Shelley Noble - Tor/Forge Blog



Every Forge Book Coming Fall 2021

Fall is almost upon us, which means we have a new season of books coming your way! Don your flannel shirts, grab your spiced drinks, and take a look at what Forge has to offer this fall.

September 7th

Image Placeholder of - 43An Irish Country Welcome by Patrick Taylor

In the close-knit Northern Irish village of Ballybucklebo, it’s said that a new baby brings its own welcome. Young doctor Barry Laverty and his wife Sue are anxiously awaiting their first child, but as the community itself prepares to welcome a new decade, the closing months of the 1960s bring more than a televised moon landing to Barry, his friends, his neighbors, and his patients, including a number of sticky questions.

A fledgling doctor joins the practice as a trainee, but will the very upper-class Sebastian Carson be a good fit for the rough and tumble of Irish country life? And as sectarian tensions rise elsewhere in Ulster, can a Protestant man marry the Catholic woman he dearly loves, despite his father’s opposition? And who exactly is going to win the award for the best dandelion wine at this year’s Harvest Festival?

But while Barry and Dr. Fingal Flahertie O’Reilly and their fellow physicians deal with everything from brain surgery to a tractor accident to a difficult pregnancy, there’s still time to share the comforting joys and pleasures of this very special place: fly-fishing, boat races, and even the town’s very first talent competition!

Now available in paperback!

September 14th

Image Place holder  of - 29Her Perfect Life by Hank Phillippi Ryan

Everyone knows Lily Atwood—and that may be her biggest problem. The beloved television reporter has it all—fame, fortune, Emmys, an adorable seven-year-old daughter, and the hashtag her loving fans created: #PerfectLily. To keep it, all she has to do is protect one life-changing secret. Her own.

Lily has an anonymous source who feeds her story tips—but suddenly, the source begins telling Lily inside information about her own life. How does he—or she—know the truth?

Lily understands that no one reveals a secret unless they have a reason. Now she’s terrified someone is determined to destroy her world—and with it, everyone and everything she holds dear.

How much will she risk to keep her perfect life?

October 12th

Place holder  of - 15An Irish Country Yuletide by Patrick Taylor

December 1965. ‘Tis the season once again in the cozy Irish village of Ballybucklebo, which means that Doctor Fingal Flahertie O’Reilly, his young colleague Barry Laverty, and their assorted friends, neighbors, and patients are enjoying all their favorite holiday traditions: caroling, trimming the tree, finding the perfect gifts for their near and dear ones, and anticipating a proper Yuletide feast complete with roast turkey and chestnut stuffing. There’s even the promise of snow in the air, raising the prospect of a white Christmas.

Not that trouble has entirely taken a holiday as the season brings its fair share of challenges as well, including a black-sheep brother hoping to reconcile with his estranged family before it’s too late, a worrisome outbreak of chickenpox, and a sick little girl whose faith in Christmas is in danger of being crushed in the worst way.

As roaring fireplaces combat the brisk December chill, it’s up to O’Reilly to play Santa, both literally and figuratively, to make sure that Ballybucklebo has a Christmas it will never forget!

October 19th

Poster Placeholder of - 44It’s a Wonderful Woof by Spencer Quinn

Holiday time in the Valley, and in the holiday spirit—despite the dismal shape of the finances at the Little Detective Agency—Bernie refers a potential client to Victor Klovsky, a fellow private eye. It’s also true that the case—promising lots of online research but little action—doesn’t appeal to Bernie, while it seems perfect for Victor, who is not cut out for rough stuff. But Victor disappears in a rough-stuff way, and when he doesn’t show up at his mom’s to light the Hanukkah candles, she hires Chet and Bernie to find him.

They soon discover that Victor’s client has also vanished. The trail leads to the ruins of a mission called Nuestra Señora de los Saguaros, dating back to the earliest Spanish explorers. Some very dangerous people are interested in the old mission. Does some dusty archive hold the secret of a previously unknown art treasure, possibly buried for centuries? What does the Flight into Egypt—when Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus fled Herod—have to do with saguaros, the Sonoran desert cactus?

No one is better than Chet at nosing out buried secrets, but before he can, he and Bernie are forced to take flight themselves, chased through a Christmas Eve blizzard by a murderous foe who loves art all too much.

November 2nd

Placeholder of  -23I Will Not Die Alone by Dera White, illustrated by Joe Bennett

Dera White’s I Will Not Die Alone is a hilarious, feel-good story about the end of the world. Featuring illustrations by Joe Bennett, it is a story full of realistic self-love affirmations for all of us who are just trying to get by, until we die.

November 16th

A Bathroom Book for People Not Pooping or Peeing but Using the Bathroom as an Escape by Joe Pera, illustrated by Joe Bennett

Joe Pera goes to the bathroom a lot. And his friend, Joe Bennett, does too. They both have small bladders but more often it’s just to get a moment of quiet, a break from work, or because it’s the only way they know how to politely end conversations.

