Cover Image: A Secret Never Told

A Secret Never Told

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

A SECRET NEVER TOLD by Shelley Noble
The Fourth Lady Dunbridge Mystery 
 
It's the summer of 1908 and Lady Philomena Dunbridge is bored. Not even Coney Island's Loop the Loop can shake her ennui. She quickly returns to the city when Godfrey Bennington requests she act as his hostess for a dinner with a psychoanalyst, his wife, and their former colleagues. With the War Department involved, surely there's more to it than merely hostessing and when she sees Mr. X on the scene she's certain there will be some action. After an evening of guests doing nothing but argue, Phil is more than ready to call it a night, but as the group is waiting outdoors a shot is fired and one of the party is grazed by a bullet and another falls dead. Who was the intended victim? What's really going on? Detective Atkins, and Mr. X each have their own agendas, but so does Lady Dunbridge. 
 
Bickering psychoanalysts, a vulnerable sister, and several secrets collide in the fourth Lady Dunbridge Mystery. Phil is drawn in several directions, trying to investigate and assist Detective Atkins without giving away the mysterious Mr. X. There is plenty of action, lots of humor, and a gripping storyline.

The Lady Dunbridge Mystery series has a phenomenal cast of characters. Everyone, even the minor characters like Just a Friend, and even the Plaza doorman, are well developed and integral. The camaraderie between Phil, Preswick, and Lily is heartwarming. They are no longer master and servants, but a little family, dedicated to each other and eager to investigate whatever comes their way. Phil is smart, capable, and willing to go after what she wants. I'd like to think we'd be friends. Mr. X remains a thrilling romantic enigma and Detective Atkins adds to the sexual draw. This may be 1908, but women are women whatever the time and I enjoy seeing both Phil and Bev appreciate the male form while keeping their independent spirit.

A SECRET NEVER TOLD is a compelling historical mystery that bridges politics, high society, and murder. Taboo subjects are hinted at and exposed while the intriguing, fast paced story kept me reading well past my bedtime.
Was this review helpful?
I received this book for free for an honest review from netgalley 
#netgalley

A thrilling page Turner!
Was this review helpful?
Dowager Lady Dunbridge  has moved to New York permanently.  In 1908 she is called back from Coney Island to hostess a Manhattan  dinner with psychologists and other mind scientists who may have ideas to train soldiers for war.  Georgina who has burst into the party is shot dead; is the bullet meant for one of the scientists?  Why are individuals with mental problems lurking about?  What crimes are the scientists engaged in?  Great historical cozy.
Was this review helpful?
This is a well-written, nicely crafted mystery that will appeal to readers who enjoy historical suspense.
Was this review helpful?
1908 New York City comes alive in this 4th installment in the Lady Dunbridge series. Philomena "Phil" Amesbury, aka Lady Dunbridge, is called back from her holiday on Coney Island by Godfrey Bennington who works for the war department. She is disappointed to learn that he only needs her to be a hostess for a dinner party he is throwing for a group of scientist and psychologists. Inevitably the evening turns out differently than planned when one of the dinner guests is shot and killed. Phil kicks her sleuthing skills into gear and along with her faithful butler and maid, Preswick and Lily respectively, and begins a madcap quest to find out who the murder and why they were killed. 

Phil is joined once again by the mysterious Mr. X; handsome Detective Sergeant Atkins; and Phil’s posse of street kids who act as her body guards. Great historical detail, quirky and mysterious characters, and a wonderfully independent heroine all come together for another enjoyable mystery in this ongoing series.
Was this review helpful?
It's June of 1908 and Philomena Amesbery, Countess of Dunbridge, is enjoying the diversions of Coney Island. Well, she should be. But there's a distressing lack of murders or dangerous situations. She hasn't had anything like that since the previous year. But a phone call from the fabulously wealthy Godfrey Bennington recalls her to New York. At last! Adventure!
Except that Godfrey asks her to be his hostess at a party. Is there anything to be on the lookout for? Godfrey says no but he could literally ask any number of women to be his hostess and he has particularly asked her. At least Phil's return to the city reunites her with her butler Preswick and maid Lily. 
On the way to the dinner, two women who were not originally invited, join the group. Dr. Georgina Nash and Rose. While Georgina seems oddly belligerent toward other guests (a smattering of scientists and psychoanalysts with some of whom Georgina has an obvious history), delicate and beautiful Rose seems to not know what is going on.
It is a mystery that once again pulls in Detective Sergeant Atkins into Phil's sphere. And it is interesting to note that one of the doctors has a fill-in secretary who is none other than Phil's Mr. X. Just what exactly is going on?

