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A Secret Never Told

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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 i 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 . . . At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.


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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 i 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 . . . At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

30 review for A Secret Never Told

  1. 5 out of 5

    Joan Happel

    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 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.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Marlene

    Originally published at Reading Reality If someone threw Phryne Fisher and Mary Russell into the proverbial blender, they’d get someone like Lady Philomena Dunbridge, the protagonist/more-or-less amateur detective of this series. (The publisher originally referred to the series as Miss Fisher meeting Downton Abbey, but the Downton Abbey reference is starting to fall by the wayside – which is a good thing as it was never terribly apropos and now isn’t at all.) Splitting the differences between Phry Originally published at Reading Reality If someone threw Phryne Fisher and Mary Russell into the proverbial blender, they’d get someone like Lady Philomena Dunbridge, the protagonist/more-or-less amateur detective of this series. (The publisher originally referred to the series as Miss Fisher meeting Downton Abbey, but the Downton Abbey reference is starting to fall by the wayside – which is a good thing as it was never terribly apropos and now isn’t at all.) Splitting the differences between Phryne and Mary Russell works better, especially considering the number of times that Phil and her inner circle refer to Mary’s husband, Sherlock Holmes. (If this intrigues you the series starts with The Beekeeper’s Apprentice and it’s marvelous) But the blend applies in other ways as well. Russell is based in England and Phryne in Australia, with Phil sitting squarely in the middle, in Gilded Age New York City. Although, like all good detectives, Phil is an outsider looking in on her adopted homeland. It’s Phryne’s sensibilities, however, that ring truest for Phil – and the similarity of names is probably not a coincidence – in spite of the two decades between them. Phryne’s stories are set in the late 1920s, while Phil’s are in the early 1900s – in spite of some of the plot of the second book, Tell Me No Lies, seemingly lifted straight out of the later period. I started to say that unlike the earlier books in the series, Phil doesn’t have much of a connection to either the murder victim or the accused killer, upon further reflection that isn’t strictly true. Although no one ever gets quite so far as to catch, let alone arrest, Phil’s occasional lover and sometime colleague, the mysterious Mr. X. Rather, Phil just happens to be in the midst of doing the polite thing, hosting a dinner party for a friend, when one of the guests is murdered right before her eyes. Not even the guest that her host, officially part of the U.S. War Department and unofficially somewhere high in its ranks, was concerned would be murdered. And that’s only the first piece of misdirection amid the tastiest red herrings served with just the right amount of mystery and sauce. Escape Rating A-: The story in A Secret Never Told mixes two fascinating premises that initially don’t seem like they belong together. The opening dinner – and opening salvo in the mystery – consisted of a group of psychiatrists, psychologists, psychoanalysts and charlatans who were students together over a decade before. At that time, they were all scrambling for a place in a profession that had just begun moving from hypnotism as a parlor trick to studies of the mind becoming a respected scientific practice. A mad scramble that is still spinning out consequences at that tense dinner table. And on the other hand, much of the action takes place in and around turn-of-the-century Coney Island. A place where the study of the human mind was dedicated to the best way to separate a mark from his or her money. (The portrait of Coney Island in this heyday is one of the highlights of the book.) A man was threatened. A woman is dead. Does the case relate to his theories about how to create supersoldiers through exploiting Pavlovian responses? Or did she hold a secret dating back to their college days? It’s up to Phil and her friends to figure out not just whodunnit but what was done and why, in spite of stonewalling on the part of both the government AND the NYPD in the person of the handsome Detective Sergeant John Atkins. I’m loving this series because of the personality of Phil, otherwise known as Lady Dunbridge. While the story is not in the first person, it very much follows Phil, her actions, her reactions, and her internal monologue. And Phil and Phryne Fisher read like sisters under the skin, from their wry observations of the social niceties and the hollowness that underlies them to their attitudes about men and sex and not letting their romantic passions overcome their common sense or their intellectual pursuits. Considering the way that her government colleague and her detective sergeant try to keep both Phil and each other at bay and in the dark in order to be able to put their own spin on whatever the truth of the case turns out to be, Phil’s attitude seems more than fair. I really enjoyed the first two books in this series, Ask Me No Questions and Tell Me No Lies, so I was definitely up for this fourth book in the series. (I have the third book, A Resolution at Midnight, but it seems to have fallen into the black hole of “so many books, so little time.” I clearly need to rescue it and move it up the towering TBR pile!) Nothing about this story felt like an ending for the series, so I have high hopes that Lady Dunbridge will return, hopefully this time next year. In the meantime, I’ll have to dig out my copy of A Resolution at Midnight and catch up with Lady Dunbridge’s adventures!

