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Full Name: Theodora Laurent and Lord Reginald Bankes-Fernsby
Series Name: Dora and Res Mystery
Nationality: British
Organization: British Intelligence
Occupation Agent

Creator: Lynn Morrison
Time Span: 2023 - 2023


Theodora 'Dora' Laurent and Reginald 'Rex' Bankes-Fernsby are agents with British Intelligence.

The year we start to follow their adventures together is 1922 and in that post-Great War era there is no officially known espionage organization in the United Kingdom. Unofficially, there is the redoubtable Lord Audley, a man who was British Intelligence starting in the years before the War To End All Wars and continuing beyond its conclusion. He is not only a gifted and seasoned spymaster, as we watch we can see he is a skilled puppet-master as well. While it is important to know that Audley has considerable fondness for both Laurent and Bankes-Fernsby, he is not a bit adverse to sending them into harm's way if the cause is sufficient.

Laurent is the seasoned operative having been in the 'business' since the waning days of the War. Prior to that she had worked as a nurse near the front lines trying as best she could to ease the suffering of the English wounded or be a calming presence in a soldier's final moments. Though she came from considerable wealth and breeding, her determination to do something worthwhile drove her from the Swiss boarding school her parents, the Duke and Duchess of Dorset, had placed her to be safe from the War. She had sought the help of Audley, an old family acquaintance and frequent rival of her father. How she made the switch from a nurse bandaging war-burn victims to being an operative of Audley is told in a prequel.

Bankes-Fernsby is only just becoming an agent. He had been part of Audley's men during the War but his role was more of a courier than an operative and when the War ended, he returned to the estates of his family ruled by the impressive Dowager Duchess of Rockingham. It would be the death of his closest friend, a man who we are told was Audley's, and therefore England's, second best agent that would bring him back into Audley's circle and a new, unexpected career. That reentrance, and the subsequent spycraft training, would come from Laurent - it is no trouble then to guess who the best agent was.

Laurent is described as "every inch the femme fatale, from her strawberry blonde pin curls to her diamond-encrusted ebony earrings. Even when relaxing in her own home, she never let down her guard or her hair". She is often accompanied by Inga, an older British heiress with a Germanic name who also works for Audley, and the imposing Harris who functions as a butler for the women but who is also so much more.

Bankes-Fernsby is said to be "a handsome man, with sharp, angular features and a tall, lean frame. His hair was a pale blond, swept back in a stylish pompadour, and his piercing blue eyes were framed by long, dark lashes".

Together, with Dora as the lead but Rex proving a very quick learner, they become, as we are told in a blurb for their adventures, "England's preeminent undercover spy team".


Number of Books:4
First Appearance:2023
Last Appearance:2023

1 Murder, I Spy Murder, I Spy
Written by Lynn Morrison
Copyright: 2023

England, 1922. Lord "Rex" does not believe the official story on the death of his friend Freddie and wants to investigate it himself. Knowing he needs help he turns to the only one he knows who might be of assistance, Theodora Laurent. She, though, has a good number of secrets of her own.
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2 The Missing Agent The Missing Agent
Written by Lynn Morrison
Copyright: 2023

England, 1922. Dora has just spent several months training Lord Rex to be a good spy partner. Now it is time for his first mission. The task is to find out who is passing false intel to the Cabinet.
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3 Death Undercover Death Undercover
Written by Lynn Morrison
Copyright: 2023

England, 1922. "After their adventures at Westminster, Dora and Rex depart for a quiet month in the Cotswolds. Or at least, that’s what everyone thinks.
In truth, they’re working on a new assignment — investigating rumours that a titled foreigner might be more than he appears. Rex invites the man to his family manor for a rollicking weekend of fun. In between bouts of lawn tennis and parlour games, he and Dora are to uncover the truth about the man’s identity."
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4 Double Cross Dead Double Cross Dead
Written by Lynn Morrison
Copyright: 2023

England, 1923. "Love is in the air and all eyes are on Windsor Castle, where the royal family is celebrating a new royal engagement. When party invitations are sent to only an elite few, Dora and Rex's invite comes with strings attached.
There's a traitor hiding within the prince's inner circle. Dora and Rex, England's preeminent undercover spy team, are assigned to uncover the turncoat. Their sole lead is a tip from an anonymous informant. To get the clue, they must meet him privately during the engagement bash. But, when they show up at the secret rendezvous, instead of a clue, they find a dead body and Rex's best friend Clark holding the murder weapon."
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5 The Roman Riddle The Roman Riddle
Written by Lynn Morrison
Copyright: 2024

"Rome, 1923. Rex and Dora's holiday comes to an abrupt end when they receive an urgent message from Rome. The Carabinieri have accused the British ambassador of murder. A witness puts the ambassador at the scene and the evidence points to his guilt. But he assures the couple he is innocent. If the Carabinieri are allowed to proceed with their accusations, this simple case will become an international incident.
Rex and Dora face their most difficult puzzle yet. First, they have to uncover the real identity of the victim. Only then can they determine who had the motive to kill.
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Number of Stories:1
First Appearance:2023
Last Appearance:2023

1 Murder At The Front Murder At The Front
Written by Lynn Morrison
Copyright: 2023

France, 1918. "Lady Dorothy entered into a marriage of convenience with her eyes wide open. But even she never expected to go from newlywed to newly widowed overnight. When her husband’s unit is ambushed during a secret mission, she’s left with more questions than answers. How did the enemy know exactly where to find them? Why did only one man — Lord Rex — survive? Luck may have saved him once, but Rex knows he can’t count on good fortune to solve the mystery of why his unit was gunned down. Injury may have sidelined him from battle. It won’t stop him from ferreting out the truth."


These delightful and highly enjoyable adventures set in the early 20s (not counting the prequel novella from 1918) are billed as mysteries and that is definitely the truth. They are 'cozy' whodunnits but each investigation this pair takes part in fall firmly inside the boundaries of spy-fi. Either it is fellow agents whose deaths need looking into or enemy agents which is even more fun.

Dora and Rex may be operatives as their vocations but they also show impressive skills at mystery-solving and their adventures are a lot of fast-reading never boring fun. I am hooked.


My Grade: B+


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