Fiction Friday: Whispers in the Reading Room

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Whispers in the Reading Room

Whispers in the Reading Room by Shelley Gray is a book that will pull you in… Lydia’s world isn’t perfect, but seems to be settling into good lines. She’s engaged to a wealthy man who can provide for her and her mother. She has a job at a reading room that she loves. And there’s a mysterious man who visits the reading room. Sebastian’s life seems to be going well, but he’s…bored. Then he intervenes in a tense situation in Lydia’s life and their paths cease intersecting and collide. Told in the setting of Gilded Age Chicago in the months after the World’s Fair,Whispers in the Reading Room and it’s romantic mystery kept me engaged. There are light references to earlier books, but nothing that will leave a reader confused.

What I enjoyed most was watching the two characters grow. Lydia refused to stay in the bounds society set…often to her peril. And Sebastian struggles to identify his place. I think many of us have experienced one or the other or both of those feelings. The supporting cast had dimension and added depth without detracting from the main storyline. However, I did want to shake Lydia’s mother on more than one occasion.

Whispers in the Reading Room is perfect for those who love the Gilded Age and long for a good mystery layered with a sweet romance and a thread of spiritual content


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

Fiction Friday Form (7)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.

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