ASK ME NO QUESTIONS by Shelley Noble is the first novel in the Lady Dunbridge Mystery Series, and it is due out October 16th 2018 by Forge Books.
Lady Philomena “Phil” Dunbridge is just out of mourning for her not-so-dearly departed husband, and she is ready for a fresh start in New York. Phil has just barely stepped off the ocean liner when her friend’s husband is shot to death while waiting to give them a ride. Phil’s friend, Beverly, quickly becomes the police’s number one suspect. And it doesn’t help matters when a second dead body is discovered in Bev’s townhouse. With the police investigating them and unknown people threatening them, it is up to Phil to find the real killer before her friend is arrested for a crime that Phil’s fairly certain Bev didn’t commit.
I’m a big fan of historical mysteries – especially ones set in the early 1900s – and I was excited to read ASK ME NO QUESTIONS. My excitement didn’t last very long. While the mystery itself was interesting – especially the parts about the horse racing and fixing the races – I found the writing to be bland and there were certain aspects of the two murders made no sense to me. One victim is shot to death in a crowded, well-populated area in broad daylight yet no one sees anything? And the wife and her friend become suspects despite arriving on scene AFTER the shot has been fired and then man is dead. Then the second victim is found shot to death in a house that is full of servants yet none of them heard the gunshot? I also had problems with the end of the novel when two characters commit arson to destroy some evidence. How they manage not to set the entire house on fire is the real mystery to me. Also, I just couldn’t bring myself to really care about any of the characters. I just didn’t think any of them were likable. And there was a lack of character development for all of the main characters. Phil came off as vapid and annoying. Bev wasn’t much better. The only character I actually liked was Phil’s maid, Lily. She has potential to be a fun, interesting character in later books.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.