Cover Image: Silence in the Library

Silence in the Library

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I connect with this book in ways I didn't anticipate. I really felt Lily's pain, anguish, frustration, and anger when she interacted with her father. Schellman did a wonderful job with that relationship, even if it was painful to walk that path with that character.
The mystery was secondary to the character development. I like where these characters and their relationships are going. I enjoyed getting more glimpses into Mr.Page's life, thoughts, and motivations. All of the characters, really, were 3 dimensional and relatable. I felt connected and invested in them.
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An excellent Regency mystery. I enjoyed it very much. Mrs Adler was an interesting character and the side characters were all fully fleshed out too. The mystery itself was well done and I enjoyed it a lot.
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Lily Adler, a young widow in Regency London, is unhappy when her obnoxious father turns up unannounced for a visit and demands that she pay a call on his old friend. She complies, and the old gentleman's new wife suggests they go riding the next day. There is to be no riding that day, as there has been a murder at the house, and Lily finds herself working with Constable Page to determine the culprit. Lily is bright and independent in an era which frowned upon that kind of woman, reminiscent of Lady Darby in the Regency mysteries by Anna Lee Huber. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC.
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Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this eARC in exchange for my honest review.
Widow Lily Adler shines in this cozy Regency mystery. Second in a series, this mystery is a charming page-turner I just couldn't put down. It's a standalone, no need to have read book one, "The Body in the Garden"  although you’ll want to after following Lily in action as she works to unravel the murder of a family friend with the help of attractive Jack Hartley. Then another murder occurs, raising the stakes even higher. Will they succeed before someone else dies? Will their friendship become something more along the way? A delight for fans of historical mysteries and slow-burn romances.
Bonus points: includes a character who is on the spectrum.
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Mysterious, evocative, and a little bit fun, SILENCE IN THE LIBRARY brings us into the world of nineteenth-century London, where danger seems to be lurking about every corner. Lily Adler is a worthy detective, and mystery lovers will find so much to enjoy about this engaging sequel.
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MUST find the first installment in the series, this book was well written and had wonderful characters.
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Silence in the library was a gripping mystery set in London during the Regency period. Intrepid widow Lily steadfastly holds to her widowhood and is not easy in her relationships. She is determined to aid Bow Street Runner Simon Page solve the murder of her estranged Father’s closest friend. The mystery is brilliantly produced and the reader gets to know a lot about how Lily’s mind works. She has much to learn about herself and others. I look forward to being along for the ride.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.  The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
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(The following review will run on CriminalElement.com the week of publication.)

Making a courtesy call upon the newly married Sir Charles Wyatt on behalf of her infuriating father, clever widow Lily Adler finds herself unexpectedly drawn into the family’s affairs when a servant is accused of a theft.


	“Your footman is innocent. I am afraid it was your nephew who stole the money.”
	“Percy?” Sir Charles shook his head. “Surely not. I provide him a generous allowance.”
	“Which I expect he exceeds greatly, like all young gentlemen.” Lily shook her head. “Just one of those waistcoats must have cost at least thirty pounds. And he hasn’t even the money on hand to keep food in his lodgings.”
	“But—”
	Sir Charles was interrupted as the door banged open to reveal a grinning Jack hauling Percy in with a hand around the back of the younger man’s neck. “Look at who I found trying to hurry out the door,” he said, as cheerfully as if he were inviting them to fireworks at Vauxhall Gardens. In his other hand he held Percy’s writing portfolio.
	“Take your hands off me!” Percy’s cheeks and neck were red with embarrassment and anger as he struggled to free himself. “And return my things to me at once — you have no business… Those are my personal letters…”
	Ignoring his continuing protests, Lily took the portfolio that Jack handed her. She admired the workmanship for a moment, then opened the case. A slow smile spread across her face. “Tell me, Sir Charles, how much did you have in that drawer?”
	“Seventy-six pounds.”
	“What a strange coincidence.” Lily offered Sir Charles the portfolio. “That is exactly the amount Mr. Wyatt has here.”


The matter seems neatly resolved — but when Lily and her friend Jack return to the Wyatts’ home the following day for a riding excursion, they are met with some very shocking news.

Sir Charles has been found dead in his library, the apparent victim of an unfortunate fall. 

Or, at least that’s how the rest of the family wishes to spin the event. Mr. Page of the Bow Street Runners, however, is less than convinced it was a mere accident. And when he pulls Lily and Jack — now trusted acquaintances thanks to their help with a previous peculiar death — into his confidences, the truth behind Sir Charles’ demise quickly becomes apparent.


