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Whispers in the Reading Room

Regular Price: $15.99

Special Price $11.19

Format: Paperback

Availability: In stock

Quick Overview:

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

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.

Contributor(s) Shelley Gray
About the Contributor(s) Shelley Gray

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. Visit her website at Facebook: ShelleyShepardGray Twitter: @ShelleySGray

UPC 025986338497
ISBN-10 0310338492
ISBN-13 9780310338499
Publish Date Nov 10, 2015
Weight (lbs) 0.6500
Height 8.40
Width 5.50
Length 352
Length Unit Pages
Publisher Zondervan
Price $15.99
Series The Chicago World’s Fair Mystery Series
Format Paperback
Language English

Customer Reviews

Review by Brittany at the Books and Biscuits Blog
Overall Rating
The third book in Shelley Gray’s Chicago World’s Fair Mystery series, Whispers in the Reading Room takes place in the city of Chicago in the months following the Columbian Exposition. Lydia Bancroft loves her job as a librarian, even as the rest of her privileged world has fallen apart following her father’s death. Her mother hopes that Lydia’s engagement to a wealthy man will offer a way out of their reduced circumstances. However, Lydia finds herself being physically abused by her fiancé in public. Fortunately, the mysterious patron of Lydia’s library comes to her rescue. Sebastian Marks has made a name for himself in Chicago as the owner of an infamous saloon and gambling club. His time at Lydia’s reading room has remained his sanctuary from the otherwise unsavory world from which he has garnered his wealth. While he never anticipated befriending the librarian, Sebastian and his staff find themselves intimately involved in her life. When a murder at his club makes Sebastian a suspect, Lydia’s cultured life also comes under public suspicion.

Before Whispers in the Reading Room, I had only read Ms. Gray’s entry in Among the Fair Magnolias, a compilation of novellas by several other Christian authors whom I am much more familiar with from their novels. Overall, I was quite impressed with her writing and story development in this book. Although I am relatively unfamiliar with the other novels in the series (Secrets of Sloane House and Deception on Sable Hill), I found Whispers in the Reading Room to be quite accessible as an independent work. The nature of Ms. Gray’s characters and historical storyline felt somewhat similar to those developed by Elizabeth Camden and Deeanne Gist. In comparison to their works, I would have like to see more emphasis on historical research and details in this novel that would have furthered the overall story, particularly in connecting it more firmly to the World’s Fair. However, Ms. Gray produced an intriguing novel that will likely result in me reading the other works in the series.

Special thanks to The Fiction Guild for the promotional copy of Whispers in the Reading Room!


Brittany at the Books and Biscuits Blog
(Posted on 12/22/2015)

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