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Tell Me No Lies

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Miss Fisher meets Downton Abbey in Tell Me No Lies, part of the critically acclaimed Lady Dunbridge Mystery series from New York Times bestselling author Shelley Noble. Rise and shine, Countess, you're about to have a visitor. Lady Dunbridge was not about to let a little thing like the death of her husband ruin her social life. She's come to New York City, ready to take the Miss Fisher meets Downton Abbey in Tell Me No Lies, part of the critically acclaimed Lady Dunbridge Mystery series from New York Times bestselling author Shelley Noble. Rise and shine, Countess, you're about to have a visitor. Lady Dunbridge was not about to let a little thing like the death of her husband ruin her social life. She's come to New York City, ready to take the dazzling world of Gilded Age Manhattan by storm. The social events of the summer have been amusing but Lady Phil is searching for more excitement---and she finds it, when an early morning visitor arrives, begging for her help. After all, Lady Phil has been known to be useful in a crisis. Especially when the crisis involves the untimely death of a handsome young business tycoon. His death could send another financial panic through Wall Street and beyond. With the elegant Plaza Hotel, Metropolitan Museum of Art and the opulent mansions of Long Island's Gold Coast as the backdrop, romance, murder, and scandals abound. Someone simply must do something. And Lady Dunbridge is happy to oblige.


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Miss Fisher meets Downton Abbey in Tell Me No Lies, part of the critically acclaimed Lady Dunbridge Mystery series from New York Times bestselling author Shelley Noble. Rise and shine, Countess, you're about to have a visitor. Lady Dunbridge was not about to let a little thing like the death of her husband ruin her social life. She's come to New York City, ready to take the Miss Fisher meets Downton Abbey in Tell Me No Lies, part of the critically acclaimed Lady Dunbridge Mystery series from New York Times bestselling author Shelley Noble. Rise and shine, Countess, you're about to have a visitor. Lady Dunbridge was not about to let a little thing like the death of her husband ruin her social life. She's come to New York City, ready to take the dazzling world of Gilded Age Manhattan by storm. The social events of the summer have been amusing but Lady Phil is searching for more excitement---and she finds it, when an early morning visitor arrives, begging for her help. After all, Lady Phil has been known to be useful in a crisis. Especially when the crisis involves the untimely death of a handsome young business tycoon. His death could send another financial panic through Wall Street and beyond. With the elegant Plaza Hotel, Metropolitan Museum of Art and the opulent mansions of Long Island's Gold Coast as the backdrop, romance, murder, and scandals abound. Someone simply must do something. And Lady Dunbridge is happy to oblige.

30 review for Tell Me No Lies

  1. 5 out of 5

    Noriko

    I enjoyed every moment, every page in this book so much. The great marriage between cozy-mystery and historical fiction. This is my first Shelley Noble let alone historical cozies, but this certainly won’t be my last. I would go so far as to say I fell in love with this book. I’m definitely going to explore more into this sub genre. First and foremost, the setting captured my imagination straight away; a destitute Countess who fled to America from England but supported by a mysterious anonymous I enjoyed every moment, every page in this book so much. The great marriage between cozy-mystery and historical fiction. This is my first Shelley Noble let alone historical cozies, but this certainly won’t be my last. I would go so far as to say I fell in love with this book. I’m definitely going to explore more into this sub genre. First and foremost, the setting captured my imagination straight away; a destitute Countess who fled to America from England but supported by a mysterious anonymous benefactor. She now resides in the Plaza hotel which I assume would cost a fortune along with a maid and a butler. As the story set in early 20th century and revolves pretty much within the highest echelons of society, the diction in this book comes across quite posh and dignified. While the language is easy enough to follow - unlike something out of victorian novels, it’s still fairly classical and clean. Pretty much devoid of any expletives and baseness that we normally see in contemporary novels. The strong writing perfectly matches the tone and the setting of the story, kept me in thrall the entire time I was reading this. As I mentioned earlier, this is my first book from Shelley Noble and this is the second book in the Lady Dunbridge series. Not having read the previous book prior to reading this actually caused my initial confusion and disorientation, I must say, but it didn’t take me long to get a good grasp of the characters and the setting. The author provided me with sufficient information to get my bearings in the book, I didn’t feel confused afterwards. In addition to that, the characters are all well-developed and interesting. The Countess, Lady Dunbridge has certainly an air of dignity and a person of high rank, but she does have a feisty, tom-boyish side in her which was quite endearing to me. The secondary characters such as the butler Preswick and her maid, Lily are also vibrant and scintillating, the exchanges among them are all witty and smile-inducing, I absolutely enjoyed the dynamics which is somewhat akin to camaraderie yet remains within bounds. As for the mystery plot, I must say it’s slow-going but it's literally like an intricate web of secrets and corruption, and never bored me, not a second! The plot is complex yet not too much to the extent that makes you tear your hair out and scream with frustration. The intrigues and possible clues thrown into the book held my attention throughout, and they are picked up and tied in with beautifully towards the culprit reveal. The snippets of high society life captivated me even further and added distinct texture to the story. Combined with inquisitive nature of Phil and the complex dynamics with Detective Sergeant John Atkins as well as the ever-mysterious Mr. X, the story proved itself to be an unputdownable, glorious historical cozy-mystery. I don’t know if it’s because of her nature as a lady of high rank, but I’m glad Phil never came across pussy, obnoxious or excessively stubborn upon her insistence on investigating along with John Atkins. She is unflinching and relentless to a point, but it never bothered me like some contemporary cozy heroines (protagonists) do, which is needless to say the quality I adored so much about this book. The wrap up was done beautifully giving off a “business as usual” vibe and describing Phil goes back to her normal life, other than my initial slight disorientation, I enjoyed this book tremendously. In fact, I am glad this book served as my gateway to historical cozies. I will certainly go back to the first book to better understand and appreciate the characters and the backgrounds! Tell Me No Lies is an entertaining, captivating cozy-mystery which appeals to anyone who loves either cozies or historical fiction. If you love both genres, there’s no reason NOT to read this book. 5 stars go to this book and I thank the author and the publisher for providing me with a copy in exchange for my honest review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Laurie

