Secrets of Sloane House, Chicago World's Fair Mystery Series #1
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Number of Pages: 352
Publication Date: 2014
|Dimensions: 8.375 X 5.5 (inches)|
Availability: In Stock
Series: Chicago World's Fair Mystery
Against the backdrop of the 1893 Worlds Fair, a young woman finds employment with an illustrious Chicago familya family who may guard the secret of her sisters disappearance.
Sloane House is among the most gilded mansions of Gilded Age Chicago. Rosalind Perry, the new housemaid, pours the morning coffee before the hard gaze of her mistress.
Its simple, Rosalind, she says. I am Veronica Sloane, heiress to one of the countrys greatest fortunes. You are simply one in a long line of unsuitable maids.
Back on the farm in Wisconsin, Rosalinds plan had seemed logical: Move to Chicago. Get hired on at Sloane House. Discover what transpired while her sister worked as a maid thereand follow the clues to why she disappeared.
Now, as a live-in housemaid to the Sloanes, Rosalind realizes her plan had been woefully simple-minded.
She was ignorant of the hard, hidden life of a servant in a big, prominent house; of the divide between the Sloane family and the people who served them; and most of all, she had never imagined so many people could live in such proximity and keep such dark secrets.
Yet, while Sloane House is daunting, the streets of Chicago are downright dangerous. The Worlds Fair has brought a new kind of crime to the city . . . and a lonely young woman is always at risk. But when Rosalind accepts the friendship of Reid Armstrong, the handsome young heir to a Chicago silver fortune, she becomes an accidental rival to Veronica Sloane.
As Rosalind continues to disguise her kinship to the missing maidand struggles to appease her jealous mistressshe probes the dark secrets of Sloane House and comes ever closer to uncovering her sisters mysterious fate. A fate that everyone in the house seems to know . . . but which no one dares to name.
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 bachelors and masters 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 Facebook: ShelleyShepardGray Twitter: @ShelleySGray
RedcurtDenver, NCAge: 55-65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5An excellent storySeptember 10, 2014RedcurtDenver, NCAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Having read all of Shelley Gray's books, I believe this is her best. I was caught up with the storyline from the beginning and read it straight through. Yet I did not want it to end. I found it so intriguing and different. I loved it and can hardly wait for the next book in this series.
AngelaAge: 35-44Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Another Winner!!July 25, 2014AngelaAge: 35-44Gender: femaleRosalind and her family come from a small town in Wisconsin. Rosalind's sister, Miranda, has taken a job as a maid in the big city of Chicago. It has been quite some time since anyone in the family has heard from Miranda, and so Rosalind leaves the quiet family home for the unknown life in the city. Rosalind needs to find Miranda and hopefully, bring her back home safe.
The last known place that Miranda worked was for the Sloanes. The Sloanes are a very influential family in Chicago. In the hopes of finding Miranda, Rosalind decides to become a maid for the Sloane Family as well. With hope and a "new" last name Rosalind is hired and starts to get to know the family and the staff of the home.
The Sloane Family is a self-centered group of people and their main concern is for their own well-being. Rosalind gets no help from them, but she has befriended Reid Armstrong. He is very handsome and rich, and a close friend to Douglass Sloane.
This book is about faith and the true meaning of family. Rosalind is by far my favorite character of this book. She is scared, but love for her sister triumphs over her own fear in the hope that her sister is safe. Rosalind battles fear, the unknown, the wrong people, and potentially the loss of family. In the end this story is about forgiveness, love, and faith. It is also about new beginnings and overcoming your fears.
I think that this story is beautifully written. Everything about this book, including such a beautiful cover, is something we have all faced in one way or another. I love how Rosalind is willing to "do it afraid." The love she has for her sister overcomes the fear of the unknown. We have to tackle life that way. Just like with Rosalind, it only made her stronger.
BookLoverGender: female2 Stars Out Of 5It was okay - 2.5 starsJuly 20, 2014BookLoverGender: femaleQuality: 3Value: 3Meets Expectations: 2Secrets of Sloane House, a new book by Shelley Gray, is book one in A Chicago Worldâ€˜s Fair Mystery series. I have read a few of Ms. Gray's previous books, so I was excited to find out she had a new historical novel releasing. I really wanted to love this book, but unfortunately, I only liked it. I really struggled with getting into the story and didn't find it very engaging.
