Saturday, October 19, 2019

Book Review: Ask Me No Questions by Shelley Noble

Ask Me No Questions
Author: Shelley Noble
Series: Lady Dunbridge Mystery (Book 1)
Publication: Forge Books (October 16, 2018)

Description: From New York Times bestselling author Shelley Noble, Ask Me No Questions is the first in the Lady Dunbridge Mystery series featuring a widow turned sleuth in turn-of-the-twentieth century New York City.

A modern woman in 1907, Lady Dunbridge is not about to let a little thing like the death of her husband ruin her social life. She’s ready to take the dazzling world of Gilded Age Manhattan by storm.

From the decadence of high society balls to the underbelly of "horse racing, romance, murder, and scandals abound. Someone simply must do something. And Lady Dunbridge is happy to oblige.

My Thoughts: Lady Philomena Dunbridge is recently widowed and also in the midst of a new scandal when she helps solve a crime. At twenty-seven, she feels to young to be considered a dowager and too old to be back under the thumb of the father who married her to the much older and dissolute earl when she was seventeen.

Phil decides to travel to New York to visit an old school friend and start a new life for herself. Unfortunately she arrives just in time to find her old friend in the midst of a scandal of her own. Bev's husband Reggie is found dead in the arms of his mistress. He was shot with a gun he had given Bev. Worse yet, they return to Bev's home and enter her husband's locked office to find another dead man. This one is a stranger.

The police in the person of Detective Sergeant Atkins are convinced that Bev killed her philandering husband. Phil is certain that she did not and is going to clear her name and protect her own reputation. Phil is assisted by her new maid Lily and her butler Preswick who accompanied her to New York.

Phil finds herself looking into Reggie's life and especially his horse racing stable. He has the current favorite for an upcoming race. Phil is also being followed by a mysterious stranger who seems as comfortable with costumes and undercover work as the fictional Sherlock Holmes.

This story took us from the social scene of 1907 New York City and to the underbelly of corrupt police, racing conspiracies, and murder. Phil investigates the mistress, the right-hand man, Reggie's cousin Freddy and his wife Marguerite among many others as she tries to untangle a complex situation.

At first I wasn't too fond of Phil. I thought she was a little useless and aimless. But then I realized that she was a product of her environment which didn't place any more value on women than their appearance, reputation, and social clout. Once Phil decided to do something, she revealed some intelligence and skills at investigation.

I can't wait to see what happens next for her and her employees.

Favorite Quote:
"Isn't it interesting that the gentleman in the bookstore recommended a story about horses." She turned to the first page and read aloud. "'"I am afraid, Watson, that I shall have to go," said Holmes...'

"And so must we," Phil murmured.

"But where, madam?" Lily asked, sounding alarmed.

"Wherever the clues lead us, Lily."

"Ah, and are we to become detectives, madam?"

"Yes, Lily, I believe we are."
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

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