    1907 Manhattan and Philomena Amesbury, Dowager Countess of Dunbridge is drawn into investigating the death of the heir to a financial empire. As a fan of historical mysteries, I was really looking forward to reading this. The writing transports the reader back to a dynamic Manhattan social scene at the beginning of the twentieth century. The mystery itself was very intriguing as were many of the hints, red-herrings, and sub-plots. That being said, because the plot is so packed with various 1907 Manhattan and Philomena Amesbury, Dowager Countess of Dunbridge is drawn into investigating the death of the heir to a financial empire. As a fan of historical mysteries, I was really looking forward to reading this. The writing transports the reader back to a dynamic Manhattan social scene at the beginning of the twentieth century. The mystery itself was very intriguing as were many of the hints, red-herrings, and sub-plots. That being said, because the plot is so packed with various sub-plots…none of which were fully fleshed out…I found it very hard to concentrate on the main story. I did fall in love with Preswick and Lily. Preswick is the model of a stodgy British butler who is anything but. And Lily is a mystery waiting to be solved. I would have liked to have seen more of their relationship. I would also have liked to see them working to find information rather than hearing them recited what they found back to Phil. Detective Inspector John Atkins is a very appealing and intriguing character. He has intelligence, and an acerbic wit that I enjoyed. There is more to him than meets the eye and I would love to know more of his backstory. Phil is a very modern woman for her time, but I found it very hard to connect with her. The mysterious Mr. X proved more of a distraction than anything, more of a means of adding “romance” to the story. My thanks to Edelweiss and Forge Books for the advance reader copy made available for my review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Shelley Lawrence

    Tell Me No Lies, the second book in the Lady Dunbridge detective series was utterly charming and great fun! I love the characters and the historical setting. It’s as if the reader has been transported back in time, the writing is so rich with details without getting bogged down. The plot was very Agatha Christie-esque as amateur detective Lady “Phil”, along with her lady maid, the resourceful Lily, and her reliable butler Preswick, work together to uncover clue upon clue in resolving yet another Tell Me No Lies, the second book in the Lady Dunbridge detective series was utterly charming and great fun! I love the characters and the historical setting. It’s as if the reader has been transported back in time, the writing is so rich with details without getting bogged down. The plot was very Agatha Christie-esque as amateur detective Lady “Phil”, along with her lady maid, the resourceful Lily, and her reliable butler Preswick, work together to uncover clue upon clue in resolving yet another murder mystery. She uses her keen mind, her social standing within her circle of influence, as well as her friends, to assist the honest Detective Atkins and the mysterious Mr. X to right the world once more. It’s delightful and interesting and thoroughly entertaining. I’m decidedly a fan!

