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Mrs. Jeffries Holds the Trump
By Emily Brightwell

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Mrs. Jeffries Holds the Trump

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Mrs. Jeffries Holds the Trump
A Victorian Mystery
By Emily Brightwell
Wheeler Publishing, Large Print Edition (2009)
ISBN 10: 1-59722-840-0
ISBN 13: 978-1-59722-840-4
Genre: Cozy Mystery

Reviewed by Auggie Moore - January 11, 2010

The power behind the man is more often than not a woman. In the case of Inspector Gerald Witherspoon of Scotland Yard, that woman is his housekeeper, Mrs. Jeffries. In Mrs. Jeffries Holds the Trump, the story opens with the body of Michael Provost, the owner of a medical supply company whose body was found floating in the Thames, on the corner's table. The police originally thought that Provost's death was accidental, but it quickly becomes obvious that he was the victim of foul play. When the Inspector is called to the case, Mrs. Jeffries tags along and begins her own parallel investigation. Mrs. Jeffries has a knack for finding information, but what really takes skill is figuring out how to feed all the information that she discovers to the Inspector so that he thinks that he is the one who is uncovering all the important clues that he'll need to solve the crime.

In the process of investigating Provost's death, Mrs. Jeffries also manages to stumble upon a cold case that just might be related to Provost, but she'll have to use her investigative skills to figure out how the two cases are related - and to find the killer. As the plot unfolds, there doesn't appear to be any motive behind Provost's murder. Nonetheless, Mrs. Jeffries does manage to uncover a host of possible suspects and it is fun to watch her as she uses her innate talents to unravel what turns out to be a rather complicated mystery.

This is the first Mrs. Jeffries book that I've read, but it surely will not be the last. Mrs. Jeffries and her bevy of fellow domestics who like to dabble in sleuthing, are a blast, and the Inspector exhibits just the right amount of naivety without appearing totally incompetent. Best of all, Mrs. Jeffries Holds the Trump has a solid plot and the Victorian setting effortlessly enhances the overall mystery. Mrs. Jeffries Holds the Trump is a must read for all fans of Victorian era, cozy mysteries.

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