Upper Edmonton Gardens looks forward to a jolly Christmas, until one humbug sings of murder--in Mrs. Jeffries's 26th mystery.
'Tis the week before Christmas, and all through the house, every creature is stirring...
But just as Inspector Witherspoon's staff prepares for the long-awaited wedding of Betsy and Smythe, a Yuletide murder falls in the Inspector's lap.
A middle-aged spinster has been killed in what her murderer hoped would look like a random crime. But the Inspector's investigation reveals a web of lies, intrigue, and long-buried secrets. With uncooperative witnesses, sulking relatives, and a second Christmas wedding, a simple investigation seems unlikely. And the household will have to put aside its holiday spirit to save the Inspector's reputation.
Two weddings provide the backdrop for Brightwell's enjoyable 26th Victorian mystery, the first of the series in hardcover, featuring mild-mannered Insp. Gerald Witherspoon and his indomitable housekeeper, Mrs. Jeffries (after Mar. 2009's Mrs. Jeffries and the Nick of Time). As Christmas approaches, the inspector's servants are busy preparing for the marriage between Smythe, the coachman, and Betsy, the maid. Meanwhile, Rosemary Evans and her older fianc�, Sir Madison Lowery, are celebrating their impending nuptials with a formal tea, which is interrupted by the discovery of a former governess of Rosemary's lying dead with a knife in her chest outside the Evanses' house in a posh London neighborhood. As usual, Mrs. Jeffries and her fellow servants gather and sort through clues while their sometimes dilatory master investigates. Cozy fans will be well satisfied. (Nov.)
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November 02, 2009
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