Happy Twelfth Night! I’m very fond of 6 January. It lends it’s name to a favorite Shakespeare play (I got to work on Viola when I was studying acting; she’s one of the Shakespeare characters I’d have loved to play in a full production–I still go over the “willow cabin” speech sometimes when I’m doing vocal warm-ups for a talk). And a number of Sherlockians consider it the birthday of Sherlock Holmes (a tradition Laurie King follows in her Mary Russell series).

6 January is also the day on which The Mask of Night begins. For the last of the excerpts from the book I’ve been posting over the holiday season, here is the prologue, which offers a glimpse of a young Mélanie and her first meeting with the Empress Josephine, whose ghost hangs over the novel in many ways, and of her daughter Hortense, who is an important character in the novel. I’ll be back to regular blogging next week, but I’ll continue to post excerpts from The Mask of Night every now and then. Suggestions of scenes you’d like to see (and thoughts on the ones you have seen) are very welcome.