Whispers in the Reading Room is the third book in the Chicago World Fair series by Christian author Shelley Gray. While a few characters do cross over, it is a stand alone story. This novel is a steady ready, and a great combination of historical romance & mystery, where and no one and nothing is as it seems.
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.
The characters are deep and personable, and I always love a bad boy meets good girl story. In Whispers in the Reading Room, I enjoyed being kept on the edge of my seat by the “who done it” murder mystery while also enjoying the sweet romance develop between the two main characters. The settings of the abandoned Chicago World Fair, back alleys, gambling clubs, and innocent libraries weave a tale that is hard to put down. I highly recommend this book, and I will definitely go back and read the first two in series.