Friday, November 6, 2015

Review of Whispers in the Reading Room by Shelley Gray

Book review of Whispers in the Reading Room
by Shelly Gray 

From the back of the book:

Whispers in the Reading Room
The Chicago World’s Fair Mystery Series
By Shelley Shepard Gray
Published by Zondervan

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.

Leona's Review:

This is the first book I have read by Shelley Gray and I was not disappointed.

Lydia works at the library and one of her patrons is a gentleman who comes to read; he never speaks to anyone and does not check out books.

She sees him at the Hartman Hotel where she is having tea with her fiance, Jason Avondale.  Lydia notices the stranger from the library and Jason becomes jealous as he also notices the man also. There is an incident and Jason leaves, breaking the engagement. Lydia's mother wants Lydia to marry into society so they can regain their social status so she is not happy.

This is also a murder mystery as well as a romance novel.  God is mentioned many times and the language is clean. I found it an interesting page turner read.

The Chicago World's Fair has ended but is still part of the book as a setting. This is the first I have read of The Chicago World's Fair books but it is a stand alone read. The others are Secrets of Sloane House and Deception on Sable Hill. I look forward to also reading these books.

Other characters in the book that I liked were Bridget O'Connell and Vincent Hunt, both employees of Sebastian Marks. Everyone has a past which helps makes the characters even more interesting.

From the author, Shelley Gray: "This book is all about friendship. With that in mind, it's dedicated to Julie Stone.  Thank you for being such a kind and steadfast friend! Thank you for touring Chicago with me... and then doing it over and over again, looking forward to years of collecting passport stamps together,  where that may be!"

This book would be a nice gift for a friend or family member for Christmas or a birthday.

I received a complimentary copy of Whispers in the reading Room from Zondervan to read and review. The opinions are my own. I give it a 5 star rating.

About the Author: (from description of the book)

Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town's bike trail. Find Shelley on her website,, on Facebook: ShelleyShepardGray, and on Twitter @ShelleySGray.

You may also find her on at

Leona Olson


1 comment:

Lily B said...

I love a little romance in my murder mysteries, glad you gave this one a shot and liked it.