Four stars 
This book comes out November 23rd, 2021
Follows A Resolution at Midnight
ARC kindly provided by Macmillan-Tor/Forge and NetGalley
Opinions are my own
Was this review helpful?
A Secret Never Told is the fourth book in the A Lady Dunbridge Mystery series by Shelley Noble.

Philomena(Phil) Amesbury, Countess of Dunbridge, and her best friend, Bev Reynolds, are spending some time at Coney Island.  Even though Phil is enjoying her time sunbathing and visiting the amusement parks at Coney Island, she is bored, as she misses chasing villains.  Phil receives an urgent message from Godfrey Bennington, who has connections to the War Department and who Phil had helped on a previous case, asking for her to meet with him in New York City.  At the meeting, Godfrey asks Phil to act as hostess at a dinner party for Erik Vogeler, a prominent psychoanalyst from Austria. The latter will be delivering a paper on psychology in warfare.  At the dinner, some other psychologists and academics are familiar with each other.  As the dinner party is conversing outside the dining room, an uninvited guest, Georgina and her sister Rose arrive, and they are known to the other dinner guests.  Before long, there is a gunshot, with the bullet grazing Erik and proceeding to hit Georgina between the eyes, killing her.  Nobody saw where the shot came from, or did they know for sure who was the intended victim.  Phil realizes the event’s seriousness when she notices that Mr. X is also a guest working undercover.  It’s time for Phil, her maid Lilly and butler, Preswick to do their own sleuthing and hope to help Detective Sergeant Adkins learn the killer’s identity.

I love this series.  The characters are well-developed and fascinating.  I enjoy their banter and how well they work together.  I like that Phil often feels that they are more like family rather than staff.  The street urchin, Just a Friend, who always has Phil’s back, is fascinating.  The book is well-written and plotted and very exciting and accurately depicts life in 1908.  There were plenty of twists and turns that kept me guessing until the end as to who the killer was.  The Author’s Notes are also well worth reading.

I am eagerly awaiting the next book in this exciting series.
Was this review helpful?
Shelley Noble is the queen of cozy mysteries and her Lady Dunbridge Series is one of the best ever. 
A Secret Never Told is book 4 of the beloved series. All our favorite characters were back including the ever elusive Mr. X. I so want to know who he really is.? An interesting location at Coney Island, New York was almost a character in its own. This one kept me quickly turning pages wanting to know "who done it"? 
We also got a peak into the past of Lily and hopefully we will find out more in a future book. Another fun read and as always leaves me looking forward to the next adventure.
Was this review helpful?
This book was good! It was not the most memorable mystery I've read, but the plot twists kept me guessing, and the premise was very interesting. I loved the characters but felt they could use a little bit more depth.
Was this review helpful?
A Secret Never Told is the fourth book in Shelley Noble's fun historical Lady Dunbridge Mystery series.  I read the last book and it was vastly entertaining.  I missed the first two but still enjoyed what I experienced; however, I recommend reading in order, because I missed some important dynamics between the core characters.  Still, it's a can't-miss series for me!

The expatriate Dowager Countess of Dunbridge, Philomena "Phil" Amesbury, and her best friend Bev Reynolds are taking in the entertainments at Coney Island, New York in 1908.  There are plenty of fun things to do but frankly, Phil is rather bored.  After all, sea bathing and games can't hold a candle to investigating crimes.  When a friend requests that she return home and host an important dinner party for him, she certainly doesn't object.  The dinner is in honor of a visiting Austrian psychologist whose theories may be important to the War Department and other countries; there was already one suspected attempt on his life.  The guests include other psychologists and academics, among others; there is also a theatrical party-crasher and her sister who seems to live in a world of her own.  Before the dinner is over, one attendee is shot dead between the eyes.  Was the intended target the Austrian, or the person who died?  One of the main suspects is Phil's mystery man and "boss", Mr. X.  Soon Phil, her butler Preswick and lady's maid Lily are on the hunt for the killer!

