The Mystery of Masks by Mary Jo Putney

I haven’t been thrilled with this series but they are still well written books by a long time favorite author.

The urge to dress up isn’t universal, but it is wide spread!  In historical romances, one of the fun tropes is the masquerade ball, where guests can come as Cleopatra or a Cavalier or whatever else they fancy.  Or if they don’t want a costume, they can wear sweeping, caped and hooded dominoes that disguise face and body.  Masks are a major part of the fun because they allow guests to dance with mysterious strangers, or flirt, or steal a kiss, or possibly a good deal more.  The joy of anonymity!

At a ball, the masks generally came off at midnight, at which point you find that the masked man who is a great kisser is the neighbor you thought was really boring, or some other interesting discovery.  Of course, those who really valued anonymity would sneak out before the unmasking. 

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