Reviewer: Mary Lignor
Title: Mrs. Jeffries Speaks Her Mind - 27th in the Mrs. Jeffries Mystery series
Author: Emily Brightwell
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Release Date: June 2010
Genre/Sub-genre: Cozy Mystery
Year/Setting: Victorian England
Overall Rating: 4.5
Sexual Content Rating: Subtle
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: None
Violent Content Rating: Minimal/Moderate
Emily's Website/Blog: www.emilybrightwell.com
A very readable English Mystery. This book is the newest in a long line (at least 26) of Mrs. Jeffries mysteries by Emily Brightwell. Mrs. Jeffries is the housekeeper for Inspector Witherspoon of the Metropolitan Police Force. She is his secret weapon in solving difficult murder cases. She and the other servants including the Cook, Mrs. Goodge; the footman, Wiggins; the Coachman, Smythe and his bride the Maid, Betsy. Along, with these people there are a few friends and neighbors that help out also. When the Inspector is given a case everyone chips in to help him solve it and unbeknownst to him they usually can help him solve the case in a timely manner and it has built his reputation as one of the best policemen in the city. The Inspector's partner, Constable Barnes is also in on these investigations and helps the servants when he can.
In this particular story, Olive Kettering, an extremely eccentric lady who lived near the Inspector, is shot and killed outside of her home. Miss Kettering was not a popular person with either her relatives or her servants. She also had a boarder who lived on the property whose family used to own the mansion that she lives in. There really seemed to be no end to the amount of suspects. Miss Kettering's cousin and her niece were on the outs with her as they didn't live their lives the way she thought that they should; and all of her house servants really didn't like her as she only gave them one half day a week off and if they needed medical attention she wouldn't let them off to see a doctor. Her Cook was taken ill and she didn't call for the doctor until it was too late to save her. All the servants were given the day off to attend the funeral of the cook and that is the day Miss Kettering met her demise. She had complained for weeks that someone was in the house and trying to kill her and no one would listen to her but, sadly she was right. It takes Inspector Witherspoon and his cohorts a while to figure everything out but, eventually they do and it is a surprising ending.
I enjoyed this story although I'm not a big fan of English Mysteries. Miss Brightwell is a fabulous writer and, of course, there are many Mrs. Jeffries books to her credit. I do recommend this book to all English Mystery fans and I'm also sure that all mystery fans will like it. The characters are very likeable and the book moves along at a good pace; you won't get bored with it.
Enjoy, and I'll talk to you soon,
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