While the writing was well done, as was the historical detail, there seemed to be a bit of a disconnect at times. It bothered me when Ms. Gray would unearth a huge and largely forgotten word, and add it to the middle of a sentence. I would have to pause, find the definition of the word, then proceed. It seemed distracting and unnecessary, and caused me to lose the flow of the story several times. With each interruption, I found myself less inclined to continue reading. There were also a couple instances when she seemed to forget the time period - there would be a word or phrase that is fairly modern and didnâ€˜t appear to belong. I could be wrong, but it was confusing, nonetheless.
Rosalind Perry is one of the main characters in this novel. I couldn't seem to connect with Rosalind at all. She is very naÃ¯ve and easily frightened. I'm not sure how she planned to go about finding her sister, when she jumped at shadows and constantly imagined the worst. She is also unwilling to stand up for herself and when she does, it often backfires on her. She seemed to go from being terrified, to being horribly nosy and irritating. I did enjoy seeing her grow through the story and become stronger, but even then, I didn't particularly care for her.
Reid Armstrong is the other main character. I didn't find him especially captivating either. He is actually rather boring and seemed very flat. His main focus is social status and the expectations that comes with it, for the first part of the book. He also thinks a bit too much, making decisions but not acting on them. When he finally does, I was proud of him, but it was kind of anticlimactic. In fact, the whole book struck me as being black and white. Compared to color it is still enjoyable, but there's something missing. Their romance left a bit to be desired. Perhaps it was because they knew each other such a short length of time, or maybe because they didn't spend much time together, getting to know one another, but I thought what Rosalind and Reid had was more the beginning of a friendship than anything.
I'm rather curious as to why this series is titled "A Chicago World's Fair Mystery," when there actually wasn't much mystery to it. No, I didn't know "whodunit," but there weren't many, if any, clues and no suspense. Maybe a bit of intrigue, but honestly, they only found out what happened and who was responsible because they confessed. That doesn't really strike me as a mystery. Rosalind mostly bumbled about and asked annoying questions that led nowhere. Also, I'm not sure what the fair had to do with much of anything. They go there 3, maybe 4, times total and the story certainly doesn't revolve around it.
I didn't appreciate how the story revolved around social status and the expectations of society. Rosalind and Reid both spent a great deal of time worrying about how they appeared to others. Especially Rosalind, since she is a maid and must learn what her place was to be. I understand the author's desire to portray this with the utmost accuracy, but it managed to overshadow what could have been a wonderful book.
I decided to give this book 2.5 stars, because I was quite fond of one of the secondary characters, Eloisa Carstairs, who is the heroine in the next novel, releasing in 2015. I intend to read that book, most because I became very attached to Eloisa and am interested to find out what happens to her. I'm sorry I didn't enjoy this book more and couldn't give it a higher rating.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher, through The Christian Manifesto for my honest review, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own.
CindyLBaltimore, MDAge: 35-44Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Definitely hooked after page 1!July 17, 2014CindyLBaltimore, MDAge: 35-44Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5From page one, Secrets of Sloane House had me hooked. I didn't want to put this book down. The story about Rosalind, Miranda, the Sloanes, Reid, and the others pulls you in right away, and you feel like you are at the Chicago World's Fair and the Sloane House living out Shelley Gray's words. Shelley's details were so vivid that I could picture the fancy dresses the ladies were wearing and Sloane House. Suspense, history, love, hate, and faith - this book has it all. Wonderfully written story! I cannot wait for the next book. Spring 2015 better get here fast.
CathyCMdAge: 55-65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5A Must ReadJuly 9, 2014CathyCMdAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5In a story of gripping suspense and intrigue, Shelly Gray in her inimitebel style introduces us to both residents and visitors to Chicago. It's 1893 and people are flocking to the World's Fair.
The Sloane's are an affluent family
residing in a large home filled with
servants and secrets.
Ms. Gray draws you into this vivid novel as only she can.
This is one of her finest novels and I cannot wait for the next one in this series. As usual,Shelly Gray has hit it out of the park!