	“…Mrs. Adler, what are you doing?”
	Lily was twisting her neck to look in the fireplace, and as she did, something white behind the lintel caught her eye. She reached in, grabbing a corner of it, and tugged. “There is something stuck in here, some kind of fabric.” She tugged again, then let out a startled yelp as whatever it was came free and tumbled into the fireplace with the clanging sound of metal and a shower of soot.
	Jack grabbed Lily’s arm and hauled her to her feet while Mr. Page stepped quickly back. All three of them were coughing as the door to the library flew open.
	“What the devil?” Frank Wyatt demanded, staring at them from the doorway. Behind him stood Percy Wyatt — newly arrived, judging by the hat and gloves clutched in his hands. Lily, her arm still clasped by Jack while dust and soot swirled around them, tried to think of some explanation. “Mrs. Adler, what are you… And Mr. Page, what is the meaning of…”
	He trailed off, staring toward something at their feet with confusion that was slowly growing into horror. Lily followed the line of his gaze.
	At her feet lay a pile of toweling that had clearly once been white. Now, though, it was stained and discolored — not just with soot from being stuffed in the chimney, but with the reddish brown of blood that had not yet had time to dry. And sticking out of the bundle was the missing iron poker.


But who would kill Sir Charles, and why? The man was well-respected in society and presented a very jovial exterior. His new wife appeared to be very fond of him, he was known to have a close relationship with his son Frank, and even the nephew who had been caught stealing from him swore that they had made amends the night before. He was a man seemingly without enemies, and no one appears to have significantly benefited from his demise. 

Lily, Jack, and Mr. Page quickly set about gathering as much gossip and information as they can, knowing all too well that the London ton is quick to pin the blame on easy scapegoats, and more than willing to pay to make their problems go away. If the true murderer is to be found, they’ll have to work quickly. And unearth more than one family secret…

Silence in the Library is the second installment in Schellman’s thoroughly charming Lily Adler series, and the sharp-eyed widow continues to delight. This time she’s juggling a mystery with persistent unpleasantness at home: her impossible-to-please father, Mr. Pierce, has descended upon her without warning and is refusing to depart. 

So now not only must she uncover Sir Charles’ murderer, she must also contend with Mr. Pierce’s constant disapproval and snide remarks about everything from her wardrobe — how dare she set aside her widow’s weeds, a mere two years after her husband’s death? Doesn’t she know she’s supposed to mourn FOREVER? — to her friends and “unladylike” behavior. And heaven forbid she actually do something useful with her life, like secure justice and protect the innocent…

There are plenty of lady investigators running about in the historical mystery genre, but Schellman has done a fine job making Lily stand out from the crowd. It’s not often that the heroine is a quiet widow, an introvert who knows when to speak up but has little interest in making a splash in society. For all the wildflowers and ladies who are underestimated by the men around them, Lily will really resonate.

It’s also refreshing to find a historical story set in London where significant portions of the cast aren’t white; London has never been as lily white as BBC period dramas/classic literature would have you believe, and having prominent biracial characters — Lily’s closest friend, Jack, has an Indian mother, while their friend Ofelia’s mother was Black — is far closer to reality. 

Speaking of representation: Silence in the Library features significant commentary on how neuroatypical people, or people who are on the spectrum, are not a modern trend. Autistic folks have always existed, though they’ve rarely been treated kindly by society, and that becomes a sizable, sensitively-handled plot point in this whodunit. 

As a whole, Silence in the Library, is a thoroughly entertaining jaunt through Regency London, with colorful and likable characters, a mystery that’s just twisty enough to keep us guessing, and a finale that shows off all of Lily’s cleverness and daring. Schellman is building a very satisfying series, and this is the perfect time to jump aboard.
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I'm so grateful to have received an ARC of this book! Recently I said to a friend "I'd love a Regency-era Nancy Drew" and you know what? This book is it. Lily, the protagonist, is clever and strong and all sorts of wonderful. Her friendships feel real. The ending of the book isn't a HUGE surprise but it does come with a twist that I found delightful. Although this book is the second in a series, you don't need to have read the first to follow it. That said, I absolutely WILL be reading the earlier one too--lots of enticing callbacks are littered throughout this one, and I have a feeling I'll love it too.
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This Regency era mystery was very entertaining! Issues of classicism, feminism, ableism are prevalent throughout the novel. I had not read the prequel to this mystery, and while it would have helped me to understand the characters a little but, it was not necessary to enjoy this great mystery!
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The perfect escapist read on a blizzardy March day.  How I enjoy this series!  This is the second book and I am hankering for the third.  The author writes with wit and knowledge from obvious research...so very pleasant to read historical bits here and there.  These careful details as well as interesting characters, 1815 London setting and intriguing plot blend so seamlessly.  I like and appreciate how the subplots are introduced.

