About the Book:
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.
You can purchase your copy here.
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.
I have to apologize for two items of note, the first being how late I am in getting this review written and the second is that I have not read the other two books and that is a mistake I will be rectifying soon. While there are two books before Whispers in the Reading Room, this book does stand alone and stands alone quite well I might add. Back before huge libraries with multiple branches came about there were reading rooms, quiet, low key affairs and that is where Lydia works and where Sebastian Marks frequents – both notice the other but have not yet been thrown together until now.
Shelley writes superbly and the mystery weaves a tangled web of deceit and also one of reconciliation and ultimately love. Lydia needs everyone to think that she is still quite eligible for a marriage to one of society’s elite but what she finds our about her beau is anything but redeeming. Mr. Marks comes to her aid and there begins the mystery, who is he? Who is she? Then of course what will become of all of them – the maid, his ‘man’ and the jilted ex-beau? Well I’ll let you read to find out – it was a quick read and one that will keep you guessing the who done it well into the early hours of the morning.
Please do note that there is murder but it’s not described in detail until one the main characters is killed and even then it’s not something that I wouldn’t have an issue with my oldest daughter reading. Also there are mentions of women who are plying their trade, also known as prostitution, but the details are not involved and I don’t think the word prostitution is used – if it is I don’t recall it. Overall, though this book was a fantastic work of fiction and I’m looking forward to reading the first two books because I truly enjoy Gray’s writing and this one is no different.
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