Mar 122016

special guest blue

I am excited to welcome Emily Brightwell to Escape With Dollycas!

from Anazon

Falling in Love Again
How Secondary Characters Capture Your Heart
(Post provided by publicist)

I’ve had my nose in a book since my parents realized I needed glasses in third grade. I’ve even had moments when it seemed the only person in the world who understood me was a character in a novel – of course that was when I was fourteen, but you get my drift. Next to air, food, water and shelter, books are the best things ever!

When I read, I get so deep into a good story that I practically clone the protagonist; sometimes I’m a hero fighting against impossible odds, or a noir detective with a drinking problem or a quaint English spinster fearlessly tracking a murderer. But sometimes, even when I absolutely love the main character, I find myself fascinated by one of the bit players, you know, a secondary character that the author shoved in to move the plot forward. This doesn’t just happen in books either, much as I enjoy the antics of Sheldon, Penny, Leonard and Raj, the real reason I turn on The Big Bang Theory is in hopes that one of their parents will show up on the screen. Who can forget Sheldon’s mother or Penny’s father or even Raj’s parents Skpying from India? These characters were originally put into the show to enhance a particular plot in a specific episode, but there was something about all of them that made viewers love them so much, they’ve made repeat appearances.

mrs. jeffries and the inspectorThe first time it happened to me was in the very first book of the series, The Inspector and Mrs. Jeffries. I had absolutely no idea that Luty Belle Crookshank would end up becoming a major character in the series, but that tart tongued little old lady grabbed hold of me and demanded to become part of the Mrs. Jeffries universe. What’s more, she wasn’t the only one who wanted in; Hatchet, Dr. Bosworth, Blimpey Groggins and a whole host of other characters have become such a part of the series that if I leave them out for a book or two, I get complaints from their fans.

I’ve thought long and hard about why this happens, why does someone invented to keep a story line moving suddenly go from bit player to repeat performer? The only answer I can come up with is that writers subconsciously endow some of them with heroic characteristics.

mrs. jeffries wins the prizeLuty Belle has many flaws; she’s blunt, bossy, slightly paranoid and prone to hiding her Colt .45 pistol inside her fashionable muff. So why do people love her? Because from the first time she was introduced, readers understood that the most important force driving her was a deep commitment to justice.

In other words, I believe secondary characters become important and take on a life of their own when they manifest the very best attributes of the human spirit. It helps to make them slightly odd too…but that’s another story.

Blimpey Groggins, a buyer and seller of information, is another character that readers like; what’s special about him? He’s not necessarily committed to justice. Oh, he likes it well enough, but if the price is right, he’ll sell what he knows to just about anyone; crooks, confidence tricksters, bankers, stockbrokers, insurance investigators and even second story burglars. Blimpey buys and sells information to whoever needs it regardless of class, race, creed, nationality or status. He’s an equal opportunity salesman with several very strong principles – he won’t tolerate murder and won’t sell to anyone who is going to use his information to harm a woman or child. He also treats his employees decently. These characteristics, along with his wry observations about Victorian London, have made him a favorite with my readers.

Hatchet, Dr. Bosworth and a multitude of other characters that pop in and out of the series have now become fan favorites. The only thing they have in common is that all of them have at least one, if not more, characteristics that elevate them from a plot prop to a genuine character. Dr. Bosworth may know a lot about bullet holes and the gun that made them, but readers like him because he is committed to healing the sick. Hatchet is liked because of his relationship and commitment to Luty, his employer. He feels he owes her a great debt because when he was in the depths of misery, she gave him a second chance at life. She’s rich so he can’t repay her with money, so he’s doing what he can to make the world a better place.

Secondary characters aren’t always noble, nice or polite, for the most part, they’re flawed and occasionally, quite annoying, but they have a way of grabbing us and making us remember them. I’d like to say the Mrs. Jeffries universe is now complete and there simply isn’t anymore room for anyone else. But….there is a character in my latest book, Mrs. Jeffries Wins the Prize who I suspect might insist on showing up again. Oh well, there’s always room for one more.


mrs. jeffries wins the prize
Mrs. Jeffries Wins the Prize: A Victorian Mystery
Cozy Mystery
34th in Series
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (March 1, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425268117
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

Mrs. Jeffries is back in the New York Times bestselling Victorian series, perfect for fans of Downton Abbey.