  3. 5 out of 5

    QNPoohBear

    Summer 1908 in New York is proving to be exceedingly boring for British ex-pat dowager Countess Lady Phil Dunbridge. While she's happier in freewheeling America, she's bored stiff without anything to do except watch her friend Bev's horses run their races before gambling is officially made illegal. Ho hum. Then her aquaintance, Godfrey Pennington calls and summons Phil back to the city immediately. She's thrilled with the possibility of another mystery to solve but all Godfrey needs is a hostess Summer 1908 in New York is proving to be exceedingly boring for British ex-pat dowager Countess Lady Phil Dunbridge. While she's happier in freewheeling America, she's bored stiff without anything to do except watch her friend Bev's horses run their races before gambling is officially made illegal. Ho hum. Then her aquaintance, Godfrey Pennington calls and summons Phil back to the city immediately. She's thrilled with the possibility of another mystery to solve but all Godfrey needs is a hostess for a dinner party he's hosting for some Vienese psychoanalysts (not who you think) and colleagues. Perhaps there HAD been an attempt on Dr. Erik Voegler's life in Washington though and his assistant is ill so someone needs to keep an eye out for assassins. That's Godfrey's job, however, but Phil can always discreetly offer an extra pair of eyes and ears. The dinner party is surprised by some invited guests- more former colleagues of Dr. Voegler's from his early university days. Egos had gotten in the way of their friendships and nothing seems to have changed. With big egos and differences in schools of thought tempers flare and the party ends with everyone mad at the uninvited guest, Georgina Nash. Georgie threatens to reveal all their secrets. Is she fooling around the way she used to do to entertain everyone? It seems someone thinks she's serious because before Godfrey or Phil can react, Georgie is shot through the forehead. Godfrey assumes the shot was meant for Dr. Voegler, who was grazed by the bullet. Phil becomes embroiled in the investigation when she learns from her maid Lily that Georgie's fragile sister Rose seems to be held hostage by the Voeglers. There's also a little matter the mysterious Mr. X is up to, if only he would share! Detective Atkins has his hands full with this one. Phil, accompanied by Lily, Preswick, Just a Friend, Bev and Bobby will have to solve this one for him once again! This mystery was really good. I couldn't put it down. I don't know enough about modern psychology to really understand what all the drama was about and it kept me from putting the clues together. I suspected certain people were involved and I know enough about pre-WWI politics to guess what Dr. Voegler's theory meant. However, the whole story still has the feel of the 1920s to me. Especially this one because of the lead up to the World Wars. It feels very between the wars with the history and politics. I guess WWII was a long time coming even before WWI began. I never put all the puzzle pieces together but I wasn't totally surprised by the identity of the villain. I suspect the villain masterminded everything in the past as well as present. I especially liked the history of Coney Island and "seeing" it as it must have been in the heyday of the early 1900s. I like Phil well enough but sometimes she can be really clueless and stupid. She goes haring off after suspects and clues without a thought to her personal safety or whether she would be getting in the way of other investigations. Her "relationship" with Mr. X, here known as Francis Kellogg, is still casual. They're attracted to one another and seem to care about each other but I think there's more chemistry with Atkins. Atkins is a noble man who won't act on impulse. His dourness balances out Phil's impulsiveness. I agree with Phil and find is frustrating that Atkins can't know about X professionally and Godfrey doesn't know about X either and neither Atkins nor X knows what Godfrey's true role in this drama is. Surely not just nursemaid? Godfrey is a government agent from the war office interested in aeroplanes. Why is he attached to the Voegler party and in charge of keeping them safe? He's very upright and by the book which is why he'll never solve the mystery but it isn't his job to do so. He just wants to get back to his planes and it makes him very cranky. Phil's friends are a delightful bunch. Preswick, the butler is very proper but he feels protective of Phil and Lily and I think especially fatherly towards Lily. Lily's background is mysterious and her age unknown. In this novel we get some little hints as to her identity. Even Lily doesn't seem to know where she comes from or who she is. From what's dropped in this novel, she seems to have repressed memories and one of the so-called doctors could possibly help but I wouldn't trust them or their methods. Lily is growing and learning to trust. One day she will hopefully trust Phil and talk about her past. Phil loves Lily like a younger sister and wants to protect the girl. Bev is delightful. She's still a merry widow and thriving without her husband. She's intelligent enough to know who to trust to run her racing stable and a great businesswoman. I didn't like her at first but I do now. However, she does sometimes encourage Phil into doing something she shouldn't. Her right-hand man, Bobby, is the most sensible one of them all in this investigation, being streetwise and familiar with the underworld. He's super loyal to Bev and by extension, Phil, but even he balks at participating in this investigation. There may be hidden secrets within the secrets that could expose them all to the dangerous criminal underworld around Coney Island. Bobby's regard for the law is greater than the ladies' as well and he knows how not to get caught. His emapthy and understanding of certain situations really helps out in this investigation. I like him a lot. Just a Friend is