  4. 5 out of 5

    QNPoohBear

    4.5 stars rounded up Phil, Lady Dunbridge, is happily ensconced in the Plaza apartment rented by the mysterious "Mr. X" after a whirlwind summer. An early morning note from him arrives to announce a visitor. Mr. Pratt needs some help. His wife needs comforting ... you see... someone died in his house... it was not an accident! Perry Fauks, heir to the Fauks fortune was found in the laundry shoot of the Pratt family mansion the morning following their daughter's coming out ball. Phil is shocked. 4.5 stars rounded up Phil, Lady Dunbridge, is happily ensconced in the Plaza apartment rented by the mysterious "Mr. X" after a whirlwind summer. An early morning note from him arrives to announce a visitor. Mr. Pratt needs some help. His wife needs comforting ... you see... someone died in his house... it was not an accident! Perry Fauks, heir to the Fauks fortune was found in the laundry shoot of the Pratt family mansion the morning following their daughter's coming out ball. Phil is shocked. She danced with Perry the evening before and now he's dead. When Phil meets Gwen Pratt she knows Gwen is stronger than she looks in spite of being asthmatic. She's shrewd too and asks Phil to investigate. Phil sets Lily out to find out what she can from the servants while Phil examines the body. With this much money and these powerful people, Phil knows she needs to call Detective Sargent John Atkins. He warns Phil to stay out of the investigation yet when his hands are tired, Phil knows he needs her help. She knows people and things he can't know, not being of Society. It seems the mysterious Mr. X is also on the case and needs Phil to find out what he can't. Phil does what she wants and that is to investigate the murder and find out who killed the young man and see justice done. Could his death be connected to the financial crisis? This is a really great follow-up to Ask Me No Questions. Now Phil's story has been established the mysteries move a lot faster. She recaps a lot of the past in case you aren't caught up to speed. This mystery is pretty typical of Gilded Age/Victorian/Edwardian/1920s Society mysteries. Of course they blame it on the valet. It's never the servants. They're not that stupid. It's always someone wealthy or well-connected, that's why the heroine is needed to investigate. This book is no exception but I really enjoyed it anyway. I did not guess who the murderer was. I knew the motive had to be love, money, or revenge on a sexual predator. Which motive and which character are the questions that kept me reading way too late for two nights in a row. The history of the financial crisis was a bit confusing, especially how it relates to the murder. I didn't quite understand what was happening. I do know the headlines read much like the headlines of 100 years later. I felt the War Department balloon experiment was a little-known interesting piece of history. I'm not sure what they thought hot air balloons would do in a war but they're working on experimenting with early aircraft. Interesting that this was happening ten years before the U.S. got into WWI and 7 years before the war even began! They had no idea what sophisticated weaponry was ahead in just a few years. The introduction of this topic complicated the plot unnecessarily and the introduction of an airplane late in the story was random. Phil is a great character. She's a New Woman, more 1920s than 1907. She isn't afraid to push boundaries and see her way to her goal. Phil takes lovers without a thought of a second marriage and lives her life on her own terms. I'm not sure I'd want to be friends with her. It would be a bit overwhelming, but as a literary heroine I enjoy her. One lover Phil is eager to have won't have her (Atkins) and the other she doesn't even know what he looks like (Mr. X). We finally get some more glimpses of Mr. X and a hint about who he might be. Phil is also friends with the real life Daisy Grenville, Countess of Warwick who most certainly didn't have an affair with the Prince Regent since he died in the 1820s but rather with the Prince of Wales (Kig Edward VII). I've been to her castle and heard about her escapades but I really enjoyed this look at older Daisy. She's done (she says) fooling around and wants to do good works. She's actively working for socialist causes but badly in need of funds since her husband, Brookie, can't hang on to a pence. Daisy is fun and interesting. I liked her better than Phil because of her philanthropy. Phil is compassionate and can afford to help a street urchin friend who looks after her. Preswick and Lily are a major part of the investigation, especially Lily. I love them both. I love how New York agrees with Preswick. He's really come unstuffed and is an eager participant in the investigation. Lily is still mysterious but very very loyal. She's quick with the stiletto and eager to defend herself and her new "family" from harm- sometimes too quick. They provide some comic relief. Bobby Mullins is back too. He's funny but he's sharp. Having been a criminal, he understands criminal behavior. I like how dedicated he is to his horses. I like Atkins. He's a good man. He's educated and knows how to handle the upper crust. He's fair and just without being corrupt. Unfortunately that places him in a tough spot with the NYPD since most of them are corrupt and willingly will look the other way when strong-armed by the wealthy. The characters connected with the murder are too numerous to keep track of. I loved the Pratt family. Gwen and Luther are very much in love. He's protective of her in a kind way and loves his daughter as well. Agnes is young and bit silly. I feel very very bad for her though because of the things that happened in this novel. That's so terrible and no woman or girl deserves it. Their son Morris is a lazy young man about town and is shaping up to be a ne'er do well. He's not much of a prize and needs to grow up. Gwen's sister and her family are staying in New York too. Ruth Jeffrey seems careworn and perhaps verbally abused. Her daughters are ninnies, especially Maude. I actually have a lot of sympathy for Maude. The timeline of events is unclear but I wonder whether she thinks she's in love because of Perry or she was in love with Perry and acted a certain way because of her infatuation. Mr. Jeffry isn't in the book too often. He seems like a moocher and has a temper. Also staying at the Pratt family's home is Luther's old friend and his daughter's godfather, Godfrey Bennington. He works for the War Department and is wealthy and well-connected. He has the power to make or break people and stop the investigation. He may know more than he's letting on. At first I found him creepy. I didn't think he'd murder anyone himself but rather hire someone to do the deed. I don't think it would happen in a moment of passion but he may have reason to wish Perry dead. One other person connected to the mystery is Vincent Wynn-Taylor, Luther Pratt's secretary. Once a wealthy young man, Vincent now has to work for a living. He seems a bit angry and surly at first. He disappears from the story and pops up again later when he becomes a suspect. He has a good motive but I don't think he's capable of murdering one of his old friends even in the heat of the moment. Another suspect is Mr. Sheffield. Missing since the murder, could he have killed Perry? His storyline takes Phil in a direction I never expected and I learned something new and interesting. My heart breaks for his wife but she isn't a nice woman. She judges and in her grief has alienated the one person who should have been her support. It sure seems like Sheffield is a murderer since he has disappeared but why now after all these years? The motive has to be financial to make him a suspect and he isn't around to tell what he knows. Elva, Gwen Pratt's maid, is loyal and supportive. However, as a woman of the working class, she's afraid of being too forward and speaking her mind. She's a tragic character. Atkins is not sympathetic or understanding enough. I am eager to read more about Phil and her adventures. I'm dying to know more about Mr. X as much as Phil is! Content warnings: violence mild language sexual harassment, sexual assault/near rape/implied rape adultery consensual lovemaking fade to black

  5. 5 out of 5

    Elissa

    This is the second book in the Lady Dunbridge mystery series. This book works as a stand alone. The mystery was good with many red-herrings. I would have liked to see more interaction between Phil and her butler. I felt it would have been a stronger book with more character development.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Katreader

