Whispers In The Reading Room - Book Review

A cheery good day to you, friends!
I hope November is treating you well - 
we have been enjoying cold weather and SNOW! :)
I simply love it!
'Tis perfect weather for sitting by the fire 
while enjoying a good book and a cup of coffee.
I am popping in to share another book review.
I am greatly appreciative of all of your support while taking a break,
and I wanted to let you know that I will be back to blogging full time sometime next week.
I can't stay away any longer as I miss all of you!
Enjoy your weekend dear ones, and I will "see " you soon.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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 Chicago's 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 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.

My Thoughts
Whispers in the Reading Room written by the talented Shelley Gray
is the third and final book in the Chicago World's Fair Mystery series.
You can easily read this book as a stand-alone 
as it does not really relate to the previous two books.
A few characters from the previous books were mentioned 
and it was a joy to "catch up" with them,
but there was nothing that made this book difficult to read 
due to being tied in with the other books.
You can read my reviews for the first and second book by clicking on the links:

I would have to say Whispers in the Reading Room
was my ultimate favorite out of the series.
It was truly a page-turner that had me reading late up into the night.
Indeed, there is a murder in this book, {and no, it is not gory and nasty},
and from the moment I found out who had been killed 
I was continually trying to figure out who did it.
I even pinned it on one of the main characters 
thinking surely he was the one who committed the crime.
I loved the fact that I wasn't completely sure about who would do such a thing
and I was surprised at the end when the individual was revealed.
That is what I like in a mystery book, my friends, I like to be surprised and shocked.
Well done, Shelley Gray!

Now, onto the characters. . .
Lydia Bancroft was truly a delight.
Saying she loves to read would be an understatement, but yes, she loves to read 
and it's a joy for her to bury her head in books - ah, my kind of lady!
She has a tender heart and she pours her adoration and love into her mother
who, unfortunately, is very ungrateful and dare I say it, selfish.
Lydia's father passed away some time ago
and he left her and her mother in a dire financial situation
so Lydia does all that she can to earn money at the reading room 
in order to provide for her mother.
Then, along comes the mysterious Sebastian Marks. . . 

Oh, I just loved Sebastian!
His character was different from the "typical" male characters
and I was instantly won over by his mysterious personality.
He has lived quite the life, a hard life, and had a difficult childhood,
but through it all he pushed himself to better his circumstances.
When he meets Lydia a part of his heart begins to thaw
and his senses are awakened to sincere kindness and love.
He begins to realize that maybe there is more to life than simply having 
never ending funds, a head full of knowledge, and a position of authority where men fear him.
As his heart softens he also begins to remember the words from Scripture
that he read in the past and as he remembers these words
he begins to think upon the great God and all that He has done for him.

A beautiful story that captivated me from the beginning,
and as I look back on the lives of Lydia and Sebastian
I am aware of how I, WE, can touch a life with gentleness and compassion.
May we always keep in mind that God can use us in a mighty way
in the lives of the broken-hearted.

** 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 www. shelleyshepardgray.com


Simply Linda said...

Snow!?! Wow...no snow here, yet. Rest assured, we will get snow sooner than later. Nice to see you Stephanie...thank you for the book review. Blessings sweet friend.

faith76 said...

Great Review, thank you for sharing and your thoughts xxx

Denise said...

nice review.

Cheryl said...

So very thankful you are back, sweet friend! I trust your time away has been refreshing and precious to your soul! Thank you for this lovely review. : Sending you big hugs across the miles!!!

Sue said...

WOW! snow sounds like so much fun, I know this has been a refreshing time for you, looking forward to your coming back! Thank you for book review enjoyed it so much! Blessings,


I'm having a Christmas Pocket letter swap if you want to join in!

Daniela said...

You really cannot resist without blogging, don't you {{smiles}} ?!?
The thing is that you're too special for not to communicate with us all what your heart feels ... thank you for this wonderful review, my precious Stephanie, have a most beautiful end of the week,
I'm sending dear love and blessings to you

Anonymous said...

Hi Stephanie, Thank you for visiting today and for your kind words. I appreciate this book review and I have also forwarded your link to a friend who is in need of new books to read. God bless your weekend. xoxo

Lynn Bean said...

