Emily Brightwell Books

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Emily Brightwell is an American author who writes YA, romance, and cozy mysteries. Brightwell, whose real name is Cheryl Lanham, is a native of West Virginia. Her parents moved the author and her sisters to Los Angeles in the sixties.

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Order of Mrs. Jeffries Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 The Inspector and Mrs. Jeffries 1993 Description / Buy
2 Mrs. Jeffries Dusts for Clues 1993 Description / Buy
3 The Ghost and Mrs. Jeffries 1993 Description / Buy
4 Mrs. Jeffries Takes Stock (Short Story) 1994 Description / Buy
5 Mrs. Jeffries on the Ball 1994 Description / Buy
6 Mrs. Jeffries on the Trail 1995 Description / Buy
7 Mrs. Jeffries Plays the Cook 1995 Description / Buy
8 Mrs. Jeffries and the Missing Alibi 1996 Description / Buy
9 Mrs. Jeffries Stands Corrected 1996 Description / Buy
10 Mrs. Jeffries Takes the Stage 1997 Description / Buy
11 Mrs. Jeffries Questions the Answer 1997 Description / Buy
12 Mrs. Jeffries Reveals Her Art 1998 Description / Buy
13 Mrs. Jeffries Takes the Cake 1998 Description / Buy
14 Mrs. Jeffries Rocks the Boat 1999 Description / Buy
15 Mrs. Jeffries Weeds the Plot 2000 Description / Buy
16 Mrs. Jeffries Pinches the Post 2001 Description / Buy
17 Mrs. Jeffries Pleads Her Case 2003 Description / Buy
18 Mrs. Jeffries Sweeps the Chimney 2004 Description / Buy
19 Mrs. Jeffries Stalks the Hunter 2004 Description / Buy
20 Mrs. Jeffries and the Silent Knight 2005 Description / Buy
21 Mrs. Jeffries Appeals the Verdict 2006 Description / Buy
22 Mrs. Jeffries and the Best Laid Plans 2006 Description / Buy
23 Mrs. Jeffries and the Feast of St. Stephen 2007 Description / Buy
24 Mrs. Jeffries Holds the Trump 2008 Description / Buy
25 Mrs. Jeffries in the Nick of Time 2009 Description / Buy
26 Mrs. Jeffries and the Yuletide Weddings 2009 Description / Buy
27 Mrs. Jeffries Speaks Her Mind 2010 Description / Buy
28 Mrs. Jeffries Forges Ahead 2011 Description / Buy
29 Mrs. Jeffries & the Mistletoe Mix-Up 2011 Description / Buy
30 Mrs. Jeffries Defends Her Own 2012 Description / Buy
31 Mrs. Jeffries Turns the Tide 2013 Description / Buy
32 Mrs. Jeffries and the Merry Gentlemen 2013 Description / Buy
33 Mrs. Jeffries and the One Who Got Away 2014 Description / Buy
34 Mrs. Jeffries Wins the Prize 2016 Description / Buy
35 Mrs. Jeffries Rights a Wrong 2017 Description / Buy
36 Mrs. Jeffries and the Three Wise Women 2017 Description / Buy
37 Mrs. Jeffries Delivers the Goods 2019 Description / Buy
38 Mrs. Jeffries and the Alms of the Angel 2019 Description / Buy
39 Mrs. Jeffries Demands Justice 2020 Description / Buy
40 Mrs. Jeffries and the Midwinter Murders 2021 Description / Buy
41 Mrs. Jeffries Aims to Win 2023 Description / Buy

Order of Dear Diary Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Remember Me 1996 Description / Buy
2 Dying Young 2000 Description / Buy

Order of Emily Brightwell Standalone Novels

# Read Title Published Details
1 Kindred Spirits 1990 Description / Buy
2 Lifeline 1991 Description / Buy
3 The Liberation of Layla 1992 Description / Buy

Order of Life at Sixteen Series with Susan Kirby, Cheryl Zach

# Read Title Published Details
1 Second Best 1996 Description / Buy
2 No Guarantees 1997 Description / Buy
3 Blue Moon ( By: Susan Kirby) 1997 Description / Buy
4 Good Intentions 1998 Description / Buy
5 Silent Tears ( By: Cheryl Zach) 1999 Description / Buy
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She attended California State University Fullerton, graduating with an American Studies degree. Brightwell met her husband, Richard, during a visit to England in 1975. They planted roots outside London after marrying in 1976.

