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Mrs. Jeffries Forges Ahead
A Victorian Mystery, N0 28
Emily Brightwell

May 3, 2011/ ISBN 0425241602
Historical Mystery / Victorian / Cozy

Reviewed by Brenda Weeaks

The Banfields have a big dinner party every year. Only the elite of society are invited, but this year Geraldine's nephew and new wife invite the in-laws (artists, no less) and business guests. Geraldine and new wife Arlette are at odds. Arlette is modern and smart. Geraldine believes society rules are there for a reason. Local society and Geraldine's house guests don't like Arlette, but the staff adores her. Unfortunately, at the height of the party and under nose of the staff, Arlette is murdered.

When Inspector Weatherspoon hears about the murder it's his housekeeper and
staff who take to the streets. Mrs Jefferies's staff and outside collaborators work diligently to solve the murder-- each has their own gift of detection. Mrs Jefferies decides to bring new staff member Phyllis into the sleuthing fold. Phyllis is a nervous-nelly, full of fear. Adding such a person could backfire and expose them all.

I haven't kept up with this series, but always enjoyed what I did read. This one is no exception. Brightwell's Victorian setting is perfect and her characters likable. Their personal lives take backstage to the mystery. They're always on the move, gathering evidence, having meetings and close calls; it keeps the storyline eventful. The clues are nonstop to the point Mrs Jefferies needs assistance in keeping track. The guilty finger points here and there, which keeps the reader guessing. What I really like is that the kitchen meetings give one a prime seat in solving the mystery. Well done, Ms Brightwell.

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