Deception On Sable Hill - Book Review

The World’s Fair has introduced many new ideas to Chicago society—
but can two individuals from very different backgrounds find love together?
It’s mid-September 1893 and Eloisa Carstairs 
is the reigning debutant of Gilded Age Chicago society.
To outsiders she appears to have it all.
But Eloisa is living with a dark secret.
Several months ago, she endured a horrible assault at the hands of Douglass Sloane,
heir to one of Chicago’s wealthiest families.
Fearing the loss of her reputation, Eloisa confided in only one friend.
That is, until she meets Detective Sean Ryan at a high-society ball.
Sean is on the fringes of the Chicago elite.
Born into a poor Irish family, becoming a policeman was his best chance to ensure security.
Despite social boundaries, he is enamored with Eloisa Carstairs.
Sean will do anything to keep her safe—even if he can never earn her affections.
Eloisa longs to feel normal again, but a killer is on the loose.
In the last month, three debutants have been accosted by an assailant wielding a knife,
 and Eloisa fears for her safety at every event she attends.
As the danger in the city increases, and as the romance between Eloisa and Sean blossoms,
they both realize they want to be seen as more than how the world views them.
But will they catch the killer before all their hopes come crashing down?
My Thoughts
I seem to be teetering on the fence about Deception on Sable Hill.
While it was a fairly interesting book with good writing
it came up just a little short of being an excellent book.
First of all, this is the second book in the Chicago World's Fair Mystery Series.
I read the first book, Secrets of Sloane House,
 and you can find out my thoughts about book number one by clicking here.
I will say the first book was very good!
Eloisa was mentioned in the first book
and her story continues on in Deception on Sable Hill.
I thoroughly enjoyed Eloisa's character
and found her to be a kind and compassionate woman
even after severe trials came her way.
She is mentioned as one of the most beautiful women in Chicago
yet her character does not focus on her beauty
but instead the focus is on her lovely character and virtue.
Detective Sean Ryan is a charming young man
who truly desires to see justice in Chicago.
He is a man that is not afraid of hard, honest work
and will do all that he can to protect those in the city.
Romance sparks between Eloisa and Sean,
but I must confess that I wish there would have been more to their relationship.
Eloisa is one of the richest young ladies and has been groomed all of her life to be a proper lady
and Sean is from the poor part of the city where he has seen and been in the middle of things
that he wishes he could simply forget about - his past makes him somewhat rough.
These two have very different backgrounds and in a sense
 it would seem like they would have a lot of obstacles to overcome in order to be together.
Their relationship was simple - almost too simple.
Deception on Sable Hill is set during the time of the great Chicago Fair
and in this book the fair is beginning to wind down and will soon close.
There was not a lot in the book pertaining to the fair which was somewhat disappointing.
There was great opportunity to add some rich history about the fair to the pages.
And finally. . .
The Society Slasher was unique and did give the book an interesting twist to it.
The ending was surprising, but not quite gripping.
Quentin Gardner was an interesting character in the book
and I truly wish the author would have written more about him
and tied him more into the life of Eloisa.
If you read the book you will see what I mean :)
All-in-all Deception on Sable Hill is an easy and rather enjoyable read.
I am not saying this is a poorly written book,
I just personally thought there could have been a little more "umph" to the storyline.
I would give this book 3.5 stars.
** I was given a complimentary copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers
for an honest review. All thoughts are my own and no other compensation was received. **

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.
Visit her website at 


Mimi said...

That sounds really interesting Stephanie. I love a good read, and am currently enjoying one in the Tudor series by Phillipa Gregory. She wrote the Boleyn books, one of which, The Other Boleyn Girl, was made into a movie with Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johannssen as the Boleyn sisters who wooed King Henry the Eighth. They're all historically correct and absolutely fascinating. I know what you mean about the writing. Once you've experienced excellent writing, it's hard to go back to something that's just 'good'. Love, Mimi xxx

Susan said...

I think it's great that you review fiction, Stephanie. I have to admit that I'm more inclined to non-fictio. Although a book club I joined has me deviating from the norm! Susan

donna said...

Hello my dear. Sounds like a great book.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your honest review. Remembering you all in prayer as you await your grandfather's surgery.

Ana said...

It's been quite a while since I read a book...I think the last one was The Shack by William Young. I should really make more time to read. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book Stephanie.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a good book. Thanks for the review!

Anne Payne said...

Thanks for your thoughts, Stephanie. I can always count on a well written and thought out review from you! Sounds like an interesting plot line. I've enjoyed her Amish books but haven't read this series yet.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Good morning my friend! Well like you, I felt this way about a movie we saw last night at home. It was rated as THE BEST MOVIE MADE IN A LONG TIME, and I'm pretty open to artistic expression, but I think I either need to see the movie again, or just trust my taste and say it was rather weird. teeheee

BUT, this is the beauty of artistic expression. Sometimes the things that don't impress us at least make US THINK about what we value (decent writing over excellent writing, etc) - I am always telling my students this.


Feral Turtle said...

It sounds like the book had great promise. Too bad it left you wanting more. Thanks for the honest review. Maybe they will make a movie??

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