• Emily Flynn

Millstone of Doubt by Erica Vetsch - Author Interview


Title: Millstone of Doubt: Thorndike and Swann Regency Mysteries (Book 2)

Series: Thorndike and Swann Regency Mysteries

Author: Erica Vetsch

Genre: Historical Mystery, Historical Romance, Inspirational Fiction

Publisher: ‎Kregel Publications (September 20, 2022)

Length: (304) pages

Format: Trade paperback & eBook

ISBN: 978-0825447143

Tour Dates: September 19 – October 3, 2022


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.


“An artfully told story that will have you wondering at the outcome until the final pages are read.” —Ruth Logan Herne, USA Today best-selling author

“…a fully satisfying mystery. I can’t wait to read the next one!” —Jocelyn Green, Christy Award–winning author of Drawn by the Current

“I am sure fans of the first book in this series will revel in the deepening relationship between Daniel Swann and Juliette Thorndike.” —Alissa Baxter, author of The Viscount’s Lady Novelist

Millstone of Doubt captivated me from the first sentence and kept me guessing the entire novel…Erica Vetsch is the master of all things Regency.” —Lorri Dudley, author of The Duke’s Refuge

“5 Stars. Millstone of Doubt is a compelling Regency mystery with plenty of romance. Michelle Griep fans (or any Regency fan in general) will love this novel.”— Jennifer Purcell, ChristianBooks.com




1) What inspired you to write in the genre of Regency mystery?

I wrote books set in the American West for many years, pioneer, cowboy, even up through World War 1, and I enjoyed it very much. But I found myself wanting a new challenge, something I would really have to immerse myself in research-wise. I felt my choices were American Civil War or something totally different…Regency. I had read and enjoyed Regency since I picked up my first Georgette Heyer as a teen, and I thought I would try it. After a couple of Regency novellas and three Regency novels, I thought I would add the twist of including a mystery element, and though it has been challenging, I have really enjoyed it.

2) What authors have influenced your writing of the Thorndike and Swann Regency mysteries?

I’ve enjoyed many Regency authors through the years and am blessed to be friends with many. Georgette Heyer is where it started, Jane Eyre is one of my favorite novels of all time, and of course, Julie Klassen. I’ve also enjoyed some of Mary Balough’s and Carla Kelly’s stories in recent years.

3) What is Millstone of Doubt about?

Millstone is a true murder mystery whodunnit. A mill owner is killed in mysterious circumstances and unraveling the clues that led to the murder an apprehending the killer before he can abscond is paramount. Our hero and heroine come from vastly different layers of the societal spectrum, but they work together, he in the back alleys and she in the drawing rooms, to bring the killer to justice.

4) What was the most challenging aspect of writing Daniel Swann and Lady Juliette Thorndike’s story?

The hardest part of writing a romance is not getting the hero and heroine together, but plausibly keeping them apart for 300 pages. In the case of the Thorndike & Swann mysteries, it’s keeping them apart for three books! Balancing the mystery, the subplots, and the romance in these books has been my greatest challenge.

5) Is faith an important aspect of your characters and why?

All of my stories are written from a Christian world view, and each of my main characters has a spiritual arc, some spiritual truth they need to learn, or some lie they believe that must be faced. I try not to be preachy, and I don’t write ‘agenda’ books, like “By the time the reader finishes this story, they will think exactly as I do about ______.” Sometimes the spiritual journey of a character is subtle. They may only reconfirm a spiritual truth that they already knew or come to a new level of maturity through circumstances and experience.

6) What do you most want your readers to take away from Millstone of Doubt?

First, I always want readers to be entertained. That’s why we read novels, isn’t it? Second, I want readers to have hope. The hope of the gospel, the hope of God working all things together for our good and His glory. And third, if a reader can learn something new about history or add a new word or two to their vocabulary, I’d be pleased.

7) Was there a book that you read that made you know you wanted to be an author?

Not any one book, but several of my childhood reads made me wonder if I could also join their ranks. Laura Ingalls Wilder, Walter Farley, Helen Wells, and as a teen Essie Summers, all influenced me. I find now, I take something away from every book I read that I hope will make me a better writer.

8) What’s next in your writing career for you?

I’m just days away from turning in Children of the Shadows, book three in the Thorndike & Swann mystery series, and I have a proposal in with my publisher to hopefully tell more Regency stories set in the “Haverly Universe.”


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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