Ask Me No Questions (Lady Dunbridge Mystery)

Written by Shelley Noble
Review by K. M. Sandrick

Lady Philomena Dunbridge arrives in 1907 New York City after the death of her husband, with whom she had a loveless marriage, and her exile from England by her father for what he considers her scandalous behavior in solving a murder investigation.

On disembarkation, Lady Phil is thrust into another murder mystery: the shooting of her friend Bev Reynolds’s husband in the backseat of the Reynolds limousine at dockside – and hours later, the death of an unidentified man in the library of Bev’s brownstone.

It’s not clear what skills 26-year-old Phil brings to sleuthing, except for an ear for gossip and a practiced eye. While she is willing to learn about forensics, evidenced by her purchase of a handbook on fingerprints and criminal investigations which she purchased during a shopping trip, actual investigative techniques, such as lock-picking, belong to her newly acquired ladies’ maid, Lily. Evidence also tends to fall in Phil’s lap, as her butler Preswick just happens to know that the Reynolds’ library desk has a secret compartment and how to access it.

High society is hardly a whirl. More than once a character describes a gathering as boring or desultory. Crime thus makes for an interesting diversion. But while Phil centers herself in its solving, she adds little herself to the resolution. More a witness than a sleuth, Phil is on hand for revelatory statements by major players. One yearns for more direct involvement from her little gray cells.