I've quickly become a big fan of this exciting, fun and quirky series.  Historical mysteries are my new love, and I'm having the time of my life discovering new favorite series and authors.  The mystery in this volume was quite intriguing - there was a vast array of possible suspects, and I couldn't tell just where it was going.  The suspects were not a likable lot, with a couple of exceptions; I kept changing my opinion as to whodunit!  Coney Island was a fun place in which to set part of the story.  Though the mystery was great, it's the characters in this series who are really the main draw for me.  Phil is a favorite heroine of mine.  She started her new widowed life in America and chose the family she actually wanted, and what an oddball but endearing family she chose!  Preswick the butler is in his 70's and is very proper; however, he greatly cares for his adoptive family.  He's great at taking and organizing notes for their investigations.  Lily the lady's maid has a mysterious past.  She's tough and has interesting skills, such as wielding a stiletto and picking locks.  Still, she is sometimes like a lost little girl.  They make an amazing crime fighting trio!  Phil's paramour Mr. X is of course a part of the case.  He's a master of disguise and totally mysterious.  Phil has no idea who he really is and who he works for...she just hopes he's on the side of good, as he uses Phil for investigations, plus they are lovers.  Phil's friend Bev is a hoot and she jumps right on in to help with the case.  Detective Sergeant John Atkins tries to keep Phil out of his police cases, but often finds her assistance invaluable.  Rounding out the cast of characters is Just a Friend, a young newsie and part of the 58th Street Irregulars who sees himself as Phil's protector.  This truly is an amazing cast and I look forward to many more cases with Phil and her gang.

I received an ARC of this book courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley.  I received no compensation for my review, and all thoughts and opinions expressed are entirely my own.
Was this review helpful?
Philomena (Phil) Amesbury aka the Countess of Dunbridge, is bored. It's deadly dull and it's been awhile since she, her lady's maid, Lily and her butler, Preswick have investigated a murder. When she is asked to host a dinner party for a group of psychoanalysts and various other interesting people she agrees but soon wonders if there isn't something else going on. For starters, what does her mysterious Mr. X have to do with it?
It isn't long before Phil, Lily and Preswick are on the trail of a killer who struck down one of the guests - with a shot between the eyes. Phil is certain that the police are on the wrong track and she is not one to sit by and let the men solve the crime. Other women may be fine with that but Phil is living on the edge of a new world for women and she is doing her own thing in some rather bold ways.
From the vibrant descriptions of New York in 1908 and a very cleverly written mystery chock full of historical facts to a cast of wonderful recurring characters, the reader is given a very enjoyable reading escape.
My thanks to the publisher Forge and to NetGalley for giving me an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Set in the early 1900s on Coney Island, bored Lady Dunbridge (Phil) is beckoned to host a swanky dinner party for academic guests of the psychoanalytic set.  Phil smells a rat.  Something is amiss and she turns on her sleuth mode.  Thankfully she takes her loyal entourage as one of the dinner guests is killed, very precisely.  But was the guest the intended victim?  Grave and devastatingly handsome Detective Sergeant Atkins enters the picture, as does a mysterious Mr. X.  All sorts of hijinks ensue.  Murder, secrets, clues, science and bits of romance intertwine seamlessly to make an enjoyable reading experience.

Loaded with historical details (read the author's notes on her inspiration) and wit, the author writes beautifully with healthy doses of facts and information during a time when women are just starting to gain momentum in a world where men are the order of the day.   The insertion of "modern" progress, psychology in warfare and the inception of psychoanalysis are done wonderfully.  I could envision the sights and clothing, hear the sounds, smell the certain...scents of the era and practically taste the sandwiches and lemonade! 

One of Phil's relationships is somewhat odd and unbelievable but I do enjoy the playful energy of Phil, inquisitive Lily and clever Preswick, an unlikely but fabulous team.  Secondary characters are quirky and eccentric, too.  

This fun series (this is the fourth book) will appeal to those who like their sleuths spunky and enterprising in a fascinating era. 