So they created a functional meditative guide to help people who suffer from social anxiety and deal with it in this very particular way. Although it’s a comedic book, the goal is to help these readers:

Rejoin the world outside of the bathroom

It’s also fun entertainment for people simply hiding in the bathroom to avoid doing work.

A Secret Never Told by 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 . . .

Law of the Land by Elmer Kelton

Sixteen stories, where good meets bad, and everything inbetween, from the legendary author of the west, Elmer Kelton.

Law of the Land chronicles some of his most exciting and dangerous tales of the old west, collected together for the first time–including the exciting first publication of a never-before published Kelton story, Biscuits for Bandit.


The Good Intention of The New Year’s Resolution

Placeholder of  -29

A Resolution at Midnight is the most recent installment in the Lady Dunbridge Mysteries by Shelley Noble, and it takes place in Gilded Age Manhattan during Christmas time. As the end of 2020 approaches, read Shelley’s thoughts on her love-hate relationship with New Year’s resolutions.

By Shelley Noble

The anticipation of…. The good intention of…. The determination of….

The New Year’s Resolution.

And then comes the New Year and that moment when you break it, or realize that you’ve forgotten to, do it, or just allowed it to pass out of your life without even noticing.

After years of grappling with this battle of good intentions v. back sliding, I ended the custom. I didn’t give up. I didn’t admit failure. I just made adjustments.

First of all, I never felt right about resolutions, everything depending on that one night into day. Flip a switch and you’re a better person, a thinner person, a more compassionate person. And can you really trust a resolution made after a glass or two of celebratory champagne?

For a long time after I faced my love-hate relationship with the New Year’s Resolution, I substituted my New Year’s Superstitious Transaction. When I was a dancer and toured the world, I always made a point to be out of my New York apartment when the clock struck twelve. Whether traveling to far away places, at a party or just taking a walk around my neighborhood, when that ball came down I was on the move. I wanted to start the New Year as I hoped to continue, in those days, energetically, traveling, working, going places, making new discoveries, and bringing a little joy to the audience.

After children and a move across the river to New Jersey, suddenly it was more important to create a secure space for my family. So whenever I could, I would be at home when the clock struck twelve. Even if I was out, celebrating or traveling, I would try to put myself in a cocoon of calm long enough for the countdown.

And though these talisman gestures were not resolutions, more of a fingers-crossed nudge to the universe, they did teach me something about myself and the new year.

Sure I’d like to write faster, be more efficient, be kinder, volunteer more. I’ll probably never write faster, this is just how I do it. I could be more efficient but that would come in increments by small, constant tweaks. Not by accomplishing A Resolution at Midnight like my fictional protagonist Lady Dunbridge. And volunteering? That would be dependent on my being more efficient which would give me more free time to help others.

These days, instead of yearly resolution, I’ve adopted the seasonal determinations, and their companions, the monthly cleanup restarts, and their companions, the weekly reminders.

The so you blew it—don’t give up—it’s not too late to start again answer to a resolution. A day or two of missing the mark, a week of forgetting what you meant to do or not do. A little reminder. A climb back on that proverbial horse. Much more useful (to me anyway) than the “Oh no, I ate that Chunky Monkey ice cream—I’ve failed—and all is lost” kind of resolution. And while not fireworks-worthy declarations, they have more of a chance of succeeding than that list you carefully saved somewhere around five to midnight last year and haven’t been able to find since.

So I don’t have a list of planned resolutions, not even one. Though I can’t resist making at least one wish for the coming year. For there to be more peace and harmony on Earth, and as the song goes, let it begin with me.

Grab a Copy of A Resolution at Midnight—on sale now!

Image Placeholder of amazon- 37

Image Placeholder of bn- 67

Placeholder of booksamillion -22

ibooks2 10



Get a Taste of Coffee with Forge

Since we’ve all been at home much more this past year, we decided to give you an insider scoop on the lives of our Forge authors through our Instagram story series, Coffee with Forge!

In case you didn’t get the chance to tune in, we’re recapping our favorite moments from each author’s take over!

Follow us on Instagram to see more Coffee with Forge next year, and click on the screenshots below to watch each author’s take over from this year.

Heather Webber made us cookies…

Image Place holder  of - 26 Place holder  of - 27

…while Hank Phillipi Ryan showed off her Emmy’s and gave us the scoop on going undercover as an investigative reporter!

Placeholder of  -10

We met Matt Goldman’s very helpful and cute assistants, Clara and Maisie…

Image Placeholder of - 70 Poster Placeholder of - 13

…and Rachel Howzell Hall showed us her step by step writing process!

Nathan Makaryk brought along on his busy day, showed us his favorite snack (it’s whiskey), and showed us his beautiful rendition of the Lionhearts cover.

Alex Gilly joined us from Australia, showed us his beautiful office space, and shared some helpful apps for writers!

Rita Woods channeled all of us by pouring her morning bowl of coffee. We’ve all been there!

