I received this product for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion or the content of my review.
Published by Zondervan on November 10th 2015
Genres: Christian, Fiction, General, Historical, Romance, Suspense
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.
Now that the Chicago World’s Fair is over, the city resumes to business as usual. Lydia Bancroft, an intelligent, although naive librarian, strays from her normal, quiet life when she forms a relationship with her mysterious patron who soon proves he is not all that he seems to be. Lydia and the infamous Sebastian Marks are quickly caught up in a horrific murder, which leads them both being labeled as suspects.
Whispers in the Reading Room is the third book in Shelley Gray’s A Chicago World’s Fair Mystery series. I believe it is the final book in the series, but I’m not a hundred percent positive on that. The first two books in the series were great, the second book being my absolute favorite; however, Whispers in the Reading Room fell a little flat for me. My first issue is the mystery aspect of the book didn’t feel all that mysterious or important to me. I didn’t anxiously wonder what had happened, the hows and the whys weren’t important to me like they were in previous books. The main characters, although I liked them at times, weren’t ones I fell in love with. And the romance between the main characters was often a bore and their good vs. shady lifestyle conflict felt unoriginal in the way it was presented. I had more interest in Bridget and Vincent, but their stories are left to the imagination. As always, I adored Shelley Gray’s writing and her uniqueness of storytelling, despite not loving this book as much as I wanted to.