Title: Deception on Sable Hill (A Chicago World’s Fair Mystery Book #2)
Author: Shelley Gray
My Rating: 5+ out of 5
Author Shelley Gray writes a variety of novels and series that readers can check out on her website. When Secrets of Sloane House was released in 2014, it was the launch of the Chicago World’s Fair series which continues with Deception on Sable Hill. The conclusion of this series will be the third novel titled, Whispers in the Reading Room, which is slated to be released in November of this year.
Deception on Sable Hill is a very spell-binding mystery that pulls readers in when young rich women become targets of someone out to scar their faces. The scarring starts first until it escalates into murder of two women, which defies the authorities’ ability to solve at least temporarily. The author places her tale in a time where classes are strictly adhered to. People marry within their class and those who are deemed to be lower class never escape that classification or do they?
First, we have two detectives working on the slasher case. One of them is Lt. Detective Sean Ryan who has already worked hard to exceed and break out of his Irish class expectations. The other is known around the station as gentleman Detective Howard who chose a profession that people in his realm of society consider beneath him, but that doesn’t matter to Detective Owen Howard.
Second, we see the lovely Eloisa Carstairs struggling to live within the bounds of propriety, longing to be free of nightmares and desires to break free of boundaries. Her maid, Juliet, watches and cares for her charge and has deduced that something horrible is troubling Eloisa. She hopes that soon Eloisa will share whatever secret brings her nightmares.
Besides working hard to capture the person responsible for scarring many women and murdering two, the women that capture the heart of both detectives add another facet to story’s richness. With the fair taking place at the turn of the century, many characters feel that it is time to write a new chapter in their lives including living according to class expectations. Along with these attempts, Eloisa, Owen, Sean and others have internal struggles, thoughts and emotions they must face if they are to capture the peace their hearts long for in many areas.
I cannot wait for the third and final novel of the series to see what the author has in store for her characters, but it will also be hard to say goodbye to a series that has simply captivated my heart. I hope you all will join me on this adventure and cheer for those seeking to break out of bonds to a new life!
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