As a child I loved dressing up. Romantic ideas of being elegant and majestic were forever thwarted as anyone who has read the first story in The Advent Calendar will know but that didn’t stop me hoping. As a young adult, still intent on looking sophisticated or at least cute, I usually attended fancy dress parties dressed as a cat or Cleopatra (plenty of excess black eye make-up) and once as Little Miss Muffet (hence picture below). Since then, apart from a period in my career which required wearing a combination of eighteenth century and medieval clothes, the last time I dressed up was as Madonna in her Like Prayer era to go to a fund raising disco and no, I’m not sharing that picture.
So naturally, when Liz Hedgecock said ‘what about having some masquerade balls in book 4 of The Caster and Fleet Mysteries?’ I rubbed my hands in glee.
Speaking for myself, the closest to dressing up I’ve done since making that decision is wearing a new outfit to meet Liz and discuss editing but it was great fun deciding the themes for the balls and imagining the characters’ costumes.
But of course the book is not just about Connie and Katherine’s clothes and dancing skills.
In the year that has passed since The Case of the Deceased Clerk, their lives have changed immensely and there’s a possibility that their days of solving mysteries together may be over. Connie is bucking the trend for women of her class and has become a hands-on mother – complicated as that is in 1893. Katherine, meanwhile is looking forward to finally having a home of her own and has been managing assignments alone for some months. A night out at a ball will simply be a break from routine, won’t it?
Well of course not.
Before they know it, Connie and Katherine are tangled up in secrets and scandal which threaten not only their reputations but their friendship. Only some determined investigations, baby notwithstanding, will uncover the truth.
The Case of The Masquerade Mob is available now for pre-order on Amazon as an ebook. Paperback to follow.
Words and photograph copyright 2018 by Paula Harmon. All rights belong to the author and material may not be copied without the author’s express permission.