Victorian sleuths from every social stratum imaginable work in the background to solve cases.
Six weeks after he’s given the case of Christopher Gilhaney, killed in an apparent botched robbery on his way home from a Guy Fawkes Night dinner party, bungling Inspector Nivens has gotten no results. Now the police, thinking it was a deliberate murder, hand the case to Inspector Gerald Witherspoon, who, along with his reliable constable Barnes, has a near-perfect record at catching killers. Not even Witherspoon realizes that the secret to his success is his network of sleuthing servants, gossips, informants, and wealthy friends who supply tidbits the police would never hear. This time, his housekeeper, Mrs. Jeffries, and her staff are less eager to get involved because Christmas is near and they fear their holiday plans will be ruined if they don’t solve the case in record time. Gilhaney was a financial genius hired by Newton Walker to work his magic on the failing Walker and Company. Abigail Chase, who, with her husband, Gordon, hosted the Guy Fawkes party, remains so incensed by his rude behavior that six weeks later she still remembers most of what he said to the people he insulted, all of whom have ties to Walker and Company. Convinced that one of the party guests had to be the killer, Witherspoon sets out to investigate their backgrounds. The sulking staff, aware that the only way to salvage their Christmas plans is to find the culprit, fan out far and wide in search of clues.
Fans of Brightwell’s venerable series (Mrs. Jeffries Rights a Wrong, 2017, etc.) will be delighted to revisit the clever sleuths as they wade through a plethora of suspects and motives in this pleasant holiday tale.