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Masquerade
 
 

Masquerade [Kindle Edition]

Susanne Alleyn
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: £0.77 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Product Description

Product Description

An original short story from the author of the Aristide Ravel Mysteries.



When handsome young Duke Ludovik gives a ball at the palace, Eleyna will let nothing--including her stepmother and stepsisters--prevent her from dancing with the duke, in her mother's ravishing court gown. But her stepmother, mindful of her own daughter's chances, has other ideas...

Sound familiar? Attend the ball, wait for midnight to strike, and you may be surprised!

Acclaim for Susanne Alleyn’s Historical Fiction:



[ The Cavalier of the Apocalypse] “Superb ... Alleyn expertly captures the politics and atmosphere of the period.” (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

[ A Treasury of Regrets] “Put her latest on the must-read list.” (Library Journal, starred review; Library Journal’s Best Mysteries of 2007)

[ Game of Patience] “Alleyn knows her French Revolution, creates a complex brain-teaser of a mystery, and excels in making her characters believable. In short, this book has everything.” (Library Journal)

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 173 KB
  • Print Length: 29 pages
  • Publisher: Spyderwort Press (26 April 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004Y5IE4Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #539,514 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

The granddaughter of children's author Lillie V. Albrecht (author of _Deborah Remembers_, _The Spinning Wheel Secret_, and three other historicals), Susanne Alleyn definitely doesn't write for children, unless, like her, they have found guillotines, high drama, and the French Revolution fascinating since the age of ten or so.

Susanne was born in Munich, Germany and grew up in Massachusetts and New York City. After studying acting and singing, and earning a B.F.A. in theater from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, Susanne eventually came to the conclusion that, as an actor, she was quite a good writer, and that looking for an agent or publisher was still easier on the nerves than going to auditions. (She can, nevertheless, still sing a high C when requested.) Having been unwholesomely fascinated by the French Revolution since, at age 9, she read the Classics Illustrated comic-book version of _A Tale of Two Cities_, she set out to write about it. Her debut novel, _A Far Better Rest_, a reimagining of _A Tale of Two Cities_ (what else?) from the point of view of Sydney Carton, was published in 2000.

Though a longtime fan, she had never considered writing mysteries, however, until she suddenly found herself creating a historical mystery plot suggested by an actual series of murders committed in Paris in the early 1800s. Police agent Aristide Ravel made his first appearance in _Game of Patience_ and returned in _A Treasury of Regrets_, both set in Paris in the Directoire period of 1796-97. Prequels _The Cavalier of the Apocalypse_ and _Palace of Justice_, the third and fourth mysteries in the series, followed in 2009 and 2010. Susanne intends to cover the entire Revolutionary period in future Aristide Ravel novels.

In a foray into nonfiction, her latest work, _Medieval Underpants and Other Blunders_, is a writer's guide to avoiding errors and anachronisms in historical fiction. Her sixth novel, _The Executioner's Heir_, first in a pair of novels about hereditary 18th-century Parisian executioner Charles Sanson, will appear in 2013.

Susanne and her three cats live in Albany, NY. She speaks French very badly.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cinderella reworked 21 July 2012
By Damaskcat HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is an entertaining short read which looks again at the tale of Cinderella. Eleyna is an orphan and lives with her two step sisters and a step mother. Money is in short supply but Eleyna has a dress which belonged to her mother and which she has kept secret. She wants to wear it to a masked ball. But her step mother wants her own daughter to wear it.

What happens when Eleyna takes matters into her own hands gives a different take on the traditional story. The story is well written and I shall definitely be having a look at this author's other work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Masquerade 30 Jun 2012
By S Riaz HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Susanne Alleyn is the author of the Ariste Ravel historical mysteries set in revolutionary Paris. This is a short story, unrelated to her popular series, and currently free on kindle - allowing you to have a taster of this excellent author's work. This story is based around the plot of "Cinderella", with Eleyna the daughter of a beautiful mother who once danced at a ball in a beautiful ball gown which her daughter has kept in secret. After his wife's death, Eleyna's beloved Papa marries the "Baroness", who has two daughters, the selfish and spoilt Michaela and Sophia.

It is the week of Duke Franz Ludovik's ball and Eleyna is desperate to go, but her stepmother tells her no money can be spared for a new ball gown. With help, Eleyna alters her mothers gown, but, as we know, her plans are spoilt. In this story the bare bones of the Cinderella tale is twisted, with neither the stepmother being as cruel, nor our 'Cinderella' Eleyna being nearly as sweet or nice as the traditional tale. This story has a wicked twist and the ambitions of our heroine are far more realistic and she is certainly not afraid to make things happen without the help of a fairy godmother. I really enjoy Susanne Alleyn's books and this is a really good short story, which is certainly one I shall read again.
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Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Short story, and a GOOD one... 26 Feb 2012
By Karen H. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I agree with "Storeetllr" that this is a fun twist on the Cinderella fairy tale. While it is not set during the French Revolution and does not include any guillotining or revolutionary plots or my favorite sleuth Aristide Ravel, it is a fun re-imagining of the Cinderella story. It definitely does not deserve 1 star...buyers must pay attention to what they're buying and not rate the purchase based on their mistake rather than on the caliber of the work. Ms. Alleyn deserves better than that. I urge readers to use this work as a jumping off point if you enjoy historical fiction particularly mysteries. Her Ravel series is OUTSTANDING!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging and entertaining short story 26 Feb 2012
By Voracious Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a charming and well-written short story. I enjoyed it thoroughly - not earth-shaking, but definitely enjoyable - a tasty little bon-bon for the mind. As another reviewer said, I too would have given it a solid four stars plus a little, but added another just to counterbalance that apparently illiterate person who gave it one star simply because he did not read the large type on the buy screen that said it was approximately 20 pages long. Then he gives it a bad review, not for what it was, but because he was not getting the novel he thought he was getting.