Lily Adler is a young and independent widow who enjoys figuring out puzzles aka "discreet inquiries" and "confidential investigations" as does Captain Hartley, a dear friend of Lily's.  So, when Sir Charles Wyatt is found dead, they use their mettle and cleverness to discover what happened along with Simon Page of Bow Street.  Lily's sour and uncomplimentary father shows up unannounced at her house which adds to the atmosphere, tension and dynamic of the story.  All suspects have skeletons in their closets, naturally...we see many as the story unravels.  I like that there is more oomph to it than the murder.  Love the ending!  Plus the author's note at the back is fabulous.  So nice to catch personal snippets to learn about author's inspirations and interests.  And I am dying to know her future research projects!

Neurodivergent and autistic kids is a thread running through this novel.  How interesting to learn more about it, especially in the era.  

Historical Fiction readers, do dive into this lovely series!  

My sincere thank you to Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley for the privilege of reading the early e-ARC of this delightful book.
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1Shriya Dasgupta
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Silence in the Library by Katharine Schellman
Silence in the Library (Lily Adler Mystery #2)
by Katharine Schellman (Goodreads Author)
Want to Read 
Well written Regency era mysteries are some of my favorites and this is turning into a very good series with a smart woman as a protagonist, historically accurate details, and a mystery that keeps me interested.

A friend of Lily’s father has died, and it turns out to be due to suspicious circumstances. Once there is someone innocent being accused of the crime, Lily starts to investigate with the help of Captain Jack Hartley and Simon Page, a Bow Street runner. What I really enjoyed about this trip is that they all contributed equally without anyone trying to be better than anyone else, even if Lily and Jack frustrate Page with their investigating.

This could be read as a standalone but you definitely get more of as backstory and appreciate some of the character’s interactions more if you read the first book. I can’t wait to read more of Lily’s adventures!
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The second entry in the Lily Adler series is just as engaging, charming, and intriguing as the first! This mystery strikes close to home for Lily, allowing us to explore more of her family background and personal history. It also introduces neurodivergent characters, which is a welcome touch in a period piece. The twists and turns carry the story along at a clip pace, while still making time to give us wonderful character moments. (I'm particularly enjoying the ongoing slow burn romance building between Lily and Jack. It feels very real, not rushed, and it's nice to see the friendship and companionship growing across the course of each book.) I thoroughly recommend this Regency mystery!
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Set in London in 1815, we meet Lily Adler,  widow, and detective..  When Sir Charles Wyatt is found dead 

in very unnatural circumstances, she both aids and abets Simon Page, an officer of the law from Bow Street. in

seeking answers.   They must make their enquiries as seen fit in upper-class British society, Servants and gentry 

are part of a larger gripping insight into nineteenth-century life.  

The story is told through lively investigations, a sense of humour and plenty red herings. i loved the storyline that 

reels you in and keeps you dangling.. A great read.
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Silence in the Library is the second book in the Lily Adler historical mystery series. I really enjoyed the set-up of the first book, so I was excited to read this installment and it was just as cozy and enjoyable as the first. We follow Lily and Captain Hartley as they investigate the death of a family friend, and navigate the intricacies of Victorian highs society. Lily's father arrives unexpectedly and provides some conflict and soul-searching, though I felt like this storyline could have been explored more. The mystery was fairly easy to solve, but it was fun to watch the characters discover the solution. 

Overall, this is a fairly lighthearted historical mystery series and a fun read for anyone who enjoys the genre!
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Second book in the Lily Adler series, it is not a requirement to have read book 1 as it easy to read on its own.
Lily Alder, widowed, and Captain Jack Hartley, who was her husband’s best friend, once again team up in this 2nd book with Simon Page a Bow Street runner (a team that worked well in book one)
Lily’s father comes for an unexpected visit, and cons her into calling on his old friend and neighbour Sir Charles to congratulate him on his recent 2nd marriage to Winifred.  A visit in which Lily helps solves the theft of money and results to an invitation to ride the next morning. When Lily and Jack arrive the next day they find out that Sir Charles has died of an accident or is it murder? A great cast of characters, grieving widow, grieving son who dislikes his dad’s 2nd wife, a nephew, insight in how the upper class works and operates (and how superior they felt), …
I will go back and read book 1, and I am looking forward to the next installment of the series.

