Emily Brightwell (Mrs. Jeffries Mystery Series) – One of the Most Recommended Cozy Mystery Authors on the Cozy-Mystery Site

Mrs. Jeffries and the One Who Got Away by Emily BrightwellI know I have mentioned (many times!) that I am a little compulsive about certain things, so it was just a matter of time before I actually sat down and made a tally of how many times Cozy Mystery readers recommended Cozy Mystery authors for our monthly recommendations lists.

Once I had the Cozy Mystery authors all tallied up, I thought I would be finished with this (rather time consuming) endeavor of mine. But then I started thinking, hey, I should highlight some of the most recommended Cozy Mystery authors for my blog.

Emily Brightwell is one of the most recommended Cozy Mystery authors on our monthly recommendations lists. Mrs. Jeffries, her main sleuth, is a policeman’s widow in Victorian England. She heads the household staff of Inspector Gerald Witherspoon. He is quite lucky to have such a woman in his household! It turns out that the Inspector is a bumbling, not-so-clever Scotland Yard detective. However, because of Mrs. Jeffries’ sleuthing efforts, he has become a very well known gets-his-culprit type of Victorian era detective. Mrs. Jeffries is a great sleuth, and she is quite anonymous in her efforts: She lets the Inspector believe he solves the mysteries.

The Inspector and Mrs. Jeffries by Emily BrightwellEmily Brightwell (aka Cheryl Lanham, Cheryl Arguile, & Sarah Temple) started writing the very popular Mrs. Jeffries Mystery series in 1993 (The Inspector and Mrs. Jeffries) and will be releasing her 33rd, Mrs. Jeffries and the One Who Got Away early next year.

(As an aside, I have always thought that it is interesting that the Inspector got top billing in the first Cozy Mystery of this series, but thereafter Mrs. Jeffries was clearly the star of the titles.)

If any of you all would like to add a little something about why you enjoy (and in some cases recommend) Emily Brightwell‘s Mrs. Jeffries Mystery Series, please post a comment. Thank you!


  1. Sheila says

    I loved the series. I still have the last two books in the series to read (Mrs Jeffries and the Merry Gentleman and Mrs Jeffries and the One Who Got Away). I noticed on Amazon (not listed on BN yet) that Mrs Jeffries and the One Who Got Away will not be released till Feb. 3, 2015.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Sheila, thank you for the update about the release of Mrs. Jeffries and the One Who Got Away. I just changed it on the Soon to be Released page as well as Emily Brightwell’s page. I’m sure it had been slated to be released in August…

      • Donna B says

        I was also under the impression that the new Mrs. Jeffries would not be released until Feb. 2015, but just pre-ordered it from Amazon because they say the release date is August 5th 2014. What is the actual date?

          • Donna B says

            I emailed the author and the answer I received was that she has just finished some revisions the publisher had requested and she felt that Feb. 2015 was the correct date. My Amazon site is still listing Aug. 5th 2014 as the date.

              • Donna B says

                I cancelled my order until I know for sure when the release date will be.I am disappointed because I have read the entire series so far and anxiously look forward to the next book. Very enjoyable. When I checked at Amazon.ca today, they still have the release date as Aug 5th., even though I did inform them as to what I had found out. Apparently this is the date they have been given by their supplier.

  2. Stash Empress says

    I think I read the first or second one, way back in the day. But then the library didn’t have any more & I guess I forgot about them since then. I think I’ll have to put them on my to-read list again! (You will probably appreciate this — I went to the library yesterday to return some books — seriously short on shelf space LOL — returned 25, picked up 14 new — including Home of the Braised, Death on Eat STreet, A Tale of Two Biddies, & another couple of new ones I’d been really wanting — so with those, plus the 18 library books I’d still had at home, plus the 6 library e-books… I think I’m set for the next few weeks ;-)) (Of course that’s not mentioning the 60 or so unread paperbacks safely stashed in my nightstand — you know — just in case the libraries all close & the internet shuts down???? ;-))

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Stash Empress, you sounds like you take the Boy Scout’s motto of being prepared very seriously!

