cover image Masquerade


Janet Dailey. Little Brown and Company, $19.95 (326pp) ISBN 978-0-316-17142-7

Prolific, bestselling romance writer Dailey ( Rivals ; Heiress ; etc.) casts her spell this time in the splendid decay and corruption of New Orleans, where beautiful Remy Jardin returns after being mysteriously knocked on the head at Carnival in Nice. Her sharp wits befuddled by amnesia, Remy sees everyone with newly opened eyes--her loving father, who's surprisingly anxious to pack her off to a deluxe asylum; goodnatured yet slippery brother Gabe; jovial Uncle Marc; and glowering ex-lover Cole Buchanan, who runs the Jardins' shipping company and tears at her heart. While Remy delves into an unsavory insurance scam she'd be safer letting lie, the story moves smoothly between sentimental glories of the past century and the suspenseful present. Readers caught up in this evocative, flavorful tale will easily forgive Remy's denser moments. 200,000-copy first printing; $250,000 ad/promo; Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club selections; author tour. (Apr.)