Monte Renfro breaks the bank at Monte Carlo with “Masquerades”

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Monte Carlo Masquerades is a well crafted mystery, an accurately drawn pre-WWI historical novel, and a memorable story about the strength of family ties.

With "Monte Carlo Masquerades," Monte Renfro proves that an author can sometimes wager huge amounts of time and then hit the jackpot with a novel that delivers everything good historical fiction should.

The story is set Monte Carlo in 1914, shortly before the beginning of WWI. At that time, hundreds of thousands of people would flock to the French Riviera each year to winter in the sun. Lily Turner is an ambitious American who is determined to have an unconventional career as a female detective. Paul Newcastle is a mid-level grifter and British ex-pat who is about to age out of the game and needs a big score, soon. Their paths meet when they are conscripted into investigating events surrounding a death at the luxurious Hôtel de Paris. Another murder and the arrival of Paul’s nephew ups the stakes to life-and-death for the two main characters. While unraveling the many mysteries, Lily and Paul also find they must revisit some of their settled attitudes in order to appreciate the enduring strength of family ties.

"Monte Carlo Masquerades" is historical fiction at its best. The time (spring, 1914) and the place (Monaco) are integral and necessary elements for the story. It could not have been set in any other time or place. The narrative is packed with authentic locales and period-details. It references many of the era’s social, political, and artistic movements, including the Irish Home Rule debate, the violent conflicts between labor unions and employers, the rise of Socialism, the turmoil in Tsarist Russia, the revolutions in music and ballet, and, most importantly, the looming catastrophe of WWI.

This story is much more than a murder mystery. It is also an intelligent and sympathetic examination of the mystery of family relationships and the complexity of personal identity. The subtle interweaving of the stage-motif, the well rounded characters, the sprinkling of literary allusions, the steady pacing, and the quiet sense of humor all combine to make this an exceptional book. With its tightly crafted plot and the multilayered story, this book will appeal to a broad range of readers.

About the author: Monte Renfro has been a serious student of World War I for decades. This interest and eight winters of living at the French Riviera led to the story in this book. Monte spent most of her professional life toiling in the fields of accounting as a Certified Public Accountant. In the meantime, she studied literature, practiced writing, studied creative writing, and continued writing. Eventually, she earned a Ph.D. in English from Arizona State University. Monte resides permanently in Washington State, where she has lived since 1978. Monte Carlo Masquerades is her first published novel.

Monte Carlo Masquerades is available in paperback and as a Kindle eBook exclusively on,, and other foreign Amazon sites. For review copies or more information, contact Sprague Publishing Company at spraguepublishingco(at)gmail(dot)com

Media contact:
Donna Wood, VP Marketing
(907) 887 6903
SOURCE: Donna Wood

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