Once again I have discovered an author who is new to me and I can honestly say I thoroughly enjoyed her work. Shelley Gray's Whispers in the Reading Room is her third book in "The Chicago World's Fair Mystery Series". Since I enjoyed this book so much I hope to go back and read the other two books in the series, Secrets of Sloane House and Deception on Sable Hill.
Whispers in the Reading Room is the story of Lydia Bancroft, a librarian at the Lincoln Lending Library in Chicago, Illinois. Lydia is engaged to Jason but finds herself intrigued with a tall, dark and handsome gentleman who visits the library on a regular basis. The gentleman is Sebastian Marks, a mystery man who speaks nary a word at first. But if Lydia has her way, she will find out more about this mysterious man.
In time, Lydia and Sebastian become friends but there is still a shroud of mystery around Sebastian that Lydia wants to peel away. She hears that he is wealthy and that he is involved in a business in the worst part of town. She still wants to know more but will she be hurt in the process?
Lydia is a great character that by all society's standards should rest in the fact that she is engaged to Jason. After all, since her father's death, she and her mother have become almost penniless and marrying Jason should elevate them back up to society's standards, or will it?
Lydia just can't curb her curiosity about Sebastian and wants to learn more about the mysterious gentleman. She decides she wants to visit Sebastian's club but soon finds herself a suspect in a murder.She has to decide who she can trust and who Sebastian really is. Is he a wealthy gentleman that people have wrongfully accused of being a man who should be feared or is he truly a gentleman who has been misunderstood?
I loved the mystery surrounding Sebastian and grew to like his character more and more as his past was revealed.
This book is a wonderful historical novel filled with intrigue, mystery and romance. I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a historical mystery filled with romance.
On a 5-Star scale - 4 1/2 stars!