The Inspector and Mrs. Jeffries
Author: Emily Brightwell
The plot in a nutshell: Mrs. Jeffries is the housekeeper for Inspector Gerald Witherspoon. Witherspoon received a promotion after helping solve a rash of horrible murders. He used to be a records clerk for Scotland Yard, but now is an inspector who investigates and solves major crimes. Behind the scenes, Witherspoon is assisted by his staff of servants, headed by Mrs. Jeffries. The assistance with his cases is done in secret, of course, because they don't want to hurt Witherspoon's feelings. But, he can be absent minded at times and most of the time his investigations just need a nudge in the right direction. While he isn't the best investigator, Witherspoon is a very kind and generous employer. So his servants don't mind sneaking about to help him solve complicated cases. In the end, he believes he solved the cases himself, and his staff knows that they helped him maintain his reputation as one of the greatest investigators at Scotland Yard.
This book was a short, fun, read. A real Victorian cozy mystery romp. It had humor, suspense and just the right peppering of villainy. It didn't get bogged down in explaining past history of the characters, but gave enough information during progression of the plot to bring readers up to speed. That kept the pacing of the mystery going, without slowing down to explain minutiae that had nothing to do with the present story. The book is not complex, but a quick, simple afternoon read. As a cozy mystery lover, this book really hit the spot for me.
I don't know if I will be able to find the other 33 books in the series, but I'm certainly going to read a great number of them! This book was well-written and witty. Mrs. Jeffries and the other servants in the house are likable characters, and readers will find themselves loving the bumbling Witherspoon just as much as they do.
My rating: 8/10