The World’s Fair is nearing its end, but the danger in Chicago lingers. It’s mid-September of 1893 and Eloisa Carstairs is the reigning beauty 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 outskirts of the wealthy Chicago lifestyle. Born into a poor Irish family, becoming a policeman was his best opportunity to ensure his future security. Despite society’s restrictions, he is enamored with Eloisa Carstairs. Sean seethes inside at what he knows happened to her, and he will do anything to keep her safe—even if he can never earn her affections.
Eloisa longs to feel normal again in the midst of the danger surrounding the Chicago World’s Fair, but a killer is on the loose. In the last month, three debutants have been accosted in the city by an assailant wielding a stiletto. As the danger in the city increases, and as Eloisa’s and Sean’s romance 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 tumbling down?
Riveting second book in the A Chicago World's Fair Mystery series. And while this one does start where the first left off (including some carry-over characters and plot) you don't need to have read the first one in order to embrace Deception on Sable Hill. And it's definitely the kind of book you want to hug! :-)
The clash of class distinction in the late 19th century is at the heart of this story. Gray portrays the challenges of change for both the wealthy and the poor in vivid emotional detail. I especially found the contrast of opinion between a lower class man courting an upper class lady in comparison to an upper class gentleman wooing a lower class woman totally fascinating -- and annoying! Definitely adds an extra edge to the overall plot. Not to mention the romance.
I have to 'fess up and admit to adoring a self-made Irish hero and Sean Ryan fits the bill to a T. He's got that confident swagger, a wee bit of blarney dripping off the tip of his tongue and, saints preserve us -- that grin! Mind you, he needs the luck o' the Irish and no small amount of divine intervention to achieve his happily ever after! Of course, Eloisa is smitten. How could she not? But Gray has not been kind to this heroine -- not in the first book of the series and not in this one -- so be prepared to run a gamut of emotions during this read.
There's the bonus of a secondary romance as well. And a dark mystery to solve. All in all an enthralling read. Can't wait for the third in the series to release in November -- Whispers in the Reading Room -- about a librarian!!!! Be still my book-loving heart.
Side Note: Can anyone venture a guess on how to pronounce Eloisha's name? Ee-loy-sha? Ee-li-sha? Ee-lee-sha? I called the poor girl all of the above but I'd really like to knowthe correct pronunciation.
If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of Deception on Sable Hill please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you post a comment and add your email address, please use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in the address to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please remember to put the title in the subject line so that it's easy for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday July 19 2015. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!