Mrs. Jeffries Delivers the Goods

Emily Brightwell. Berkley Prime Crime, $16 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-0-451-49222-7
Early in Brightwell’s overly complex 37th Victorian mystery (after 2018’s Mrs. Jeffries and the Three Wise Women), Stephen Bremmer, a guest at the annual Lighterman’s Ball held at London’s Wrexley Hotel, convulses and dies during the toast. An autopsy confirms that Bremmer was poisoned, but the arsenic in his champagne glass was not sufficiently strong to kill him. Bremmer was a bully and a blackmailer, so there are plenty of people who would be glad to see him dead. But the more information Insp. Gerald Witherspoon turns up in his investigation, the less the sequence of events makes sense to him. Fortunately, he has a secret weapon in Mrs. Jeffries, his perspicacious housekeeper, and her cohort of information gatherers: the footman, the housemaid, the cook, and many others, upstairs and downstairs. Each provides a little piece of the puzzle. Unfortunately, the action bogs down as Mrs. Jeffries’s many spies cover the same ground. This entry would have benefitted from some judicious editing. Agent: Donald Maass, Donald Maass Literary. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 01/17/2019
Release date: 03/12/2019
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
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Paperback - 379 pages - 978-1-4328-6345-6
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