adorable as are all the street urchin sidekicks in every single one of the Lady__ series I read! I suspect Phil will follow in Ginger Gold's footsteps and adopt the boy if she can. Just a Friend is plucky and loyal but still just a little boy and when he's physically unable to help Phil because of his small size, it really hurts him. He takes it hard that he wasn't able to protect his lady. Of course she understands and her heart goes out to this small child who has man-sized problems and thinks he can tackle them alone. I hope he doesn't get snatched by a gang. I think Preswick would happily shoot any gang leaders coming for the boy! Mr. X is mischievous and mysterious. His love of disguise and attraction to Phil remind me very much of a certain Master Criminal but on the right side of the law- he hopes. The new characters are psychoanlaysts from Europe. I wish that the author would write in such a way so the characters' nationalities are identifiable. Even Phil and Bev don't sound different from anyone else and this really bothered me. There's one Italian character so I could hear his voice in my head. One character seems to be Russian, or Romanian or Slavic maybe, making his name "Ee-VAHN" and not "EYE-van" but that doesn't come out in the stories. Even the Voeglers, who are from Vienna but live in England, seem to speak perfect English. Their children speak to them in English, which isn't super weird because they do live in London, but I would expect them to speak German at home to their parents. Maybe not because their nanny appears to be English or a temporary American nanny. Erik Voegler may be a brillaint scientist but he comes across as a little vague and almost naive. He's an amazing father but an exasperating husband. He acts like a child when he's with his kids and forgets all else. His views on psychology are unorothodox and a little strange. What does he mean exactly? Mrs. Anna Voegler is way more brilliant. She gave up her career to marry and have a family. Everything she does now is devoted to helping her husband's career and spending time with her bratty children. I don't think the children are annoying, just high spirited and spoiled by their father. They're traveling in New York for the first time and it's exciting and fun. They're not settled into a routine and their father spoils them so of course they're kind of bratty. Their nanny can't keep up with them. Georgina Nash is catty and seems to dislike everyone else. She hints at mysterious dark deeds and secrets and danger. I think she enjoys drama. Her style of clothing and her entrance all hint at a love of all things dramatic. Her story certainly is dramatic! No one else seems to like her. Georgie's sister Rose is mysterious at first, jumping out of bushes, riding a fence and staring into space. Soon it becomes clear that all is not right with Rose's mind. Is she mentally challenged or mentally ill or just eccentric? Lily takes a liking to the young woman and has fears that someone is taking advantage of Rose. Sweet Rose just wants to go home and find her sister. Her story is heartbreaking. I never guessed the entire thing but I had my suspicions, same as Lily. Chumley Griswold, the only true "hard" scientist of the group, is a trained chemist who chooses to play magician at parties held by the wealthiest New Yorkers. He seems to make a good living doing that but why isn't he using his degree? Is there a story there? Is he a fake? Did he not graduate? Does he really know little of actual chemistry? He seems to rely on pyrotechnics and parlor tricks. Phil soon has suspicions he may be hiding some big secrets. What is he really up to and why? Did he kill Georgie before she revealed the truth? Deitrich, a Freudian, is a pompous, egotistical typical male who thinks he's better than everyone else. He doesn't have much action or personality but he could be a dark horse for murderer because Georgie accuses him of abusing women, as in seducing his students. I TOTALLY believe it! Dr. Lutz also doesn't have much personality or a major role in the story. Pietro Salvo, an Italian immigrant, has been disgraced and sent packing by the establishment in Europe. He has every good reason to hate the Voeglers and everyone else who continually and not so slyly, hints at what happened and condem him. He ends up being the most three-dimensional character in the whole story. He's caring, compassionate and does what he can to help people. I believe his side of the story. Oh I hope he's not a murderer! So many authors just run with the xenophobia of the day and the stereotype of the Italian mobster. He's very kind and protective towards Ivan, his assistant who lost everything at the same time Dr. Salvos left England is disgrace. Ivan is a war veteran and seems to be something of a bodyguard to Dr. Salvos. He wasn't present at the dinner party but was waiting nearby with the car. He arrived a moment too late but he was wearing a heavy coat in the middle of summer and wasn't visible from where Phil was standing. Could he have attempted to kill Dr. Voegler and hit Georgie instead? I think he has a great motive to kill Dr. V but none to kill Georgie. My personal favorite is Dr. Elisabeth Weiss, a professor at Barnard College for women, across the street from Columbia University but separate because of sexist rules. Some day... some day soon we will be allowed in the gates of Columbia! She declares. I love her gender bending style of dress, her bold predictions for the future and her fierce stance on women's rights. I'm not sure why everyone else hates her so much. This series may feature an amateur sleuth but it isn't really cozy. There's off-page sex, a little violence and some blood plus a lot of history and politics. I will likey continue the series if there's more but it's not one of my top favorites. The hook for me is Mr. X but it's clear he isn't ready to reveal his identity.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Libby