Thank you NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for an Advanced Copy in return for my honest opinion.
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Well written Regency era mysteries are some of my favorites and this is turning into a very good series with a smart woman as a protagonist, historically accurate details, and a mystery that keeps me interested. 

A friend of Lily’s father has died, and it turns out to be due to suspicious circumstances. Once there is someone innocent being accused of the crime, Lily starts to investigate with the help of Captain Jack Hartley and Simon Page, a Bow Street runner. What I really enjoyed about this trip is that they all contributed equally without anyone trying to be better than anyone else, even if Lily and Jack frustrate Page with their investigating. 

This could be read as a standalone but you definitely get more of as backstory and appreciate some of the character’s interactions more if you read the first book. I can’t wait to read more of Lily’s adventures!
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Silence in the Library is the second installment in the Lily Adler series. We follow Lily and her friends through another murder mystery - this time, that of a family friend. While I mostly enjoyed the first book, Silence in the Library was definitely an improvement in both writing and plot. Overall, I give the book 4/5 stars.

What I liked:
- the murder plot was far more interesting in this story than the first one
- I enjoyed reading as Lily struggled to remain unbiased while solving the mystery of her friends
- everyone made for a good suspect
- Mr. Page and Lily realizing they are very similar. I enjoy the relationship they have curated with each other
- it’s not romance based. Though I wouldn’t be mad at all if Lily found herself a new man after Freddy, I just hope it doesn’t become some major plot point in future titles
- it’s pretty fast paced, with not too much filler. I do enjoy getting to read about the social habits of our cast as well.

What I didn’t like so much:
- Jack was like, barely in this book, and that didn’t make sense to me. I like him, I want more
- I don’t care for Lily to pursue mysteries as a “side business” fit with business cards and all. I think it’s unnecessary for her as she continues to make inquiries
- can Mr. Page stop trying to make her stop? He knows he’s not going to get rid of her. I can handle other people not wanting her involved, but his is just irritating. He should have given up on that after the first book

Overall a fantastic little murder mystery. I’d be very much inclined to read future titles in the series. Thank you to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books to sending me an advanced ecopy of this book in return for an honest review. Silence in the Library will be published on July 13, 2021!
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Silence in the Library is set in 1815 London England. This is the second in the Lily Adler mystery series.  I had no problem catching up with the characters without reading the first book in the series. Lily is a widow who when not being visited by her father lives alone, after losing her husband within the last few years. Lily, her friend Captain Jack Hartley, and Simon Page (local police) are tasked with finding out who killed the newly married Mr. Wyatt and one of Mr. Wyatt's staff. I am not familiar with the roles of police in the early 1800's but I found it frustrating how they Wyatt's treated Mr. Page as he was trying to solve the crime. Fortunately Lily had access to people and information Mr. Page was not likely to obtain without her assistance.  I appreciated that Lily was an independent lady in those days, but it would be nice for her to let down her feminine guard a bit and maybe see the handsome men as a bit more than "friends."  I am not saying we need intense love scenes, but Lily deserves some distraction. I enjoyed the unique, well unique to me setting of the 1800's and the characters were all fun. I had a feeling the ending was going to be as it was so that was not much of a surprise to me.    I am giving this a 3.5 rounded to 4 star review.
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Delighted to be following Mrs. Adler’s adventures in Book 2! Who would have thought Lily would get herself involved with another messy murder so soon after the misfortune earlier in the season? But when she pays a visit to the new wife of an old family friend she steps into a bit of misfortune again! 

Lily and Jack Hartley are stressing poor Mr. Page of the Bow Street runners to no end. It was interesting to see some of these side characters fleshed out as well as peering behind the curtains of the abovestairs crowd a bit. Lily proves herself a cunning and clever detective as well as a lady of quality at all times, even when presented with near impossible social and personal obstacles. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this story and you will too if you’re a fan of Victorian novels and and mystery teasers. The culprit was a bit predictable but the journey was worth it.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for this free copy. These are my personal opinions.
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