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The Vital Principle (Second Sons, #1)
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The Vital Principle (Second Sons #1)

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  287 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
When Lord Crowley sends for him, cynical inquiry agent Knighton Gaunt is more than happy to accept the simple assignment. All he must do is attend a séance and expose the spiritualist, Prudence Barnard, as a charlatan taking advantage of Crowley's mother.

Unfortunately, instead of proving Miss Barnard is a fraud, Gaunt is made to look like a fool when Crowley is murdered af
Kindle Edition, 351 pages
Published (first published February 8th 2011)
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This whodunit, the first in the Second Sons Inquiry Agency Series, claimed it would keep you guessing until the end. I was not convinced, and believed I could figure it out if I really concentrated -- after all, I love a good mystery. I put all my skills to the test and began reading.

As I read, I'd be sure I had figured out who had done it, but then everything changed, and I was proven wrong. By this time, I was utterly intriged and ke
Verity Brown
May 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This book isn't QUITE a four--more of a 3.5--but I did enjoy reading it very much. The two main characters have a nice chemistry, and I confess I was disappointed by the idea that future books in this series might not feature them.

Our heroine: a spinster who formerly helped her father debunk ghost stories. His death has left her in poverty, and she survives by being a professional houseguest, performing seances for her wealthy patrons. (Problem: this is set in the Regency Era, while this type of
May 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's 1815 and an Inquiry Agent - Mr. Knighton Gaunt - is employed at a house party to expose a spiritualist - Miss Prudence Barnard - as a fraud.
Unfortunately murder happens to prevent this. Can Mr Gaunt discover the murderer while unearthing all the guests secrets before they strike again.
This is the first of a series which I look forward to reading the next.
I found this book when it was posted for free on amazon. This was a nice gem to find. The characters were good with a complicated mystery. I loved the unique heroine that was someone who spoke to the dead to entertain. The hero was a good match. I jumped right into the second book in the series and loved that one too...
Aug 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Regency mystery with a good level of tension. I love to see the "other side" of Regency England, not so golden and gentle like in the most of historical romances, but governed by baser instincts and greed. Good chemistry between the main characters, Knighton and Pru, that I'll be glad to find in other two books in this series of Second Sons Inquiry Agency. Recommended!
Knighton Gaunt, second son's inquiry agent, was hired by Lord Cromwell to prove that Prudence Barnard was a fake. As a guest of the Dowager Cromwell, Prudence held a seance to conger words from the deceased Lord Cromwell only to have the new young Lord Cromwell poisoned during the seance. with 13 guests and a maid in attendance, there were a lot of suspects. A great mystery that kept me guessing to the end!
Jun 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle-free
Rather liked it actually. Two main characters are interesting. A touch more polish would be beneficial but nothing serious or invasive to enjoyment.

3.5 star
Mayara Arend
May 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The Vital Principle is a lovely mistery romance by Amy Corwin, featuring Knight Gaunt and Pru Barnard.
Amy has a wonderful narrative, that kept me guessing until nearly the end. When the last major event on the book happened, I was already sure of who was the killer, but that was pretty much when it was revealed, merely pages before, so kudos to Amy, it's not that easy to fool me ;)

Pru Barnard is a lovely fraud, she pretends to be able to communicate with the death and she was invited by Lady Cro
Lilly Gayle
Jun 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Everyone has Secrets and Pru Barnard is no exception. But is she a charlaton? Or worse? A muderer?

With no family and no inheritance, Pru Barnard must find a way to support herself and her maid without working or she will be unable to maintain the lifestyle to which she is accustomed. So, she becomes a professional guest, entertaining her hosts/hostesses by contacting the spirit world.

Knighton Gaunt was once a member of the ton, but as a second son, he's no lord and he chooses not to live off t
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Amy Corwin is a charter member of the Romance Writers of America and recently joined Mystery Writers of America. She has been writing for the last ten years and managing a career as an enterprise systems administrator in the computer industry. She writes Regencies/historicals, mysteries, and contemporary paranormals. To be truthful, most of her books include a bit of murder and mayhem since she di ...more
More about Amy Corwin...

Other Books in the Series

Second Sons (5 books)
  • A Rose Before Dying (Second Sons, #2)
  • The Dead Man's View (Second Sons, #3)
  • The Illusion of Desire: 1821 (Second Sons #4)
  • Honeymoon with Death (Second Sons #5)
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