Monday, September 26, 2022

Book Tour & Author Interview: Millstone of Doubt by Erica Vetsch


A Bow Street Runner and a debutante in London Society use their skills to find the killer of a wealthy businessman, but the killer’s secrets aren’t the only ones they will uncover.

Caught in the explosion of the Hammersmith Mill in London, Bow Street runner Daniel Swann rushes to help any survivors only to find the mill's owner dead of an apparent gunshot--but no sign of the killer.

Even though the owner's daughter, Agatha Montgomery, mourns his death, she may be the only one. It seems there are more than a few people with motive for murder. But Daniel can't take this investigation slow and steady. Instead, he must dig through all the suspects as quickly as he can because the clock is ticking until his mysterious patronage--and his job as a runner--comes to an abrupt and painful end. It seems to Daniel that, like his earthly father, his heavenly Father has abandoned him.
Lady Juliette Thorndike is Agatha's bosom friend and has the inside knowledge of the wealthy London ton to be invaluable to Daniel. She should be in a perfect position to help with the case. But when her trusted instructor in the art of spy craft orders her to stay out of the investigation, Lady Juliette obeys. That is, until circumstances intervene, and she drops right into the middle of the deadly pursuit.

When a dreadful accident ends in another death on the mill floor, Daniel discovers a connection to his murder case--and to his own secret past. Now he and Juliette are in a race to find the killer before his time runs out.

Interview with Author Erica Vetsch

What was your greatest challenge while writing Millstone of Doubt?

This is my first true whodunnit mystery, so plotting the mystery elements and saving a few plot twists for towards the end of the story posed quite a challenge. The first book in the series, The Debutante’s Code, had mystery elements, but might be classified as more of a ‘heist’ book, but Millstone of Doubt is a true murder mystery.

Who is your favorite character in the story and why?

It’s always hard to pick a character who is your favorite, but if I was hard pressed, I would have to say Daniel. He asks spiritual questions without being disrespectful, but because he truly does not understand. He’s dealing with a lot of past hurt and tends to unravel other people’s mysteries because his own mystery seems tangled beyond sorting.

Can you share your research process? Which resource book did you find most helpful?

I do basic research before I start a story. For example, I needed to learn about grist mills, how they work, how they’re laid out. I read a couple of books, but I also visited a working grist mill and spoke with the docent there. As I’m writing, I tend to make lists of things I need to look up, or I make a note in the document. And then, as I edit, I check and double check that I’ve gotten things as right as I possibly can.

As to resource books that are helpful, I have a book called Jane Austen Shopped Here, by Teresa DesJardien, which lists shops and streets and churches and so many fascinating things that were in existence in London and the surrounding areas during the Regency.

Do you like to find visual inspiration for your characters before or during your writing process? Do you have images you can share that come close to how you picture your characters?

I do like to find photos that resemble my characters. I’m not certain I can share them without violating copyright, but I will give an example that folks might know. In both The Debutante’s Code and Millstone of Doubt, the heroine’s uncle plays a significant role. Sir Bertrand Thorndike was patterned after a young Cary Grant, very suave, very droll, with a nice line in irony. I picture him as I’m writing Uncle Bertie.

What message would you like readers to ultimately take away from the book?

The first thing I want readers to take away from my book is that it was an entertaining read. I always want my readers to be more hopeful about the sovereignty of God coupled with the goodness of God. In Millstone of Doubt in particular, the message of God being a Father to the fatherless is a strong theme.

What was your favorite book as a child?

I was always reading as a child. It was my favorite things to do! I don’t know that I could pick just one favorite book, but I did read Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder many, many times.

What do you do like to do besides writing?

I am the company bookkeeper for our family lumber business, and I like to do needlework, cross-stitch and sewing. In addition, I love to watch sports on TV. If it involves a ball and at least two players, I’m in.

What can we look forward to coming from you in the future?

I just turned in book three in the Thorndike & Swann Regency Mystery Series, Children of the Shadows. That story will release in 2023, and then hopefully, I’ll be writing more books set in this particular “Haverly Universe” as I like to call it.

About the Author

Erica Vetsch is a New York Times best-selling author and ACFW Carol Award winner and has been a Romantic Times top pick for her previous books. She loves Jesus, history, romance, and watching sports. This transplanted Kansan now makes her home in Rochester, Minnesota.


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