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Mrs. Jeffries and the Mistletoe Mix-Up
A Victorian Mystery, No 29
Emily Brightwell

November 1, 2011 / ISBN 0425243575
Historical Mystery / Victorian Era / England

Reviewed by Brenda Weeaks

Mrs Jeffries with Inspector Witherspoon and his household staff are back with a renewed vision of Christmas. It’s their first Christmas with Smythe and Betsy’s new baby.

The Christmas celebration is interrupted when Daniel McCourt is found murdered with a sword from his own collection. Daniel is the kind who deserves “coal” in his stocking. His friends are few; his wife dislikes him; and his servants avoid him, so the suspect list is long. What adds to this mystery is the sprig of mistletoe placed above the doorway. Daniel McCourt hates mistletoe and any other commercial trapping of Christmas, so it’s ironic that someone should murder him and leave the holiday foliage behind.

Brightwell takes readers in many directions with this mystery. Red herrings abound, which is what kept my interest all the way through. The reoccurring characters are always enjoyable, but the characters/suspects and oriental collecting really piqued my interested. The storyline moves quickly between the staff, the inspector and the suspects so there’s never a dull moment. It’s also nice to see the inspector contemplating the meaning of life while he prepares to celebrate Christmas with his new Godchild.

Brightwell’s Victorian Mystery series is an enjoyable, long-lasting series -- this mystery is an example of why. Highly recommended.

Other reviews in this series

Mrs. Jeffries Appeals the Verdict, #21   [review]
Mrs. Jeffries Forges Ahead,
#28   [review]
Mrs. Jeffries and the Silent Knight,
#20   [review]
Mrs. Jeffries and the Mistletoe Mix-Up, #29   [review]
Mrs Jeffries Defends Her Own, #30   [review
Mrs. Jeffries Turns the Tide #31  [review
Mrs. Jeffries and the Merry Gentlemen #32 [review
Mrs. Jeffries and the One Who Got Away #34 [review

Mrs Jeffries Wins the Prize #35 [review

Reviewed 2011