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Mrs. Jeffries Defends Her Own (Berkley Prime Crime Mysteries) Mass Market Paperback – 1 May 2012

4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 294 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Books; 1st Printing edition (1 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425248054
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425248058
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 2.2 x 17.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 70,812 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"It's murder most English all the way!"--The Literary Times

"It's murder most English all the way!" -- The Literary Times

It s murder most English all the way! The Literary Times"

About the Author

Emily Brightwell is the author of thirty Inspector Witherspoon and Mrs. Jeffries books.


Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Great read, easy reading, really enjoy this type of book. Detective stories that you can follow on with the next book in the series. Highly recommended.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I've read two of the Mrs Jeffries books and quite enjoyed them, but I cringe at the lack of authentic English speech and habits. We don't say 'gotten' (we say got), we don't take cream in our tea (we take milk), we say napkins (not serviettes), etc, etc. There are so many of them that it might put some English readers off. I won't be reading any more.
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Once again a really good read
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Light summer holiday read.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars 54 reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable 11 May 2012
By Debbie - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Mrs. Jeffries Defends Her Own" is a historical mystery set in England in the late 1800's, though we don't know the exact year. The period details tended to be a bit vague, though there was enough setting and period detail to give the story a historical feel. The characters were engaging and realistic, though not highly complex.

This book was the thirtieth book (I think!) in the series, but you don't need to read the previous books to understand this one. And this book didn't spoil the mysteries of the previous books, so you can read them out of order.

The story was primarily a clue-based mystery where the reader and characters need to discover and then sort through the clues to figure out whodunit. Though I thought it was fairly obvious that one or both of two specific characters were whodunit, Mrs. Jeffries had a valid reason to be a bit delayed in coming to the same conclusion. And then she cleverly set up a trap to determine whodunit without the Inspector being any the wiser that she was behind it. (This was handled believably.)

There was no sex. There was a minor amount of explicit bad language (some of it was British bad words). Overall, I'd recommend this enjoyable and well-written mystery.

I received this book as a review copy from the publisher.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars delightful Victorian mystery 1 May 2012
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
At Sutcliffe Manufacturing, deputy manager Ronald Dearman is found dead in his office by his wife Lucretia who was accompanied there by Fiona Sutcliffe. Realizing she will be a prime suspect, as she and the victim argued just before his death, Fiona overhears the lead investigator Nigel Nivens and Constable Morehead discuss the cause of rival Inspector Witherspoon's success being his housekeeper Mrs. Witherspoon and her staff supporting her. Fiona visits widow Mrs. Jeffries who is shocked to see her estranged sister-in-law call her Hepzibah and ask for her help; but she knows she will as the late David would want her to do so.

Mrs. Jeffries and her team know the case will be the most convoluted they ever undertook because their "front" beloved Inspector Witherspoon is not leading the inquiry. Instead Nivens, who apparently knows she is the brains of his rival's unparalleled success, leads the investigation.

The latest Mrs. Jeffries and retinue Victorian mystery (see Mrs. Jeffries and the Mistletoe Mix-Up, Mrs. Jeffries Forges Ahead and Mrs. Jeffries Forges Ahead) is a delightful puzzler as the heroine and her "under the stairs" crew work a whodunit made difficult by her in-law being the suspect and by another inspector in charge. Still, Mrs. Jeffries and the crew do what they always do investigate through their employer as this Victorian mystery is a fresh entry in a strong long running historical "police procedural" series.

Harriet Klausner
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Excellent Mrs. Jeffries 6 May 2012
By Tullia - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have read all of the Mrs. Jeffries books, and enjoyed each one immensely. In "Mrs. Jeffries Defends Her Own," Mrs. Jeffries is asked by her estranged sister-in-law, Fiona Sutcliffe, to help her in finding out who murdered Ronald Dearman the manager of her husband's manufacturing firm. Dearman, an odious man, was disliked by his co-workers, hated by his wife, and also despised by Fiona who threatened to kill him.

The case is assigned to the pompous Inspector Nivens who, as usual, proceeds to bully the witnesses. Mrs. Jeffries, however, discreetly sets about with her team of faithful workers to investigate on behalf of Fiona. In the meantime Nivens accidently falls and fractures his ankle, and Inspector Witherspoon is assigned the case, much to Nivens very great annoyance. All the evidence points to Fiona Sutcliff as the murderer, but Mrs. Jeffries is determined to show that she was framed. With the help of her loyal Wiggins, Phyliss, Luty, Ruth, and the assistance of Constable Barnes, she sets in motion an effective plan that exposes the murderer. And the charming Inspector Witherspoon, of course, thinks that this all came about because of his "inner voice."