My sincere thank you to Macmillan-Tor/Forge and NetGalley for the privilege of enjoying this endearing book!  I look forward to reading about what Phil gets tangled up in next.
Was this review helpful?
I absolutely love Shelley Noble's Lady Dunbridge mysteries and A Secret Never Told does not disappoint! When Phil is asked to help host a dinner party for some visiting scientists, she agrees mainly because she is bored. That ends quickly when an uninvited guest winds up dead. But was she really the target? Even more perplexing is the presence of Mr. X before the murder even occurs. When the police hone in on the wrong suspect, it is up to Phil, her butler and lady's maid - not to mention her socialite best friend - to solve the mystery. I love that Lady Dunbridge is not supposed to be the model of decorum for the time period - that she flouts convention when it suits her and lives for herself.  I cannot wait for the next book! Thank you to #NetGalley for the opportunity to read an advance copy of #ASecretNeverTold.
Was this review helpful?
alienist, murder, murder-investigation, law-enforcement, secrets, mysteries, early-20th-century, mysterious-character, family-dynamics, relationships, NYC*****

Lady Philomena, the young Dowager Countess of Dunbridge, with the help of her maid Lily, and the family butler Preswick have previously been tapped for assistance by a shadowy representative of an unknown group (presumably working for good). They even have a group of young folk on call to help when needed known as the 58th street irregulars. This episode starts with an odd dinner party and with a bang. Literally, as one of the party is shot between the eyes by an unknown villain for unknown reasons. And the it really gets interesting! An interesting mystery with delightful characters!
I requested and received a free ebook copy from Macmillan-Tor/Forge Books via NetGalley. Thank you!
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoyed this story but I had no idea that I was in the middle of a series!
This new to me author certainly had me on the edge of my seat because of the secrets and mystery that surrounded Coney Island. 
What made the story more enjoyable is I had never been to Coney Island and I definitely didn't want to return to the present!
I especially loved the unusual name Philomeana. How cool and unique!
She is my heroine and a lady ahead of her time.  She knows what she wants and goes for it!  She made this story.
Was this review helpful?
"Miss Fisher meets Downton Abbey in A Secret Never Told, the fourth installment in the critically acclaimed mystery series from New York Times bestselling author Shelley Noble.

Philomena Amesbury, expatriate Countess of Dunbridge, is bored. Coney Island in the sweltering summer of 1908 offers no shortage of diversions for a young woman of means, but sea bathing, horse racing, and even amusement parks can’t hold a candle to uncovering dastardly plots and chasing villains. Lady Dunbridge hadn’t had a big challenge in months.

Fate obliges when Phil is called upon to host a dinner party in honor of a visiting Austrian psychologist whose revolutionary theories may be of interest to the War Department, not to mention various foreign powers, and who may have already survived one attempt on his life. The guest list includes a wealthy industrialist, various rival scientists and academics, a party hypnotist, a flamboyant party-crasher, and a damaged beauty whose cloudy psyche is lost in a world of its own. Before the night is out, one of the guests is dead with a bullet between the eyes and Phil finds herself with another mystery on her hands, even if it’s unclear who exactly the intended victim was meant to be.

Worse yet, the police’s prime suspect is a mystery man who Phil happens to be rather intimately acquainted with. Now it’s up to Lady Dunbridge, with the invaluable assistance of her intrepid butler and lady’s maid, to find the real culprit before the police nab the wrong one..."

Please, pick this book up, you won't be disappointed!
Was this review helpful?
A Deadly Distraction….
The fourth in the Lady Dunbridge series of historical mysteries, set in Coney Island, 1908, finds Philomena seeking a distraction. When she is called to host a dinner party, that distraction becomes deadly. With a deceased guest on her hands can she solve another case before the wrong party is picked by the police? Enjoyable and relaxing reading which is nicely written, as always, and with well reasearched historical detail.
Was this review helpful?
The Lady Dunbridge mysteries are a mystery to me, in terms of why I keep reading them.  I find the main character, Phil, the aforementioned Lady Dunbridge, annoying.  Her employer, Mr. X, plays a more prominent role in this story, and I am bothered by their relationship.  In theory he's her boss, or at least her connection to her unknown employer, but they still sleep together.  And, she's also still very attracted to the attractive Detective Sargeant Atkins.  Yet, I keep being drawn into the intriguing mysteries and the well-researched period details, such as what Coney Island was like in the early 1900s.  I also do like Phil's loyal servants, Preswick and Lily.  An enjoyable weekend read.
Was this review helpful?
The fourth in the series, this mystery was as fresh and intriguing as the first. Here, the story took place surrounding psychonanalysts/psychologists at the turn of the 20th century. There’s also the continuation of the overarching mystery of who Lady Dunbridge and Mr. X are working for, but I’m more interested in the handsomely charming Det. Adkins… :)

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?