For a gentleman seeking more prestigious company amidst the bawdy houses of an eighteenth-century city, the House of Masques provides the perfect no-touch escorts. Girls, highly educated and socially trained, are geisha-like status symbols for politicians, bankers and royalty alike. Into this world comes Bethany Harris, a disgraced governess who has been rescued from a madhouse and transformed into the Masque named Wasp. She soon discovers that everyone in the House has a past, and personal horrors, coupled with dark ambition, are leading to a crisis that threatens to destroy the House of Masques and everyone in it.
Ian Garbutt has worked in journalism and publishing. He was awarded a Scottish Arts Council New Writer's Bursary and attended Napier University, in Edinburgh, where he obtained a Master of Arts with Distinction in Creative Writing. Historical novels are his speciality, and he has published two historical novels for Piatkus under the pseudonym of Melanie Gifford.