Thursday, November 10, 2011
Review & Giveaway: Mrs. Jeffries and the Mistletoe Mix-up by Emily Brightwell
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Berkley Hardcover (November 1, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0425243575 ; ISBN-13: 978-0425243572
All Detective Inspector Witherspoon wanted was a quiet Christmas and some time to buy his new god-daughter a gift but something got in the way - a little something called . . . . . murder. DI Witherspoon and his Scotland Yard partner, constable Barnes, are called in to solve the case of death by sword. An odd choice of weapon? Maybe not for this victim!
Daniel McCourt, a vain, egotistical and mean spirited man has a passion for collecting oriental antiquities and loves to gloatingly show off his latest acqusitions. When he invites some of his rivals to tea, he never gets the chance to show them anything. A small paraffin fire in the servants quarters sends everyone, except Daniel, outside to escape the noxious odor. Yes, he is that stubborn! He thought it was a fuss about nothing. Too bad he didn't exit with the crowd because the next time we see him, he is a messy corpse. Someone took the opportunity of a wide open house to enter his study and strike him with a sword on both sides of the neck. Eeeeeuuuwwww!
DI Witherspoon, unbeknownst to him, gets some help from a surprising source. His housekeeper, Mrs. Jeffries, loves a good puzzle. She and several other members of the household staff along with a few friends know how to ferret out clues and follow up on them. It's a group effort with them all having their roles to play.What hangs them all up is figuring out why the killer took the time to hang a sprig of mistletoe over the victim.
Quite a different format for a cozy to have a myriad of characters do the sleuthing instead of one lone amateur. Mrs. Jeffries helps DI Witherspoon along with the investigation almost subliminally by suggesting places he might look and people he might interview while making him think it is his own idea. Can Mrs. Jeffries nudge him along in time to solve the crime before Christmas comes along?
At the beginning, the reader has to pay extra attention as a lot of characters are introduced in short order. At times, I had to flip back to see who was who but soon got it straight in my mind. The Victorian time frame was delightful reading - quite nice to not be reading about cell phones, computers and other modern day contrivances for a change. Even though Mrs. Jeffries stretches the reader's belief a tad, that is to be expected with most cozies, this was still an enjoyable seasonal read.
This was my first reading experience with Mrs. Jeffries. Not sure I would rush out and read the others
in the series so this one earned a 3* rating from me.
Due to the ever so generous Berkley, I am able to offer a giveaway of one copy of this book. Open to US only with the deadline to enter being Nov 20th at 5 PM (est). Bonus entries are as follows:
+2 for being a follower, old or new. Just remind me how you follow and under what name.
+3 for blogging (sidebar is fine) or tweeting about the giveaway. Leave me a link, please.
If you cannot comment you can still enter by sending me an e mail with Win Mrs. Jeffries in the subject line. Include your name and e mail and send to florida982002[at]yahoo.com
Disclosure: A review copy of the book was provided by Berkley in exchange for my honest opinion.