Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Inspector and Mrs. Jeffries (Mrs. Jeffries, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Inspector and Mrs. Jeffries (Mrs. Jeffries, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Inspector and Mrs. Jeffries

(Mrs. Jeffries #1)

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  4,063 ratings  ·  408 reviews
As housekeeper to Scotland Yard Inspector Witherspoon, Mrs Jeffries supervises informal investigators: coachman Smythe, maid Betsy, footman Wiggins, arthritic cook Mrs Goodge and more. Rich widow Luty Bell Crookshank, experienced nurse, knows stingy incompetent blackmailer Dr Slocum did not succumb to mushroom soup at neighborhood luncheon.
(Same isbns for pb 184 pg)
Hardcover, 181 pages
Published February 1993 by Berkley
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Inspector and Mrs. Jeffries, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Inspector and Mrs. Jeffries

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.65  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,063 ratings  ·  408 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Inspector and Mrs. Jeffries (Mrs. Jeffries, #1)
Jul 19, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: cozy
This was an interesting premise for a period cozy. Mrs. Jeffries is the housemaid for Scotland Yard Inspector Witherspoon. She and the rest of her crew solve one of the Inspector's cases for him without his knowing.

While credited as the first in the series I kept feeling as though I had missed something from a previous book. In some ways this is a credit to the author that she really developed her characters and their relations to each other. But at the same time I kept questioning whether this
Jan 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
What a delightful story this was, and I actually got a book #1. Emily Brightwell, author, presents her first novel in a most delightful mystery series set in Victorian England, featuring one of the most charming characters to ever crack a case. Mrs. Jeffries is so likable, and those with her really like to work with her. She is a terrific leader.

Inspector Witherspoon is a kind man, shy with women, and good to his servants. When he inherited a house and fortune from his aunt, he kept on the staff
Fiona MacDonald
Amusing and highly enjoyable. Very well written, and a better quality of story than the last 'Mrs Jeffries' book I read! These are really worth reading, they are perfect 'cosy mysteries' to curl up with by the fire. ...more
Gary Sundell
Aug 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great start to a new to me series. Looking forward to reading more in this series.
Book Concierge

In Victorian London, Mrs Hepzibah Jeffries is the housekeeper for Inspector Witherspoon … and his secret weapon. He may have the Scotland Yard credentials, but she, and the other household staff, keep the Inspector on his toes and subtly provide the brains behind the man’s success. When Dr Bartholomew Slocum is found dead in his home, Inspector Witherspoon – and Mrs Jeffries – begins to investigate an apparent murder.

I like cozy mysteries … they are my “comfort food” of reading. This is a
I love a good series. . . .and have to read #1 to launch into the rest. My read of this one, unfortunately, resulted in a delete of the rest of the series off my TBR list.

Mrs. Jeffries is too trite for me - she is the smart one, manipulates the Inspector into justifying her detective work (along with other household staff members), while it claims it for his own, and she's ok with that. Good grief. Maybe that straightens out as the series goes on, but it only stuck in my craw. It's like she's wo
Bookish Ally
Aug 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Interesting and comic characters (most likable) solve a crime for the rather dim inspector they work for, headed up by the efforts of his housekeeper, Mrs. Jeffries. A bit slapdash for my taste, but others wanting a light cozy read may enjoy it as a quick afternoon diversion. I kept putting it down as it just couldn’t hold my interest (and read turn of the screw during my break) but decided that as I read for pleasure, I was not going to finish it.
Ivonne Rovira
Jun 20, 2018 added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ivonne by: Amazon Daily Deal
Imagine that the great Sherlock Holmes were a bumbling buffoon — an investigator so incompetent that, despite 20 years’ experience, he were incapable of conducting even the simplest interrogation of witnesses and needs reminding to search the murder scene. What you’d have is Inspector Gerald Witherspoon.