    TELL ME NO LIES by Shelley Noble The Second Lady Dunbridge Mystery Free of the constraints of British High Society Lady Philomena Dunbridge is happy with her new life in New York City. A late night turns into an early morning when her host of the night before arrives before breakfast requesting her help. Another guest has had an unfortunate "accident" and is dead. Thrilled to look into matters Phil soon determines the young man was murdered, and powers higher than expected want the matter closed. TELL ME NO LIES by Shelley Noble The Second Lady Dunbridge Mystery Free of the constraints of British High Society Lady Philomena Dunbridge is happy with her new life in New York City. A late night turns into an early morning when her host of the night before arrives before breakfast requesting her help. Another guest has had an unfortunate "accident" and is dead. Thrilled to look into matters Phil soon determines the young man was murdered, and powers higher than expected want the matter closed. Bringing Detective Sergeant Atkins on board, Phil is determined to help, much to his annoyance. Along with her plucky maid and loyal butler, Phil will join the high society bankers, businessmen, and their families to discover just who killed the heir to the Fauks fortune. TELL ME NO LIES is a delightful mystery set within the posh backdrop of Gilded Age New York. I adore Phil. Though she may be a Countess, and a dowager at that, Phil is down to earth and well able to mingle with all classes and values the importance of them all. She is shrewd, loyal, and discerning, while also being capable of great fun. She knows what she wants and is not afraid to go after it. Phil also knows her limitations and strives to learn more, but is well aware when she needs to bring in help. I'm almost as drawn to Mr. X as she is. I like that his identity is still a secret and am curious just how many players there are. Is he the one supporting her in her new mission? Or is he working for that party? And what of Detective Adkins? Whatever the case, I enjoy the romantic overtones both bring to the page. Lily and Preswick also bring a great deal to the page. They are not just devoted servants, they are family and I love that Phil realizes this. Just a Friend is a great addition to the team and I'm delighted that several of the colorful characters from the first book are not only back, but back to help! The mystery itself in this second Lady Dunbridge Mystery was fascinating. Just why was the young heir killed? Revenge for past deeds, business gone bad, love turned sour? I was as much at a loss as Lady Dunbridge. The stock market, banking, economics, war, how do these matters fit in? Do they? Although a historical mystery the themes and issues are as relevant today as they were then and readers should take note. TELL ME NO LIES is a historical novel that has it all, comedy, romance, an intricately laid mystery, well developed characters, and a thrilling chase scene! I wait in eager anticipation for Lady Dunbridge's next adventure! FTC Disclosure – The publisher sent me a digital ARC provided through NetGalley, in the hopes I would review it.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Douglass

    An intriguing mystery with an marvelous historical setting, Tell Me No Lies combines an American setting with the characters and features of an English country-house mystery. But the Dowager Duchess of Dunbridge is no Miss Marple--she's pretty adventurous, both in her personal life and in pursuit of a perp. I liked the characters from the start--not only Phil, but her servants, Lily and Preswick. The latter is all British butler perfection, but the former is a mystery herself, and one that I An intriguing mystery with an marvelous historical setting, Tell Me No Lies combines an American setting with the characters and features of an English country-house mystery. But the Dowager Duchess of Dunbridge is no Miss Marple--she's pretty adventurous, both in her personal life and in pursuit of a perp. I liked the characters from the start--not only Phil, but her servants, Lily and Preswick. The latter is all British butler perfection, but the former is a mystery herself, and one that I hope the author sees fit to unravel eventually, along with that of Phil's mysterious "boss." I did find that the book started a little slowly, though I couldn't put my finger on anything besides my own mood that made me reluctant to engage. But once well into the story, it definitely took off, and as we neared the end I had to push on to see whodunnit, a solution that I felt I should have seen coming more clearly. The author did a good job with the misdirection on that score. There were a few too many moments when my attention was distracted by a word used incorrectly or an awkward turn of phrase, but those problems didn't ride to the level of disqualifying the book for a positive review. My Recommendation: I always like to read series in order, but there were no issues with reading this book without its predecessor. I would recommend it for anyone who likes mysteries set in the 1920s, or those who enjoy a peek at high society, complete with some lovely gowns. I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and this is my honest and voluntary review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Andrea Guy

    I've read most of Shelley's contemporary novels and I have to say that Tell Me No Lies ranks right up there. If you love Rhys Bowen's style mysteries, you'll love this series too. Its the perfect mix of historical fiction and cozy mystery. This is the second book in the series, but don't worry you can dive right in Set in the early 1900s, we meet Lady Dunbridge a destitute widow that has fled to New York and now she finds herself investigating the death of a young businessman who was the suitor I've read most of Shelley's contemporary novels and I have to say that Tell Me No Lies ranks right up there. If you love Rhys Bowen's style mysteries, you'll love this series too. Its the perfect mix of historical fiction and cozy mystery. This is the second book in the series, but don't worry you can dive right in Set in the early 1900s, we meet Lady Dunbridge a destitute widow that has fled to New York and now she finds herself investigating the death of a young businessman who was the suitor for a friend's daughter. There's a lot going on in Phil's life, a little romance, possibly a love triangle because Mr. X and the detective I think have a thing for her. She's definitely a modern lady or perhaps a merry widow would be a better description. What starts out as just a murder of a young rich man, turns into something much more as Phil and her friends start investigating. There are so many possible reasons that someone might want Perry dead and a business dealing that isn't on the up and up. Lots of red herrings and loads of intrigue that will keep the reader guessing until the very end. This was a delightful mystery that will keep the pages turning from start to finish with all the fun characters! I can't wait for more.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Vintagebooklvr