    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 intrigu 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.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Shelley Lawrence

    4.25 stars A Secret Never Told, is the fourth book in the Lady Dunbridge historical, cozy mystery series. These mysteries take place at the turn of the 20th century, originally in England, but now set on the East coast of the United States. The story includes the familiar cast of intriguing characters and surrounds a group of psycho-analysts, a new, somewhat questionable profession. This mystery is particularly tricky due to the mental tactics of the group involved, as well the involvement of mor 4.25 stars A Secret Never Told, is the fourth book in the Lady Dunbridge historical, cozy mystery series. These mysteries take place at the turn of the 20th century, originally in England, but now set on the East coast of the United States. The story includes the familiar cast of intriguing characters and surrounds a group of psycho-analysts, a new, somewhat questionable profession. This mystery is particularly tricky due to the mental tactics of the group involved, as well the involvement of more than one investigator, each with their own purposes and plans. The story has plenty of references to the historical setting and times, which makes it particularly interesting. The characters are entertaining and Lady Dunbridge herself is a strong, independent, sharp-witted heroine. If you enjoy historical, cozy mysteries, you’ll love this series.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Katreader

    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 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.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

    Historical mysteries set in this era are plentiful, but this series continues to be a standout in a crowded genre. Though set slightly earlier, Phil and company remind me of the cast of Verity Bright’s Lady Eleanor series, which is the highest compliment I can pay to this type of book. Phil is a lovely, fun, and clever heroine, and the supporting cast also doesn’t disappoint. Noble excels at setting too, this time giving us a taste of—among other spots around New York—early 1900s Coney Island. The Historical mysteries set in this era are plentiful, but this series continues to be a standout in a crowded genre. Though set slightly earlier, Phil and company remind me of the cast of Verity Bright’s Lady Eleanor series, which is the highest compliment I can pay to this type of book. Phil is a lovely, fun, and clever heroine, and the supporting cast also doesn’t disappoint. Noble excels at setting too, this time giving us a taste of—among other spots around New York—early 1900s Coney Island. The mystery itself is a fun one, well constructed and satisfying. It isn’t hard to guess at the villain, but that doesn’t take anything away from the story. As always, I look forward to the next book in this series. *I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

  8. 4 out of 5

    Louisa

    Another fantastic mystery, loved watching her deal with all this, and it was a really great read!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kellye

    Left me wanting more! Best book in the series so far! While this could stand alone, you will want to read the earlier books and you will understand the characters far better if you do. Download this or order it now. You won’t be sorry!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sharlene