The pair had already returned to California when Brightwell began writing fiction. She worked in the shipping industry at the time. However, storytelling was her primary passion. Her husband was concerned.

He thought the life-changing transition might spell disaster for the couple. Nonetheless, the author persevered, joining the Romance Writers of America. Initially, things went well. The Orange County chapter of the organization gave Brightwell the support she needed to find her footing.

In fact, she entered a contest aimed at unpublished writers and became a finalist. But then a New York editor ripped her work to shreds, dampening the author’s spirits. Rather than surrendering to the despair, Brightwell kept writing.

Her hard work paid off when she penned a proposal that her agent sold to Silhouette. The company published the manuscript using the ‘Sarah Temple’ pen name, turning Brightwell’s dreams into a reality.

Later on, Berkeley offered the author an opportunity to write Victorian mysteries. She jumped at the chance because the author was dissatisfied with the type of fiction she was writing for Silhouette.

Brightwell reached out to a Brother-in-law in London and asked him to send her old London newspapers from the 1800s as well as books exploring Victorian households. The books and newspapers laid the foundation for the ‘Inspector Witherspoon and Mrs. Jeffries novels.

She dabbled in YA using her maiden name (Cheryl Lanham), but those books are out of print. She appreciated her time in the YA genre because it allowed her to write about extremely emotional teenagers.

She enjoyed switching between murders in Victorian households and the dramatic lives of angsty teens because the experience was therapeutic. Surprisingly, Brightwell’s YA novels sold well in Norway but poorly in the United States, which is why her publisher canceled the series.

The latter stages of Brightwell’s publishing career are less stressful than what she encountered when she wrote her first novel. First, she is a full-time writer. She abandoned her part-time job in 2010 to dedicate her efforts to storytelling.

Secondly, her children are grown. They have their own homes. The author has fewer responsibilities now that she lives alone with her husband and their cat. Even though she’s written dozens of books in the series, her ‘Mrs. Jeffries’ novels are still going strong.

Although, Brightwell admits that keeping things fresh for readers is far from easy. Then again, she has enjoyed guiding her characters through the organic changes they’ve undergone over the years.

Best Emily Brightwell Books

The author’s literary heroes are Agatha Christie, Ellis Peters, P D James, Earl Stanley Gardner, and Per Wahloo, to mention but a few. Brightwell’s best books include:

The Inspector and Mrs. Jeffries: Doctor Slocum was eating lunch when he died. No one liked him, so naturally, many people suspected murder. Inspector Witherspoon was charged with solving the case, and fortunately for him, Witherspoon was not alone.

The inspector’s strongest attribute was his kindness. After inheriting a house and a fortune, Witherspoon had chosen to keep his aunt’s staff around even though he had little use for them.

Unbeknownst to the inspector, his housekeeper, Mrs. Jeffries, has a keen intellect, and she doesn’t mind working behind the scenes to nudge his investigation in the right direction.

Mrs. Jeffries Dusts For Clues: Mary Sparks went missing two months ago. Now, Lucy Belle Crookshank is determined to find the young maid. Her only hope is Mrs. Jeffries, who has a knack for solving mysteries. The case takes an interesting turn when Inspector Witherspoon finds a decomposed female body in a cellar.

It doesn’t take Mrs. Jeffries long to notice the connections between the two cases. First, the decomposing body is wearing Mary’s dress. Secondly, it has the same brooch Mary was accused of stealing from her former employer.

Third, the decomposing body has a ring on a chain, the same ring the fiance to Mary’s employer lost. What do these clues mean?

When Does The Next Emily Brightwell book come out?

Emily Brightwell doesn't seem to have an upcoming book. Their newest book is Mrs. Jeffries Aims to Win and was released on August, 29th 2023. It is the newest book in the Mrs. Jeffries Series.


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