Now imagine that Holmes’ housekeeper Mrs. Hudson were the widow of a distinguished policeman and, having a quick mind, had absorbed the minutia of detective work and could advise her boss. You wo
Clever premise: bumbling inspector solves crimes through the gentle prodding and assistance of his housekeeper. Unfortunately, the execution was lacking.
The cover of my book informs me this is a "Victorian" mystery. But you'd never guess it based strictly on the storyline. A few details show basic research (the type of servants the inspector would employ, 'bombazine' dresses, etc.) but for the most part the story could be set at any point stretching from the 1800 to 1900s. It is just entirely l
Janice Boychuk
After reading a number of more "serious/heavy topics" books, I really needed this. And, oh my gosh, I laughed so many times!! No spoiler, but there is one "scene" where the household is spying on a suspect, and it was like a Laurel and Hardy slapstick episode... you just have to read it to appreciate the humorous tidbits!

But first, let me gush about the narrator, Lindy Nettleton. She is a great example of how a narrator can take a book up a notch! She creates awesome and unique voices for each c
Tamar overwhelmed by work, but forging on....
I think 3 stars is more than generous for my temporary review. I found The Inspector and Mrs. Jeffries cute, but thought it might appeal more to 3rd-5th graders (actually, I was thinking of my ten-year-old granddaughter). I notice, however, that no one else appears to think so, and I guess that I might have missed some colorful language or descriptions. I clearly did not do the book justice as I scurried around the kitchen preparing Friday night dinner and going about the business of tidying up ...more
Mar 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
There are a whopping 34 books in the Mrs. Jeffries Mystery series. 34! But, I can say with no reservations, that book #1 was delightful! If all of the stories in this series are such fun reads, then I can see how the stack of published Mrs. Jeffries novels has grown to 34 books!

The plot in a nutshell: Mrs. Jeffries is the housekeeper for Inspector Gerald Witherspoon. Witherspoon received a promotion after helping solve a rash of horrible murders. He used to be a records clerk for Scotland Yard,
An Odd1
Aug 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, fun, fan re-read
Scotland Yard's mild Gerald Witherspoon, recently promoted from the records division, inherited his aunt Euphemia's household and rescued other employees from destitution. Grateful for their light duties and generous employer, housekeeper Hepzibah, widow of country copper, supervises investigators: kind burly coachman Smythe, abandoned housemaid Betsy, slow of wits but quick to spot a pretty face footman Wiggins, and elsewhere-unemployable arthriti
Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Inspector and Mrs Jeffries is a book one of Mrs Jeffries series by Emily Brightwell. Inspector Gerald Witherspoon caught a case of the death of Dr Bartholomew Slocum at his surgery. At first, Inspector Gerald Witherspoon did not think it was murder until they found out that someone gave the doctor a deadly dose of poison. On realising it was murder Inspector Gerald Witherspoon started an investigation to find the killer with the help of his housekeeper Mrs Jeffries. The readers of The Inspec ...more
MrsJoseph *grouchy*
More like 2.5 stars

It's both cute and irritating at the same time. Mrs. Jeffries and crew are adorable.

The Inspector appears to be a very kind man but a greater dunce in law enforcement has not been located. He simply does not feel comfortable and is not knowledgeable about his job. This is beyond not being swift on the uptake - he is incompetent and ignorant. Just not willfully so, it's more...Stupidly so.

The fact that Mrs. Jeffries seriously has to lead him around for him to notice anything w
Feb 28, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set in Victorian England, Mrs. Jeffries has missed her calling. She love detecting and wants to see her employer, Scotland Yard Inspector Witherspoon, succeed. While Witherspoon is no dummy, he just doesn’t have much gusto for his job. It’s a good story, and there are quite a number of the series in audio, so I will likely read to others at one point.
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cozy-mystery
4 and a half stars from me.