The ladies of the Mayfair Orchid and Exotic Plant Society are known for a bit of friendly rivalry, but the backstabbing has never been literal—until now. When Hiram Filmore, an orchid hunter and supplier, is found dead in Mrs. Helena Rayburn’s conservatory, Inspector Witherspoon is called in to weed out a murderer.

When it comes out that Mrs. Rayburn and her flowery friends knew each other from long ago, Mrs. Jeffries begins to suspect that there’s more to unearth about this case than meets the eye. Now she, along with the rest of Inspector Witherspoon’s household and friends, will have to dig up the past to figure out which gardening gentlewoman had a grudge worth killing for…

A Mrs. Jeffries Mystery

She keeps house for Inspector Witherspoon . . . and keeps him on his toes. Everyone’s awed by his Scotland Yard successes—but they don’t know about his secret weapon. 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 crimesolver’s work is never done.


About The Author

Emily Brightwell was born in the Appalachian mountains of West Virginia. Her family moved to Southern California in 1959 and she grew up in Pasadena. After graduating from California State University Fullerton, she decided to work her way around the world and started in England. She didn’t get any further because she met future her husband there, got married and moved back to California. While living in Long Beach, she decided to pursue her dream and become a writer – despite having two children and a full-time job. She began the Mrs. Jeffries series in 1993 with “The Inspector and Mrs. Jeffries” and has written thirty-three more mysteries in the series in the following twenty-one years. Now that her children are grown and have left home – Emily and her husband live in the Bay Area.

Find out more about the author on her webpage here.

Click here for the complete series of Mrs. Jeffries Mysteries on Amazon.


Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 1 copy to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

This year I am trying to build my Twitter following so for this giveaway 4 Bonus Entries will be awarded by following me on Twitter. @dollycas

Leave a comment for Emily for 5 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End March 26, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form


Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

  21 Responses to “Special Guest – Emily Brightwell – Author of Mrs. Jeffries Wins The Prize – #Giveaway too!”

  1. I love this series. And there is always room for one more!

  2. I really enjoyed your interview and getting to know more about you. A friend recommended that I read you so I am waiting for the first 3 books in the series from my library. Thanks for the chance to win.

  3. Love anything Victorian. Would love to read this book.

  4. This seems like a good series.

  5. I read a Mrs Jeffries novel for my book club and this started me on reading the rest of the series. Looking forward to the next book.

  6. I Have several books in this series and have enjoyed them all. Thanks for a chance to win a copy of the latest. It would be a great title to add to my cozy challenge list for this year.

  7. I can’t believe I haven’t read any of this series but am sure that will be remedied quickly. Thanks for including Emily Brightwell on your blog.

  8. I love this series. Can’t wait to read this.

  9. This is one of my favorite historical cozy mystery series. Thanks for the giveaway!

  10. Wonderful interview and creative author. This series is unique and special. Thanks for this lovely giveaway.

  11. I always look forward to reading a new book from your series.

  12. I am so excited about this series…the era, the storylines. I’m in!

  13. This is a new series to me. Sounds really interesting, adding to my TBR list.

  14. I enjoy this series. Congrats on the new release and thanks for this giveaway!

  15. I just love the cover so unique and would love to read and review on goodreads and amazon

  16. I don’t read many historical cozies. This would be a wonderful addition:)

  17. This is a series that I’ve had my eye on. Sounds so great! I adore this cover.

  18. Congratulations on your new book! Love the cover. Thanks for sharing.

  19. This looks like a fantastic read!! New author and series is always so exciting. Love the covers. And am so hoping.


  21. I love the look of these books!

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Mud Bog Murder (Eve Appel MysteryOrder Your Copy Today
%d bloggers like this: