crime

Mirabelle Daws travelled all the way from Australia to Sheridan Square to visit her sister - only to be stabbed to death in the middle of the locked garden.

Mrs. Jeffries Weeds the Plot (10/2000)
ISBN # 0425177459 Berkley Prime Crime

Eccentric Annabeth Gentry pretty much keeps to herself. Besides her recent inheritance - and the attention her bloodhound gets for digging up a body - her life is, in fact, rather dull.

Mrs. Jeffries Pinches the Post (4/2001)
ISBN # 0425150534 Berkley Prime Crime

Harrison Nye may have been involved in some dubious business dealings, but no one ever expected him to be murdered. Now Inspector Witherspoon must find the perpetrator of the underhanded deed.

Mrs. Jeffries Pleads Her Case (4/2003)
ISBN # 0425189473 Berkley Prime Crime

It took no time at all for the magistrate to rule the death of Harlan Westover a suicide. But not everyone is convinced by the result of what may have been a slip-shod investigation.

Mrs. Jeffries Sweeps the Chimney (1/2004)
ISBN # 0425193918 Berkley Prime Crime

Inspector Witherspoon is perplexed. No one seems to know the identity of the dead man dressed like a vicar and propped up against the outside wall of St Paul's church. A paper clutched in the corpse's hand reveals the address...

Mrs. Jeffries Stalks the Hunter (4/2004)
ISBN # 0425150534 Berkley Prime Crime

Sir Edmund Leggett has a stalker - a young lady whose attentions have turned from puppy love to obsession. Rather than be alarmed, Sir Edmund is somewhat flattered.  That is, until his engagement party, when someone murders him in cold blood..

Mrs. Jeffries and the Silent Knight (11/2005)
ISBN # 0425150534 Berkley Prime Crime

It's the week before Christmas, but the festive mood in Inspector Gerald Witherspoon's household fizzles when he's called to Richmond to investigate the murder of a Baronet. Sir George Braxton was found lying face down in a frozen fountain with the back of his skull bashed to bits!

Mrs. Jeffries Appeals the Verdict (4/2006)
ISBN # 0425150534 Berkley Prime Crime

After a perfectly decent woman is killed during a robbery, the Witherspoon household receives a surprising visit from a stranger named Blimpey Groggins. He claims his best buddy was convicted of the crime.

Mrs. Jeffries and the Best Laid Plans (5/2007)
ISBN # 9780425215838 Berkley Prime Crime

Banker Lawrence Boyd didn't waste his time making friends, which is why hardly anyone grieves when he's found dead in his burnt-out studio..

Mrs. Jeffries and the Feast of St. Stephen (10/2007)
ISBN # 9780425217313 (hardcover)ISBN # 9780425224274 (paperback) Berkley Prime Crime

"Tis the season to make merry, and a Yuletide dinner in West Brompton should provide a festive occasion for all. But the good cheer disappears when the host, wealthy Stephen Whitfield, dies before the second course.

Mrs. Jeffries Holds the Trump (6/2008)
ISBN# 9780425222089 Berkley Prime Crime

Michael Provost lived a quiet life, yet this successful owner of a medical supply company was spotted floating facedown off the Chelsea Vestry Wharf.  His servants adored him, and he had no greedy relatives or business rivals - who'd ever want him dead?

Mrs. Jeffries in the Nick of Time (3/2009)
ISBN # 9780425226780 Berkley Prime Crime

Train enthusiast Francis Humphreys was was drawing his last breath while his relatives and neighbors were over for tea. But Inspector Witherspoon wonders: If everyone was downstairs, who could have stolen into Francis' second-story study, killed him, and escaped?

Mrs. Jeffries and the Yuletide Weddings (11/2009)
ISBN # 9780425230466 (Hardcover)
ISBN # 9780425237915 Berkley Prime Crime

The week before Christmas, Inspector Gerald Witherspoon's staff prepares for the long-awaited wedding of Betsy and Smythe. But an unwelcome surprise falls in his lap: a Yuletide murder.

Mrs. Jeffries Speaks Her Mind (6/2010)
ISBN # 9780425235249
ISBN # 9780425237915 Berkley Prime Crime

Olive Kettering was always eccentric, but recently her behavior had become downright peculiar. She'd joined an odd religious group, was estranged from her family, worked her servants mercilessly, and even insisted that there were people trying to harm her.

<b>"Mrs. Jeffries Forges Ahead"</b> (05/2011)
ISBN # 9780425241608

The marriageable daughters of the upper crust howl in outrage when the rich and handsome Lewis Banfield marries an artist's model. But Arlette Montrose Banfield is more than a pretty face: she's an intelligent and free-spirited woman. But not everyone approves of a modern woman.  At the Banfield's ball, someone poisons the new bride's champagne.

Mrs. Jeffries and the Mistletoe Mix-up (11/2011)
ISBN # 9780425235249

Under a bundle of mistletoe, art collector Daniel McCourt lies with his throat slit, a bloody sword next to his body. Inspector Witherspoon is determined to solve the case-preferably before the eggnog is ladled out on Christmas Eve-but of course he will require assistance from the always sharp-witted housekeeper, Mrs. Jeffries, who has a few of her own theories on why McCourt had to die by the sword.

Mrs. Jeffries Defends Her Own (05/2012)
ISBN # 9780425248058

When the general office manager of Sutcliffe Manufacturing is murdered, no one is really surprised. Ronald Dearman was anything but a dear man. The tyrannical bully had more than enough enemies to go around. But who hated him enough to walk into his office and put a bullet between his eyes?

Mrs. Jeffries Turns the Tide (05/2013)
ISBN # 9780425248058

Beautiful and new in town, Ellen Langston-Jones doesn’t have any enemies. So, when she’s found dead in the communal gardens, Inspector Witherspoon quickly narrows the field of suspects down to one: Lucius Montague, who was seen threatening Mrs. Langston-Jones shortly before her death.
The Inspector and all of London are positive that he’s the killer, but Mrs. Jeffries has doubts.
Mrs. Jeffries and the Merry Gentlemen (10/2013)
ISBN # 9780042526808X

Orlando Edison is a stockbroker using London’s infatuation with foreign mining ventures to make a fortune. He has curried favor with the nation’s most respected aristocrats, even inviting three of the most influential investors in England—known as the Merry Gentlemen—to be part of his latest enterprise. Despite his mysterious past, Edison is now welcomed in the highest circles and moves with ease among the rich and powerful.
Mrs. Jeffries and the One Who Got Away (2/2015)
ISBN # 9780425268100

Normally, dead bodies in a graveyard are buried - but not this one. When a woman is found strangled in a North London cemetery with an old newspaper clipping clutched in her hand, Inspector Witherspoon is surprised to find that he and the victim have crossed paths before.

"Mrs. Jeffries and... (03/2016)

Orlando Edison is a stockbroker using London’s infatuation with foreign mining ventures to make a fortune. He has curried favor with the nation’s most respected aristocrats, even inviting three of the most influential investors in England—known as the Merry Gentlemen—to be part of his latest enterprise. Despite his mysterious past, Edison is now welcomed in the highest circles and moves with ease among the rich and powerful.

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