Showing posts with label Whispers in the Reading Room. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Whispers in the Reading Room. Show all posts

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Historical Fiction Book Review: Whispers in the Reading Room by Shelley Gray

Book Description:
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:
I don't read a lot of historical fiction, but this one intrigued me because the main character, Lydia, is a librarian and the story is set in Chicago. I like Lydia. She's spunky and goes against the societal rules of the day in order to stand for her beliefs. She's also got an insatiable curiosity about life, which leads her to get to know a man she'd most likely not give the time of day. Sebastian Marks is a self-made man with a mysterious past. The two are an unlikely match which makes the story that much more fun to read. Part of The Chicago World's Fair Mystery Series, the book stands as a read alone. Shelley Gray does an incredible job placing the reader into the scenes of the city, both the good parts of town and the seedy. I learned a great deal about the time period, which I wasn't familiar with.

I received this book in exchange for a fair review.

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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.