We had a special visitor from Tor Books join us: Alaya Dawn Johnson, author of Trouble the Saints! She showed us her favorite morning cookie, and introduced us to her dog Kisaantom!

Finally, Shelley Noble showed us her many desks, and showed us her color-coded storyboard!


And that’s all, folks! To watch all the past Coffee with Forge takeovers, head to our Instagram profile (@ForgeReads)!


Books & Cozy Drinks that’ll Bring you Good Cheer for the End of the Year

By Ariana Carpentieri

Everyone knows that when the holidays are upon us, it also means a whole new layer of stress gets added on top of our everyday, regular busyness (and, not to mention, the extra stress of the ongoing Pandemic). But along with all the holiday madness comes something we all know and love: holiday treats and drinks! There’s nothing quite like curling up under a soft blanket near the warmth of a crackling fire with a good book in one hand and a festive drink in the other.

Get into the festive holiday spirit by pairing of our deliciously captivating books with some drinks that’ll pack a punch and warm your heart!

A Dog’s Perfect Christmas by W. Bruce Cameron

Image Placeholder of - 21A Dog’s Perfect Christmas is a book about the Goss family; a family that has a hard time communicating with one another, and therefore always seem to be at odds. But they must learn how to get past their differences and bond together—and in the spirit of Christmas, no less. Since it’s a family-oriented book, This Creamy Crock Pot Hot Chocolate is perfect for serving your whole fam and drinking it together while gathered around the tree. It wouldn’t be the whole family without your faithful dog, so you can whip them up this Safe Hot Chocolate Alternative for Dogs so that they can be part of the festivities, too!

The Nemesis Manifesto by Eric Van Lustbader

Placeholder of  -56The Nemesis Manifesto an epic and harrowing adventure of predatory forces that are threatening the very fabric of democracy. This book is thick with intrigue, adventure, and action, which we think calls for it to be paired with an equally as thick, rich drink like spiked eggnog! This Holiday Spiked Eggnog recipe suggests to mix Amaretto liqueur with some white rum and then add a dash of nutmeg to the top to really give it that holiday cheer. 

Midnight at the Blackbird Café by Heather Webber

Poster Placeholder of - 89Midnight at the Blackbird Café is a captivating blend of magic, heartwarming romance, and small-town Southern charm. A book like this calls for some liquid magic! And liquid magic always has a touch of caffeine, right? Also, cafés are known for serving coffee! Try an Eggnog Coffee Latte / Eggnog Chai Latte (for the tea lovers out there), which will give you that touch of magic you’re looking for this holiday season.

Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark

Image Place holder  of - 12Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered  is Karen and Georgia’s irreverent recount of their biggest mistakes and deepest fears, reflecting on the formative life events that shaped them into two of the most followed voices in the nation today. There’s no better drink to pair with this book than Canned Wine, which we all know is Georgia’s choice of drink when taping My Favorite Murder. But if canned wine isn’t your thing, then we suggest trying a bottle of 19 Crimes Red Blend (because the name literally speaks for itself). And honestly: what would the holidays be without a little wine to liven up the night?

Lionhearts by Nathan Makaryk

Place holder  of - 77Lionhearts is a heroically riveting story of vengeance, redemption, war, and has some Game of Throne vibes. No drinks quite capture the essence of the Renaissance era quite like mead and beer, so those are necessities to pair with this book! Between this Holiday Mead Cocktail recipe or this Stout Hot Chocolate, you’ll definitely feel great tidings of comfort and joy.

An Irish Country Christmas by Patrick Taylor

An Irish Country Christmas is a cozy tale that takes place in the village of Ballybucklebo. While snow is rare in Ulsterand so are miraclesthat doesn’t mean they never happen! We feel this delightful story would go great with a drink that’s timeless and classic, like a nice Guinness and Pear Cocktail. Everything about this drink and book will warm you up from head to toe!

A Resolution at Midnight by Shelley Noble

Roasted chestnuts from vendor’s carts, fresh cut spruce trees lining the sidewalks, extravagant gifts, opulent dinners, carols at St Patrick’s Cathedral, a warm meal and a few minutes shelter from the cold at one of the charitable food lines . . .It’s the holidays in Gilded Age Manhattan! Set on New Year’s Eve, A Resolution at Midnight is a perfect, cozy mystery read for the holiday season. For a book this lavish, we suggest a drink that’s equally as fancy. This Holiday Spiced Mulled Wine is the perfect pair for a story as dazzling as this one!


And that’s a wrap! Thank you for reading, and we hope you enjoy treating yourself to these incredible reads and drinks during the upcoming holidays!


Forge Your Own Halloween Party!

Planning on staying home for Halloween and searching for that perfect bookish costume? Look no further! Your friends at Forge have put together a handy costume guide for every kind of reader!