The timid inspector Witherspoon knows he is in dire need of help when Dr. Bartholomew Slocum gets murdered at his surgery. He hasn't got a clue how to proceed. Though someone is thrilled at the misery of the good inspector.
"Poor Inspector Witherspoon had been given another baffling case. Mrs. Jeffries’s spirits soared."
The housekeeper had helped her employer in a previous case but somehow she knows this one is gonna be tougher. But Mrs Jeffries is not afraid to trea
Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*
Cozy mysteries can be such fun, and this one especially looked so by the blurb and cover – a maid and other household help assist an investigator without his knowledge to solve crimes. It’s set in Victorian times with afternoon teas, proper society regulations on etiquette, and the infamous Scotland Yard. When looking at this series, I’m surprised to find there is over thirty books in it. Wow. I plan to get more of the series but not sure I’ll ever be able to get and read all of them.

The book st
Going to give this a 3 bc i dont really feel like this was the inspector and mrs jefferies but the other way round ... Tho im not saying the inspector was completely incompetent but not as much as I thought going into the book. Not a bad cozy murder but would give 3.5 stars.
Second reading December 16-December 20, 2019

Having just read two of the latest mysteries in this series, I wanted to reread this first book as I launch into reading this series in order. Wow, the characters have changed- evolved- just like regular human beings haha! I love this series. I remember thinking the characters had changed a bit when I was reading the later books but rereading this first one, it's quite clear.

I had no memory of Whodunnit and was quite taken into the mystery and enjoyed
Dharia Scarab
Nov 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Such a fun series, I had to read this one again,

Since I don't normally write reviews unless I have something specific to say, here's the break down of how I rate my books...

1 star... This book was bad, so bad I may have given up and skipped to the end. I will avoid this author like the plague in the future.

2 stars... This book was not very good, and I won't be reading any more from the author.

3 stars... This book was ok, but I won't go out of my way to read more, But if I find another book by th
Feb 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
Inspector Witherspoon is a kind man, shy with women, and good to his servants. When he inherited a house and fortune from his aunt, he kept on the staff even when he didn't need to and thus earned their loyalty. His housekeeper is Mrs. Jeffries, a fifty-something widow of a copper who has a quick intelligent mind, a passion for solving mysteries and a need to mother everyone.

Dr. Slocum is found slumped over his lunch, obviously murdered. An unlikeable man while alive, the Inspector works to solv
Doward Wilson
Mar 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A delightful and comforting adventure in Victorian England. Meet Mrs. Jeffries and the rest of the household staff of Inspector Witherspoon of Scotland Yard. Without him being aware of it, they join together to help him solve his murder cases. The murder of Dr. Slocum pits Mrs. Jeffries the housekeeper, Mrs. Goodge the cook, Betsy the housemaid, Wiggins the footman and Symthe the coachman against a deadly adversary. This intriguing story involves poison, illicit affairs, disinheritance and secre ...more
Oct 07, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: British Mystery Readers
Set in the 19th century, the story involves Mrs. Jeffries, house keeper for Scotland Yard inspector Witherspoon, who helps him solve mysteries without his being aware. Mrs. Jeffries, widow of policeman, is an intelligent woman who helps, along with the various house hold staff of the inspector, the inspector solve his criminal cases. He is slow moving and not quick to grasp things so she works to encourage and guide him along the way.

