Secrets Of Sloane House

Paperback | July 8, 2014

byShelley Gray

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Against the backdrop of the 1893 World’s Fair, a young woman finds employment with an illustrious Chicago family—a family who may guard the secret of her sister’s 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.

“It’s simple, Rosalind,” she says. “I am Veronica Sloane, heiress to one of the country’s greatest fortunes. You are simply one in a long line of unsuitable maids.”

Back on the farm in Wisconsin, Rosalind’s plan had seemed logical: Move to Chicago. Get hired on at Sloane House. Discover what transpired while her sister worked as a maid there—and 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 World’s 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 maid—and struggles to appease her jealous mistress—she probes the dark secrets of Sloane House and comes ever closer to uncovering her sister’s mysterious fate. A fate that everyone in the house seems to know . . . but which no one dares to name.

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From the Publisher

Against the backdrop of the 1893 World’s Fair, a young woman finds employment with an illustrious Chicago family—a family who may guard the secret of her sister’s 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 mi...

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 bachelor's and master's degrees in Colorado and taught school for ten years. She and her husband have two children and live in S...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 8.38 × 5.5 × 0.88 inPublished:July 8, 2014Publisher:ZondervanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0310338522

ISBN - 13:9780310338529

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Thrilling mystery and romance Secrets of Sloane House is the first book in Shelley Gray’s new Chicago World’s Fair Mystery series. I have always been a fan of Shelley’s Amish novels and mysteries—which she publishes under the name Shelley Shepard Gray—so I got excited when I found out she was writing a historical mystery series. And now that I have read both the first and the second books in the series, I have to say, I was not disappointed. Secrets of Sloane House is full of just enough intrigue, romance, and mystery to leave you wanting more, all the while wrapping up the story in ways you never in a million years thought possible. Even now that I know the ending, I am still shocked by the reality of what happened to Miranda. Although I look back now and see a few signs that could have pointed to the truth, I can still say with certainty that I never saw that ending coming. Ever. Rosalind Perry is by far one of my favorite heroines, possibly because she is so easy to relate to. Completely focused on discovering the truth about her sister, Rosalind pushes herself into her work and her search, all the while believing the lies society tells her: that she is not, and never will be, good enough for anyone. As she continues to come up with dead end after dead end, it becomes even harder for Rosalind to keep her head up. Obviously, she’s not even good enough to find her sister. Her family is going to be so disappointed in her, as she’s running out of chances and time, and she has yet to find anything of worth when it comes to her search for her sister. The way she puts herself down for things that are not true or beyond her control have no merit, but they don’t have to. So many of us believe lies just like those, and all because it seems so obvious, at least to us, that they are true. That is what makes Rosalind so relatable, and makes Reid so great. Each and every time he becomes aware of Rosalind’s view of herself, Reid does everything in his power to dispel those rumors she is believing about herself. He sees her as the beautiful, smart, caring woman that she is, and he is never too busy to tell her so. Let me just make something clear for a moment: never once as I read this novel did I find Reid to be so self-absorbed as he appears in the description. It didn’t take him very long at all to give up on the ‘must marry a lady of society’ idea, he just wanted to please his parents, especially his ailing father. If he hadn’t felt that it was his duty to make a good match, that idea would have been thrown out the door ages ago. And even while he still knew that his parents wanted that for him, he continued to help—and fall for—Rosalind. Honestly, I think, he never really truly felt guilty about it, because she was just that perfect for him. Then there is the mystery aspect of this novel. Shelley intertwines everything PERFECTLY. I could not imagine anyone doing it better. There are just enough hints that when you look back you see them but as you read you are still just as in the dark as before, everything wraps up—there are no loose ends hanging—and the reasons for the crime are all perfectly justifiable, for the criminal anyway. They do make sense and aren’t just flimsy excuses, which is a good thing because I hate it when the reasons for the crimes in mysteries don’t make any sense or aren’t even real motivations. That was not the case with this book, thank goodness, which made this such a wonderful mystery. And the romance…oh goodness, give me a moment while I recover from my swoon. Reid is amazing. Have I said that already? Because he is. And he and Rosalind make the absolute perfect pair. Despite the fact that society claims they are all wrong for each other, they leap over the boundaries placed before them to find a love that is both touching and inspiring, leading them to their very own happily ever after. Obviously, I really enjoyed this book. Loved it, in fact. So it must be apparent that I cannot help but give it all five bookshelves. It was spectacular. And now it has me looking forward to the final book in the series (I told you I’ve already read the second book, haven’t I? I couldn’t help myself. I picked it up just seconds after putting this one down. And if you think I loved this novel, just wait until you hear my thoughts on that one). This series (or what I’ve read of it) is by far one of the best historical mystery series I have ever read, which leaves me with no choice but to say, go read these books! I promise you won’t regret it!
Date published: 2015-10-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Compelling read Dowton Abbey with a sinister twist. Honestly, I was so engrossed in the story I could barely put it down. The division between classes always sets my teeth on edge and the Sloanes' blatant disregard for the welfare of their servants had my blood boiling. Not to mention the perverse loyalty those serving the Sloanes have to the family. Poor Rosalind is like a lamb being led to the slaughter as she tries to navigate all the menacing nuances of this prestigious house in her quest to discover what happened to her sister. Reid is her only ally but he costs her more grief than help most of the time. He's a fascinating character -- the product of new wealth trying to gain entrance into the upper echelons of society. He needs to find a wife from an established family to gain full acceptance but his heart just isn't in it. His inner battle over societal expectations and his own personal values makes for a fascinating read. Gray weaves a compelling plot charged with suspense and heartache and an impossible romance and I found it utterly captivating. Thank goodness it is the first in a series. I'm already anxious for the spring when Deception at Sable Hill is due to be released.
Date published: 2014-08-19