Whispers In The Reading Room


After reading “Whispers in the Reading Room” as well as the previous two novels in Gray’s Chicago World’s Fair Mystery series, I seriously hope that the author will continue to provide books of this vein. I consider her to be one of the better authors of Amish fiction but I much prefer this series.

As a voracious reader myself, I can certainly identify with Lydia’s love of books and also found the mysterious male book lover who frequented the reading room to be of great interest. I loved both characters and although I knew they would eventually end up together, it was so entertaining to read about their interactions and exploits as Lydia and Sebastian hoped to find the actual person responsible for murder. Sebastian was a true gentleman despite his humble background and his questionable occupation. Despite Lydia’s own negative opinion of herself, I found her to be a strong and very likable heroine. The plot moved along at just the right pace and descriptions of different settings, characters, and society practices brought the story to life.

As always, I enjoyed seeing the true villains get their just comeuppance and an unlikely pair rewarded with true love. Loved this book so I recommend it and the entire series to those who love historical romance with a large dollop of suspense.

Copies of this book were provided for review by LitFuse Publicity and The Fiction Guild.


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.

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Shelley GrayShelley 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.

Find out more about Shelley at http://www.shelleyshepardgray.com.