This is the first in the Mrs. Jeffries series.
Nov 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a FUN well written mystery that gets the whole household involved. I really enjoyed how Mr. Jeffries "helps" the Inspector solve they mystery.
Unfolds at a good pace and is just good clean and interesting.
Stacie  Haden
What a fun cozy. Likeable characters, a bit of humor and a decent mystery. I've found another series to love. ...more
Nov 26, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
More cozy than mystery. Wooza is it historically inaccurate! Still pretty fun to read though. I'll at least read the next one because there is a certain charm in them. ...more
˜”*°•.˜”*°• Sheri  •°*”˜.•°*”˜
She keeps house for Inspector Witherspoon... and keeps him on his toes. Everyone is astonished by the inspector's Scotland Yard successes--but they don't know about his secret weapon. In fact, even he doesn't know about his secret weapon ...because she's as ladylike as she is clever. No matter how messy the murder or how dirty the deed, Mrs. Jeffries' polished detection skills are up to the task...proving that behind every great man there's a woman--and that a crime-solver's work is never done.. ...more
Aug 19, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
What a disappointment this book was! I usually love Victorian murder mysteries but this one was not good, in fact it was fairly ridiculous. The inspector was as thick as two short planks and it was very hard to imagine that he had been promoted (reluctantly I might add) from being a simple clerk at the records office to an inspector in the crime division of Scotland Yard. The fact that everyone and their aunts could see that it was his housekeeper and the rest of the household that solved his ca ...more
Mar 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of mysteries
This is the first book in the Mrs. Jeffries series by Emily Brightwell. The story introduces a cast of characters and mentions a pattern of behavior where the inspector's housekeeper and staff surreptitiously help him to solve mysteries.

It's a short story and I really enjoyed listening to Lindy Nettleton narrate the story on audiobook. It's not the most challenging mystery, but it is quite entertaining and I will certainly look for other books in this series at our local library.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • An Old Money Murder in Mayfair (High Society Lady Detective, #5)
  • Murder in Black Tie (High Society Lady Detective, #4)
  • Rattle His Bones (Daisy Dalrymple, #8)
  • Death at Wentwater Court (Daisy Dalrymple, #1)
  • Death at Bishop's Keep (Kathryn Ardleigh, #1)
  • Break Shot: My First 21 Years
  • Murder in Morningside Heights (Gaslight Mystery, #19)
  • The Devil Drinks Coffee (A Kate Saxee Mystery, #1)
  • Requiem for a Mezzo (Daisy Dalrymple, #3)
  • Death of a Perfect Wife (Hamish Macbeth, #4)
  • Death of a Cad (Hamish Macbeth, #2)
  • Rest You Merry (Peter Shandy, #1)
  • Mystery on Valentine's Day
  • An Irish Country Family (Irish Country #14)
  • Death of an English Muffin (Merry Muffin Mystery, #3)
  • A Christmas Journey
  • Murder in the Bowery (Gaslight Mystery, #20)
  • A Lady's Guide to Etiquette and Murder (A Countess of Harleigh Mystery, #1)
See similar books…
Cheryl Lanham was born on 11 October 1948 in the Appalachian mountains of West Virginia, USA. Her family moved to Southern California in 1959 and she grew up in Pasadena. After graduating from California State University, she decided to work her way around the world and took off for England. She didn’t get much further because she met Richard James Arguile, the Englishman who became her husband, g ...more

Other books in the series

Mrs. Jeffries (1 - 10 of 39 books)
  • Mrs. Jeffries Dusts for Clues (Mrs. Jeffries, #2)
  • The Ghost and Mrs. Jeffries (Mrs. Jeffries, #3)
  • Mrs. Jeffries Takes Stock (Mrs. Jeffries, #4)
  • Mrs. Jeffries on the Ball (Mrs. Jeffries, #5)
  • Mrs. Jeffries on the Trail (Mrs. Jeffries, #6)
  • Mrs. Jeffries Plays the Cook (Mrs. Jeffries, #7)
  • Mrs. Jeffries and the Missing Alibi (Mrs. Jeffries, #8)
  • Mrs. Jeffries Stands Corrected (Mrs. Jeffries, #9)
  • Mrs. Jeffries Takes the Stage (Mrs. Jeffries, #10)
  • Mrs. Jeffries Questions the Answer (Mrs. Jeffries, #11)

Articles featuring this book

Did you set an extremely ambitious Reading Challenge goal back in January? And has this, uh, unprecedented year gotten completely in the way of...
109 likes · 38 comments
“She’d often observed that people generally lived up to whatever expectations they had of themselves. Building someone’s self-confidence did a lot more good in getting the best results out of people than making them feel as if they couldn’t do anything right.” 1 likes
More quotes…