    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 f 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.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    * 3.75 * Rounded Up A Secret Never Told is the next book in the Lady Dunbridge Mystery series, and I think one of the reasons I keep reading this series is for the historical descriptions. This one featured some aspects of Coney Island as well as delving into the early fields of psychology, something that fascinated me. I am a huge fan of historical mysteries so I really loved the descriptions of the time period. Coney Island was hugely popular in the early 1900s so I was intrigued about it bein * 3.75 * Rounded Up A Secret Never Told is the next book in the Lady Dunbridge Mystery series, and I think one of the reasons I keep reading this series is for the historical descriptions. This one featured some aspects of Coney Island as well as delving into the early fields of psychology, something that fascinated me. I am a huge fan of historical mysteries so I really loved the descriptions of the time period. Coney Island was hugely popular in the early 1900s so I was intrigued about it being used as a setting for a murder as it was chock full of those things; I didn't want to learn about the rides and the fun stuff, I wanted the underbelly, the wheelings and dealings of the criminal world. And while the story definitely alluded to that, and the characters did come across some shady stuff, I really felt like all they did was touch upon it and didn't really delve into it. The author's writing style is great though, and has this way of drawing you into the story. I definitely enjoyed her descriptions of the time period and thought the character development (from the first book) was good. Phil, to be honest, is the most annoying of the characters, but her heart is in the right place and she wants to do well by her friends and her servants, whom she considers friends. Personally, she drives me crazy. And I am not a fan of her relationship with Mr. X. I don't know who this man is, but I have my suspicions; I don't have any objections to the teasing and flirting, etc...but I can't put my finger on why the whole thing makes me uneasy. Maybe it's because Phil also flirts with the detective and finds him attractive as well, and I have never been a fan of those love triangle things, not that this is what it is, but I am really hoping it doesn't go there. That being said, I am fascinated by both Lily and Preswick, her servants, and their skill set, and know there is a story there to be told and am waiting patiently for the day it happens. I did enjoy the mystery and thought there were plenty of twists and turns; however, it was kind of easy to figure out if you paid attention. I am not a psychology major, but I did have to take a few classes in uni and I was always fascinated by the development of the field so I found the arguments between the various characters, who were split into various fields and followers, quite interesting. I also know it was very political, especially considering the state of world politics during this time period as various countries were building their military forces and looking at many different things to augment them. I was a bit disappointed that we didn't discover more about the reasons why Phil's boss wanted her involved, but I guess that will be revealed in future books. The lack of knowledge about the War Department's involvement is starting to get on my nerves though. And this is where I do have knowledge, considering the time period, as we head into WWI. I want to know more about the political stuff, about Mr. X., and about the War Department. A Secret Never Told was a quick and fun read, chock full of interesting facts about Coney Island and the development of psychology in the early 1900s. I thought the author had a great writing style and I found her characters interesting, but I am not a huge fan of the main character and some of the things do require some suspension of belief. I am intrigued by Mr. X and the War Department's involvement and look forward to learning more about them in future books. Recommend if you are looking for a fun historical mystery series.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kat

    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 entertainm 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.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Brenda

    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. M 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.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lily Peace

    This is a great new addition to a solid series--definately one of the better written of this genre. The cast of characters are all very likable and well-drawn and Ms. Noble manages to avoid the rote repetition of stock, formulaic phrases that often become a large part of so many mystery series as they progress. These are complex, comfortable characters to spend time with and there is minimal darkness and violence without being silly or pablum. The historical subject matter this one touches on is This is a great new addition to a solid series--definately one of the better written of this genre. The cast of characters are all very likable and well-drawn and Ms. Noble manages to avoid the rote repetition of stock, formulaic phrases that often become a large part of so many mystery series as they progress. These are complex, comfortable characters to spend time with and there is minimal darkness and violence without being silly or pablum. The historical subject matter this one touches on is actually quite dark, but Noble keeps us grounded in her main characters so I felt educated about vital historical issues without feeling overwhelmed by them. My one quibble--which as nothing to do with the writing --is Lady Dunbridge's relationship to Mr. X.(Not a spoiler. It's a running plot thread from the very first book) She's basically sleeping with and financially dependent upon a man who she knows nothing about and has never even actually SEEN, which is at odds with the independent nature of the Countess I have come to admire and respect. I hope in continuing books this relationship becomes more realistic--I mean what if she decides she doesn't want to sleep with him anymore? Will she lose her job and her hotel suite? What's to stop him from raping her? It's weirded me out from the very first book. But the rest of the story is extremely engaging so I've let it slide but I genuinely hope Noble continues to give the Countess more agency and independence in this particular relationship instead of keeping it mired in what feels like 1970s feminist porn fantasy