Karen Kilgariff & Georgia Hardstark, hosts of the My Favorite Murder podcast

Halloween is a great time for Murderinos. And dressing up like Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark, the authors of Stay Sexy and Don’t Get Murdered and hosts of the wildly popular podcast My Favorite Murder is a great way to join in on Halloween fun while keeping it super stylish. Grab your favorite mid-century vintage dress and tights to achieve Georgia’s look. Don’t forget your can of wine and trusty sidekick, Elvis the cat. If you’re more of a Karen, we suggest a black dress (with pockets, of course) and a guitar for a prop. Top either costume off with a microphone to show you’re a podcast queen… and you might as well add that 20-foot tall skeleton with light-up eyes from Home Depot. 

Jennifer, Marketing Manager


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Forge Books (@forgereads) on

Flashback to Emerald City Comic Con last year where we saw these really great Karen and Georgia cosplays!


Bailey and Ethan from A Dog’s Purpose

Have you waited until the last minute to pull a costume together, and just need something to tell your family or socially-distanced friends that you’re dressed up as? If you’re a dog owner, I have the perfect no-effort costume idea for you! Since Bailey from A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron has lived many lives as many different dogs, any dog no matter the shape or size can be Bailey for the night! Now for your costume as Bailey’s owner: theoretically, you could wear whatever you want, since Bailey has had many names and many owners. If you want your costume to be Ethan, Bailey’s first owner in A Dog’s Purpose, you could don a flannel shirt, jeans, and some boots to make it look like you live on a farm, just like Ethan. Here’s me and my Bailey! 

Place holder  of - 35
A Christmas-themed picture, since we’re celebrating the release of A Dog’s Perfect Christmas!

Sarah, Digital Marketing Coordinator

Marion from Nottingham by Nathan Makaryk

There’s nothing quite as good as the thrill of DIY’ing your own Halloween costume! I mean, store-bought ones are cool and all, but putting together your own means you’ll stand out from the crowd! And while Halloween might be spent socially-distanced this year, that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the fun of putting together your costume. If you’re looking every which way for a bookish character to dress up as but you’re having a hard time narrowing down an idea, I highly suggest drawing your inspiration from Nottingham and dressing up as Marion! If you love the Renaissance era and happen to have costumes lying around that you adorn when you visit local Ren Faires, then look no further; you’re all set! But if corsets and billowy, long dresses aren’t your thing, then you can easily DIY your costume with what you already have in your closet. If you’re riding in style as Marion, one thing to have on hand is a dress–preferably something with long, flowy sleeves. A long sleeved white shirt under a short sleeved/tank-style tunic would also work! Tall brown boots, a circlet crown or flower crown, a long skirt underneath, and a hooded cloak are the perfect accessories to help complete your look. Now you’re ready to go forth and be the finest Marion in all of the land! 

Placeholder of  -26

Ariana, Assistant to VP. Marketing & Publicity

Lady Dunbridge from A Resolution at Midnight by Shelley Noble

A gilded age costume may seem intimidating, but you don’t have to wear a ball gown to dress as the countess/detective from Shelley Noble’s historical mystery novels. After all, Lady Dunbridge spends a lot of time searching New York for clues, so she has plenty of day dresses. To put together a costume from what you likely have at home, start with a neutral-colored maxi skirt, then pair it with one of those blazers from the back of your closet that you haven’t worn in months. Under the blazer, wear a high necked shirt, or if you have a shirt with lace on the front that works too. And of course, a Lady Dunbridge costume is not complete without a cocktail in hand, so you’ll need one of those. For the costume.

Julia, Associate Marketing Manager


Evan Ryder from The Nemesis Manifesto by Eric Van Lustbader

If your Halloween plans are looking like they might be lowkey this year, then a lowkey costume to match is the move. Evan Ryder from The Nemesis Manifesto has to wear comfortable but functional clothes – so you could wear this costume all Halloween day! In order to tap into this character created by Eric Van Lustbader, you will first need to step into some black pants (I wore black jeans, but whatever works), throw on a cashmere sweater and then a black leather jacket over it, and end with ankle boots. If you want to truly nail the look, Evan wears her up out of her face, so grab a ponytail holder to finish the look. 

Elizabeth, Marketing Intern

Image Placeholder of - 75


Writing the Past While Living in the Present

Image Placeholder of - 80

A Resolution at Midnight is the most recent installment in the Lady Dunbridge Mysteries by Shelley Noble, and it takes place in Gilded Age Manhattan. Read what it’s like for Shelley to write historical mysteries set in the past while living in the present!

By Shelley Noble

I write historical mysteries; 1900s in Manhattan, the Gilded Age. 1907-8 to be specific. A time of conspicuous consumption and widespread poverty. The era of “the modern woman.” More women are working outside the home, going to college; they still don’t have the vote. Women have lunch in restaurants without male escort—some restaurants. Women who play the stock market, drive automobiles, drink cocktails.

Wives and daughters are still committed to sanitariums to be cured of “hysteria.”

Automobiles are becoming more prevalent on the streets. Telephones grace the homes of the wealthy and businesses.  The police department has been reformed by Teddy Roosevelt and has slipped back to its old ways now that he has left for Washington.