This endearing group of characters always delights in every Mrs. Jeffries work. However, I missed Betsy and Smythe, who were visiting Betsy's sister in Canada, in this book. But, it gave Phyliss an opportunity to blossom and come into her own. I have one criticism, unfortunately. When Mrs. Jeffries laments that "she drug everyone into this." I found this an egregious misuse of language. She should have said "dragged" not "drug." Mrs. Jeffries is an educated woman and speaks well. Why did Ms. Brightwell have her say "drug"?

Apart from this, over all this book was excellent, and I highly recommend it.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The ties that bind 2 July 2012
By Free Range Clickin' - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Are Mrs. Jeffries and the rest of Inspector Witherspoon's household staff going to have a break from investigating murders? After all, the inspector's been assigned to a fraud case and spends his days with ledgers and account books. It may be just as well: their ranks are temporarily depleted because Smythe and Betsy are traveling to Canada to visit Betsy's sister.

Of course they won't, shorthanded or not. Mrs. Jeffries' estranged sister-in-law, Fiona Sutcliffe, turns up on the doorstep and asks for help, fearing she'll be a suspect in the latest London murder case.

Mrs. Jeffries is torn; she and her late husband David were always treated coldly by David's socially ambitious sister after Fiona "married up." Fiona's husband runs his family's prosperous Yorkshire manufacturing company from headquarters in London, where he and Fiona moved several years before. Now the odious office manager of the firm has been found shot to death in his office, and Fiona was heard arguing with the dreadful man just a few days before, even uttering words about killing him in the heat of dispute. Memories of her beloved David convince Mrs. Jeffries that he would want her to help Fiona, so she consents.

This will not be at all easy, because the nasty Inspector Nivens has been assigned the case. With slim hopes of success, Mrs. Jeffries summons her helpers - the downstairs staff plus three friends from outside the household - and enlists the aid of Inspector Witherspoon's Constable Barnes. Barnes is in on the secret - as is apparently a lot of London - although thus far they've kept Inspector Witherspoon in the dark about his housekeeper's team of investigators who have helped steer him to the solution of so many crimes in the past.

The team soon learns that the victim was a nasty man indeed, and there must be a lot of people who would devoutly wish him dead. But even after Nivens breaks an ankle and Witherspoon's put on the case, things still look very bad for Fiona as a prime suspect. Fiona of course isn't helping, by stubbornly refusing to tell Mrs. Jeffries what her argument with the victim was about.

I thought this was one of the stronger books in the series, and I've read almost all of them. It was good to learn more about Mrs. Jeffries, as we have about the other household staff in turn. I spotted the solution well ahead of the end of the book, but because that makes me feel so smart, it's just another reason to like this cozy mystery. I realize that the speech patterns and probably a lot of the behavior, that occur in this narrative may not be strictly historically accurate. However, I like to think of the group gathered around the servants' dining table in Witherspoon's house, as a forward-thinking crowd, and there are enough historical details to set this tale as a period piece. For instance, in this novel we learn about the Police Pensions Act of 1890, and what it meant to the coppers on the beat as they came to the end of their working years.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Victorian at its best 11 Jun. 2012
By Betty L. Detwiler - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Since discovering Mrs. Jeffries several years ago I have eagerly awaited each new book in the series. This latest volume continues to please and entertain at the same time. When Mrs. Jeffries is approached by her sister-in-law, Fiona Sutcliffe, to find out who murdered Ronald Dearman, Mrs. Jeffries is hesitant to do so as years earlier, Fiona had married up and didn't think her brother's wife was in the same social class. But as family is family, Mrs. Jeffries agrees to help Fiona, and is more determined to prove Fiona is innocent when Inspector Nivens, Inspector Witherspoon's nemisis, is assigned the case. Enlisting the household help, sans Besty and Smythe who are traveling to Canada, Mrs. Jeffries and company search out clues and are able to solve the crime. This solving becomes much easier when after an unfortunate accident, Inspector Witherspoon catches the case because Nivens has fallen down a set of stairs and broken his ankle.

Aside from missing Betsy and Smythe in this book, I truly enjoyed the story line and am looking forward to more from this talented author. I also anticipate the time when Inspector Nivens finally admits defeat and retires, though perhaps he is needed just to have a foil to Inspector Witherspoon.

In an aside, I'd like to see the earlier Mrs. Jeffries books, beginning with book four, reprinted as they truly are remarkably good.
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