“Whispers in the Reading Room,” by Shelley Gray

Lydia Bancroft is a librarian. She loves her job, books, reading and helping patrons of the reading room find what they are searching for.

A mysterious man, with dark hair and dark eyes, frequently visits the library, always sitting in his favorite chair and reading books. He never speaks to anyone and he doesn’t have a library card. He always reads at the library.

One day she requires assistance at the Hartman Hotel and this dark haired man from the reading room comes to her aide and their relationship begins.

What to say? What to say? The cover and the title of this book intrigued me, so I decided to read it. I had no idea what the story was about. I didn’t read any reviews or descriptions at all. Mmm. Anyway, the author transported me to Chicago. First, to a library, then I traveled to an upscale hotel and on to a Brownstone home and soon to the seedy side of Chicago where danger lurks in the shadows, awaiting opportunity. I was also given a glimpse of the left over buildings of the World’s Fair.

I thought the story always had a mystery/foreboding or a dangerous tone to it. There were secrets and unsavory characters in the background. And our dark haired man in the reading room, Sebastian, didn’t own the most reputable business and it wasn’t in the best area of Chicago.

Vincent Hunt, Sebastian’s assistant, confused me. He was an interesting character. It seemed one moment he was Sebastian’s friend and believed in Sebastian and the next minute he seemed to almost be an enemy. I wasn’t sure I liked him, but I did believe in him, to a point, because he had so much to loose.

I didn’t like Lydia’s mother at all. I thought she was superficial and selfish. 😦 The author did a fine job creating this type of character.

I give the book 4 **** stars. Have you read Whispers in the Reading Room? What did you think? Specifically, what did you think of Sebastian? I’d like to hear from you.


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