Tammany Hall still rules politics. Theater has moved uptown to Broadway. The poor live in crowded tenement buildings on the lower east side. Luxury apartment buildings are springing up on the upper west side. Everyone is saying they are the wave of the future.

The New Years Eve ball will be dropped for the first time in Times Square to welcome in 1908. It’s five feet in diameter, will be lit by 100 electric lights and lowered by pulleys and ropes by five strong men. If it’s a clear night it will be seen all the way to New Jersey.

And as always, change faces great resistance. And from this resistance, stories are made.

Today, walking the same streets, living in the same neighborhoods, going about our own lives, it’s easy to forget the people who went before, who they were, what they wanted,  and where their passions led them. There is much about them that is similar to us and much that isn’t, and it’s important not to equate the two when constructing a story.

As writers we all have our quirks, the things that make us unique, drive us crazy, or that  we’d like to be able to ignore. Or the worst (for me) wanting to tell it all. So I made myself a little crib sheet. To remind me how to stay on track.


NOTE TO SELF: How to Write the Past While Living in the Present.  

  1.  Every Era is the modern era to the people living in it. Don’t look down or back on your characters. They are the culmination of history thus far. Their stories are current events. Breaking news.
  2.  Take yourself down the rabbit hole.

    Immerse yourself in real history. Like Alice, you may find yourself in uncharted territory – for you anyway. But somebody charted it before you. Embrace it. Live it, don’t be afraid to stay there. You won’t get lost. Not for long anyway. You have a deadline.  You’ll get it done. (Note to others: If you don’t have a deadline, give yourself one. There is definitely addictive temptation in research.)

    Research matters a lot – it’s really important. But only when it affects your characters. The description you depict is the description they live. What they see. Not what you’ve learned. You’re just the fly on the wall. No, not a fly. You’re an eager paid assistant. Pay attention. Don’t talk, don’t opine, don’t suggest. Just do the work.

  3.  Location, location, location

    If you can walk it like a local, see it like a tourist, listen like a history whisperer, your setting will come alive. Setting is interactive. Make it breathe with your characters. There is no setting outside the people using it, living in it, experiencing it, sometimes being destroyed by it.

  4.  From the horse’s mouth…

    Use primary sources. The New York Times archive reaches back 150 years. Plenty of stuff there, plenty of reporters out getting the news, risking their lives for the story. Memoirs, diaries, letters… but remember a person’s need to protect their  own secrets. The written word is not  always the truth. Crawl into your characters until you understand them, feel their feelings, speak their language, because they are the modern people of their history. Make sure they aren’t speaking your language. Check your dates on dialogue.
  5.   …And the eyes of the beholder.

    See what the characters see or choose not to see or what they might see if they paid more attention. You are not the arbiter. You don’t get to tell the present about the past, they do. It’s their job. Let them be who they want to be. Trust them. They won’t act out of period (if you’ve done your research). They live there.

  6.  Clap your hands to the music.

    Life was different then, the speed, the way of doing things. Living had a different rhythm, different priorities. Don’t be impatient, this is their story, give them time (even though it would be a lot simpler if they had cell phones).

  7.   Stuff matters.

    Get it right. Most people won’t notice little mistakes, but the people you create will, and you have to live with them, maybe forever. (That one sometimes keeps me up at night.)

  8.  It’s not always what you think.

    Actually it’s hardly ever what you think. There are misconceptions about every age. Preconceptions abound for every era, you don’t have to further them. Some readers will complain because you question what they’ve heard. Be brave. Don’t let indecision thwart your story. Take responsibility. (And clarify things in the Author’s Notes. That’s what they’re for. Fifth Avenue was not always one way south.)

  9.  Decide what’s important

    Be prepared to change your mind. It’s hard to throw out days or weeks of research.  Especially if it’s fascinating. It’s still there even if you don’t use it on the page. It might be the skeleton, the foundation you don’t see. It’s still a part of the world you recreated. And it is important.

  10.  Yeah it matters.

    When you think about skimping, don’t. Take the space the story needs, not a word more or less. Repeat this aloud ten times. Then do it right.
    And sometimes, surprisingly, I do.

Grab a Copy of A Resolution at Midnight—on sale now!

Image Placeholder of amazon- 63

Placeholder of bn -60

Place holder  of booksamillion- 26

ibooks2 55



Excerpt: A Resolution at Midnight by Shelley Noble




ibooks2 88


Placeholder of  -34

Miss Fisher meets Downton Abbey in this critically acclaimed mystery series from New York Times bestselling author Shelley Noble.

Roasted chestnuts from vendor’s carts, fresh cut spruce trees lining the sidewalks, extravagant gifts, opulent dinners, carols at St Patrick’s Cathedral, a warm meal and a few minutes shelter from the cold at one of the charitable food lines . . .

It’s Christmas in Gilded Age Manhattan.

And for the first time ever an amazing giant ball will drop along a rod on the roof of the New York Times building to ring in the New Year. Everyone plans to attend the event.

