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?
Links Kobo link: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/masque-6 Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Masque-Monarchies-Sequence-W-R-Gingell-ebook/dp/B00QJ61NN2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1425269705&sr=8-1&keywords=w+r+gingell B & N link: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/masque-w-r-gingell/1121106001?ean=9781503331495 Goodreads page: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24821881-masque Goodreads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7849833.W_R_Gingell Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/wrgingell Website: wrgingell.com Twitter: @WRGingell
I took a step toward him, but a dirty hand caught my arm.
“Don’t touch him, my lady!”
It was the scrubbing girl, her hands still slick with suds that soaked quickly into my sleeve. Daubney sank to his knees, coughing, and I said crisply: “There’s a man just beyond the end of the street; fetch him now.”
She nodded, and jerked a thumb over her shoulder for the urchin’s benefit. He took off at a run, skinny legs almost blurring, and she knelt beside Daubney, who looked up at me with glazed horror in his brown eyes.
“My . . . lady . . . help!”
I dropped to my knees beside them both, and the girl said again, sharply: “Don’t touch him! Have you got wood, my lady?”
I snapped the beads from my reticule strings without a pang, and the girl made a quick motion with her hand that set them spinning in the air within a complicated web of blue glittery stuff. They revolved once, twice; and then exploded, stinging us with splinters.
The girl hissed between her teeth in surprise or fear, I wasn’t sure which, and spat: “Get away! Now!”
She was quicker to her feet than me, dashing up and away across the cobbles. I was still forcing myself up when Daubney’s eyes flooded red.
“Oh no!” I said, swallowing a horrible lump in my throat; because I knew what was coming. “Oh no, no, no!”
And then Daubney’s head exploded.