This is a series of books that I would strongly suggest you read in the order they were written. Each story picks up where the previous leaves off and if you were to pick up book two, "Whispers Along the Rails", without reading book one, "In the Company of Secrets", you would not have the background of the characters to fully understand what is going on. I enjoyed having book two pick right up with the story, and you will close the book wanting to pick up the next one to see what happens next because it kind of leaves you "hanging" at the end. I also appreciate the covers on each of these stories as they do a good job of portraying the feel of the story.
In this story Olivia Mott finds herself as assistant chef and as an undercover worker for the Pullman Palace Car Company as she rides the rails and observes how the people employed for Pullman do their jobs. She is VERY naive though as what she thinks are mere suggestions to improve the company, are really sinister ways of getting people fired. At the same time her "friendship" with Fred seems to be at a standstill as there are too many situations both her and Fred seem to be misunderstanding. I will say at times Olivia needs to not be so naive and start to put some things together in the town of Pullman.
You will also get to follow up on Lady Charlotte in this story and find her in Chicago. She will have a lot of growing up to do, but as she finds herself under the wings of a dear Christian lady and employed at Marshall Field's department store you will see Charlotte's heart soften to the things of the gospel and her life change for the better. She will still need to go back to Pullman though and figure out what happened to her baby she left behind. I appreciated Charlotte a whole lot more in this story than I did in book one. I look forward to seeing how the author brings it to a conclusion in book three, "An Uncertain Dream".
Although this is a work of fiction, I enjoyed how the author centered her story around a real town and a real company and the way life was back then. There was a whole side of the Pullman Company and how it operated and handled their employees and the quality of work they expected that was very enlightening.