But the murder of a prominent newsman hits a little too close to home. And when a young newspaper woman, a protégé of the great Jacob Riis and old Vassar school chum of Bev’s, is the target of a similar attack, it is clear this is not just a single act of violence but a conspiracy of malicious proportions. Really, you’d think murderers would take a holiday.

Something absolutely must be done. And Lady Dunbridge is happy to oblige in A Resolution at Midnight, the third book in this best selling series.

A Resolution at Midnight will be available on October 13, 2020. Please enjoy the following excerpt.


Philomena Amesbury, Phil to her friends, the Countess of Dunbridge to everyone else, handed her armful of packages to the footman of the Plaza Hotel and stepped out of the red Darracq taxicab.

“Lovely day, isn’t it, Mr. Fitzroy?”

The doorman, dressed in the full fawn and gold braided livery of the Plaza, smiled and looked dubiously at the gray clouds that overcast the sky.

“Indeed, Lady Dunbridge. Did you enjoy your morning of shopping?”

“I did. Everyone is so festive.” Of course there had been that unsightly shoving match between two ladies over who went first up the escalator) at Bloomingdale’s and the disappointing moment when the proprietor at the little book store across the street had informed her that he’d sold his last copy of the new Arthur Conan Doyle novel, her butler Preswick’s, favorite author.

A misstep on her part. She shouldn’t have waited until ten days before Christmas to reserve a copy. But after six months in Manhattan and three at the Plaza, she was still learning her way in a place where countesses did things for themselves.

“There are more packages in the taxi and even more being delivered, if you’d please have them stored until I call for them.”

“Yes, Lady Dunbridge.” Mr. Fitzroy nodded to the bellman, who reached into the taxi and took the remaining packages into the hotel.

The taxi drove away and Phil took the opportunity to look across the street to where a small boy hawked his newspapers at the entrance to Central Park. He had designated himself as her small but vigilant lookout, and who went by the soubriquet of Just a Friend.

Phil waved though he wasn’t looking her way. He was wearing a new scarf and mittens to add to the winter coat Preswick had bought him a few weeks before. Her butler might be a tad old-fashioned in his ways and a bit long in the tooth, but he had a heart warmer than the bag of chestnuts nestled inside her purse.

Oh the freedom of leaving England, with its peerage and restrictions, for America where she could come and go as she wished at any time of the day and be whatever she wanted. If it hadn’t been for the earl dying and leaving her a dowager at twenty six, and her last rather public indiscretions with a certain Frenchman, she would never have known the excitement of life in Manhattan.

Well, to be honest, there had also been that little incident of a murder that she’d inadvertently solved and which made all the major newspapers—much to her father’s chagrin. Her father might look the other way at affaires de coeur and other minor indiscretions by his daughter, but he wouldn’t stomach her hobnobbing with the metropolitan police. He’d intended to pack her off to Aunt Sephronia in the wilds of Yorkshire, hence Phil’s quickly organized trip to the new world.

And as it had turned out, that one little involvement with the London police had done much to insure her success in New York. For there was no one people admired more than someone with a title who could solve their most dastardly crimes while keeping their family secrets locked in her breast—and a few others locked in the safe in her apartment upstairs.

Phil headed toward the bank of bronze elevators where Egbert, her favorite operator, nodded and gestured her inside the cage.

“Lovely day, Lady Dunbridge,” he said in a melodious voice that always sounded like a song.

“Indeed, Egbert. Do you think we’ll have snow for Christmas?”


Phil opened her handbag and pulled out a brown paper cone of chestnuts. “I thought you might enjoy these.”

“Ah, roasted chestnuts. Thank you.” Egbert quickly slipped off one white glove and took them from her.

“Make sure you enjoy them while they’re still hot,” Phil said.

He slipped them into his pocket and slid his hand back into his glove just as they reached the fifth floor.

He opened the gate and waited for her to reach her door and let herself inside.

All was quiet. She’d given her maid, Lily, and Preswick the day off to do their own shopping and to enjoy the festivities of the city. This would be their first Christmas as a household and they were all looking forward to it.

Preswick after a rough start, had taken to life in Manhattan, and Lily was thriving.

At least Phil thought she was. She knew very little about Lily before the day Phil had first encountered her as she fought off several sturdy British customs officials who had discovered her attempting to stowaway on the ship to America. Recognizing a kindred spirit, Phil had paid her passage and hired her as a ladies maid, her own maid having refused to board the ship at the last minute. When she refused to give her name, Phil called her Lily because of her porcelain complexion. Preswick had done the rest.

They’d become quite a team, the three of them.

Phil unpinned her hat and tossed it and her handbag onto the occasional chair set next to the hall table. A white envelope lay on the floor by the door.

Strange, usually when there was a message, the concierge, a kind but inquisitive creature, made sure to stop her on her way upstairs.

She picked up the envelope and read one handwritten word.