    A fun mystery. Lady Dunbridge is a great protagonist. The secondary characters are entertaining. The mystery has good twists and red herrings.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kathy Martin

    The second Philomena Amesbury, Dowager Countess of Dunbridge mystery sees her settled in a suite at the new Plaza Hotel along with her maid and butler. Her bill is being footed by a mysterious organization who wants to use her to investigate various things. She calls her contact Mr. X and he is a total man of mystery and master of disguises. This case begins when she is called in by some new friends to help them figure out what to do about the murder of a young man who was a suitor for their The second Philomena Amesbury, Dowager Countess of Dunbridge mystery sees her settled in a suite at the new Plaza Hotel along with her maid and butler. Her bill is being footed by a mysterious organization who wants to use her to investigate various things. She calls her contact Mr. X and he is a total man of mystery and master of disguises. This case begins when she is called in by some new friends to help them figure out what to do about the murder of a young man who was a suitor for their daughter and a guest at her debut party. Parry Fauks is the heir to a company but also a man who wants to be in charge now. He and many others are looking for get rich quick schemes in the volatile stock market. Suspects for his murder could be his business associates or it could be a more personal crime since he has a bad reputation among young society ladies. Phil is busy investigating even though she is being discourage by Detective Sergeant John Atkins. But Phil is the one who has access to the high society venues where the answers might lie and Atkins needs her. So does the mysterious Mr. X but Phil isn't at all sure what he wants her to do. When a second murder happens, the case gets even more complex. Phil, her faithful maid Lily, and butler Preswick have to use all the skills they have gathered from their study of books on criminal investigation and detective stories to solve this crime and save the reputation of a young lady. I enjoyed the setting. I like Phil who is a woman of privilege but little money. I like that she is finding a new purpose for her life solving crimes. I liked the way that history was woven into the story.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Marlene

    Originally published at Reading Reality I picked up Tell Me No Lies because I really enjoyed the first book of Lady Dunbridge’s adventures, Ask Me No Questions. And yes, I sense a theme in those titles and I’m wondering where it goes from here. The (presumably) original Oliver Goldsmith quote, from his play She Stoops to Conquer, just say “Ask me no questions, and I’ll tell you no fibs.” Close enough. So, here we have the delicious fun of Tell Me No Lies. And it is definitely delicious – and that’ Originally published at Reading Reality I picked up Tell Me No Lies because I really enjoyed the first book of Lady Dunbridge’s adventures, Ask Me No Questions. And yes, I sense a theme in those titles and I’m wondering where it goes from here. The (presumably) original Oliver Goldsmith quote, from his play She Stoops to Conquer, just say “Ask me no questions, and I’ll tell you no fibs.” Close enough. So, here we have the delicious fun of Tell Me No Lies. And it is definitely delicious – and that’s no fib at all. And fun. Also deadly. But Lady Philomena Dunbridge, Phil to her friends and readers, is there to save the day. Where in Ask Me No Questions Phil literally walked into the murder, and is caught in the middle of the investigation because she needs to get her friend Reggie and herself out of the frame that they have definitely been placed in, she has spent the several months since those events researching the proper procedures for conducting investigations, with the able assistance of her supposed servants, Preswick and Lily. All in order to be of future assistance to the charming, mysterious Mr. X who is paying Phil’s rent in exchange for future investigative services – and possibly more. Phil’s involvement with this new case is a direct result of the previous. High society in Gilded Age Manhattan is rather a tight circle, and Phil has developed a reputation for saving reputations where such is warranted. The morning after Phil’s attendance at the sparkling debut ball for debutante Agnes Pratt, Mr. Luther Pratt, the debutante’s father, appears at Phil’s door to request her immediate return to the scene of the festivities. The corpse of one of the other guests has been found in the laundry. It’s up to Phil to figure out just how the man ended up dead, and whether the deed was done by one of the well-heeled guests or one of their respectable servants. But better a servant than a guest – especially since the guests were all important titans of banking and industry, and a scandal amongst them could precipitate a further destabilization of the volatile stock market. Little do they know that it’s already too late for most of them to save themselves from either the investigation, the fallout, or the impending crash. All Phil can do is make sure that only the guilty are punished for the crime. As soon as she can figure out the who, the how and most especially the why of it all. No matter how important the man who stands in her way. Escape Rating A-: I enjoyed Tell Me No Lies every single bit as much as I did Ask Me No Questions. I absolutely adore the character of Phil, her perspective is witty and trenchant and just the right amount of cynical. That she reminds me very much of Phryne Fisher is certainly a plus. Howsomever, I do have just a couple of quibbles. The blurbs describe this series as Miss Fisher (presumably of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries) meets Downton Abbey. Those same blurbs also set the series in Gilded Age New York City. There’s truth in those descriptions, as well as more than a bit of hyperbole. Also more than a hint of misdirection. This entry in the series in particular is set in late October, 1929. As the story opens, the talk of the town is that J.P. Morgan and his business associates have just attempted to stop the fall of the banks by injecting millions of dollars of their own money into the system. (This really happened.) But their efforts were doomed to fail, a fact that is fairly obvious in the background of the story. In other words, this story takes place in the days, the very last days, before Black Tuesday, October 29, 1929, the day the stock markets fell in a crash that had been anticipated for over a month – and was certainly both feared and foreseen by the many financiers in this story. So not actually the Gilded Age, but the glorious excess of that Gilded Age probably sounds more lively than the Great Depression. Not that this book isn’t plenty lively in spite of the shadows of doom. Phil is guaranteed to put plenty of life into any party. Also there’s not so much of Downton Abbey here. Not just because the story is set in New York, and service in the U.S. was never nearly as entrenched as it was in Britain, but also because Phil exists between the classes. By birth she is upper class, but she is also living by her wits. She knows how the upper class thinks and functions – at least back home – but she isn’t exactly a part of it the way the Crawleys are. And certainly her two loyal retainers, the butler Preswick and the lady’s maid Lily, are much more partners-in-solving-crime than they are servants in any traditional sense. But the strong resemblance to Miss Fisher, Miss Phryne Fisher, is definitely present. Phil and Phryne would either get along like the proverbial house on fire, or would fight like two cats over the same territory – and possibly the same men. They are very much alike in perspective and attitude. And Phil’s handsome cop with somewhat of a stick up his ass, Detective Sergeant John Atkins, is a dead ringer for Detective Inspector John “Jack” Robinson, at least as portrayed by Nathan Page in the TV series. With zero resemblance (by either) to the same character in the book series. The flirtation between Atkins and Phil certainly furthers the likeness. At the beginning I referred to the Oliver Goldsmith quote as the source – so far – of the titles for this series. But there’s a Lynyrd Skynard song has a few more lines that might be relevant later. "So, don’t ask me no questions And I won’t tell you no lies So, don’t ask me about my business And I won’t tell you goodbye" We’ll see. Hopefully. Soon.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

