Monday, November 22, 2021

Mrs. Jeffries and the Midwinter Murder - Historical Mystery Review

Goodreads: Mrs. Jeffries and the Midwinter Murders (Mrs. Jeffries #40) by Emily Brightwell

Rating: Really Liked It!
Source:   Publisher

Description:  Mrs. Jeffries and Inspector Witherspoon should be checking off their Christmas present list but instead they're listing murder suspects in this latest entry of the beloved Victorian Mystery series.

Harriet Andover had no intention of dying young like her silly siblings had. She intended to outlive them and outdo them as she always had. But Harriet discovers that the best intentions can lead to murder when she is strangled inside her mansion with a house full of holiday guests.

As much as Inspector Witherspoon enjoys his job delivering justice, the last thing he wanted was a complicated murder case just a week before Christmas. He soon discovers that Harriet's own husband and grown stepchildren are not overcome with grief and neither are most of her friends. And to put the icing on the Christmas cookies, the room where Harriet's body was found was locked from the inside and she had the only key in her pocket.

Mrs. Jeffries and the household have no intention of letting their inspector down and learn that Harriet's sister may have died from foul play as well. As the clues mount, this dedicated band of merry sleuths will not rest until they've delivered a stocking full of coal to a crafty killer.

Genre: Mystery -Historical

Why I Picked This Book:  I have really enjoyed the most recent books in the series so I couldn't help but pick this one up.

My Impression:  The last few years I have very much looked forward to the new Mrs. Jeffries for Christmas.  This one did not disappoint though it didn't have quite as much Christmas spirit as some entries previously.  However, the fact that this was a true locked room mystery made up for it.  I've read a number of takes on locked room but not an actual one.  

Harriet Andover had a strong personality and inspired very different feelings.  Her household staff regarded her as a kind and considerate employer while her husband and stepchildren resented her wealth and tight control over it.  But was that resentment strong enough to lead to murder and if it was how was it done?  

Luckily, Mrs. Jeffries and the rest of the team are there to back up Inspector Witherspoon and Constable Barnes.  I love seeing the different characters and how they investigate according to their strengths and connections.  I also really enjoy seeing how the surreptiously get the information to Inspector Witherspoon without him knowing exactly what is going on.  I also really like that in his own right Witherspoon is a solid investigator.  While he has quite a lot of backup he is intelligent and capable as well as able to read people.  

This is a solid entertaining series.  Don't let the high number of the series keep you from picking any of these mysteries up.  Like any series with a pretty broad cast of characters each book read gets better as you get to know the characters but there's enough background information shared that even in the first book I read (I think #36) I was able to understand what was going on and who was who.  I'm already looking forward to next year's book and want to go back and read the earlier books.  

Would I Read More of this Series/Author? Absolutely!  I have really enjoyed every book in this series that I've read and am looking forward to reading more.

Would I Recommend this Book? If you enjoy a cozy mystery with a twist of upstairs/downstairs you should give this series a try!

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  As always my opinions and impressions are completely my own. *


  1. This sounds like a good winter's read - I liked what you had to say about it.

  2. This sounds like such a good series. I need to start with the first book.

  3. This looks like such a fun series!

  4. Does sound really good and the fact you can pick it up right up in the series is a good thing when there are already so many. The Christmas ones maybe a good way to go!

  5. This sounds really good! I wonder if I have ever read a true locked room mystery.