The White City was a requested book from NetGalley and I believe it's part of a multi-author historical fiction series called True Colors.
With NetGalley, you can request books from publishers...and they may or may not let you read the book. I actually joined because there are these book blurbs that NetGalley creates (I think it's Net Galley) about upcoming books by genre. They're free and since I've joined I've always read them. I requested a bunch of books and got turned down a bunch (which I expected because I'm not a professional book seller, etc.) but I did get some of the books I requested, which I did appreciate.
Title: The White City
Author: Grace Hitchcock
Page Number: 256 pages (paperback)
Genre: Fiction, Christian Fiction, Inspirational Fiction, Romance, Historical Romance
Publisher: Barbour Books
While attending the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, Winnifred Wylde believes she witnessed a woman being kidnapped. She tries to convince her father, an inspector with the Chicago police, to look into reports of mysterious disappearances around the White City. Inspector Wylde tries to dismiss her claims as exaggeration of an overactive imagination, but he eventually concedes to letting her go undercover as secretary to the man in question—if she takes her pistol for protection and Jude Thorpe, a policeman, for bodyguard.
Will she be able to expose H. H. Holmes’s illicit activity, or will Winnifred become his next victim?
I zoned in on The White City is because I loved Eric Larson's Devil In The White City, which is about H.H. Holmes, the Chicago Word's Fair and the creation of Chicago as a metropolitan city. The blurb seemed exciting enough, as just placement in H.H. Holmes Castle of Horrors seems dangerous. That being said, (and I think almost as a disservice to the book) this blurb made me think it was more action orientated than it was. It's a mystery, and Winnifred does secure a position with H.H. Holmes but it's also a really sweet romance. This is the opposite of what I normally read (I prefer romance as a secondary plot line) but this really worked for the story.
Winnifred is caught between two worlds, as the daughter of the police chief but niece to a society dame and also courted by a police detective and a society author. While on an Aunt-sanctioned date at the
What I really liked about the book was how positive it all was. Granted, there's a deranged killer running around, but Winnifred has a best friend (female friendship is often missing from narratives, which sucks), two suitors who are really nice, kind men, and a loving family. There was a romance triangle for a minute but only in the sense that Winnifred is deciding between the two men; both men are kind to her and then respectful to each other.
I think what I wished for was more of mystery/crime element. H. H. Holmes was super deranged but he only makes a few appearances in the book. The danger happens in the end but it was over fairly fast. This is a personal preference, so if you're looking for a slight to normal range of mystery and deranged thriller...this is probably more up your alley.
The writing is lovely and the plotting is easy to follow. The romance is sweet and Winnifred is easy to love. There are Christian elements, like Winnifred prays while in danger and she attends Church. The publisher is a Christian publisher, which is why I mention it at all. I didn't find these elements out of place (sometimes the prayers inserted in books are a but random, like the author went, "oh dear, I must insert 'x' numbers of prayers and I'm down one.") as why wouldn't you pray if H. H. Holmes had you trapped?