    In Tell Me No Lies, the second book in the Lady Dunbridge mystery series, author Shelley Noble reprises her winning formula of spinning a tale with the most irresistible elements: Gilded-Age Manhattan high society, romance, rogues, scandal, intrigue, and delicious gossip. Since relocating to New York City, Lady Philomena Dunbridge has proven herself to be a trustworthy and resourceful confidant—one to whom wealthy women turn when they find themselves or their families at risk of scandal and ruin. In Tell Me No Lies, the second book in the Lady Dunbridge mystery series, author Shelley Noble reprises her winning formula of spinning a tale with the most irresistible elements: Gilded-Age Manhattan high society, romance, rogues, scandal, intrigue, and delicious gossip. Since relocating to New York City, Lady Philomena Dunbridge has proven herself to be a trustworthy and resourceful confidant—one to whom wealthy women turn when they find themselves or their families at risk of scandal and ruin. Thus, when Perry Fauks, the young heir apparent to a manufacturing company fortune is found murdered at the Pratt mansion after an extravagant gala, Gwen Pratt calls upon Lady Phil for guidance. Indeed, just the slightest hint of scandal can undermine patriarch Luther’s prospects for an appointment to the Banking Commission and daughter Agnes’s social reputation. Just who stands to gain from the murder of Perry Fauks? Detective Sergeant John Atkins is formally assigned to the case, but it is soon apparent that powerful people are determined to derail his investigation. Reluctantly, he turns to Lady Phil for assistance. She proves to be an astute ally, using her access to the scene of the crime and her social connections quite effectively. Phil discovers that Perry was a cad in both his personal and business lives, operating outside of acceptable norms. Was Perry’s murder revenge for his personal peccadillos, or retribution for a shady scheme that caused financial devastation for several in his circle? In either case, there is a substantial number of suspects. Tell Me No Lies is filled with vivid historical detail and a lively cast of above- and below-stairs characters—a veritable New York-style Downton Abbey. Protagonist Lady Phil is a force to be reckoned with, and her playful banter with DS Atkins is highly spirited and entertaining. Moreover, Noble uses the classic technique of drawing room questioning of the assembled group of characters to great advantage, and the daring chase to capture the fleeing killer after the identity is revealed is icing on the cake. Author Shelley Noble has created an exciting series with massive appeal for fans of cozy mysteries, historical fiction, and old New York. And while Tell Me No Lies brings Lady Dunbridge’s latest adventure to a satisfying close, it also leaves readers pondering ongoing mysteries still swirling around our heroine: Who is her faithful lady’s maid Lily? Who is the anonymous donor responsible for funding Phil’s lavish apartment at the Plaza Hotel? And who is Mr. X, the mystery man and master of disguise watching over Phil, providing perfectly-timed clues for her investigations? Such curiosities give ample reason to anxiously await the further escapades of Lady Philomena Dunbridge.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Pamela

