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.
I really looked forward to reading Whispers in the Reading Room. First, it is about a librarian and set in an old fashioned library. Second, it is a historical novel. Third, it takes place after the Chicago World's Fair, and I have always been fascinated by the World's Fairs and Expositions.
Lydia is a wonderful protagonist. She is smart, loves books, and slowly learns to stand up for herself. I liked her relationship with Sebastian, and the respect he showed from her beginning early in the book.
The historical setting in Chicago, with the two different worlds that Lydia and Sebastian live in, was fascinating.
It was more of a historical romance than a mystery, but I found much to enjoy about the novel, and feel that other readers of historical fiction will enjoy it as well.
About the Author
Shelley 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.
I received this book from Litfuse in exchange for an honest review.