      • Stash Empress says

        Yes I think I was traumatized as a child by the fact that our public library only allowed you to take out 10 books per library card at one time – and my father only had time to drive me to the library every two weeks — I got my own library card at age 2 (you had to be able to sign your name & I could!) — so that was 20 books that had to last me 2 weeks…. I’ve never quite got over the trauma…. (shades of Scarlet O’Hara and “I’ll never go hungry again”…) 😉

    • Donna says

      A woman after my own heart. I have stacks of books I still need to read and I continue to think I need to buy more. My theory is in my old age I may not be able to afford any books or can’t get to the library (never thought about them closing) so I want to be prepare for my future.

      • Nicole says

        Thank you to say that. I have a board in my bedroom for the to read books. Last year i made a picture and sent it to my friend with the message “need holiday”. One have to think there are less books now? Nooo. The board has doubled. Not only i have to buy the new releases from the still reading series. Amazon and this site shows me so many books i must have… Have my own “library” in my bedroom now. I am addicted 😉
        Colleague of mine asked if i love reading books or to have books and i anwered both. She asked if i have room for all. I answered, now: yes, tomorrow: will see. And that i have to sort out old books. Or to get a kindle. Or.. To get a man with lot of money to build a house with my own library (wing chairs, little tables… And so on) – lifetime dream since i am reading. She said: choose the man 😉

        • Marie says

          My lifetime dream , after my kids were raised, was to own a bookstore and live upstairs. Then I could read all the books and make recommendations.

          Course that is after my first dream at 6 when I got my library card, that I would read all the books in our branch library, until at 11 for some research I went to Copley Square Library (Boston) and realized that I could only make a start.

  3. Patti S. says

    I love the time period. Also love that a person can write a story without any sex or cursing or any kinky things. Love this series!

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Patti S, you are describing exactly what a Cozy Mystery should be! Why is it that it seems like some authors/editors/publishers now think we want all of that?

      • susy says

        How much sex is too much sex? Hamish MacBeth amount? Agatha Raisin amount? Or Sarah Booth Delaney amount? I like a series with no sex or cursing or kinky stuff, but I also like the three series I just mentioned. I consider those cozies, don’t you? Amount of sex included or excluded just isn’t one of my criteria marking a book as cozy. I come from a Romance background that morphed into Paranormal Romance and back to Cozy, so maybe I am looking through different colored lenses. Why can’t there be cozies with sex?

    • Susan* says

      Seriously agree! No sex, no explicit violence, and little or no profanity.
      What do we have left without those? Well, we have a thing called a ‘story’…
      Seriously, I’m not a big fan of historicals (Unless they were actually written in the time they’re set – like Sherlock Holmes, for instance) but the one or two of these I’ve read are fun, and mostly the author seems to have actually done some research into the times.
      I’ve read at least one book where the author clearly had not, and the result really was awful.

  4. Alfred says

    HI Danna as you know this is my favorite series. I started collecting it before the Omnibuses where out and paid more than I should for the hard to find books that where discontinued at the beginning from ebay. So far I am half way into book two. But I was wondering about a book in the series Mistletoe Mix up.. When I bought this book it came out in hardback but then after a while the hardback book was pulled and re did to paperback I never could understand why. Just to let readers know I had emailed Emily and asked her why It was postponed until Feb of next year and she said that it was because she wasn’t near finishing it yet. It is taking her longer to write now than it used to. But what is nice is she is in my area in the Bay Area now so that is nice maybe she will do book signings out here.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Alfred, I think that successful authors first release their books in hardback, and then, they release in paperback. My guess is that they don’t re-release those that are paperback format back to hardback covers.

      You will have to be extra diligent and see when she speaks in your area! I hope it’s soon!

  5. says

    Currently reading them and up to Mrs Jeffries Takes The Cake. Love this series, the very epitome of cozy with entertaining and likeable characters, good plots and some ongoing threads too. There ought to be more series like this but there aren’t, so no wonder they are so popular. Long may they continue!

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Rachel, you have listed some great reasons that Emily Brightwell is so popular amongst Cozy Mystery readers. Thank you!

  6. Marie says

    I just happened on the first one, at bookworm, and LOVED IT.