    Lady Philomena, Countess of Dunbridge returns to New York City after the death of her husband and is ensconced in a suite in the Plaza Hotel. Her title is her entre into Manhattan’s high society. While she’s been amused, she’s becoming bored. Then she has an early morning visitor who is asks her to involve herself in dealing with the untimely and unseemly death of a steel magnate’s heir. Her visitor is more worried that the death of the heir could cause a financial panic on Wall Street than he Lady Philomena, Countess of Dunbridge returns to New York City after the death of her husband and is ensconced in a suite in the Plaza Hotel. Her title is her entre into Manhattan’s high society. While she’s been amused, she’s becoming bored. Then she has an early morning visitor who is asks her to involve herself in dealing with the untimely and unseemly death of a steel magnate’s heir. Her visitor is more worried that the death of the heir could cause a financial panic on Wall Street than he is that he has a dead body in his home. This is the second book in the Lady Dunbridge series, you need not have read the first book to enjoy this one. Noble provides us with sufficient information of the on-going characters so we don’t feel like we missed something by not reading the first book, “Ask Me No Questions” (2018). This is a well-written cozy mystery featuring a fascinating independent and intelligent woman who has a title and very little money. The author provides her readers with enough information to allow us to speculate on who murdered the young man and what motivated the killing. Noble’s secondary characters are nearly as interesting as her main character. Lily, Lady Phil’s lady’s maid, carries a stiletto strapped to her leg, and her butler, Preswick, has many skills not all of which he learned in his apprenticeship to becoming a butler in a prestigious home. Then there is Mister X, first introduced in the first book and making another appearance here. It’s not clear how long Noble can continue with leaving the reader in the dark about him before readers give up on the series because he is not much beyond a device for explaining how Phil knows to do some the things she has no business knowing. Noble is skillful in incorporating bits and piece of history into her story to make the reader feel like she’s with Phil as she moves amongst the city’s elite. There are no information dumps to give you the impression that the author is trying to impress readers with her research. If you like your mysteries cozy and well written with interesting characters trying to solve a murder, then this is the book for you, and it deserves to be high on your to-be-read list. My thanks to Forge Books and Edelweiss for an eARC.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Trish

    Lady Phil Dundridge is a British countess living in New York during the Gilded Age. She is clever, worldly - and a gifted amateur detective. When a young society man is killed and stuffed down a laundry chute, Phil becomes involved in solving the mystery. I wanted to read this book from the description that compared it to Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries and Downton Abbey. It certainly did not disappoint! I absolutely loved the beautiful glimpse of Gilded Age New York. The period details were Lady Phil Dundridge is a British countess living in New York during the Gilded Age. She is clever, worldly - and a gifted amateur detective. When a young society man is killed and stuffed down a laundry chute, Phil becomes involved in solving the mystery. I wanted to read this book from the description that compared it to Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries and Downton Abbey. It certainly did not disappoint! I absolutely loved the beautiful glimpse of Gilded Age New York. The period details were perfection, down to the smallest nuances of language. Tell Me No Lies is the second book in the Lady Dundridge mystery series. I have not (yet) read the first book, but had no problem enjoying this book as a standalone read. Phil is a fascinating character - very witty and bright, able to work well with society friends as well as the police detective working on the case. She is assisted by her lady's maid and butler, and in their spare time they even study books on detection! This was a complex, sophisticated mystery with a large cast of characters. I would find a cast of characters page helpful in keeping track of family/society relationships. The mystery was well written and kept me guessing until the resolution. There is an intriguing sub-plot about Lady Phil's relationship with Mr. X - a mystery man who appears and disappears, always in disguise, with mystery clues and romance. Even Phil does not know his true identity. I thoroughly enjoyed Tell Me No Lies and would recommend it highly for fans of historical mysteries. I look forward to continuing the series and going back to read the first book as well.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Last night dowager Countess Philomena danced at Agnes Pratt's debutante ball. Now Agnes' father is begging Lady Phil for help, as their houseguest, and Agnes' suitor, is lying dead in the laundry room. Mrs. Pratt, a charming woman, is a martyr to asthma, and her husband thinks she needs some support. As Lady Phil, now settled in New York as her escapades have made London too hot for her, investigates, she's not sure whether the motive for the death is high finance or low romance. All she knows Last night dowager Countess Philomena danced at Agnes Pratt's debutante ball. Now Agnes' father is begging Lady Phil for help, as their houseguest, and Agnes' suitor, is lying dead in the laundry room. Mrs. Pratt, a charming woman, is a martyr to asthma, and her husband thinks she needs some support. As Lady Phil, now settled in New York as her escapades have made London too hot for her, investigates, she's not sure whether the motive for the death is high finance or low romance. All she knows for sure is that the handsome policeman in charge--the one honest man on the force--would like her off the case, and the mysterious Mr. X, a master of disguise whom she can recognize only by the whiff of his pipe tobacco, wants her involved. As for the equally mysterious organization that's paying for her suite at the new Plaza Hotel, heaven knows what they want, because they won't tell her.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kim McGee

