Mrs. Jeffries Rights a Wrong
by Emily Brightwell
Cover Artist: Jeff Walker
Review by Mel Jacob
Berkley Trade Paperback / eBook ISBN/ITEM#: 9780399584206
Date: 02 May 2017
Mrs. Jefferies Rights a Wrong by Emily Brightwell is the thirty-fifth title in the Mrs. Jeffries Victorian Mysteries series. Mrs. Jeffries, housekeeper to Inspector Witherspoon, and her staff augmented by a few friends and Witherspoon's Constable Griffiths swings into action when a murder is assigned to Witherspoon. The latest such involves a personable swindler of wealthy older ladies.
Mrs. Jefferies sends her helpers to gather what evidence and information they can while Inspector Witherspoon and Constable Griffiths question witnesses. Every evening, Mrs. Jeffries drops subtle hints to the Inspector and overt ones the next morning to his constable.
A budding romance between Phyllis, a maid, and Wiggins, the footman, is soured by rivalry over who can gather the most useful information. Both Mrs. Jeffries and Smythe, the butler, are concerned about the rivalry and its potential to damage their efforts to assist Inspector Witherspoon. Both believe the root cause lies in the attraction Wiggins feels for the grown Phyllis. Originally, Phyllis had joined the household as a young girl and Wiggins had acted like a big brother.
Meanwhile, Inspector Witherspoon and Griffiths pursue various witnesses including two mysterious women. They soon learn Mundy was a swindler and a fraud. Their problem is to identify which of his past victims actually killed him with his own cane and what happened to all the cash he was suspected of having.
Gradually, they learn that Mundy had a checkered career dating back some twenty years and left victims spread from England to America and even France. An American victim is in London and has been seen at Mundy's hotel.
Between the Inspector's discoveries and the details provided by Mrs. Jefferies and her crew, the truth is uncovered.
Emily Brightwell's Victorian Mystery series comprises thirty-five novels and six anthologies. For new readers, it may take some time to work out all the relationships of the continuing characters. All in all, there are plenty of clues and red herrings to keep the pages turning. Brightwell's real name is Cheryl Lanham and she writes young adult mysteries under that name. Her romance novels appear under Sarah Temple.