There was only one man who called her that, a deliberate misuse of proper address. She was certain he knew better. Perhaps he was letting her know his opinion of titles. A form of challenge? Or dare she hope, a term of affection. Whichever, it sent a thrill of excitement through her.

She ripped open the envelope, let it fall to the ground as she opened the single sheet of paper. Theatre Unique. 1:15 Last Row.

It was written in the bold classic script that she knew well. She glanced at the Ormolu clock on the mantel. Twelve forty-three. She’d never make it. She didn’t stop to equivocate, but grabbed her purse and hat from the chair and hurried back down the hall to the elevator.

Copyright © 2020 by Shelley Noble

Pre-Order Your Copy

Poster Placeholder of amazon- 40

Place holder  of bn- 28

Poster Placeholder of booksamillion- 98

ibooks2 45



$2.99 eBook Sale: Tell Me No Lies by Shelley Noble

The ebook edition of Tell Me No Lies by Shelley Noble is on sale now for only $2.99! Get your copy today!

Poster Placeholder of - 11About Tell Me No Lies:

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.

Order Your Copy



Placeholder of google play -9

ibooks2 87


This sale ends 5/31/2020 at 11:59 pm.


5 Feel Good Books to Bring You Comfort

5 Feel Good Books to Bring You Comfort

The world may feel a little overwhelming right know, but there’s one thing we know for certain: books will always be around to bring us comfort. As you would probably guess, the team at Forge has been reading a lot while we’ve been home, and we wanted to share some of the books we’re loving right now with you. Check out our recommendations for five feel good books below!

Ask Me No Questions by Shelley Noble

Image Place holder  of - 44“For many of us, there’s nothing more soothing than the opening theme to Downton Abbey. Now that the series is finished and the movie has come and gone, we need something to fill the Crawley-shaped hole in our hearts and comfort us the way the show used to. Not to worry, friends. Shelley Noble’s Lady Dunbridge Mysteries will more than suffice. When we first meet her in Ask Me No Questions, Lady Dunbridge is not about to let a little thing like the death of her husband ruin her social life. She’s ready to take the dazzling world of Gilded Age Manhattan by storm. From the decadence of high society balls to the underbelly of Belmont horse racing, romance, murder, and scandals abound. Someone simply must do something. And Lady Dunbridge is happy to oblige.”

Alison Bunis, Marketing Assistant

Good Boy by Jennifer Finney Boylan

Image Placeholder of - 99“Memoirs have brought me a lot of comfort while staying at home, and one in particular that I’ve loved is Good Boy by Jennifer Finney Boylan. It’s a must-read for any dog lovers out there! Jennifer has written a number of novels and memoirs, and this one is structured around the pivotal moments of her life and the seven dogs she had at each moment. Life is full of transformations and changes, and this book documents how Jennifer’s dogs accompanied her through some of her biggest changes in life as a transgender woman. This book is the perfect encapsulation of how dogs can show us unconditional love and help us learn how to better love ourselves. Engaging, full of heart, and relatable to all readers, this book is the literary embodiment of snuggling with your beloved pup.”

Sarah Pannenberg, Digital Marketing Coordinator

Carousel Beach by Orly Konig

Placeholder of  -27“A perfect beach read… or dreaming of the beach read. Nothing can evoke that feeling of walking along the boardwalk more than an old-school carousel, worn down by salty air and thousands of riders. Maya Brice is reeling from the heartbreaking loss of her grandmother and a miscarriage while restoring her hometown’s beloved carousel just in time for a grand reopening on the 4th of July. What she finds inscribed on one of the horses will lead her on an unforgettable journey to healing. The relationship she forges with Hank, an Alzheimer’s patient and former carousel artist himself will make any reader’s eyes well up. If you’re looking for a sweet read and gentle reminder to call your grandparents, you won’t miss!”

Jennifer McClelland-Smith, Marketing Manager

Mr. & Mrs. Darcy Mysteries series, by Carrie Bebris

Place holder  of - 42“Whenever I need comfort, there’s one source I turn to more than any other: Jane Austen. True, she only wrote six books, but with all the sequels and rewrites we never need to stop living in Austenland. The Mr. and Mrs. Darcy Mysteries series by Carrie Bebris has the added bonus of being delightfully cozy mysteries, so they’re extra comforting. In the series, Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth Darcy want nothing more than to enjoy married life on their Pemberley estate, but one mystery after another keeps drawing them away. Each of the seven books focuses on different characters from Austen’s beloved novels, from Caroline Bingley to Frederick Wentworth to the residents of Sanditon. With Bebris’ care to maintain the style and setting of the original novels, this series is almost like reading Jane Austen…but with a touch more murder. Recommended reading pairing is a cup of tea and a proper English biscuit or scone.”

Alison Bunis, Marketing Assistant

An Irish Country Cottage by Patrick Taylor

Poster Placeholder of - 18“The charming, colorful village of Ballybucklebo isn’t ready for disaster to strike. Not long after Christmas passes, a fire engulfs the humble thatched cottage housing of Donal Donnally and his family. Although the family of five and their beloved pup escapes, they have nothing left but the clothes on their backs during the coldest time of the year.

