Mrs. Jeffries Appeals the Verdict

Written by Emily Brightwell
Review by Vicki Kondelik

This is the latest entry in Emily Brightwell’s long-running series set in Victorian London, in which the housekeeper Mrs. Jeffries and the other servants of Inspector Witherspoon’s household solve crimes for him without ever letting him know they are doing so. At the beginning, Blimpey Groggins, a friend of Smythe the coachman, asks the servants to help him prove that Tommy Odell, a friend of Blimpey’s, is innocent of murder. Tommy has been convicted and sentenced to hang for the murder of Caroline Muran, a factory owner and advocate for women’s right to vote. But the case was badly mishandled by the incompetent Inspector Nivens, and soon Mrs. Jeffries and the others find many gaps in the evidence against Tommy – and several people who wanted Caroline dead. Can Mrs. Jeffries find the killer before an innocent man is executed?

I had never read a book by Emily Brightwell before, even though I had known about the series and its premise for a long time. I found this to be a delightful, entertaining mystery that kept me guessing until the end. I would definitely read another book in the series.