    solid 3 1/2 stars for me. Downton Abbey takes over New York City with an Agatha Christie type female detective. Lady Phil has come to New York for the summer and it is turning out to be interesting as she is asked to help a friend whose daughter's debutante party is tainted with the murder of the daughter's intended. Phil and her staff of butler and lady's maid (both of whom are well equipped to care for their boss both at home and in her professional capacity) begin sleuthing to find the solid 3 1/2 stars for me. Downton Abbey takes over New York City with an Agatha Christie type female detective. Lady Phil has come to New York for the summer and it is turning out to be interesting as she is asked to help a friend whose daughter's debutante party is tainted with the murder of the daughter's intended. Phil and her staff of butler and lady's maid (both of whom are well equipped to care for their boss both at home and in her professional capacity) begin sleuthing to find the killer. Phil is delightful, smart and loves danger especially the mystery man who may offer a romantic diversion. This is a must for those historical murder mystery lovers particularly those that appreciate a smart woman who doesn't cater to what polite society thinks. My thanks to the publisher for the advance copy.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Poorly edited/written and thinly plotted but super long--I speed read to the end. Characterization is flat and direct, dialogue clunky, and details trite. I'm disappointed. Here's a classic sentence: "The other sister--Maud or Effie--cried, "Oh, no," and threw her arms around the other sister and they clung to each other so closely that their masses of black curls and similar expressions evoked images of the two-headed lady Phil and Lily and Preswick had seen at Coney Island at the beginning of Poorly edited/written and thinly plotted but super long--I speed read to the end. Characterization is flat and direct, dialogue clunky, and details trite. I'm disappointed. Here's a classic sentence: "The other sister--Maud or Effie--cried, "Oh, no," and threw her arms around the other sister and they clung to each other so closely that their masses of black curls and similar expressions evoked images of the two-headed lady Phil and Lily and Preswick had seen at Coney Island at the beginning of the summer." (60) And then, shorter but still puzzling: "The look he shot Phil dared her not to comment." (352) In the context, he's daring her *to* comment. So. Skip it, I'd say, even if you read a review suggesting it's a Downton Abbey sure hit!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Annarella

    It's the first book I read in this series and won't surely be the last. I loved the engrossing, entertaining plot with a well researched historical background and a lot of humour. The cast of characters is well developed and interesting and I had no issue with them even if I didn't read the previous instalment. The mystery is solid and it kept me guessing. An excellent read, highly recommended. Many thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for this ARC, all opinions are mine.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jessi

    Philomena Amesbury, Lady Dunbridge helped solve the murder of her friend's husband and that makes her a somewhat more likely person for financier Luther Pratt to come to when a young man is murdered at his home. The night before, Phil had gone to a party at his house and met Perry Fauks, heir to the Copper, Coal and Steel fortune. This morning, he is dead. The immediate suspect is Perry's valet but the death is being quickly hushed up amd Phil wonders why. Add in a friend from England who was Philomena Amesbury, Lady Dunbridge helped solve the murder of her friend's husband and that makes her a somewhat more likely person for financier Luther Pratt to come to when a young man is murdered at his home. The night before, Phil had gone to a party at his house and met Perry Fauks, heir to the Copper, Coal and Steel fortune. This morning, he is dead. The immediate suspect is Perry's valet but the death is being quickly hushed up amd Phil wonders why. Add in a friend from England who was coming to meet with Perry to discuss selling her mines, Agnes, Luther's daughter who was engaged to Perry but seems to love the family secretary, and Agnes' cousin Maude who would love to have been the one in Agnes' shoes as well as a smattering of other characters and it is a conundrum indeed. And Phil's unknown benefactor is still pulling strings and giving her hints and instructions on how to navigate this mystery. The mysterious benefactor/spymaster is getting to be a little too much for me. I really hope that there will be more developments with him in the next book as it is getting to be too over the top right now.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mary Kay Kare

    Will someone please get this woman a copy editor? Anyone who has the maid hold out a dressing gown on one page and then has the mistress ask for a dressing gown a page or so later needs all the help she can get. Really really needs it. And make her cut out the mysterious men lurking around the Countess, paying her bills and seducing her. I’ve lost track and I don’t care because it’s stupid and irritating.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Luebke

    I really enjoyed this murder mystery. I received this for free and I voluntarily chose to review it. I've given it a 4.5* rating. This is not for the under 18 readers. I wonder if someone else found something a little kinky in this.At a time when banks were going under, daily, there is one murder, and then another. Is the murder connected with the banks or something else. I must say that this kept me guessing till the end.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Cindy Ladensack

    Nicely plotted, full of period details, and fairly well fleshed out characters. I had some raised eyebrows around potential anachronisms, didn’t quite follow some of the financial details, and am still a little skeptical that a woman in her mid 20s at the turn of the century would act like she does. But still a fun series.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Suzi

    Great opening paragraph and a fun story to read on a long holiday weekend when old, alone and tired. Can't wait to get her first in this series to see if it is as fun and frivolous as this one. Great characters and a feel for the times.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Dodd

    An entertaining story with a fine main character (accompanied by several equally interesting side characters). An intriguing set up. Who is the mystery man and who is her benefactor? A good mystery. A good addition to the series.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Grace

    Some books seem to take much longer than it should to finish. This was one of them. I couldn't figure out why it felt like a bit of a slog. The story and characters were fine. But I think it was just too long. Could have probably cut out 25 pages of what felt like filler.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Glenda

    I really enjoyed this little whodunnit. I liked the time period and setting in New York. Will look forward to the next one.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    I really like the characters in this series. The mysteries are well-planned, & the books well-written. I'm looking forward to finding out more about Lily, a woman of mystery.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Would make a great old style romantic comedy/mystery

  29. 4 out of 5

    Meredith

    Enjoyed it The Lady Dunbridge mysteries are so enjoyable. The story was excellent and the characters are so interesting. I look forward to the next one!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kay Bowen

    Light enough but not fluffy. Funny but a little bit scary. I liked the main characters and narration.

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