Luckily, Doctors O’Reilly and Laverty gather the good people of Ballybucklebo to come to their aid. The neighbors are insistent on rebuilding the cottage, albeit a difficult task, and will help the Donnallys no matter what it takes.

The heartfelt entry in Patrick Taylor’s beloved New York Times and internationally bestselling Irish Country series is one you’re sure to love.”

Mary Halabani, Marketing Intern


8 Books to Read for Galentine’s Day

By Alison Bunis

Happy Galentine’s Day! What’s Galentine’s Day, you ask? Essentially, for those of you not in the know, what started as a made-up holiday on the tv-show Parks and Recreation has become a real holiday. The day before Valentine’s Day, the most couple-y of holidays, gal pals everywhere put aside their partners and say to each other, “I appreciate your friendship and I love you.” How you celebrate is up to you, of course. Leslie Knope of Parks and Rec obviously goes for breakfast food, because that’s her love language. But for us here at Forge, our love language is obviously books. So to celebrate Galentine’s Day this year, we’ve put together a list of books celebrating women!

These books are by women or about women. Some of these women kick ass. Some of these women bake magic pies. Some of them tell you about their parents’ divorce and how not to join a cult, and some of them write about ISIS occupations. It’s a wide range, because there’s no predetermined way to be a woman, or to be a gal-pal. So grab your BFF, grab a couple of books, and get reading. Ladies celebrating ladies by reading about awesome ladies. What could be more Galentine’s Day than that??

For the Non-fiction Gal

Place holder  of - 53Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered by Karen Kilgariff & Georgia Hardstark
Pick up this book if you’re into Karen & Georgia’s podcast, My Favorite Murder! But even if you’re not a podcast person, don’t worry, this book is an excellent read for anyone looking for an honest, open, hilarious memoir about the struggles of dealing with mental health issues, addiction, and being a True Crime fan.

Poster Placeholder of - 49Father of Lions by Louise Callaghan
This one is a touching story of humanity in the midst of war, told by award-winning journalist Louise Callaghan. Callaghan is one of the youngest Middle East Correspondents ever hired by the Sunday Times (UK), and she has had pieces published in The Sunday Times Magazine, Vogue, and the Times Literary Supplement. Talk about an impressive lady. Father of Lions is a must-read if you’re interested in a story that will make you view war and conflict in a new light, or if you want a good book about brave animals.

To Get Your Pulse Racing

Image Place holder  of - 93The Retreat by Sherri Smith
We’ve all got that one friend who’s way too into the latest wellness craze. Maybe we are that friend, and no one’s told us yet. Doesn’t matter, this is just the book to break the spell: four friends go for a weekend getaway at a wellness retreat. By the end, only one of them is left standing…

Image Placeholder of - 19Trust Me by Hank Phillippi Ryan
Hank Phillippi Ryan is an award-winning investigative journalist, so when she sits down to write a book about a journalist looking for the truth in an unbearably brutal story, you can bet she delivers. Trust Me is full of all the psychological suspense and manipulation that any thriller reader could ever desire.

A Hint of Magic

Placeholder of  -74Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe by Heather Webber
For your friend who believes in magic, for your friend who believes in love, for your friend who loves to bake, for your friend from a small town, for your friend with a close family, for your friend with serious family issues: Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe checks all the boxes. But have baked goods on hand: you’ll definitely want a snack while reading.

Remembrance by Rita Woods
Do you want to spark a discussion with your friends? Want to dive into the deeper issues surrounding the Haitian Revolution and the Underground Railroad? Or do you just want to sink into an enthralling read about four women, connected across different times and places, struggling to make their way in a world that doesn’t have a place for them? (Hint: If you liked The Underground Railroad or The Orphan Train, this is definitely the book for you.)

Historically Accurate Friendships

Ask Me No Questions by Shelley Noble
 Okay, this one’s for the gal pal groups who watched Downton Abbey together. The movie helped, sure, but it was just one movie. So if you’re suffering from Downton Abbey withdrawal, Shelley Noble is here to help you out with her delightful mystery set in Gilded Age Manhattan, where horse racing, romance, murder, and scandals abound. Someone simply must do something. And our plucky heroine Lady Dunbridge is happy to oblige.

Of Irish Blood by Mary Pat KellyOf Irish Blood by Mary Pat Kelly
This vivid, compelling epic is a great read for anyone interested in Irish heritage or family history, because author Mary Pat Kelly based the story on her own great-aunt’s life. Following heroine Nora Kelly as she travels through Europe in 1903, readers will meet all kinds of exciting real-life characters such as Gertrude Stein, William Butler Yeats, and James Joyce!

The owner of this website has made a commitment to accessibility and inclusion, please report any problems that you encounter using the contact form on this website. This site uses the WP ADA Compliance Check plugin to enhance accessibility.