Trust you have been able to get some great rest! See you soon. Lynn

Abiola Olaleye said...

Hi Stephanie, I'm just stopping by to say hi...we all need some rest away from our virtual homes once in a while so do enjoy the rest of this time away.

I love the review too, it's suspense-filled.

See you around some more.

Merlesworld said...

A warm cosy room and snow outside sounds perfect.

NanaDiana said...

Oh- You have snow???? I don't want any snow here-thank you!

I love the reviews you do on books and have picked up a couple of good ones from your reviews. Thanks! xo Diana

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

Ooh this sounds like a good read, my friend!! I especially loved your last paragraph about how we can be used by God to help the broken hearted. I think I would enjoy this book as the characters sound like ones that I would like to get to know. Thank you for the review, and I've missed you so. I look forward to next week. Love and blessings to you and I hope you've enjoyed your break.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Good morning SUNSHINE! HELLO! Welcome back! I hope your break truly gave you a chance to be inspired, rest and prioritize! You have snow? YIPEE! It will be a while before we get any; our forecast does not show any in the near future (which is odd) but all we have to do is wait; by late December through April, we will have our share!

LOVING THE COZY ATMOSPHERE? And a good book is the best companion. Oh how lovely for you to enjoy such company! Have a super Sunday my friend. Anita

Sylvia Cannon said...

So good to hear you will be back blogging more! Miss you dear friend!

Lowcarb team member said...

You have snow!!!

Great review, and it is always good when a book in a series can also stand alone ...

All the best Jan

Andrea Ostapovitch said...

Looks like a fun one to pick up. Thanks for the great review!

Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

We had snow several weekends ago and all of a sudden we had temperatures in the 70s. The cold is returning though and like you, I like snow and winter - comes with being Canadian living in a snow belt! :-)
I have always read mostly mysteries - same with any television shows I watch. It could be I like the challenge of deciding who committed the murder. I'll add this book to my list to see if our library carries it.
Generally reading from my ereader, it took several hours of instruction from a kind gal at the library on how to download a book to my computer and sync it with my Kobo.
I look forward to your return to blogland Stephanie.

Mimi said...

The book sounds wonderful Stephanie. Go slowly sweet lady. We're here when you are ready. Love, Mimi xxx

reclaimed dining table said...

This sounds like a good read. Great review! Thanks for this!

Kerin said...

Lucky you.. you had time to read a good book :)
Thanks for the reviews too. It's nice to know how you liked the book, and it sounds like a series to add to the reading list :)


Amy at love made my home said...

Always good to enjoy a book isn't it! Gosh though, snow already! That sounds very cold indeed, hope you stay warm and snuggly! xx

Polly said...

So good to see you back Stephanie. Excellent review, it sounds like a good read.

Anonymous said...

Gambling is bad news! RUN!

PS So happy to hear you are feeling rested.

Beatrice Euphemie said...

This book sounds intriguing, Stephanie! I love a book that you can't put down! A wonderful thing when it is snowing outside....So nice to hear that you are coming back to us. Keep cozy! Hugs and blessings xo Karen

Robyn said...

I love your book reviews, Stephanie! Your passion for reading truly comes out in your intriguing descriptions of the characters and plots. I love a good murder mystery and this sounds like a great read.
I think perhaps you missed your calling as a book critic! Great job :)
Can't wait till you return. Been missing you, my friend. xoxo

memorial garden benches said...

Looks like a fun one to pick up. Great review!

Delvalina said...

That sounds interesting book sister! :)
I cant wait to explore all the books that you reviewed once I move to US, and thank you that you've been giving all postive energy from ypour heart for enchanting books that keep inspiring me.

I miss you already sister!

Kelly-Anne said...

Hello dear friend! Oh, so delightful to hear you will be back next week...as I said to you - your sweet presence in the blog world has been very much missed! How wonderful you have been enjoying some snow...such a stark contrast to the hot, humid weather here in South Africa! Enjoy snuggling up and reading...and can't wait to visit you again!
Sending hugs and ever so much dear love to you! Take care...

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