Masque by W.R. Gingell – I loved this. Seriously loved it. It’s classed as dark fantasy on Amazon, but don’t be turned off if you’re not into “dark”… most of the characters are absolutely charming and the world is far from grimdark. It’s “dark” because there is indeed bloody murder; the reader doesn’t have to wallow in the darkness, but it’s definitely on the page. But it’s so much fun! The interactions between Isabella and Lord Pecus reminded me of Beatrice and Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing – teasing, poking, prodding, irritating, infuriating each other while falling in love. Even though you know the ending, you’ll enjoy every minute of the journey there. It’s free on Amazon, too.
“…an inventive and funny mystery with a dynamic lead, which will make you want to pick up the next book in the series.” Self-Publishing Review, 4½ Stars
Beauty met the Beast and there was . . . Bloody murder?
It’s the Annual Ambassadorial Ball in Glause, and Lady Isabella Farrah, the daughter of New Civet’s Ambassador, is feeling pleasantly scintillated.
In the library is Lord Pecus, a charming gentleman whose double mask hides a beastly face, and who has decided that Isabella is the very person to break the Pecus curse.
In the ball-room is young Lord Topher, who is rapidly falling in love with an older woman.
And in the card-room, lying in a pool of his own blood, is the body of one of Isabella’s oldest friends: Raoul, Civet’s Head Guardsman. The papers sewn into his sash seem to suggest espionage gone wrong, but Isabella is not so certain.
Lord Pecus, as Commander of the Watch, is of the opinion that Isabella should keep out of the investigation and out of danger. Isabella is of the opinion that it is her murder to investigate, and that what a certain Beast-Lord doesn’t know won’t hurt him. . . .
Will Isabella find the murderer before Lord Pecus does, or will she end her investigation as a bloody spatter on the parlour floor?
This book review originally appeared on C. J. Brightley’s blog.