‘Deception on Sable Hill’ by Shelley Gray

dosh sgSTORY: 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.

REVIEW: Chicago – 1893

Eloisa Carstairs is a lovely young debutante whose mother is pushing her to attend more social events in hopes of finding a husband.  While Eloisa enjoys these things, she is uncomfortable being in public as she was once accosted and defiled by a man who is now dead.  No one else knows of this but it has severely limited her confidence and happiness.

There is also a slasher on the loose who has been attacking and killing young society woman.  Therefore, many events are using police detectives to act as security during the soirees.

This is where Eloisa meets young Irish Police Detective Sean Ryan.  While Sean understands the big difference between them socially, he is very attracted to him and Eloisa enjoys chatting with him at events.  In addition, he becomes very attentive in insisting that he escort her home, as well as to and from other gatherings.

During their talks together Eloisa is very interested to learn that Sean and his sister volunteer to help at a home for abused women and their children who have no other place to go.  This gets them off the streets and they are learning trades so that they can get jobs and support themselves and their children. Eloisa is fascinating by this and wants to use some of her extra time to volunteer as well.  While she is met with some skepticism at the home, her sweet nature endures and manages to break down the barrier so that she is slowly accepted.

The friendship between Eloisa and Sean grows and becomes an attraction.  Both of their families know that this is not good as their differences in society means they will not be readily accepted as a couple.  But when Eloisa is attacked by the slasher and nearly dies, things come to head in hunting this person down.

There is a mystery here and lots of intrigue.  The story explains very well how the classes felt about each other and how difficult it was to change this.

This is the second book of the author’s Chicago World’s Fair Mystery Series.  The first novel was “Secrets of Sloane House” which I thoroughly enjoyed.  The third and last book of the series “Whispers in the Reading Room” will be published in November 2015.

Connie for b2b

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