Train enthusiast Francis Humphreys has invited several relatives and neighbors over for tea. Since he is always punctual, his family is surprised when he doesn't show up on time for tea. Soon they discover there is a very good reason why he didn't show up - while they were all together downstairs someone murdered Humphreys. Scotland Yard puts their best man on the job - Inspector Gerald Witherspoon. Unbeknownst to Witherspoon, his household staff has helped him solve several murders in the past. He is definitely going to need their help this time - not only were all his suspects together at the time of the murder, but Scotland Yard throws him a major curve ball that threatens his ability to solve the case.
"Mrs. Jeffries in the Nick of Time" is another great entry in a consistently delightful cozy mystery series. This is the twenty-fifth book in the series and author Emily Brightwell continues to make the series feel fresh. A lot of what makes this series work so well is the characters and they are all here - Witherspoon, Constable Barnes, Mrs. Jeffries, Mrs. Goodge, Wiggins, Betsy, Smythe, Luty, Hatchet, and for a pleasant change, a lot of Ruth Cannonberry. Witherspoon's old nemesis, Inspector Nigel Nivens, is also there (showing a softer side for a change) as is Nivens' nephew Lionel Gates (who adds a lot of comic relief to the book). Another thing that makes this series stay so fresh is the way Brightwell manages to throw in different plot twists - there's a doozy of one here (which I won't spoil) that completely changes how Witherspoon and his household investigate the case. The mystery itself is nicely plotted - readers will early on have at least an idea of how the murder was done, but not exactly how it was pulled off. Brightwell continues to create Agatha Christie-like mysteries and once you have finished reading the book you will want to go back through the pages to see how cleverly Brightwell plotted the book and left clues as to who the real killer is while adroitly pointing the finger at other characters - not an easy task but she does it well.
"Mrs. Jeffries in the Nick of Time" is another wonderful cozy mystery from the talented Emily Brightwell.