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Ask Me No Questions

A Lady Dunbridge Mystery
Narrated by: Erin Bennett
Length: 11 hrs and 59 mins

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Publisher's Summary

From New York Times best-selling 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-20th-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 Belmont horse racing, romance, murder, and scandals abound. Someone simply must do something. And Lady Dunbridge is happy to oblige.   

©2018 Shelley Freydont (P)2018 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

“Witty, racy, and full of gorgeous period detail, Ask Me No Questions is the perfect book for all of us who miss Downtown Abbey.” (Tasha Alexander, New York Times best-selling author)

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  • Victoria J. Mejia-Gewe
  • 28-02-2019

A Creative Mystery

In 1907, at the age of 27, after two years of living in mourning for a husband she hated, in Ask Me No Questions by Shelley Noble, Philomena, Dowager Countess of Dunbridge, has arrived in New York for a fresh start. Along with Preswick, her butler, and Lily, the multilingual and highly capable ladies maid Phil acquired on her ship to America, Phil is pleased to be greeted by her childhood friend, Beverly Reynolds. But then Bev runs off, and they hear a gunshot. Pushing her way through the crowd, Phil finds Bev standing over a motor car in which Bev’s husband, Reggie, lies dead in the lap of his chorus girl mistress.

The police try to get to the bottom of the case, but it soon seems to be more complex than they originally expect. What initially seemed to be about a wife and a mistress adds drama when the driver of the motor car disappears, and the horse favored to win the Belmont, Devil’s Thunder, owned by Reggie, faces challenges in the upcoming race. Phil decides to try her hand at detection.

Ask Me No Questions has some truly exciting and perplexing moments as the mystery unfolds in bits and pieces. I appreciate historical cozy mysteries, and the turn of the 20th century is particularly interesting. It has enough contemporary inventions, such as motor cars, indoor plumbing, and indoor lighting (it’s unclear if this is gas or electric) to make this era relatable, yet taking place 100 years ago, the book has a different sense of time, culture, and propriety. For example, a recent window was still expected to spend up to two years in mourning, set apart from society. Women’s roles were highly segregated from those of men, and the men who run Reggie’s horse racing establishment refuse to trust Bev as their new boss, as they can’t see a woman as their manager.

The book has interesting characters that drew my attention, including the main characters of Phil and Bev, with Phil’s ladies’ maid, Lily, and butler, Preswick. They each have a distinct character to them that we come to appreciate. We also get to know Miss Mildred Potts, a.k.a Mimi LePonte, the “Flora Dora girl” the mistress of Reggie Reynolds, and she is not portrayed as terrible a villain as one might expect in the woman cheating on the book’s heroine. In addition, Detective Sergeant John Atkins strives to maintain integrity in the NYPD despite the loss of the attempts to clean up corruption by former Police Commissioner and now- President Theodore Roosevelt.

Erin Bennett performs the audio edition of this book. I was impressed that despite my having followed her career, I didn’t even recognize her as the narrator because she uses a different style of narrative to go with this historical fiction. Bennett does an excellent job making the book seem realistic and exciting.

I purchased Ask Me No Questions from Audible without having read the reviews on Amazon in addition to the Audible website. So when I started to listen to this book, I visited the Amazon site and was disturbed to see the book described as R- rated, which almost made me return the audiobook. But I’m glad that I kept listening because the book did not require the more mature rating, with no sex scenes or graphic violence. There was some discussion between the two widows of the sexual shortcomings of their late husbands, but even that existed of innuendos and not graphic descriptions of sex. I really enjoyed this book, both for its historical details, the fascinating plot, and the creative characters. I highly enjoyed listening to this book. I give it five stars!

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  • E
  • 08-11-2018

Interesing read

This was an interesting read with plenty of characters to keep you guessing.
Lady Dunbridge and her staff are perfect for a new series but the book was overly long, the action needs to move on at a faster pace.
The book is narrated by Erin Bennett and she does it superbly.