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A Rose Before Dying: Featuring Charles Vance - 1821 (A Second Sons Inquiry Agency Regency Mystery) [Kindle Edition]

Amy Corwin
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

A Second Sons Inquiry Agency historical mystery.

How could his uncle be responsible for the murder of Lady Banks? Charles Vance, Earl of Castlemoor, isn’t convinced Sir Edward could have done it, even when the victim is Sir Edward’s ex-mistress. Unfortunately, before Charles can investigate the rumor, his uncle goes to Mr. Gaunt, the renowned head of the Second Sons Inquiry Agency, for help. After hearing the facts, Mr. Gaunt warns Charles that there may be some truth behind the rumors. Sir Edward was at the scene and it’s entirely possible he did commit the murder and is now trying to cast suspicion elsewhere by hiring Mr. Gaunt and sending roses as “warnings” to future victims.

Charles refuses to accept Gaunt’s conclusion, however, even though he has to admit that his uncle has a motive. Sir Edward was crippled by his mistress’s horse, and his mistress subsequently broke off their relationship because of his injuries, so he certainly might harbor ill-wishes toward her. Nonetheless, others may have equally compelling reasons, and Charles just needs time to dig them out before the hangman practices on Sir Edward’s neck.

When another death is predicted through delivery of fresh roses, Charles enlists the aid of noted rosarian, Ariadne Wellfleet, to decipher the clues and beat the murder at his own game. Unfortunately, the killer catches on quickly, and even Ariadne is threatened when the stakes are raised. A third set of roses arrives, and if she has deciphered the clues correctly, the next victim is a member of her own household.

Charles soon finds himself in a race against time to save both Ariadne and his uncle and prevent the next murder.

“A Rose Before Dying” is a wry, witty historical whodunit touched with romance. This addition to the Second Sons Inquiry Agency mystery series features an amateur detective who refuses to let his earldom stand in the way of catching an elusive killer.

Author: Amy Corwin has been growing Old Garden roses and modern English roses for over ten years. She has won several award at local rose shows, including: the Dowager Queen Aware for the rose ‘Baronne Prevost’ (hybridized 1842) and the Victorian Rose Award twice for the rose ‘Mme Alfred Carriere’ (hybridized 1879). It’s not hard to see why she could not resist including roses in several of her stories.


Product Description

About the Author

Amy Corwin is a member of Mystery Writers of America and a charter member of the Romance Writers of America. She has been writing since 2004 and recently left a career as an enterprise computer systems administrator to write full time. Her books include Regency historicals, paranormal romances, and mysteries. To be truthful, most of her books include a bit of murder and mayhem since she discovered that killing off at least one character is a highly effective way to make the remaining ones toe the plot line. Join her and discover that every good romance has a touch of mystery.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 751 KB
  • Print Length: 300 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Fireside Mysteries; 1.0 edition (8 Jun. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00557U2QU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #436,988 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Mystery, Murder, Roses and a very hungry orphan.. 27 Aug. 2011
By Cheryl M-M TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
A good solid little mystery, quaint with just the right amount of secrets and a mixture of characters. I must admit I though I guessed who it was after his first scene, then the writer threw in a red herring (rather a good one) and I got taken off track, so I ended up being surprised by the villains identity. Personally I thought Mr Gaunt was totally suspect also. Lord Castlemoor has a cantankerous uncle who seems to be the main suspect for multiple murders. Whilst investigating he not only picks up an orphan, but fobs her off on the next unsuspecting female. The story is an interesting view into the position of females and/or lower classes in that era. The book is also an interesting guide into the topic of roses. I wonder if the writer picked that specifically or whether it is a love of hers. I enjoyed the read. I received a free copy of this book for my review.A Rose Before Dying (A Second Sons Mystery)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Thorny. 8 Nov. 2012
By Ell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Found this story to be trite , though the Title promised better things. Had very little to do with the supposed Second Sons investigations. .. The inclusion of which would have improved the plot!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars British mystery - don't let that put you off if you think it's not your cup of tea 29 July 2011
By Que Barbara - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
I was given a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of reviewing it. I'm not a big van of British mysteries but must say I did enjoy this book.

Charles Vance's uncle has been accused of murder and all of the evidence seems to point to his guilt. Charles doesn't feel the Agency his uncle has hired to look into the matter is as unbiased as they could be or doing enough be so takes over the investigation. During the investigation more people are murdered and the evidence always seem to point to his uncle, Sir Edward. The murderer always leaves a rose and cryptic note which leads Charles to a lady rosarian, Ariadne Wellfleet, to identify the rose in hopes it will help solve the mystery.

There were enough twists and turns to keep my interest and I liked a lot of the characters. It's not an extremely long book so is great for those times when you want to lose yourself in a book but not spend a long time getting to the end of it.
5.0 out of 5 stars Rose Before dying 5 July 2013
By Foxy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This story had a very good plot to it. It kept you in supence reading the whole story. Quick reading.
5.0 out of 5 stars A good holiday read 7 Jan. 2013
By Mimi - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was a good holiday read. I found the characters very real and the situations believable. The story had enough mystery to keep one guessing.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a true novel in the series 13 Aug. 2012
By James Dainis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I had read the first book in the Second Sons Inquirary Agency mystery series, "The Vital Principle" and was intrigued by the main character, Knighton Gaunt, the agency's founder. I wanted to read more about him and his agency and so purchased this book. Unfortunately, he rarely appears.

Sir Edward is involved in the death of his former mistress and hires Gaunt to investigate. Edward's nephew, Charles Vance, becomes involved and it is he who appears throughout the book searching out clues, traveling about the countryside and eventually catching the murderer. One gets the feeling that Gaunt belives that Sir Edward is guilty and can't be bothered.

In the story, a romance develops between Charles and Ariadne Wellfleet, a florist, who helps him in his investigations. The murderer taunts the investigators by sending roses whose names indicate the next victim. Her father, before dying, betrothed her to a man whom she loathes.

From the start I found many of the plot lines rather silly. Charles finds a homeless waif on the streets, takes her to the house of a woman whom he has never met (Ariadne) and she immediately takes the waif in. Most of the other plot lines seem equally far fetched.

I can only hope that Sir Edward never paid Gaunt a dime for his non-investigation. This is a Second Sons Inquirary Agency mystery novel in name only.
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