    The backstory of how the inspector found his aunt in terrible condition and took care of her, which is how he inherited the house and the servants he employed to look after her is great which is why they love him and want to help him. And the “contacts the servants have”.

    And deep down you know that he knows, but I love her. I’ll try again at the library for more of Mrs Jeffries.

    • Alfred says

      Marie if you can afford it they have the first 15 books in 5 omnibus size books at amazon.com they run about 10 to 12 each but you get 3 stories at a time. I have all 5 now and they are easier to get than trying to find some of the earlier books that where discontinued by publisher.

      • Stash Empress says

        If you buy them used from Amazon you can get them frequently for $3.75 – $4 including shipping. I just ordered the first Omnibus for $3.99 (used) and put the other Omnibus editions on hold at my public library (they didn’t have the first one).

  7. PamB says

    After several recommendations I checked a Mrs. Jeffries out from the library…throughly enjoyed reading the book and then bought the Omnibuses from Amazon. Ever since finding this website I now have to read my books in the order written! And because of this awesome website it’s so easy to know the order of all my favorite authors books.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      PamB, there’s a reason Emily Brightwell is one of the most popular Cozy Mystery authors on our Monthly Recommendations!

      (And I’m glad you are enjoying the site!)

  8. Denna says

    Posts like this are just one of the many reasons why this is one of my favorite websites. I get the daily e-mail and it’s usually one of the first things I open – the second is the library tab! I’ve found so many new authors, with so many hours and hours of pleasurable reading – I can’t thank you enough! I will def check out this author – I’ve never read anything of hers.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Denna, thank you. I’m so glad you enjoy this site. I hope you just found a new-to-you Cozy Mystery author who you will enjoy!

  9. Wakar says

    How to make your blog readers feel old in one easy step: point out how many years – or decades! – they’ve been reading a particular series. And if 1993 makes you feel creaky just think of all the poor sods who’ve been reading that alphabet series since it began! :)

    That being said, I wouldn’t have missed Mrs. Jeffries for anything. In no particular order: 1. The era isn’t portrayed as overly dire and dismal. It’s not sugar coated but she doesn’t beat us over the head with grislier aspects. 2. She has deftly written the ensemble characters in that they are unique and different from each other without being weird, wacky or over the top *just* to be different (writers/authors please take note of that). 3. She doesn’t demean the Inspector. Mrs. J and the others have great respect for him and want to see him succeed. It would have been easier to write him as a buffoon but she took a higher road. 4. The mysteries are good. 5. The ongoing character stories are good. And on, and on….

    OK, obviously it’s one of my all time favs so I hope all these posts and praises encourage you to check it out if you haven’t. It deserves a look.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Wakar, thank you for such a great list of reasons why Emily Brightwell’s Mrs. Jeffries Mystery Series is so very loved!

  10. Stash Empress says

    Since reading this post the other day, my weekend reading list fell by the wayside.. 😉

    As previously mentioned, I ordered the first omnibus from Amazon, shortly after reading this post (OK, and the comments LOL) — it came yesterday, I’ve read the first two books & partway through the third one by now (probably finish tonight… ;-))

    Now to wait till I can get the next omnibus from the library — when I start a series with so many books, I REALLY need to go in order!

      • Stash Empress says

        So at 3:30am I’m towards the end of the 3rd book in the omnibus… and glancing to the back to see how many pages left & something doesn’t look right.. and I realize… the (used) book is missing abt 10 pages….. :-(

        Now I need to wait til Tuesday (when Amazon will have sent the replacement) to finish!

        And NOW YOU ALL KNOW why I need to have so many books in my to-be-read stash!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        (Imagine how traumatic it would be if I didn’t have another 100 or so unread books to hand??? 😉 )

  11. popcycle says

    Started out on Nancy Drew, then the 1960’s gothics, then the historical romances. One day picked up a Mrs. Jeffries and now a cozy mystery fanatic. Tho not a mystery, am a great fan of the Miss Read books-which I read over & over.

  12. Cheryl says

    Is this series suitable for young readers, say 11 years old and up. Please let me know what age is appropriate to start reading these!

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