  15. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Who doesn't love a strong female who solves crimes? Even more enticing when it is during an age when women are supposed to remain in the background, following orders and making the men in their lives, husbands, fathers, etc. look smarter, more refined, more successful. Having been widowed at a very young age, the Countess has more freedoms than most but still must maintain an image suited to her station. This allows her to travel within certain privileged circles. It also allows for her to have two Who doesn't love a strong female who solves crimes? Even more enticing when it is during an age when women are supposed to remain in the background, following orders and making the men in their lives, husbands, fathers, etc. look smarter, more refined, more successful. Having been widowed at a very young age, the Countess has more freedoms than most but still must maintain an image suited to her station. This allows her to travel within certain privileged circles. It also allows for her to have two talented and loyal "servants" by her side, available to add their skills to her investigations. When she receives an invitation to act as hostess for the wealthy Lord Godfrey she doesn't hesitate in the least. Even though he is hosting an unusual collection of academic Doctors of various studies of psychoanalysis, a very new science. Once she meets them, including two unexpected guests, things turn chaotic and extremely unpredictable. From that point on it is nonstop page turning as more than one (or two) agencies try to figure out attempts on one guests life and a murder. Was the woman who died the intended victim? What could be the motive? And what is happening with her sister? Political intrigue, academic competition, some romance, and a healthy dose of witty banter fill this novel. I am sure revelations along the way will surprise you.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    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 ki 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.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    Shelly's newest book, A Secret Never Told was slow to start but once I hit midway, had a bang-up finish. So much so that it was hard to keep track of all that went on. I've fallen in love with this time period in our country's history... the gilded age. And Shelly's new book adds to the other writers of this time period. It was nice to see the same "regular" characters again. And the wide array of of new ones including the bad ones with a twist especially with Mr. X filling Lady Dunbridge in at Shelly's newest book, A Secret Never Told was slow to start but once I hit midway, had a bang-up finish. So much so that it was hard to keep track of all that went on. I've fallen in love with this time period in our country's history... the gilded age. And Shelly's new book adds to the other writers of this time period. It was nice to see the same "regular" characters again. And the wide array of of new ones including the bad ones with a twist especially with Mr. X filling Lady Dunbridge in at the end. This book series has a great start and I will be looking forward to many more books with the Lady Dunbridge, Preswick, Lily, Godfrey & Sgt. Atkins. I see a book with Just a Friend being more of a casual character & part of her "family." I also see Sgt. Atkins becoming more than a casual friend as his character builds with the Lady Dunbridge. Overall I loved the book and give it 4.5 stars.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jessi

    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 lite 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?

  19. 5 out of 5

    Meredith

    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 so 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.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Fred

    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 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.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jan

    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 reas 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!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Caroline

    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.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Dodd

    What fun! We see and hear more from the mystery man, but are left knowing even less than we thought we new about who he is and who he works for. He doesn't seem so sure himself. A entertaining story with great, quirky characters. The phycologists are quite an interesting group of oddities. What fun! We see and hear more from the mystery man, but are left knowing even less than we thought we new about who he is and who he works for. He doesn't seem so sure himself. A entertaining story with great, quirky characters. The phycologists are quite an interesting group of oddities.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Like many similar books, this requires a bit of suspension of disbelief. Frankly, I find the whole Mr. X thing a bit weird. That said, the writing and plot are above average compared to others. It’s a quick and fun read.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Elena Taylor

    Check back for my full review.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    Delightful murder mystery based in early 1900s NYC. Nice historical references. The series has good character development through all the books. Interesting writing.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mary E

    So much fun, as always!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Gloria

    Excellent period piece. The countess, the police detective and Mr. X all try to be the first to solve the murder in New York's high society. Excellent period piece. The countess, the police detective and Mr. X all try to be the first to solve the murder in New York's high society.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

  30. 5 out of 5

    Maggie

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