Second Sons:  Excerpts

After being hired by the Archer family, Knighton Gaunt, founder of Second Sons, Discreet Inquires, may wish he had gone into the church the way his older brother, Lord Gaunt, requested.  There is nothing John Archer likes better than a wager or a bit of highway robbery, particularly when his activities make life interesting for relatives like his nephew, the Duke of Peckham.  And if the Archer affairs get a little too hot, there's always Knighton Gaunt to set things to rights...

 

The Unwanted Heiress

She's an American heiress nobody wants; he's a duke every woman is after.

When Nathaniel, Duke of Peckham, meets Charlotte Haywood, he's relived she's not interested in his title or wealth.  She has her own fortune and simply wants to escape England to join archaeologists making discoveries in Egypt.

 

After being plagued by women popping up in the most unbelievable places; Nathaniel is disgusted with the fairer sex.  Unfortunately, a debutante seeking to entrap him gets killed and his reputation as a misogynist makes him a prime suspect.  In order to clear his name, he investigates, but his efforts are hampered by importunate women.  Desperate, he proposes a temporary engagement to Charlotte to give him time to solve the murder without other females interfering.  She refuses the absurd proposal.  Pressured by the dead debutante's father trying to force him into a duel, Nathaniel schemes to kidnap and appear to rescue Charlotte, hoping to gain her gratitude and agreement to an engagement.

 

How was he to know another highwayman interested in a rich heiress would be out that night, or that a second debutante would be found dead in his carriage?

 

The Vital Principle

 Spiritualism may seem like havey-cavey business to a private investigator, but Pru is determined to prove it's not a motive for murder.

Eking out her small income by becoming a professional guest, Prudence Barnard doesn't mind entertaining her hosts with an evening of spirit communications even if it is mostly a sham.  All goes well until she discovers her host has hired an inquiry agent, Knighton Gaunt, to expose her as a fraud.  Tension grows into horror when her host is poisoned and suspicion falls on her as a stranger already under investigation.  Desperate to prove her innocence, she tries to persuade Knighton to let her help, but he refuses.  He dislikes liars and believes anyone who claims to be able to speak with THE VITAL PRINCIPLE of a dead man cannot be trusted.  However, their mutual misgivings cannot prevent their growing attraction for each other as they investigate and uncover a morass of jealousy and deceit at Rosecrest.  After a second murder is committed, Pru and Knighton join forces to unveil the real murderer before he, or she, can strike again.  

A Lady in Hiding

From the ashes of the past, a murderer returns to finish the job...

Sarah Sanderson escaped the fire that killed her family, but in 1808 there are few ways for a thirteen-year-old female to survive, so she becomes “Sam”, a BRICKLAYER'S HELPER. Years later, a man contacts her about the fire, but is murdered before they meet. Frightened, Sarah goes to Second Sons to hire an inquiry agent, but the founder is away and she's left with William Trenchard. Despite his too-handsome appearance, William is intelligent enough to penetrate her disguise and try to convince her to transform into “Sarah” for her own safety.  Still unsure that William is up to the task, she refuses and spends a harrowing night in Newgate after attempting to steal a box which may contain clues from the 1808 fire. As attempts on Sarah's life become more desperate, the murderer's trail leads them to dark deeds within the aristocracy, and they must find the killer before he finds Sarah.

 

 

 

Books by Amy Corwin
The Dead Man's View