Sunday, December 13, 2015

Whispers in the Reading Room - A Chicago World's Fair Mystery 3 - by Shelley Gray

About the book:

Whispers in the Reading Room (Zondervan, November 2015)

Lydia's job at the library is her world---until a mysterious patron catches her eye . . . and perhaps her heart.

Just months after the closure of the Chicago World's Fair, librarian Lydia Bancroft finds herself fascinated by a mysterious dark-haired and dark-eyed patron. He has never given her his name; he actually never speaks to a single person. All she knows about him is that he loves books as much as she does.

Only when he rescues her in the lobby of the Hartman Hotel does she discover that his name is Sebastian Marks. She also discovers that he lives at the top of the prestigious hotel and that most everyone in Chicago is intrigued by him.

Lydia and Sebastian form a fragile friendship, but when she discovers that Mr. Marks isn't merely a very wealthy gentleman, but also the proprietor of an infamous saloon and gambling club, she is shocked.

Lydia insists on visiting the club one fateful night and suddenly is a suspect to a murder. She must determine who she can trust, who is innocent, and if Sebastian Marks-the man so many people fear-is actually everything her heart believes him to be.

My review:

This was a very enjoyable story with fascinating characters and wonderful banter!  Both Lydia and Sebastian were incredibly interesting.  She's trying to pretend her financial situation hasn't deteriorated so she can make a good match while Sebastian keeps his love of books a secret so it doesn't affect his reputation as a tough saloon owner.  Their conversations were amusing sometimes as Lydia often defined words and Sebastian tried to convince her to see things his way.  I loved their discussions about literature.  The plot was intriguing, with the quiet librarian and the tough guy who loves to read forming an unlikely friendship and then becoming suspects in a murder! Their romance was sweet.  I also liked the sub-plot about his servants and how they felt about him and each other.  There was a second cute romance going on there.  There didn't seem to be a whole lot about faith; there was some mention of prayer and God.  There was some action as the saloon was in a rough part of town and a murder took place right outside along with some fistfights.  It was also fascinating to learn more about the history of Chicago.  This is book three, but worked well as a stand-alone.  I haven't read the first two and wasn't lost at all.  I highly recommend it!

I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review.

About the author:

Shelley Gray is the author of The Heart of a Hero series. Her Amish novel (written as Shelley Shepard Gray), The Protector, recently made the New York Times best seller list. A native of Texas, she earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in Colorado and taught school for ten years. She and her husband have two children and live in Southern Ohio.

Connect with Shelley: website, Twitter, Facebook

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