Nell’s Book Hunt
Title: The Vital Principle
Author: Amy Corwin
Series: Second Sons (#1)
Publish Date: February 21, 2011
Publisher: Fireside Mysteries
Genre: Regency Mystery & Thriller
Free on Amazon | B & N only has paperback version
Publisher’s Description: Without family to support her, Prudence Barnard struggles to maintain her social position on a tiny income by acting as a professional guest and entertaining her hostesses by holding spirit sessions. Unfortunately, during a house party at Rosecrest, her host, Lord Crowley, accuses her of taking advantage of his elderly mother and hires a famous inquiry agent, Knighton Gaunt, to prove that Pru is a fraud by exposing her during a séance.
The spirit session goes smoothly, however, and after the séance, Gaunt has to admit that he can’t prove Pru is a charlatan. But she has no time to enjoy her triumph as during Gaunt’s admission, Lord Crowley keels over. Within minutes he is dead and her victory turns into defeat as the other guests point to Pru as the murderer. She argued with Crowley and appears to have the strongest motive.
In a desperate attempt to prove her innocence, Pru matches wits with Mr. Gaunt and the unknown killer. Someone else at Rosecrest wanted Crowley dead and as a series of terrible secrets are exposed, the tension mounts. Then another guest is murdered, and Pru can only hope she identifies the killer before she becomes the next victim.
“The Vital Principle” is the first in the Second Son’s Inquiry Agency series of Regency mysteries, featuring the agency’s coolly intellectual founder, Knighton Gaunt. The series includes a variety of inquiry agents associated with Second Sons and is set in England’s fascinating Regency period when King George III was deemed unfit to rule and the Prince Regent, the eventual George IV, ruled in his stead.