And Then I Read: MASKERADE by Terry Pratchett

This is the fifth book in the Witches sub-series of Pratchett’s vast Discworld saga, featuring the Lancre witches Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg, who are looking for a third to complete their coven. The likely candidate is Agnes Nitt, but she’s not having it, and leaves Lancre for the big city Ankh-Morpork to try for a career as an opera singer. Agnes has a fine voice, but lacks confidence, and once in the opera house, finds herself being used as a vocal stand-in for a much prettier young singer with a poor voice, not what he had in mind at all. The opera house is, of course, haunted, with plenty of references to “Phantom of the Opera,” and more than one corpse, as well as more than one possible culprit. Soon Granny and Nanny have followed Agnes and are on the trail of the ghost, using their unique talents in clever ways. Despite loads of scathing satire on opera in general, the plot is complex, the characters amusing, and in all, it’s a fun book with more variety and depth than I expected at first. Recommended.

Maskerade by Terry Pratchett

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