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Whispers in the Reading Room ~ Review

Whispers in the Reading Room
A Chicago World's Fair Mystery #3
By Shelley Gray

Lydia Bancroft loves books and her job in the library is a pure pleasure.  And her favorite patron never checks-out a book, he doesn't have a library card, and Lydia doesn't know his name. He's a perfect gentleman and makes frequent use of the Reading Room and the books.  Who is this person who seemingly loves books as much as her?

Sebastian Marks is not who Lydia thinks him to be.  His mysterious nature is a cloak to hide his past - a past that he has left behind.  A man to be feared if Chicago gossip is to be believed.  But there is a part of him that wants to be something more than what he is and Lydia intrigues him.

When given the opportunity to offer Lydia a service - rescuing her from a most unpleasant situation - the two form a most unusual friendship.  And this friendship will leave a lasting impact on not only Lydia and Sebastian but on those closest to them.

But danger is lurking the streets of Chicago and in the less affluent areas murders are becoming more numerous.  Unfortunately for Lydia her name is linked to the latest one - her reputation is damaged, an advantageous marriage seems unlikely, and her mother is horrified.  What's a young woman with limited means to do?  Lydia is about to embark on the experience of a lifetime.

Are you ready to enter the Reading Room and take a step back in time?

This is the first time I've read any of Shelley Gray's books and I have to admit I'm intrigued with the conclusion of this series so I now have to go back a step further in time and acquaint myself with the first two books in the series, which I'm pleased to say I can pick-up in my own library - though I will check them out.  Unlike Sebastian I do have a library card.

I was provided a copy of this book by the Fiction Guild in exchange for my honest review.

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.