Suzanne Alleyn is a marvelous writer who carries us away to an elegant, alien world that will never exist again. I hope she writes forever, in whatever length she chooses!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cinderella with a Twist 26 Feb 2012
By Mary K. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Lovely twisted take on the old Cinderella fairy tale from the pen of one of my favorite historical mystery authors whose series features one of my favorite detectives (Aristide Ravel). Yes, "Masquerade" is a short story, and I admit that I prefer novels, plus it does not feature Ravel, but, notwithstanding the other reviewer's disappointment that it was a short story rather than a longer work, which caused him to rate it with only one star (as if his mistake in not checking the length of the work before buying it was somehow the fault of the author and thus, no matter how well written the story or how enjoyable it was, the author must suffer for the reviewer's failure to do due diligence, but that is just my own opinion), I enjoyed "Masquerade" quite a bit. In fact, I never saw the twist coming and was shocked ~ shocked I say! ~ when I read it. To be honest, I read this awhile ago, back in the summer of 2011, and did not previously review it because I have pretty much stopped reviewing books, at least for the time being, so I cannot give details about the story (and why would you want me to anyway and ruin the fun for you?), but seeing the 1-star review of a work I enjoyed and seeing the reviewer's reason for the rating, I just had to share my thoughts. In fact, writing this has made me want to reread the story, which I'll be doing before bed tonight. (Note: I would have given this a 4-star review, but I added an extra star to make up in part for the stupid 1-star rating given by the previous reviewer.)
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Masquerade 30 Jun 2012
By S Riaz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Susanne Alleyn is the author of the Ariste Ravel historical mysteries set in revolutionary Paris. This is a short story, unrelated to her popular series, and currently free on kindle - allowing you to have a taster of this excellent author's work. This story is based around the plot of "Cinderella", with Eleyna the daughter of a beautiful mother who once danced at a ball in a beautiful ball gown which her daughter has kept in secret. After his wife's death, Eleyna's beloved Papa marries the "Baroness", who has two daughters, the selfish and spoilt Michaela and Sophia.

It is the week of Duke Franz Ludovik's ball and Eleyna is desperate to go, but her stepmother tells her no money can be spared for a new ball gown. With help, Eleyna alters her mothers gown, but, as we know, her plans are spoilt. In this story the bare bones of the Cinderella tale is twisted, with neither the stepmother being as cruel, nor our 'Cinderella' Eleyna being nearly as sweet or nice as the traditional tale. This story has a wicked twist and the ambitions of our heroine are far more realistic and she is certainly not afraid to make things happen without the help of a fairy godmother. I really enjoy Susanne Alleyn's books and this is a really good short story, which is certainly one I shall read again.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Once a mystery writer.... 1 Mar 2012
By Richard Derus - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Rating: 4* of five

The Book Report: Eleyna is a lovely young woman, bereft of family and only grudgingly allowed to exist by a stepmother she abominates and whose attitude towards Eleyna is not that of a fond parent. The ducal ball is coming up, and Eleyna does not even feel a moment's surprise that she alone does not so much as warrant a token of intent to attend with her ghastly stepsister Michaela and the probably not so bad Sophia. After all, they have a shot at making matches...Eleyna is twenty-one, teetering on spinsterhood!

Eleyna's secret weapon is her own true mother's gorgeous, ancient ball gown, cleverly modernized by Josefa the seamstress in secret, the two colluding to put hateful Michaela's nose as far out of joint as it can be put. When she shows up to attend the ball in this gorgeous gown, Sophia is thrilled and offers her stepsister the loan of some aquamarines; Michaela is vengefully determined to get that gown for herself, to replace her own shabby-genteel number.

Of course, this is how it all plays out, and the ball is a bust for Eleyna until Michaela needs her help in fixing up the damage she has carelessly done to Eleyna's gown.

Hijinks, as the saying goes, ensue. Can't say more. No spoilers!

My Review: I'll read whatever Alleyn writes. She retells Cinderella for the umpty-umpth time, and still manages to find an angle unused. That, laddies and gentlewomen, takes an imagination to be reckoned with!

The fun thing about this short tale is that it showcases Alleyn's trademark deftly limned characters doing totally believable things for comprehensible reasons, and still manages to surprise the reader into an arched eyebrow more than once. I've never ever had any sympathy for the stepmother before reading this story, for example.

And for ninety-nine cents, a pittance! pittance, I say!, one has a half-hour's respite from the irksome modern world's irksome modern demands. Immerse yourself in 1765, hear the rustle of fine watered silk, see the soft, feminine glow of seed pearls in candlelight, commiserate with a charming young wallflower as she loses her one date to a boy in cream satin's Verboten charms.

Ninety-nine cents doesn't even buy coffee these days. And this charming retelling of a fairy tale, dark edges and all, will linger longer in your memory than that six-dollar latte.
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